A visa is an endorsement made on a travel document denoting that the visa application of a foreign national has been properly examined and that the bearer is permitted to proceed to the Philippines and request permission from the Philippine Immigration authorities at the ports of entries to enter the country. The visa issued is not a guarantee that the holder will be automatically admitted into the country, because the admission of foreign nationals into the Philippines is a function of the immigration authorities at the port of entry.
30-DAY VISA-FREE ENTRY INTO THE PHILIPPINES
Nationals from certain countries are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a period of stay of thirty (30) days or less. (Please see List of Countries Whose Nationals are Allowed 30-day Visa-Free Entry into the Philippines.)
To be allowed entry into the Philippines, these foreign nationals must have passports that are valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. They must also have valid ticket for return journey to port of origin or next port of destination.
BALIKBAYAN PRIVILEGES AND BENEFITS
The following are considered balikbayan (returning Filipino) travelers to the Philippines:
- a Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one year;
- a Filipino overseas worker;
- a former Filipino citizen; and
- alien spouse and children of balikbayan as defined in categories 1, 2, and 3 who are traveling with them.
The following privileges and benefits are extended to the balikbayan:
- Visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year for foreign passport holders, with the exception of restricted nationals.
The immigration officer at the port of entry in the Philippines will stamp the one-year stay permit in the passport of the qualified balikbayan. Thus, a qualified balikbayan does not need to apply for a visa at the Consulate General.
(Note: Restricted nationals must still obtain an entry visa to the Philippines even if they are married to a Filipino or former Filipino citizens. Nationals of countries not appearing in the List of Countries Whose Nationals are Allowed 30-day Visa-Free Entry into the Philippines are encouraged to inquire with the Consulate General if they are categorized as “Restricted” before making any travel arrangements.)
- Exemption from travel tax.
- Duty-free shopping privilege of up to US$2,000.00, provided that shopping must be done within two (2) days upon arrival and purchases must be made personally by the balikbayan.
These benefits are available to the balikbayans every time they enter the Philippines regardless of their frequent travel. For more information, please read text of Republic Act 9174 "Balikbayan Law."
CLASSIFICATIONS OF PHILIPPINE VISA
Depending on their intent for their travel to the Philippines, foreign nationals may apply for any of the following visas:
- NON-IMMIGRANT VISA
- Temporary Visitors – 9(a)
- Transients – 9(b)
- Seamen and Crew Members – 9(c)
- International Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors – 9(d)
- Foreign Government Officials – 9(e)
- Students – 9(f)
- Pre-Arranged Employees – 9(g)
- IMMIGRANT VISA
- Quota Immigrant
- Non-Quota Immigrant
- wife or husband or the unmarried child under twenty-one (21) years of age of a Philippine citizen - 13(a)
- a child of alien parents born during the temporary visit abroad of the mother - 13(b)
- a child born subsequent to the issuance of the immigration visa of the accompanying parent, the visa not having expired - 13(c)
- a woman who lost her Philippine citizenship because of her marriage to an alien or by reason of the loss of Philippine citizenship by her husband - 13(d)
- a person previously lawfully admitted into the Philippines for permanent residence, who is returning from a temporary visit abroad to an unrelinquished residence in the Philippines - 13(e)
- wife or husband or the unmarried child under twenty-one years of age, of an alien lawfully admitted in the Philippines for permanent residence and who is resident therein - 13(f)
- a natural born citizen of the Philippines, who has been naturalized in foreign country - 13(g)
- SPECIAL NON-IMMIGRANT VISA – 47(a)(2)
- SPECIAL RESIDENT RETIREE'S VISA (SRRV)
- SPECIAL INVESTOR'S RESIDENT VISA (SIRV)