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The Philippines at a Glance

Philippines: Visa Types and Requirements

Have you decided to move to the Philippines? Your life is likely to change completely after settling in the second largest archipelago in the world. The InterNations Guide on the Philippines provides you with all the necessary info for this adventure, on everything from geography to visa.

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.

Which Visa Is the Right One for You?

There are different visa types that may apply to you when you move to the Philippines:

If you receive a pension and you are at least 50 years old, then the required deposit for a special resident retiree visa is 10,000 USD, plus a monthly pension of 800 USD for a single applicant and 1,000 USD for a couple.

If you receive no pension and you are at least 50 years old, then the required deposit is 20,000 USD. For applicants aged from 35 to 49, the deposit is 50,000 USD.

For former Filipino citizens who are at least 35 years old (regardless of the number of their dependents), for ambassadors of foreign countries who have served and retired in the Philippines, and for current and former staff members of international organization who are at least 50 years old, the deposit only amounts to 1,500 USD.

For more details on the individual visas and how to apply, see the Filipino Bureau of Immigration.

Visa Requirements

The visa requirements for the Philippines vary significantly, depending on the purpose and the duration of your stay. However, for example, the necessary documents for a pre-arranged employment visa include:

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.

Don’t Forget to Register for Your 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.

ACR I-Card

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 50 USD 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).


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

InterNations Expat Magazine