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).

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[1]
  • He/she is a balikbayan and is only returning to the Philippines temporarily

Visa policy map[edit]

Visa policy of the Philippines

Visa waiver program[edit]

The Philippine visa waiver program is governed by Executive Order No. 408,[2] 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.[3][4]

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[5]

Visa-exempt foreign nationals may extend their stay two months per extension but not exceeding the maximum period of two years.[4] 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.[3]

In March 2015, it was proposed to extend the visa exemption to citizens of China and India.[6]

Holders of passports of the following jurisdictions do not require a visa for Philippines:[24][25]

59 days[edit]

30 days[edit]

14 days[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.[28]

Visa on arrival[edit]

Holders of passports issued by any country except the following may obtain a visa (for a fee) valid for 59 days on arrival:[25]

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.[29]

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.[25]

ABTCs are issued to nationals of:[30]

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[31] 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[31] 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 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 2018[39] 2017[40] 2016[41] 2015[42] 2014[43] 2013[44] 2012[45] 2011[46]
1  South Korea 1,587,959 1,607,821 1,475,081 1,339,678 1,175,472 1,165,789 1,031,155 925,204
2  China 1,255,258 968,447 675,663 490,841 394,951 426,352 250,883 243,137
3  United States 1,034,396 957,813 869,463 779,217 722,750 674,564 652,626 624,527
4  Japan 631,801 584,180 535,238 495,662 463,744 433,705 412,474 375,496
5  Australia 279,821 259,433 251,098 241,187 224,784 213,023 191,150 170,736
6  Taiwan 240,842 236,777 229,303 177,670 142,973 139,099 216,511 181,738
7  Canada 226,429 200,640 175,631 153,363 143,899 131,381 123,699 117,423
8  United Kingdom 201,039 182,708 173,229 154,189 133,665 122,759 113,282 104,466
9  Singapore 171,795 168,637 176,057 181,176 179,099 175,034 148,215 137,802
10  Malaysia 145,242 143,566 139,133 155,814 139,245 109,437 114,513 91,752
11  India 121,124 107,278 90,816 74,824 61,152 52,206 46,395 42,844
12  Hong Kong 117,984 111,135 116,328 122,180 114,100 126,008 118,666 112,106
13  Germany 92,090 85,431 86,363 75,348 72,801 70,949 67,023 61,193
14  Indonesia 76,651 62,923 44,348 48,178 46,757 45,582 36,627 34,542
15  France 74,389 64,777 55,384 45,505 38,946 39,042 33,709 29,591
16  Thailand 59,793 48,727 47,913 44,038 45,943 47,874 40,987 37,862
17  Vietnam 52,328 39,951 33,895 31,579 29,800 26,599 20,817 17,781
18  Saudi Arabia 46,966 54,716 56,081 50,884 43,483 38,969 30,040 27,945
19  Spain 44,130 36,954 32,097 24,144 19,353 17,126 15,895 14,648
20  Netherlands 37,047 33,821 31,876 28,632 25,236 22,595 22,195 21,029
21  Italy 35,178 30,437 25,945 21,620 19,865 17,668 16,740 15,798
22  New Zealand 33,340 28,983 23,431 20,579 17,704 15,783 14,100 12,782
23  Guam 32,357 36,637 38,777 35,262 38,016 42,204 42,695 41,013
23   Switzerland 31,071 29,837 29,420 27,200 25,548 24,907 23,557 22,335
25  Russia 29,961 33,279 28,210 25,278 32,087 35,404 28,270 20,185
All Countries 7,127,678 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.[32]
  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.[31]
  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.[33]
  1. ^ "Compare visa requirements of countries in South East Asia". http://aroundtheworldinaday.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b "BI extends stay of foreign tourists". Philippine Bureau of Immigration. August 6, 2007.
  5. ^ "Tourists' initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days". Philippine Daily Inquirer. July 24, 2013.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1963/01/monstate.pdf
  8. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1964/03/monstate.pdf
  9. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1967/01/monstate.pdf
  10. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1967/03/monstate.pdf
  11. ^ Under the Visa Agreement on 10 December 1969
  12. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1970/09/monstate.pdf
  13. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1971/06/monstate.pdf
  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. ^ 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)
  16. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1973/09/monstate.pdf
  17. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1976/01/monstate.pdf
  18. ^ https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/Monthly%20Statement/1980/07/monstate.pdf
  19. ^ "Mongolia: Visa Free Countries". mongoliavisa.com. September 2017.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Under the Visa Agreement on 10 April 2005
  22. ^ "Филиппины. Миграция, виза, туризм". polpred.com. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Philippines waives visa requirements for 7 more countries". The Philippine Star. April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  24. ^ "Guidelines on the Entry of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines". Department of Foreign Affairs (Philippines). Retrieved April 15, 2014. (except for Somalia, for which 30 day visa-free access has been removed.[23])
  25. ^ a b c "Country information (visa section)". Timatic. International Air Transport Association (IATA) through Olympic Air. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  26. ^ a b "The Bureau of Immigration, Philippines Official Website - General Information". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ "Business News, India Stock Market, Personal Finance, IPO, Financial News Headlines - The Financial Express". www.financialexpress.com. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Electronic Travel Authorization". Manila Economic and Cultural Office. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  30. ^ "ABTC Summary - APEC Business Travel Card". travel.apec.org. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act of 2003, Chan Robles Law Library, 29 August 2003, retrieved 2008-10-06.
  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 2018". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  40. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2016" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  42. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  43. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  44. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  45. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  46. ^ "Visitor Arrivals to the Philippines by Country of Residence January-December 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2018.

External links[edit]