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Philippine Visa Overview

This is a list of the most important Visas and Immigration Regulations for the Philippines:

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People from most European countries and the US can enter the Philippines without a Visa and will be granted an entry permit for 30 (new!) days. This permit may be extended at any Immigration Office in the Philippines for another 38 days and thereafter every two month for up to 16 month in total. Please read the section about Visa Extension for more details.

Philippines Embassies abroad will also issue different sorts of Tourist Visa for the Philippines:

  • 3 month Tourist Visa, 1 entry: 39,-€
  • 6 month Tourist Visa, multiple entry: 78,-€
  • 12 month tourist Visa, multiple entry: 117,-€

Prices for Visas are taken from the Philippine Embassy in Germany but should be the same in all other countries.

If you are married to a Filipino citizen, you may ask for a Balik Bayan Stamp in your passport at the Immigration point where you want to enter the Philippines. A Balik Bayan stamp is good for 1 year and is free of charge. You have to bring you marriage certificate in English, your Filipino Spouse and you have to ask the Immigration Officer for it. Please read under Balik Bayan Visa for more details!

Also, if you are legally married to a Filipino you may apply for a Permanent Resident Visa 13A for the Philippines, as stated in the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, Section 13. Please look underResident Visa for more details.

If you are already retired and/or at least 35 years old, you may also apply for a Special Resident Retirees Visa from the PLRA ( Philippine Leisure & Retirement Authority) This Visa is not only for retirees, but also for investors and other people who just want to live in the Philippines and can prove their financial status. You can download the PDF File for detailed information and requirements.

 

You can now easily extent your stay in the Philippines for up to 16 month without ever having a Visa for the Philippines and without ever leaving the country.

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Most foreigners enter the Philippines without any Visa and they will get a stamp in their passports which is good for 30 (new!) days. If someone wants to extent their stay, you would have to go the nearest Immigration Office and get your first extension, good for another 38 days. The cost for this first extension is 3010,- Peso.
Now you are already 59 days in the Philippines and your regular extension series starts by showing up at the Immigration Office every 2 month, just maybe a couple of days before your stamp expires.

 

If you have to go to the Immigration Office, make sure to wear long pants, a nice shirt and shoes. Otherwise you might not be serviced, some Immigration offices (Cebu) might not even let you in.

New in August 2013: Tourists without a visa will now be allowed to stay for 30 days instead of 21. There might be an extension of up to 6 month available now. Stay tuned in.

Last Update: August 2013

Enter the Philippines without a Visa: 21 (now 30) days for free!

After 21 Days “Visa Weaver” for another 38 Days
Visa Weaver
500,- Peso
Visa Application Fee
1000,- Peso
Certification Fee (new 2008)
500,- Peso
Express fee Processing
1000,- Peso
Legal Research fee
30,- Peso
Total:
3030,- Peso

Since 2010 there has been a change with the ACR! The Philippines now produce a so called ACR-I Card with an electronic chip containing you biometric data, such as address and finger prints. This card is supposed to replace the old paper based ACR and costs additional 50 U$ or about 2100 Peso. Read more information about the ACR Card

After this 59 days you’ll get a Visa Extension for another 2 month!
The Extension
1000,- Peso
Application fees
600,- Peso
Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)
1000,- Peso
Head Tax
250,- Peso
Certification Fee
500,- Peso
Imigration Clearance Certificate
700,- Peso
Legal Research Fee
50,- Peso
Express Fee Certification
500,- Peso
Express Fee Processing
1000,- Peso
Total:
5600 Peso

 

Next extension for two month :
Visa Extension
1000,- Peso
Application Fee
300,- Peso
Legal Research Fee
50,- Peso
Certification
500,- Peso
Express Fee Certification
500,- Peso
Express Fee Processing
1000,- Peso
Total:
3350,- Peso

By now you are already 6 month in the Philippines for 14300,- Pesos, but it goes on:

Extension after 6 month for another two month :
Visa Extension
1000,- Peso
Certificate of Residence, temporary Visitor
1400,- Peso
Application Fee
700,- Peso
Certification Fee
500,- Peso
Express Fee Certification
500,- Peso
Express Fee Processing
1000,- Peso
Legal Research Fee
50,- Peso
Total:
5150,- Peso

 

Next extension for another two month:
Visa Extension
1000,- Peso
Application Fee
300,- Peso
Legal Research Fee
50,- Peso
Certification Fee
500,- Peso
Express Fee Certification
500,- Peso
Express Fee Processing
1000,- Peso
Total:
3350,- Peso

 

Last extension for 2, to a total of 12 month:
Visa Extension
1000,- Peso
Application Fee
300,- Peso
Anual Report Fee
300,- Peso
Legal Research Fee
50,- Peso
Certification Fee
500,- Peso
Express Fee Certification
500,- Peso
Express Fee Processing
1000,- Peso
Total:
3650,- Peso

The total amount for one year’s extensions is 26450,- Peso!

Since August 2007 you can now extent your Visa another two times, for up to 16 month in total. After 16 month however you should finally make a Visa Run or try to get another extension for up to 24 month from the “Chef of the Immigration Bureau for Regulations”. This might become too complicated, so it might be easier to make a Visa Run or to try to get a permanent residence.

The easiest and the cheapest way to get a long term visa for the Philippines, is the Balik Bayan Stamp in your Passport. This stamp is good for 1 year and can be extended at least once for another 6 month.

Good for one year: The Balik Bayan Stamp in your passportTo get a Balik Bayan Stamp in your Passport on arrival,

  • you must be married to a Filipina
  • you must present an english translation of your marriage certificate and
  • your Filipina wife or husband must be together with you.
  • Most importantly: You have to ask the Immigration officer for it, they won’t give it to you automatically.
  • The immigration officer is not obliged to issue a Balik Bayan Visa even if you meet all the requirements. Nevertheless, it is rarely denied.

The best of it: It’s totally free of charge

The Balik Bayan Stamp is available for direct relatives of Filipino citizens and former Filipinos who have changed their citizenship to another country.
If your Filipino husband or wife still has a valid Filipino Passport, he or she doesn’t need a Visa or stamp in their Passports of course.

 

If you are legally married with a Filipino citizen, you may apply for the permanent Resident Visa (13A) as stated of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, Section 13. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Notarized letter of application by the Filipino spouse
  • Accomplished and Notarized General Application Form
  • Copy of the birth certificate of the Filipino spouse, authenticated by the NSO
  • Authenticated copy of the Marriage Contract by the NSO or Philippine Embassy abroad (if you got married abroad)
  • Immigration Clearance Certificate
  • Copy of the foreigners passport showing the date of arrival and Visa (Balik Bayan Stamp)
  • certification of a savings bank account with the minimum 10,000 US$ on it to prove, that you can financially support your family
  • pay about 20,000,- Pesos in total for fees (10,000 for application and another 10,000 for approval)

After the application is submitted, it may take several weeks or even month before you will finally receive your Resident Visa. After the first application, your Resident Visa will be granted for only one year.
After one year you’ll have to submit another application but in a more simple way and the Visa then will be good for 10 years, before it needs to be extended again.

You can apply for the Resident Visa (13A) at the Immigration Offices in Manila, Cebu and Davao City. You may also ask for advice and help at any other Immigration Office in smaller cities in the Philippines.

After all, applying for the Resident Visa in the Philippines is a very time consuming process. If you are married to a Filipina anyway, you might also think about staying in the Philippines on the basis of a Balik Bayan Visa and make a short Visa Runout of the Philippines once a year.

Another way to get a permanent residence visa for the Philippines, is the Retirement Visa orSRRV Visa. This Visa does not depend on whether you are married to a Filipino citizen or not, like the 13A Visa but it is based on a money deposit in a accredited philippine bank.

The Philippines advertise this kind of visa with some advantages such as: Exemption from Customs Duties & Taxes for the importation of personal effects of up to 7000 US$, Exemption from Travel Tax, if your stay in the Philippines is no longer than 1 year, Exemption from the Immigration Exit Clearance and Re-Entry Permits, Exemption from the Immigration I Card/annual registration requirement and Exemption from securing special study permit or study visa for child/children.
Please note that the application for this visa is a very complicated and time consuming process. Don’t give up!

There are basically four groups of people who may apply for the SRRV Visa:

  • SRRV Classic:
    • 35 -49 years old: 50,000 US$ Deposit
    • over 50 years old without pension: 20,000 US$ Deposit
    • over 50 years old with pension: 10,000 US$ Deposit. The pension must be at least 800 US$ for a single or 1000 US$ for married couples.
    • The deposit for SRRV Classic is convertible into an investment of at least 50,000 US$
  • SRRV Smile
    • 35 Years and older: 20,000 US$ Deposit
    • Deposit is not convertible into an investment and must be locked in the bank
    • The Deposit may be withdrawn when the SRRV Visa is canceled.
  • SRRV Courtesy:
    • 35 years and above and a former Filipino citizen
    • 50 years and above for Ambassadors & retired Diplomats: (1500 US$ Deposit)
  • SRRV Human Touch
    • 35 years and above: 10,000 US$ Deposit plus
    • pre-existing medical condition that requires medical or clinical care services
    • a pension remitted to the Philippines of at least 1500 US$

The Application Fees are the same for all 4 groups: 1400 US$ for the principal and 300 US$ for each spouse or child. This is a one time payment.

An annual PRA Fee of 360 US$ for the principal with up to two dependants. (Only 10 US$ for SRRV Courtesy) must be paid upon enrollment and every year thereafter.

Required Documents:

  • Duly accomplished SRRV application form
  • Original Passport with valid Entry Visa
  • Medical Examination Clearance
  • Police Clearance from the Country of origin
  • NBI Clearance (National Bureau of Investigation)
  • 12 ID pictures 2″ x 2″
  • Additional roof of relationship of spouse and child
  • Former Filipinos only: NSO authenticated birth certificate
  • Ambassadors/Diplomats: Certificate of employment

Maybe once a year you will want to leave the Philippines for a new Visa, to visit your family and friends back home or simply to breath some civilized air from a neighboring country.

Even if you live in the Philippines on the Visa Extension basis, after 12 or 16 month you have to go out and come back in, to start the extension process from the beginning. In Thailand, we used to call that aVisa Run!

But, to make a Visa Run in the Philippines used to be more difficult and more expensive than in Thailand because you always have to book a flight to leave the country (In Thailand you can use a bus or a van). Today, you still have to do that but flying became much cheaper than maybe 4 or 5 years ago.

To leave the Philippines for a short weekend shopping trip, maybe to Singapore, Hongkong or even Bangkok, you can now go with one of the many budget airlines that serve the Philippines. By now, most of them only use the Clark Airbase in Angeles, north of Manila but we can hope that sooner or later some of them would also fly to and from Cebu in the South of the Philippines.

So if you stay somewhere in the North of the Philippines in Luzon and Angeles, you can choose between Tiger Airways from Singapore, Air Asia, from KL in Malaysia or Asiana Airlines from Korea.
If you stay somewhere in the South of the Philippines, you might have to stick to Cebu Pacific or Silk Air, which serve the Cebu or Davao to Singapore Route, without going to Manila first. Cebu Pacific also has direct flights to Hongkong from Cebu for a reasonable price.

The last time I tried to make a booking for a Cebu to Singapore flight, I ended up with about 15.000,- Peso or about 300,- US$ return for two people.
Using Air Asia from Angeles I managed to book flights for three people from Cebu to Clark, Clark to KL and KL to Hat Yai in Thailand and return for 270,- € or 380,- US$ in total.
All you have to do is to book early enough, maybe two month or three month in advance and you will be OK.

If you want to go out and get a new Balik Bayan Stamp in your passport on your return, make sure to bring your Filipina wife, otherwise the Balik Bayan status will not be granted.

As a US or European citizen, you can enter most of the neighboring countries of the Philippines without a Visa at least for a few days: Singapore (30 days), Thailand (30 days), Malaysia (up to 90 days), Hongkong (up to 90 days)

ACR stands for Alien Certificate of Registration and since sometime in 2010, there is now a newACR I-Card in the Philippines. This is a proper identification card in credit card format, with the biometric data of the holder, such as picture, address and fingerprints. However, other data, such as type of visa and the various entries and exit of the proprietor, are also to be stored on the card.

The additional cost against the old paper version of the ACR, is 50 US$ or 2100 Peso. So if you stay in the Philippines without a visa and have to do your extension every two month, the 2nd extension now costs about 6860 Peso.

Who needs the ACR-I Card?
Well, if you read the description on the official Web site of the Philippine Immigration, you need to study some paragraphs and legal texts first to understand it but it comes to the point, that all foreigners who stay longer than 6 month in the Philippines on a Non Immigrant or Resident Visa, must have this ACR-I Card!
Also, all foreigners who stay in the Philippines without a Visa and have to do their extension every two month at the Immigration office, need the new card for their second extension after 59 days already.
Some banks in the Philippines will also ask you an ACR, when you want to open a bank account in the country. But you can also do that without the card.

Foreigners who stay in the Philippines on the basis of a Balik Bayan Stamp in their passports, are exempt from the ACR Card so far.

The following Immigration offices can issue the new ACR-I Card:

  • San Fernando, La Union
  • Aparri, Cagayan
  • Subic
  • Batangas
  • Legaspi
  • Iloilo
  • Cebu
  • Tacloban
  • Zamboanga
  • Cagayan De Oro
  • Surigao
  • Davao

There are reports, that also the Immigration on Boracay issues the card within 24 hours.

Other immigration offices will have to send your application the main office in Manila and it may take a few weeks before you finally receive it. This has no effect on the visa extension, however.

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