Visa policy of the Philippines

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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). Visitors from 157 countries are permitted visa-free entry for periods ranging from 14 to 59 days.

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.

Visa policy map[edit]

Visa policy of the Philippines
  Philippines
  Visa-free (59 days)
  Visa-free (30 days)
  Visa-free (14 days)
  Electronic Travel Authorization
  Visa required

Visa waiver program[edit]

The Philippine visa waiver program is governed by Executive Order No. 408,[1] signed by President Carlos P. Garcia on November 9, 1960, 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. Eligible nationals availing of visa-free entry must possess passports valid for at least six months beyond their contemplated period of stay.[2][3]

On July 1, 2013, the Bureau of Immigration began implementing an extended visa waiver for covered nationals from 21 to 30 days, which the Philippine government hopes will boost tourism[4]

Visa-exempt foreign nationals may extend their stay two months per extension but not exceeding the maximum period of two years.[3] Foreign nationals who require a visa may extend their stay one month per extension but not exceeding the maximum period of six months and must have a ticket valid for onward travel.[2]

In March 2015, it was proposed to extend the visa exemption to citizens of China and India.[5]

Holders of passports of the following jurisdictions do not require a visa for Philippines:[23][24]

59 days (2 countries)[edit]

30 days (152 countries)[edit]

14 days (3 countries)[edit]

Replacement visas[edit]

Nationals of  China traveling as tourists and holding a valid visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, United States or a Schengen Area state may enter and stay without a visa for up to 7 days.

Nationals of  India holding a valid tourist, business or resident visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States or a Schengen Area state may enter and stay without a visa for up to 14 days. They may enter from any port of entry.[27]

Electronic Travel Authorization[edit]

Citizens of  Taiwan may apply for an entry permit through the Electronic Travel Authorization system on the website of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office.[28]

Visa required[edit]

Holders of passports issued by any country except the following may obtain a visa (for a fee) valid for 59 days on arrival:[24]

Non-ordinary passports[edit]

Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports of the following countries enjoy an extended length of stay when compared to ordinary passports:

Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports of the following countries may enter without a visa while ordinary passport holders require one:

D — diplomatic passports
O — official passports
S — service passports

APEC Business Travel Card[edit]

Holders of passports issued by the following countries who possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing the "PHL" code on the reverse that it is valid for travel to Philippines can enter visa-free for business trips for up to 59 days.[24]

ABTCs are issued to nationals of:[29]

Types of visas[edit]

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[edit]

Visas in the Philippines
Type Visa Description
Non-immigrant[30] 9(a) Pleasure, business or health
9(b) Transit
9(c) Seaman on a ship docking in a port of entry in the Philippines
9(d) Alien businessman
9(e) Foreign government officials and their dependents, assistants and employees
9(f) Students
9(g) Pre-arranged employees and their dependents
Immigrant[30] 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 parents.
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) The spouse and/or unmarried children (below 21) of an alien admitted to the Philippines for permanent residence prior to the approval of the Philippine Immigration Act.[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.[c]
Special 47(a)(2)[33] Special Non-Immigrant Visa. This is a non-immigrant visa granted to several categories of foreign nationals:
  • Those employed as executives, supervisors, specialists, consultants, contractors or personal staff at enterprises registered with special economic zones, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the Board of Investments (BOI), or the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB)
  • Those employed in enterprises that have existing agreement/s with the Philippine government or any of subdivisions and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations, for the completion of a project
  • Exchange professors, scholars, trainees, participants, students, fellows and social workers under sponsorship of locally or internationally recognized educational, scientific, cultural, relief and charitable organizations, institutions, agencies or foundations, including representatives of non-recognized foreign governments to those organizations
  • Volunteers registered with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), including foreign personnel of international rescue/aid organizations providing assistance on occasion of natural disasters and major emergencies
  • Dependents of any foreign national covered under the previous categories
SIRV[34] 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[35] 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[36] 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.
SNIV[37] Special Non-Immigrant Visa. This is a non-immigrant visa granted to foreign nationals and their dependents who are employed by the regional, area and/or regional operating headquarters of multinational corporations.
SEVOBU[38] Special Employment Visa for Offshore Banking Unit. This is a non-immigrant visa granted to foreign nationals and their dependents who are employed by the Philippine offshore units of foreign banks.

Foreign travel statistics[edit]

Rank Country Growth rate
(2011–2020)
2020[39] 2019[40] 2018[41] 2017[42] 2016[43] 2015[44] 2014[45] 2013 2012 2011
1  South Korea Decrease -63% 338,877 1,989,322 1,587,959 1,607,821 1,475,081 1,339,678 1,175,472 1,165,789 1,031,155 925,204
2  United States Decrease -66% 211,816 1,064,440 1,034,396 957,813 869,463 779,217 722,750 674,564 652,626 624,527
3  China Decrease -29% 170,432 1,743,309 1,255,258 968,447 675,663 490,841 394,951 426,352 250,883 243,137
4  Japan Decrease -63% 136,664 1,682,788 631,801 884,180 635,238 495,662 463,744 433,705 412,474 375,496
5  Australia Decrease -67% 55,330 286,170 279,821 259,433 251,098 241,187 224,784 213,023 191,150 170,736
6  Canada Decrease -52% 55,273 238,850 226,429 300,640 175,631 153,363 143,899 131,381 123,699 117,423
7  Taiwan Decrease -73% 48,644 327,273 240,842 236,777 229,303 177,670 142,973 139,099 216,511 181,738
8  United Kingdom Decrease -61% 39,980 209,206 301,039 282,708 173,229 154,189 133,665 122,759 113,282 104,466
9  Malaysia Decrease -74% 23,359 139,882 145,242 143,566 139,133 155,814 139,245 109,437 114,513 91,752
10  Singapore Decrease -85% 19,998 158,595 171,795 168,637 176,057 181,176 179,099 175,034 148,215 137,802
All Countries Decrease 82.05% 1,482,535 8,260,913 7,168,467 6,620,908 5,967,005 5,360,682 4,833,368 4,681,307 4,272,811 3,917,454


See also[edit]

References and Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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.[31]
  2. ^ The Philippine Immigration Act stipulates that persons being admitted under this visa category must have been admitted within two years of the Act's approval.[30]
  3. ^ 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.[32]
  1. ^ "Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Guidelines on Entry Visas of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines". immigration.gov.ph. Archived from the original on 15 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b "BI extends stay of foreign tourists". Philippine Bureau of Immigration. August 6, 2007.
  4. ^ "Tourists' initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days". Philippine Daily Inquirer. July 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "Business News, India Stock Market, Personal Finance, IPO, Financial News Headlines - The Financial Express". www.financialexpress.com. Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  6. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during January 1963" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1963.
  7. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during March 1964" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1964.
  8. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during January 1967" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1967.
  9. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during March 1967" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1967.
  10. ^ "Under the Visa Agreement on 10 December 1969" (PDF).
  11. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during September 1970" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1970.
  12. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during June 1971" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1971.
  13. ^ Agreement on waiver of visas on passports between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of the Philippines, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. (in Portuguese)
  14. ^ Agreement on waiver of visas on passports between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of the Philippines, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. (in Portuguese)
  15. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during September 1973" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1973.
  16. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during January 1976" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1976.
  17. ^ "STATEMENT of TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS Registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat during July 1980" (PDF). United Nations. New York. 1980.
  18. ^ "Mongolia: Visa Free Countries". mongoliavisa.com. September 2017.
  19. ^ "Executive Order No. 191, s. 1994 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines". Officialgazette.gov.ph. 1994-07-22. Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  20. ^ Under the Visa Agreement on 10 April 2005
  21. ^ "Филиппины. Миграция, виза, туризм". polpred.com. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Philippines waives visa requirements for 7 more countries". The Philippine Star. April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  23. ^ "Guidelines on the Entry of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines". Department of Foreign Affairs (Philippines). Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  24. ^ a b c "Country information (visa section)". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA) through Gulf Air. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  25. ^ a b "The Bureau of Immigration, Philippines Official Website - General Information". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ "Business News, India Stock Market, Personal Finance, IPO, Financial News Headlines - The Financial Express". www.financialexpress.com. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Electronic Travel Authorization". Manila Economic and Cultural Office. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  29. ^ "ABTC Summary - APEC Business Travel Card". travel.apec.org. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  30. ^ a b c Commonwealth of the Philippines. (Enacted: August 26, 1940). COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 613 - AN ACT TO CONTROL AND REGULATE THE IMMIGRATION OF ALIENS INTO THE PHILIPPINES. Retrieved September 25, 2016 from the Official Gazette.
  31. ^ 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
  32. ^ Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003, Chan Robles Law Library, 29 August 2003, retrieved 2008-10-06
  33. ^ "47 (a) (2) Special Non Immigrant Visa". Philippine Consulate General, Los Angeles. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  34. ^ "QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Special Investors Resident Visa Program" (PDF). Philippine Board of Investments. November 14, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  35. ^ "SPECIAL VISA FOR EMPLOYMENT GENERATION (SVEG)". immigration.gov.ph.
  36. ^ "Special Resident Retiree's Visa". Philippine Retirement Authority. May 5, 2011. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  37. ^ "Conversion to Special Non-Immigrant Visa". Bureau of Immigration. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  38. ^ "Special Employment Visa for Offshore Banking Unit". Bureau of Immigration. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  39. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2020" (PDF).
  40. ^ "Department of Tourism-Philippines". www.tourism.gov.ph. Philippine Department of Tourism. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  41. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January–December 2018" (PDF). Philippine Department of Tourism. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  42. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January–December 2017" (PDF). Philippine Department of Tourism. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  43. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January–December 2016" (PDF). Philippine Department of Tourism. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  44. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January–December 2015" (PDF). Philippine Department of Tourism. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  45. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January–December 2014" (PDF). Philippine Department of Tourism. Retrieved January 8, 2020.

External links[edit]