Citizens of most countries do not need a visa for the Philippines for visits lasting less than 30 days. A full list of countries exempt from obtaining a visa to enter the country can be found on the official website for the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Travellers must simply ensure that their passport is valid for at least six months and that they have proof of tickets for their journey out of the country.
Foreigners who wish to visit the Philippines for a longer duration must apply in person at the nearest Philippines embassy or consulate.
Temporary visitor visas for the Philippines
Foreigners who are entitled to initial visa exemption can apply for a temporary visitor visa (9A) or visa waiver which permits stays longer than 30 days.
Visa waivers allow further 29 days of stay, while further extensions must be secured with the Bureau of Immigration.
Student visas for the Philippines
Expats who wish to study towards their higher education at an academic institution in the Philippines must apply for a student visa (9F). This can be done by expats already staying in the Philippines who wish to convert their visa to the student visa.
The investor's visa is directed at foreign nationals who plan to engage in trade and invest in commercial opportunities in the Philippines. The immigration programme requires a decent investment in the economy.
We recommend contacting the nearest embassy or consulate to find out about eligible countries and the minimum capital investment requirements.
Work permits for the Philippines
Alien employment permits (AEP)
An employee must be petitioned by his/her company and it must be shown that no person in the Philippines is willing or competent to perform the service for which the foreign national is hired. Employers will assist prospective employees obtain an alien employment permit.
An alien employment permit (AEP) is a document issued by the Philippines Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE). It is not a travel document; it allows a foreign national to work in the Philippines. It is normally applied for in tandem with any employment visa.
AEPs are normally valid for one to five years.
Pre-arranged employee visas
Any foreign national wishing to work in the Philippines must obtain a valid work visa, called the pre-arranged employee visa (9G). This should be arranged before starting employment in the country.
There are both commercial visas for applicants engaging in gainful work as well as non-commercial visas for those in social or missionary work.
The Bureau of Immigration will not issue a 9G working visa unless and until the AEP is obtained.
Special work permits
If the duration of the assignment is less than six months, a special work permit application may be submitted to the authorities. Expats should consult their employers as well as the nearest embassy to find out if they are eligible for a special work permit.
Provisional work permit
In addition to the alien employment permit, foreign nationals must obtain a provisional permit to work, pending the approval of the 9G visa. This permit is issued by the Bureau of Immigration and is normally valid for three months from the date of issue.
*Visa and work permit regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats are advised to consult with their respective embassy or consulate for the latest requirements.