Visa policy of the Philippines
The visa policy of the Philippines is governed by Commonwealth Act No. 613, also known as the Philippine Immigration Act, and by subsequent legislation amending it. The Act is jointly enforced by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI), although visas are issued under the sole prerogative of the BI.
Generally, foreign nationals who wish to enter the Philippines require a visa unless:
- He/she is a citizen of a member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
- He/she is a citizen of a non-ASEAN member state whose nationals are allowed to enter the Philippines visa-free
- He/she is a balikbayan and is only returning to the Philippines temporarily
Types of visas
The Philippine Immigration Act prescribes fourteen different visas grouped into two broad categories
- Section 9 visas (non-immigrant visas), for temporary visits such as those for tourism, business, transit, study or employment
- Section 13 visas (immigrant visas), for foreign nationals who wish to become permanent residents in the Philippines
Some visas have been introduced by subsequent legislation or proclamation of the President which are not classified by the Philippine Immigration Act as either being a Section 9 or Section 13 visa. These visas are called special visas and are issued to groups such as retirees, investors and entrepreneurs.
List of visas
|Non-immigrant||9(A)||Pleasure, business or health|
|9(C)||Seaman on a ship docking in a port of entry in the Philippines|
|9(E)||Foreign government officials and their dependents, assistants and employees|
|9(G)||Pre-arranged employees and their dependents|
|Immigrant||13||Quota immigrants, of which no more than fifty of any one nationality or without nationality may be admitted within one calendar year. Immigrants who are issued Section 13 visas belonging to one of the seven listed sub-categories under CA 613 are considered non-quota immigrants, and may be admitted despite the quota.|
|13(A)||The spouse or unmarried child (below 21) of a Filipino citizen.|
|13(B)||Children born during a temporary visit abroad to mothers granted permanent residence in the Philippines.|
|13(C)||Children born after the issuance of the visa of the accompanying parent.|
|13(D)||Women who lost Filipino citizenship by virtue of marriage to a foreign spouse, and her unmarried children (below 21).[a]|
|13(E)||Permanent residents returning to the Philippines from a temporary visit abroad to resume permanent residence.|
|13(F)||A natural-born citizen of the Philippines, who has been naturalized in a foreign country, and is returning to the Philippines for permanent residence, including his spouse and minor unmarried children.[b]|
|13(G)||Natural-born Filipinos and their dependents who have naturalized in a foreign country and wish to permanently reside in the Philippines. This visa was provided for under Republic Act No. 4376, passed in 1965.|
|Special||SIRV||Special Investor's Resident Visa. This is a non-immigrant visa granted to foreign nationals and their dependents who have shareholdings in Philippine corporations engaged in the manufacturing or services sectors, involved in projects listed under the Investment Priority Plan, or are listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. This visa is issued by the BI in coordination with the Board of Investments.|
|SVEG||Special Visa for Employment Generation. This is a non-immigrant visa granted to foreign nationals and their dependents who employ at least ten Filipinos in a lawful enterprise or business venture.|
|SRRV||Special Resident Retiree's Visa. This is a non-immigrant visa granted to foreign nationals and their dependents who wish to retire in the Philippines. This visa is issued by the BI in coordination with the Philippine Retirement Authority.|
Visa waiver program
The Philippine visa waiver program is governed by Executive Order No. 408, signed on November 9, 1960 by President Diosdado Macapagal, and by subsequent executive issuances amending it. While visas are issued by the BI, the program itself is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which maintains a list of countries eligible to participate in the program. In principle, nationals of countries which maintain diplomatic relations with the Philippines and whose nationals are not classified as restricted nationals by the DFA are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa.
On July 1, 2013, the BI began implementing an extended visa waiver for covered nationals from 21 to 30 days, which the Philippine government hopes will boost tourism. The program will be fully implemented in August.
- Republic Act No. 8171, approved 23 October 1995, provided a mechanism allowing Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship, including their minor children, on account of political or economic necessity, to reacquire Philippine citizenship.
- Republic Act No. 9225, approved 29 August 2003, provided that all Philippine citizens who become citizens of another country shall be deemed not to have lost their Philippine citizenship. It further states that natural-born citizens of the Philippines who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic, and that their children whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines.
- "COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 613". August 26, 1940.
- An act providing for the repatriation of Filipino women who have lost their Philippine citizenship by marriage to aliens and natural-born Filipinos, Chan Robles Law Library, 23 October 1995, retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003, Chan Robles Law Library, 29 August 2003, retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "QUESTIONS & ANSWERS : Special Investors Resident Visa Program". Philippine Bureau of immigration. November 14, 2007.
- "SVEG Visa - Philippines". kittelsoncarpo.com.
- "Special Resident Retiree's Visa". Philippine Retirement Agency. May 5, 2011.
- "Tourists’ initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days". Philippine Daily Inquirer. July 24, 2013.
- "The Bureau of Immigration, Philippines Official Website - General Information"". Retrieved 2013-08-24.
- "Consulate general of the Philippines HK SAR". Retrieved 2013-08-23. "In accordance with Department of Foreign Affairs Service Circular 125-10 dated 17 December 2010, holders of Hong Kong SAR passport do not need a visa for a stay not exceeding fourteen (14) days provided that they possess a return or onward airline ticket."
- The Bureau of Immigration
- How To Extend a Tourist Visa in the Philippines
- Visa information from the Department of Foreign Affairs