Monday, March 8, 2021

Visa & Passport Requirements for Philippines

Asia Philippines Visa & Passport Requirements for Philippines

Nationals of the vast majority of countries (147 at last count), including all ASEAN and EU countries, can enter the Philippines without a visa for a period not exceeding 30 days. Nationals of Brazil and Israel can enter the Philippines without a visa for an extended stay not exceeding 59 days, while Hong Kong and Macau SAR passport holders are granted 14 days. Holders of British National (Overseas) passports and Portuguese passports issued in Macau are not allowed to stay in the Philippines for more than 7 days without a visa.

All passengers arriving in the Philippines must complete a disembarkation form and a customs declaration form (one per family). Visa-exempt nationals can enter the Philippines as long as they have a return ticket and a passport valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay. While enforcement used to be lax, these requirements are now strictly enforced and foreigners have been deported from the Philippines for not meeting the entry requirements.

Nationals of countries that require a visa to enter the Philippines can obtain one upon arrival under the Bureau of Immigration’s Visa Upon Arrival Program (VUAP). However, this approval must be arranged with the BI prior to arrival in the Philippines. 59-day tourist visas (₱3030) may also be applied for on arrival by nationals of countries otherwise entitled to only a 30-day stay. If you intend to stay beyond the 30-day visa period, you can apply for a visa extension at Bureau of Immigration offices in most major cities and at Manila and Cebu airports. Each visa extension is valid for one to six months, except for the first extension, which is valid for 29 days (this extends the original visa to 59 days), and is granted up to a maximum of three years. To avoid going to the BI to extend a tourist visa, it is also possible to apply for a tourist visa at a Philippine embassy or consulate, although nationals of visa-exempt countries must present the visa to the immigration officer to avoid being stamped with the wrong visa.

If you overstay, you will have to pay a penalty of ₱1000 per month of overstay plus an administration fee of ₱3,030 when you leave the country.

Under the “Balikbayan Programme”, former Filipino citizens who were naturalised abroad can enter the Philippines visa-free for up to one year. If you are eligible, you will need to prove your former Filipino citizenship by presenting an old passport, birth certificate or foreign naturalisation documents. However, you may not need to present these documents to the immigration officer as it is usually sufficient to speak a Filipino language, appear Filipino and/or present the foreign passport showing that you were born in the Philippines. If your Balikbayan status is granted, the immigration officer will note your passport for a one-year stay. Your spouse and children are also eligible for the Balikbayan privilege as long as they enter and leave the Philippines with you.

What do I have to pay when leaving the Philippines?

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When departing the Philippines from Clark, Iloilo, Davao, Kalibo airports, departing passengers must pay a passenger service charge, better known as a terminal fee. This fee is collected at the airport before entry and is payable in Philippine pesos. Payment of the fee is recorded on the boarding pass. For Manila and Cebu airports, the terminal fee is now included in the ticket price.

In addition, most resident foreigners who have stayed in the Philippines for more than a year and leave the country must pay a travel tax of either ₱2,700 if flying first class or ₱1620 for business or economy class. This tax is collected at a designated counter before check-in if the ticket was purchased outside the Philippines or, in most cases, online. If the ticket was purchased from an airline or travel agent in the Philippines, the tax is most likely included in the ticket price; check and ask before paying. Foreign nationals and Balikbayans (former Filipino citizens) staying in the Philippines for less than a year are exempt from paying travel tax, as are Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Filipino students studying abroad, young children and government or international agency employees on official travel. Reduced rates are available for minors (under 12), dependents of OFWs (under 21) and journalists on assignment.