Philippine visas are generally classified as immigrant (Section 13 Visas) or non-immigrant visas (Section 9 Visas). Immigrant visas generally apply to children or spouses of Philippine citizens and returning natural-born Filipinos while non-immigrant visas are granted for the purpose of pre-arranged employment, trade, transit, and study visits.

Immigrant Visas

Quota Immigrant Visas

Nationals of countries which have diplomatic relations with the Philippines and grant the Filipinos the same immigration privileges under the principle of reciprocity may apply for a quota immigrant visa.  Only fifty (50) quota immigrant visas are issued per year by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (the “Bureau”).

The applicant is required to show proof of special qualifications such as academic degrees, awards, certificates of recognition, and other documents attesting to the applicant’s special qualifications, skills or knowledge, or proof of financial capacity or investment.

Financial capacity may be proved by showing an inward remittance of at least $50,000.00 or equivalent in other foreign currency. Alternatively, applicant may show documents evidencing ownership or purchase of a condominium acquired within four (4) years prior to filing the Quota Immigrant Visa with a corresponding proof that the amount he or she invested came or was inwardly remitted from foreign sources. Ownership of shares of stocks in a local enterprise may also qualify the applicant for a quota immigrant visa.

Other requirements include a medical certificate attested by the Bureau of Quarantine on the passport, a valid NBI clearance if the applicant has stayed in the Philippines for six (6) months or more from the date of last arrival, police clearance (may be waived if applicant has stayed in the Philippines for more than two (2) years, and a clearance certificate from the Bureau.

Application fee as of 6 March 2014 costs P18,830.00.

13 (A) Marriage Visa

A foreign national married to a Philippine citizen may apply for a marriage visa is eligible to apply for a marriage visa. The dependent children under 21 years of age and unmarried, who will be joining or accompanying the applicant upon sufficient proof of blood relationship with the applicant may also apply for a derivative visa under this category.

Documents required include the marriage certificate or marriage contract, birth certificate of the Filipino spouse, photocopy of Filipino spouse’s government issued ID, photocopy of photo page and latest admission with valid authorized stay of the applicant, police clearance, NBI clearance and a clearance certificate from the Bureau.

Application fee as of 6 March 2014 costs P8,620.00.

Returning Former Filipino Citizen

An applicant who: (a) was previously a natural-born citizen of the Philippines; (b) is a naturalized citizen of a foreign country; and (c) intends to return to the Philippines for permanent residence may apply for this type of visa.

Documents required include the birth certificate of the applicant, a photocopy of the passport photo page and last entry, an NBI clearance or NICA clearance if the applicant has stayed in the Philippines for six (6) months or more from the date of latest arrival; and a clearance certificate from the Bureau.

Application fee as of 6 March 2014 costs P8,640.00.

Non-immigrant Visas

Tourist Visa Extension

A foreign national whose stay will exceed fifty-nine (59) days should secure extensions of stay with the Bureau of Immigration may apply for a tourist visa extension.

Documents required include a photocopy of the applicant’s passport bio-page and latest admission or tourist visa implementation with valid authorized stay, a clearance from the Bureau and a sworn written explanation addressed to the Commissioner stating valid grounds and / or justifications with supporting documents.

Application fee as of 6 March 2014 costs P4,300.00 for a one-month extension. A penalty of P500 per month may additionally be imposed.

Overstaying Foreign National; Motion for Reconsideration

A foreign national who is overstaying beyond the maximum allowable stay, 36 months for Visa-Non Required Nationals and 24 months for Visa Required  OR  overstaying for more than 6 months regardless if their stay is within allowable period may file a Motion for Reconsideration to be allowed to stay in the country longer.

Applicant will be asked to submit a motion stating the reason for the failure to extend authorized stay and the reason why he or she would like to stay longer as a tourist. The motion comes with an undertaking that the applicant will never again allow himself to overstay in any manner nor violate any law, policy or rules and regulations imposed by the Philippine Government.

If the applicant or petitioner intends to depart the country within a month or two, a copy of a confirmed departure ticket and an original affidavit that he or she will be leaving the Philippines is further required.

An administrative fine of P5,000.00  will be charged every year of over stay while eighteen (18) months of over stay is considered two (2) years. A BALIKBAYAN is exempted from this fine.

Long Stay Visitor’s Visa Extension (LSVVE)

All temporary visitors, regardless of nationality and not otherwise disqualified, who wish to extend his/her tourist visa during the last thirty (30) days of the previously issued LSVVE, or upon the expiry of a regular visa extension may apply for an LSVVE. The total duration of extension shall be not more than six (6) months from the time of expiration of authorized stay.

Documents required includes a photocopy of the passport bio-page and latest admission or tourist visa implementation with valid authorized stay, a clearance from the Bureau and a sworn statement explaining the grounds or justifications for the extended stay.

Application fee as of 6 March 2014 costs P13,900.00 for visa required nationals and P11,500 for non-visa required nationals.

Treaty Trader’s Visa/ Treaty Investor’s Visa

A foreign national of the United States of America (USA), Japan and Germany who is entering the Philippines solely to carry on trade or commerce pursuant to an existing treaty of commerce and navigation OR a foreigner who seeks admission for the purpose of developing and directing the operations of an enterprise in the Philippines may apply for a treaty trader’s visa or a treaty investor’s visa, respectively.

Documents required include SEC or DTI Registration, latest ITR, duly acknowledged employment contract, Secretary’s Certificate of Election, Appointment, Assignment, Secondment or Deployment of applicant, or equivalent document indicating duration of employment, compensation and other benefits, and scope of duties, Board Resolution if the signatories of the letter of application and employment contract are other than those appearing in the Articles of Incorporation and in the latest GIS, Bio-data, Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume of applicant, specifying, among others, his/her educational attainment, special skills, work, experience/s, credentials and other information necessary in determining his/her entitlement to the visa applied for, any proof of possession of valid TIN of the petitioner and the applicant and a clearance from the Bureau.

Application fee as of 6 March 2014 costs P7,870.00 for a one year visa and P11,700.00 for a two-year visa.

Student Visa

All foreign nationals who are at least 18 years old and shall take up a course of study higher than high school at a University, seminary or college must apply for a student visa.

Documents required include a joint letter request addressed to the Commissioner from the authorized representative of the petitioning school and applicant, using the school letterhead with dry seal, photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay, Notice of Acceptance of the applicant, endorsement addressed to the Commissioner from the school for the conversion of the applicant’s status, signed by the School Registrar, Certificate of Eligibility for Admission from Commission on Higher Education (CHED), in case of Medicine/Dentistry, medical certificate, NBI clearance, photocopy of BI school accreditation ID of the registrar or school representative and a clearance  from the Bureau.

Application fee for a student visa costs P9,720.00

9G Visa; Pre-arranged Employee Visa

Foreign nationals who are proceeding to Philippines to engage in any lawful occupation, whether for wages or salary or other forms of compensation must obtain a working visa more popularly known as a “9G visa”.

Documents required include a joint letter request addressed to the Commissioner from the applicant and the petitioner, Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay, . Curriculum vitae indicating the educational background, work experience(s) and degree obtained by the applicant, Photocopy of Employment Contract, Secretary’s Certificate of Election, Appointment or Assignment of applicant, or equivalent document, with details of exact compensation, duration of employment and comprehensive description of the nature and scope of the applicant’s position in the company, SEC or DTI Certificate of Registration,  Photocopy of petitioner’s latest Income Tax Return (ITR) with the corresponding proof of payment (official receipt, bank teller’s validation slip, BIR’s eFPS payment details’ print-out or other similar evidence), Applicant’s proof of Tax Identification Number (TIN), Photocopy of Alien Employment Permit (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Original or certified true copy by the DOLE or by the publisher of the newspaper clipping showing the publication of the application for AEP, Special Temporary Permit for an applicant practicing a regulated profession under the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), if applicable, and a clearance for the Bureau.

Application fee varies on the validity term of the visa and on whether the employer is one of the top 1,000 Corporations or not. Minimum fee is P10,130.00 while maximum fee is P25,710.00.

Special Visas

Special Visa for Employment Generation

A qualified non-immigrant foreigner who shall actually employ at least ten (10) Filipinos in a lawful and sustainable enterprise, trade or industry may apply for a Special Visa for Employment Generation.

Documents required include a letter request addressed to the Commissioner from the applicant with statements that he/she undertakes the generation of employment of at least ten (10) full time Filipino workers or employees on a regular basis; and/or in case of rehabilitation, his/her investment intended for rehabilitation of a business activity, investment, enterprise or industry enabled the retention of at least ten (10) Filipino workers or employees on a regular basis, and without said investment, existing workers or employees would suffer loss of employment; Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay.

Also required are the business registration documents, a certified true copy of the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) if the applicant foreign national is elected or appointed to occupy a position in the company, and a DOLE Certification that the applicant’s business activity, investment, enterprise or industry has employed at least ten (10) Filipino workers on a regular basis, a valid Medical Certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine and a sworn statement by the applicant certifying the names and addresses of the Filipinos employed by him/her, that he/she undertakes to pay PhilHealth and SSS contributions; and that no employee is receiving salary below the minimum wage.

A police clearance, an NBI clearance and a clearance from the Bureau is also required.

Application fee costs P29,330.00 plus ACR card fee of $250.

Holders of the SVEG, also known as the job generation visa, also enjoy multiple entry privileges, thus they can enter and leave the country as they wish without the need to secure reentry or exit permits.

Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card)

An Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card is required for all foreign nationals who are visa holders of Temporary Visitor’s Visa or Tourist Visa who have stayed for more than fifty-nine (59) days in the Philippines. An ACR I-card waiver can now be obtained in case a foreigner who has applied but has not been issued an ACR I-card needs to leave the country on an emergency.

Annual Report

All registered aliens and ACR I-Card holders except Temporary Visitor’s Visa holders or Tourist Visa holders are now required to report annually to the Bureau.

Retention or Re-acquisition of Philippine Citizenship

Former Philippine citizens who have been naturalized in another country and wishes to retain or re-acquire their Philippine citizenship may file a petition under Republic Act 9225.

Documents required include an Oath of Allegiance, birth certificate, original and photocopy of foreign passport, certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or any document proving foreign citizenship, affidavit of One and the Same Person executed by the applicant acknowledging all obligations, responsibilities and liabilities under all names and an explanation on the discrepancies, and substantial proof on how the applicant acquired the varied name/s, such as but not limited to marriage certificate, annotation in the passport or Birth Certificate of the varied name, judicial Decree of Change of Name, Adoption, Annulment or Declaration of Nullity of Marriage, and Divorce or equivalent document, annotation in the Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship of the varied name; or Philippine issued official document indicating the varying name/s.

Application fee costs P3,010.00.

WHEN APPLYING FOR A PHILIPPINE VISA, the Bureau of Immigration has issued the following reminders to avoid summary dismissal or delay in the processing of your application/petition:

  1. The application form is written in English language. Enter legibly all the information required into the appropriate spaces on the form. If the information required is not applicable, please write “N/A”. Do not leave any item blank. The Bureau will not act on application forms that are incomplete and incorrectly accomplished. Your answers must be in English and all entries must be in CAPITAL LETTERS using English characters only. Letters like ñ, é, ü and ç are not recognized by the system. For instance, please enter names like “Muñoz” and “Sémonin” as “Munoz” and “Semonin” respectively.
  2. The application form must be accomplished in two (2) ORIGINAL copies. The first copy shall be submitted together with all the documents pertaining to this application and the second copy is intended for application of Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) to be submitted in a separate folder.
  3. All documents required for submission must be complied with, arranged in the order as listed in the Checklist of Documentary Requirements (CDR), compiled in a legal size (8½ x 14 in.) folder and shall be submitted within the prescribed period, if applicable. Otherwise, your application or petition shall not be accepted.
  4. All sworn statements or affidavits must be original and duly notarized.
  5. All civil registry documents issued in the Philippines (i.e. Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate, etc.) must be original and issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) of the Philippines.
  6. All foreign documents must be original and authenticated by the Philippine Foreign Service Post (FSP), which has jurisdiction over the place of issuance, or by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) if said document is issued by the local Embassy in the Philippines, with English translation if written in other foreign language.
  7. If the application is filed by an authorized representative, attach a photocopy of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Accreditation Identification (ID) Certificate or an original Special Power of Attorney (SPA) for EACH applicant with a photocopy of a valid government-issued ID of attorney-in-fact.
  8. The original valid passport of the applicant must be submitted to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU) personnel or concerned frontline officer for scanning. Thereafter, it shall be returned.
  9. It is recommended that you seek legal advice from lawyers and/or BI-accredited entities.