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
Visa policy map
Visa waiver program
The Philippine visa waiver program is governed by Executive Order No. 408, signed on November 9, 1960 by President Carlos P. Garcia, 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.
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.
Visa exempt foreign nationals may extend their stay two months per extension but not exceeding the maximum period of two years. 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.
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.
Visa on arrival
Holders of passports issued by any country except the following may obtain a visa (for a fee) valid for 59 days on arrival:
Electronic Travel Authorization
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
Holders of passports issued by the following countries who possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) which states on the reverse that it is valid for travel to Philippines can enter visa-free for up to 59 days.
ABTCs are issued to nationals of:
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 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)||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.|
|SEVOBU||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.|
References and Notes
- 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.
- "Compare visa requirements of countries in South East Asia". http://aroundtheworldinaday.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. External link in
- "Executive Order No. 408, s. 1960". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
- Guidelines on Entry Visas of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines
- "BI extends stay of foreign tourists". Philippine Bureau of Immigration. August 6, 2007.
- "Tourists' initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days". Philippine Daily Inquirer. July 24, 2013.
- Philippines proposes to remove entry visa requirements for India and China
- "Philippines waives visa requirements for 7 more countries". The Philippine Star. April 15, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
- "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.)
- "Visa Information - Philippines (PH)". Timatic. IATA. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "The Bureau of Immigration, Philippines Official Website - General Information". Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. 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.
- "Electronic Travel Authorization". Manila Economic and Cultural Office. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- ABTC Summary
- "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" (PDF). Philippine Board of Investments. November 14, 2007.
- "SPECIAL VISA FOR EMPLOYMENT GENERATION (SVEG)". immigration.gov.ph.
- "Special Resident Retiree's Visa". Philippine Retirement Authority. May 5, 2011.
- "Special Employment Visa for Offshore Banking Unit". Bureau of Immigration. Retrieved February 24, 2014.