Will you soon be leaving for El Nido, but have questions about the entry formalities in the Philippines? Do not worry, you will find everything you need to know about visas and entry formalities in the Philippines in this article.
FOR A STAY UP TO 30 DAYS
Citizens of most countries in the world (check the list of countries here) can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. All you have to do is present your passport, valid for at least 6 months beyond the contemplated period of your stay, and your return flight ticket (or ticket to the next port of destination) upon your arrival in the Philippines. The return ticket is quite important, because few airlines will let you board if you do not have proof of your exit from the Filipino territory. We also advise that you contact the Philippine Embassy of your country before your trip to ensure that the entry formalities have not changed.
FOR A LONGER STAY
If you wish to stay in the Philippines for more than 30 days, you will need to apply for a tourist visa before your trip, or have your visa extended in the Philippines.
– APPLYING FOR A VISA IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY
If your trip to the Philippines exceeds 30 days, you will need to apply for a temporary visitor visa (9A) prior to your departure at the Philippines Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. The visa issued will allow you to stay in the Philippines 59 days without leaving the country (single entry). It is also possible to apply for visas for longer periods and/or several entries, but the conditions may vary.
To apply for a tourist visa for the Philippines, you will need the following documents:
- Passport with at least six months of validity beyond the date of departure from the Philippines + a copy
- Recent photograph, size 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, colored and taken against a white background
- Completed visa application form
- Printed airline booking or itinerary of travel showing the departure date from the Philippines
- Proof of sufficient funds for travel expenses (Printed bank statement, bank book, Certification of Employment, etc.)
The Philippines immigration bureau recommends to not purchase the flight ticket before applying for the visa, but to make a “flight itinerary” to avoid major problems if the visa is denied.
– EXTEND YOUR STAY AT AN IMMIGRATION BUREAU
If you wish to extend your stay once you are in the Philippines, you will have to go to a Bureau of Immigration (BOI), make a request, and pay the corresponding immigration fees: 3030 Philippine pesos (about 60 usd) if the request is made at least one week before the expiry of the visa, and 4040 Philippine pesos (about 80 usd) if the request is made less than a week before the expiry of the visa. On the island of Palawan, you can choose between two immigration offices, one in Puerto Princesa, and the other in Brooke’s Point. It is also possible to get the 29-day extension upon arrival at Manila or Cebu airport.
OVERSTAYING YOUR VISA IN THE PHILIPPINES
If you leave the Philippines after your visa has expired, you will generally be asked to pay a visa extension with overstay penalties. The amount of these penalties will depend on the length of your overstay. In any case, we advise that you not exceed the duration of your visa in order to avoid unpleasant surprises when leaving the country, and to make the most of your stay in the Philippines.
To read more about Philippines entry and exit formalities, please check the Philippines Bureau of Immigration website: http://www.immigration.gov.ph/