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Visa

and embassies

Visa and embassies

Questions about visa are the most demanded inquiries in our mail and in travel forums. Whether you are coming to the Philippines or you are leaving the country, you need all the required documents.

Tourists can now stay 30 days with the free visa waiver. This free visa waiver is given to them at the immigration desk in ports and airports.

Procedures for foreigners

Expatriates can escape from Visa-Run, Annual Report and Emigration Clearance Cerificate with an SRRV.

Beware of overstay and visa violations.

 


Visa procedures

People from most European countries and the USA can enter the Philippines without a Visa and will be granted an entry permit (called a visa waver) for 30 days. This permit may be extended at any Immigration Office in the Philippines for another 29 days and thereafter every two months for up to 16 months in total. Please read the section about Visa Extension for more details.

The list of all countries whose citizens are allowed 30 days without visa is here.

Countries with special regulations are: Afghanistan, Algeria, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Taiwan, Hongkong, Macau, East Timor.

The Bureau of Immigration reminds foreigners that possession of a Philippine entry visa is not a guarantee that its holder will be automatically admitted into the country. Read more here ...

Philippines Embassies abroad are also issuing different kinds of Tourist Visa (e.g. the 9A) for the Philippines:

 

Two Philippines arrival stamps

The stamp shows the arrival date, the flight number and the date of expire of the visa-waver. If you have a visa from an embassy abroad with more than 30 days of stay, please verify the expiry date on the stamp. corresponds to the duration of the visa. Often the immigration officers do not change the date on their stamp and so does not corresponds to the duration of the visa.

 

A Philippines departure stamp

The stamp shows the departure date and the flight number. If you plan to come back to the Philippines, make sure that the stamp is readable. You will need the stamp's date on your next arrival.

3 months Tourist Visa, 1 entry: EUR 39.00
6 months Tourist Visa, multiple entry: EUR 78.00
12 months tourist Visa, multiple entry: EUR 117.00

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

In Norway the following visa fees apply:

Single ENTRY valid for three (3) months NOK 210.00
Multiple ENTRY valid for six (6) months NOK 420.00
Multiple ENTRY valid for one (1) year NOK 630.00

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. Details are here: Resident Visa

If you are already retired and/or at least 35 years old, you may also apply for a Special Resident Retirees Visa from the PRA ( Philippine 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.

An old 9a Tourist visa established in Geneva


Visa Extension

You can now easily extend your stay in the Philippines for up to 16 month without ever having a Visa for the Philippines and without ever leaving the country. But in the last months friends reported to us, that you are questioned when you have lots of extension stamps in your passport. We strongly recommend to read the visa pages of the Bureau of Immigration.

Most foreigners enter the Philippines without any Visa and they will get a stamp, called a visa-waver, in their passports which is good for 30 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 29 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.

Update: January 2014

Enter the Philippines without a Visa:
30 days for free

Or, come now - pay later!

Update: March 2014

For all visa extensions you now need to bring each time a 2 x 2 photo. And you now need 2 (two) reference persons living in the Philippines.

After 30 Days “Visa Waiver” for another 29 Days:

Visa Waiver : PHP 500.00
Visa Application Fee : PHP 1,000.00
Certification Fee : PHP 500.00
Express fee Processing : PHP 1,000.00
Legal Research fee : PHP .00
Total: PHP 3,030.00

After this 59 days you’ll get a Visa Extension for another 2 months:

Visa extension fee : PHP 1,000.00
Application fees : PHP 600.00
Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR)* : PHP 1,000.00
Head Tax : PHP 250.00
Certification Fee PHP 500.00
Emigration Clearance Certificate : PHP 700.00
Legal Research Fee : PHP 50.00
Express Fee Certification : PHP 500.00
Express Fee Processing : PHP 1,000.00
Total: PHP 5,600.00

*) 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.

Next extension for two month:

The extension fee : PHP 1,000.00
Application fees : PHP 300.00
Legal Research Fee : PHP 50.00
Express Fee Certification : PHP 500.00
Express Fee Processing : PHP 1,000.00
Total: PHP 3,350.00

By now you are already 6 month in the Philippines and you have spent PHP 14,300.00 for visa fees, and it goes on:

Extension after 6 months for another two months

The extension fee : PHP 1,000.00
Certificate of Residence, temporary Visitor : PHP 1,400.00
Certification Fee : PHP 500.00
Legal Research Fee : PHP 50.00
Express Fee Certification : PHP 500.00
Express Fee Processing : PHP 1,000.00
Total: PHP 5,150.00

Next extension for another two months:

Visa Extension Fee : PHP 1,000.00
Application Fee : PHP 300.00
Legal Research Fee : PHP 50.00
Express Fee Certification : PHP 500.00
Express Fee Processing : PHP 1,000.00
Total: PHP 2,850.00

Last extension for 2 months, to a total of 12 months:

Visa extension fee : PHP 1,000.00
Application fee : PHP 300.00
Annual Report fee : PHP 300.00
Legal Research Fee : PHP 50.00
Certification Fee : PHP 500.00
Express Fee Certification : PHP 500.00
Express Fee Processing : PHP 1,000.00
Total: PHP 3650.00

The total amount for one year’s extensions is PHP 26,450.00 only!
This is why expatriates often call the Philippines: Feelippines!

Since August 2007 you can extend 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.

 

Dresscode of the Bureau of Immigration

The Head Office of the Bureau of Immigration

Bureau of Immigration - Head Office

Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila
Phone: +632 527-3248
Toll Free: 1-800-100- ALIEN (24/7 Toll Free)
E-Mail: xinfo@immigration.gov.ph
Website: http://www.immigration.gov.ph

WARNING !

If you do not want to stay weeks or even months at the Bicutan Detention Center then you should really fully comply with the immigration law of the Philippines.

The Bureau of Immigration can be very strict in interpreting this law. Visa violations and overstay often result in prison and deportation.

"Café carré" the "resort" of the Bureau of Immigration Detention Center in Bicutan.

Bureau of Immigration Detention Center in Bicutan, Taguig, also called "Café carré"

The Visa Run

Many expatriates who live in the Philippines with either an extended visa-waver or a 9a tourist visa prefer to travel abroad for a day or two instead of paying a lot of money just for a stamp in the passport.

A good moment for a trip abroad is before the end of the 6th month and before the end of the first year.

As you know exactly when these expiry dates will be, you may book a promo flight already months before. Preferred "Visa Run" destinations are Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok and Hongkong.

 

Cebu Pacific Air promo

 

Air Asia promo

ACR-I Card

The Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card is requested from any foreign person (called alien) who stays more than the 59 days. This means that tourists with a 9A visa are requested to have an ACR-I card issued, when they apply for a visa extension after the 38 days extension..

The ACR-I cards are only available in some offices of the Bureau of Immigration. Please inquire here!

Processing time is about 2 weeks! You will have to get your card at the BI.

The advantage of this ACR-I card is that you can open a bank account, register a car or a motorbike or even get a driver license without being a permanent resident.
The ACR I-Card likewise serves as the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), Re-entry Permit (RP) and Special Return Certificate (SRC) of the holder upon payment of the required fees.

 

ACR-I card front

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

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

 

ACR-I card back

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.


Balik Bayan Stamp

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.

To get a Balik Bayan Stamp in your Passport on arrival, you must be married to a Filipina/Filipino. You must present an English translation of your marriage certificate and your Filipina wife or Filipino husband must be together with you at the point of immigration.

Most important: 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 Stamp 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
  • Certificed copy of the foreigners passport showing the date of arrival and Visa (Balik Bayan Stamp)
  • Certificate 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.

 

The Balikbayan stamp

The famous SRRV

Another way to get a permanent residence visa for the Philippines, is the Special Resident Retiree's Visa or SRRV . 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 bank in the Philippines.

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 USD 7,000.00, Exemption from Travel Tax, Exemption from the Exit Clearance and Re-Entry Permits, Exemption from the Immigration ACR-I Card, and from annual reporting. The holder of an SRRV has also the privilege to pass through the diplomatic channel at the immigration at the airport.

If you are interrested in an SRRV, then we recommend to carefully read the website of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA).

 

The famous SRRV and the corresponding ID

Emigration Clearance Certificate

Every foreigner who has been for more than 6 months in the Philippines, will need to get an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) before leaving. This clearance can only be obtained in the BI offices in Manila, Cebu and Davao.

Those who have an SRRV are exempt of this certificate!

To get your Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), you have to bring:

  • Three 2" x 2" colour photographs
  • Your Passport
  • Airline tickets showing a confirmed reservation to leave the Philippines. They may ask to see this to check on your date of departure as ECCs should be obtained no more than 10 days prior to departure.

The procedure (In Cebu-City you need 40 minutes):

  • Go to the Reception Desk and tell the Immigration Officer sitting there that you need an Exit Clearance Certificate. She will ask to see your Passport and air ticket She will check to see if you have applied for all Extensions necessary for your stay. She will hand you a form to complete.
  • You complete the form and return it to the same Receptionist and hand her your three photos. She will affix the photos to the form.
  • You go to the "Cashier 3" window and hand in the form and your Passport. These will be checked and stamps are placed on the form; your Passport and form are handed back to you.
  • You now go to "Cashier 1" and again hand over your Passport and Form. If you have a 9(a) Visa in your Passport (from a Philippines Embassy abroad) you will only pay an "Express Lane" fee of PHP500. If you don't have this Visa or if you have a Visa that grants residency (9(g), 13(a) etc), you'll pay considerably more (around PHP2900 + the PHP500 "Express Lane" fee). * You now sit and wait a few minutes before you will be called to be finger-printed. This takes place next to the "Cashier 1" window.
  • After a few more minutes you'll be called and your Passport and ECC handed to you. That certificate you hand to the Immigration Officer just before boarding your international flight.

In the Manila Head Office it may take you one and a half day to get the ECC. And then it's really frustrating when nobody at the airport asks for this paper. Keep smiling!

Waiting a very long time in the BI Head Office in Manila's Intramuros

 

Fingerprints: A lot of ink and nothing to clean your fingers

BI field offices

Luzon

Metro Manila

NAIA Terminal-1
Phone: 879-6081 / 852-2936
Fax (Arrival): 832-3017
Fax(Departure): 879-6083

NAIA Terminal-2
Phone: 879-5910 / 8796016
Fax (Arrival): 8796018
Fax (Departure): 8796019

NAIA Terminal-3
Tel: (trunkline) 556-4830 / 556 4844
Arrival (loc) - 8054
Departure (loc) - 8053

BI CABANATUAN Satellite Office
City Hall Compound, Kapitan Pepe Subdivision
Cabanatuan City
Cell: 09163548685

BI STA. ROSA Satellite Office
Francisco Canicossa Ave. Balibago Complex
Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Phone.: (049)526-5786
Fax: (049)534-5205
Cell: (0917)897-5897

BI CAMANAVA Satellite Office
Caloocan Commercial Complex
Ground flr. Plaza, Rizal St. Cor. A. Mabini
Caloocan City
Phone: 288-8459
Cell: 0918-343 5534

BI TAYTAY RIZAL Satellite Office
Old Municipal Building, Taytay, Rizal
Fax - 658-7261
Cell: 0915 578 9199 /09178671519

BI MAKATI EXTENSION OFFICE
Board of Investment Bldg.
Ground Floor, # 385 Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Phone: 899-3830; 899-3831 /899-2766; 897-5335
Cell: 092 284 12358

BI PEZA EXTENSION OFFICE
PEZA Building Ground Floor., Corner San Luis St.
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
APhone: 551-9590
Fax: 5519567
Cell: 0917 373 2357

BI PARANAQUE Satellite Office
Ground Floor Bldg. F., Great Mall of China
Bradco Avenue, Asiana Business Park, Paranaque City
Phone: 707-4859
Cell: 092 280 32061

Northern Luzon

BI Aparri Field Office
2nd floor Melval Bldg. RF Balizi St.
Apparri, Cagayan
Phone: (078) 888-2089 or 2098
Fax: (078) 822-8288

BI Dagupan Field Office
People's Astrodome, Tapuac District
Dagupan City
Phone: (075) 523-4047
Cell: 0917 693 22 48

BI Baguio Field Office
#38 Military Cut Off, Baguio City
Phone: (074) 447-0805
Cell: 0918 916 0361

BI Santiago Field Office
2nd floor People's Coliseum
Santiago City, Isabela
Phone: (078) 682-2513
Cell: 0928 296 90 98

BI Tuguegarao Field Office
2nd floor Public Market
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Phone: (078) 846-2966
Cell: 0928 296 9098

BI Laoag Field Office
Tupaz Avenue
Laoag City
Phone: (077) 770-4943
Fax: (077) 771-6855
Cell: 0917 830 3963

BI San Fernando
La Union District Office
Pennsylvenia Avenue, Poro Point
San Fernando City, La Union
Phone: (072) 888-4515 / 700-4370
Cell: 0906 372 2111

BI Cauayan Field Office
# 46 Burgos St., Cauayan City, Isabela
Phone: (078) 6523892
Cell: 0917-896-8247

Central Luzon

BI Angeles District Office
Annex 4-B Birthaphil III
Jose Abad Santos Avenue

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
Phone: (045) 499-1246
Cell: 0917 510 8040

BI Bataan Field Office
Santiago Building
Balanga City, Bataan
Phone: (047) 237-6418
Cell: 0906-274 6898 / 0919-821 6072

BI Clark Field Office
Clark Development Corp.
Building 2127
Clark Special Economic Zone
Phone: (045) 599-4402 / 599-9000 local 402
Cell: 0917-858 1862 / 0920-909 5237

BI Diosdado Macapagal
International Airport
Phone: (045) 599-7283

BI Subic / Olongapo Field Office
7th 87 West Tapianac
Olongapo City
Phone: (047) 224-2766
Fax: (047) 223-1183

BI Lucena Field Office
2nd floor Quezon Provincial
Capitol Bldg.
Lucena City
Phone: (042) 710-7015
Cell: 0919 640 46 77

BI San Jose Field Office
Joe Marias Bldg, Magsaysay St.
San Jose, Occidental Mindoro 5100
Cell: 0929-239 1241

Southern Luzon

BI Batangas District Office
Diversion Road, Barangay Bolbok
Batangas City
Phone: (043) 723-3032

BI Calapan Field Office
J. Luna Street
Oriental Mindoro
Phone: (043) 288-2245

BI Legaspi Field Office
3rd floor, Velasco Building
Legaspi City
Phone: (052) 214-3427 / 820-5153

BI Naga Field Office
Unit 7, 2nd floor, Phonecian Bldg.
Panganiban Drive, Cor. Isarog St.
Naga City 4400
Phone: (054) 811-8265

BI Boac Field Office
Boac, Marinduque 4900
Phone: (042) 332-2475
Cell: 0920 368 1494

BI Puerto Princesa Field Office
2nd floor Servando Bldg.
Rizal Avenue
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Phone: (048) 433-2248
Cell: 0919 425 81 80

BI Brookes Point Boarding Station
Brookes Point, Palawan
Cell: 0919 640 4677

 

Visayas

Central Visayas

BI Cebu District Office
P. Burgos St., Tribunal
Mandaue City
Phone: (032) 345-6442-4
Fax: (032) 345-6441
Airport: (032) 340-1473 / 3400-751

BI Bohol Field Office
2nd floor Sarabia Co, Torralba Bldg.
CPG Avenue
Tagbilaran City 6300
Phone: (038) 235-6084
Cell: 0917 249 09 06

BI Dumaguete Field Office
Door #8 Lu Pega Bldg.
38 Dr. V. Locsin Street
Dumaguete City 6200
Phone: (035) 225-4401
Cell: 0918 280 84 25

BI Siquijor Field Office
Ground Floor,
Provincial Capitol
Siquijor
Cell: 0917 477 43 98

BI Kalibo Field Office
Municipal Bldg. Office
Kalibo, Aklan
Phone: (036) 500-7601
Cell: 0918 940 63 44

Western Visayas

BI Bacolod Field Office
2nd floor G & M Villacor Bldg.
San Juan, Lusuriaga St.
Bacolod City
Phone: (034) 433-8581

BI Boracay Field Office
Villa Camella, Boracay, Malay, Aklan
Phone: (036) 288-5267
Cell: 0918-940 6344

BI Iloilo District Office
Customs House Bldg.
2nd floor Aduana St.
Iloilo City 5000
Phone: (033) 337-5869
Fax: (033) 509-9651

Eastern Visayas

BI Tacloban District Office
City Engr. Compound
Justice Romualdez St.
Tacloban City 6500
Phone: (053) 325-6004

BI Catbalogan Field Office
#655 San Roque St.
Catbalogan, Samar
Phone: (055) 251-6470

BI Calbayog Field Office
Cinemar Traders, JV Avellino St.
Calbayog City
Phone: (055) 209-3310
Fax: (055) 533-9746

BI Maasin Field Office
Maasin City, Southern Leyte
Phone: (053) 381-4136

 

Mindanao

Northern Mindanao

BI Cagayan de Oro District Office
Door 7 Ground Floor, YMCA Building
Julio Pacana Street
Cagayan De Oro City 9000
Phone: (088) 227-2651 and (0882) 726-5177
Cell: 0932-866-5422

BI Iligan Field Office
2nd floor, Room 203
Diocesan Centrum Bldg.
Salvador T. Lluch St.
Iligan City 9200
Phone: (063) 221-6282
Cell: 0920 932 94 80

BI Ozamiz Field Office
3rd floor, Rizal cor.
Valconcha St.
Ozamiz City 7200
Phone: (088) 521-1581

BI Butuan / Masao Field Office
3rd floor, Rural Bank Bldg.
A.D. Curato St.
Corner PF Lagnada St.
Butuan City
Phone: (085) 342-5097
Cell: 0919 347 53 72

BI Bislig Field Office
Tarefe Drive John Bosco, Mangagoy
Bislig City, Surigao del Sur 8311
Phone: (086) 853-5192
Cell: 0918 444 24 58

BI Surigao Field Office
Narciso St.
Surigao City
Phone: (086) 826-8263

Southern Mindanao

BI Davao District Office
JP Laurel Avenue
Bajada
Davao City
Phone: (082) 228-6477
Cell: 0917 705 35 76

BI Bongao Field Office
Ridjiki St., Bongao
Tawi-Tawi
Cell: 0919 423 15 71

BI General Santos Field Office
2nd floor, Arcade II East Asia
Royal Hotel, National Highway
General Santos City
Phone: (083) 552-3442
Cell: 0917 714 1337

BI Zamboanga Field Office
2nd floor, Radja Bldg.Gov.
Camins Avenue
Zamboanga City 7000
Phone: (062) 991-2234
Cell: 0906 667 35 56

BI Glan Sarangani Field Office
2nd floor, Brgy. Hall, Poblacion,
Glan Sarangani Province
Phone: (083) 225-9029

BI Jolo Field Office
7400 Jolo, Sulu
Phone: 0917-724 0715
Cell: 0906 954 0948

BI Cotabato Field Office
Ground floor, Tanghal Bldg.
#5 Roman Vilo St.
Cotabato City
Phone: (064) 421-2066
Fax: (064) 421-7732


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