The Philippines at a Glance
Philippines: Visa Types and Requirements
Depending on your country of origin, you don’t need a visa for short visits of up to 21 days. Longer visits of up to 59 days are possible as well, with a single- or multiple-entry visa. As you, however, are probably planning 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 which may apply to you when you move to the Philippines:
- A tourist visa is only necessary for a stay exceeding 21 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 vary, of course.
- 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. Per year, only 50 quota immigrant visas are granted.
- The special resident retiree visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows multiple entry and an indefinite stay. To participate in this visa program applicants must submit a “deposit” of around 50,000$.
The requirements you need for a visa for the Philippines vary significantly, depending on the purpose and the duration of your stay. However, we would like to give you an example of the paperwork you need to submit. To apply for a pre-arranged employment visa, you need:
- A passport valid for at least 6-12 months
- Two completed application forms
- 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 free from HIV)
- Police clearance issued by the police authorities at your current place of residence
- Visa application fee
If you are planning to move to the Philippines with your entire family, you should also attach a marriage certificate and birth certificates. These documents have to be notarized. If you apply in any other language than English, remember to submit your paperwork with English translations.
Alien Employment Permit
It is not enough to secure an employment visa before moving to the Philippines. The 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, an application will be more successful if it is done through your prospective employer at one of the regional offices of the DOLE. The period of validity of your AEP depends on the duration of your work contract and the nature of your position in your company in the Philippines.
The ACR I-Card is a microchip based identification card which carries all your information relevant to immigration officials:
- Personal information (name, date of birth, age etc.)
- Date and status of admission
- Visa type, date visa was granted, date visa was issued and expiry date
- Biometric info
- Travel details
The card also serves as an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), Re-Entry Permit (RP) and Special Return Certificate (SRC).