The Philippines at a Glance
Philippines: Visa Types and Requirements
Depending on your country of origin, you may not need a visa for visits of up to 30 days. With a tourist visa, longer visits of less than 60 days are possible as well. However, if you plan to enter the country for the purpose of employment, you will need a non-immigrant visa for pre-arranged employment.
Relevant Visa Types
There are different visa types that may apply to you when you move to the Philippines:
- A tourist visa is only necessary for stays exceeding 30 days and requiring multiple entries.
- A non-immigrant visa is granted for the purpose of pre-arranged employment, trade, transit, and study visits. The requirements naturally vary.
- Non-quota immigrant visas apply to children and spouses of Philippine citizens and returning natural-born Filipinos.
- Quota immigrant visas are granted to applicants with enough financial capital who possess extraordinary professional skills or qualifications to benefit the country. A maximum of 50 quota immigrant visas are granted per year.
- The special resident retiree visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows multiple entries and indefinite stay. To participate in this visa program, applicants must submit a deposit of up to USD 50,000.
For more details on the individual visas and how to apply, see the Filipino Bureau of Immigration.
The visa requirements for the Philippines vary significantly, depending on the purpose and the duration of your stay. However, as an example, the necessary documents for a pre-arranged employment visa include:
- A passport valid for at least 6 to 12 months
- Two completed application forms
- Copy of employment contract
- Curriculum vitae
- Passport-sized pictures, signed on front bottom
- Medical and physical examination report by an authorized physician (including a chest X-ray, lab reports, and a certificate that you are HIV-negative)
- Visa application fee
If you are planning to move to the Philippines with your family, you should also attach any birth certificates and a marriage certificate. These documents must be notarized. If you apply in a language other than English, remember to submit your paperwork with certified English translations.
Alien Employment Permit
Aside from an employment visa, the Philippine government requires non-resident foreign nationals to apply for an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) if they plan on working in the Philippines. The department responsible for this permit is the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
You can try to apply for an AEP at your nearest consulate or embassy. However, your application will be more successful if you submit it through your prospective employer at one of the DOLE’s regional offices. How long your AEP remains valid depends on the duration of your work contract and the nature of your position at your company in the Philippines.
When submitting your visa application, you need to provide an application for an ACR I-Card along with it. The ACR I-Card costs around PHP 2,500 and is a microchip-based identification card that carries all your information relevant to immigration officials, such as your name, date of birth, age, and visa type.
The card also serves as an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), Re-Entry Permit (RP), and Special Return Certificate (SRC).
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