Visa Requirements in the Philippines

Visa Requirements in the Philippines

Visa Requirements in the Philippines

If you’re planning to travel to the Philippines for an extended stay, then you should familiarize yourself with the conditions of your stay and other requirements set by the Philippines. U.S. citizens traveling to the country for 30 days or less will only need a valid passport and a return ticket home.  If you know your trip will require more than 30 days, you should visit a Philippines Embassy nearest you and apply for a Visa.

Here, you can find a map of Philippine Consulate offices in the USA.

There are Different Types of Visas Available

Do I need a visa to visit the Philippines from the USA is a common question from potential tourists interested in going to the Philippines.

  • If your trip will extend 30 days or more you will need to apply for a Tourist Visitor’s visa

There are also quota visas, student visas, seafarer visa, resident retiree visa, and investors resident visas. If you are going to the Philippines as s tourist, then a tourist visa will be ideal. However, if you’re traveling there to see a spouse or a family member that you’re directly related to, then a non-quota resident visa will be the one to apply for. You need to know the appropriate type to use to prepare the correct details. It’s also essential to confirm with the online portal whether residents from your country are required to have a visa. Currently, all countries except Taiwan are expected to have permits. But the duration of your stay differs depending on your country of origin.

What requirements do I have to meet?

There are some standard visa requirements in the Philippines that you need to meet when you’re applying for any temporary visa. One of those requirements is that you make the application in person unless you’re considered to be a minor who is traveling with an adult. The adult can make the application in place of the minor, but the latter still has to appear for an interview in person. As such, if you’re traveling with your kids, you can apply without them, but you have to go for an interview with them unless the child is still an infant. You can make your application at the Philippines embassy or consulate.

Before going to the embassy, you need to have the necessary documents, which include a passport that will be valid for at least six months after the intended duration of your stay in the Philippines and a properly filled visa application form. Make sure you read and understand every instruction carefully to avoid problems. You will also need two passport photos, your return tickets, and proof of payment. You may also be asked to prove that you have a bonafide status as a tourist.

For minors who are planning to travel without the company of adults, you will be given a Waiver of Exclusion when you get to the point of entry. This applies to all children under the age of 15 years, but you will still need to meet some requirements, which include providing an affidavit as “proof of consent” that your guardian or parent knows about your travel. The affidavit should also include who will accompany you while you travel in the Philippines and who you will be living with. It also has to be notarized at the consulate or Philippines embassy in your country of origin. Other requirements include a clear photocopy of both the child’s data page on the child’s passport and the accompanying adult’s passport.

For those traveling on private yachts or private boats, you need to apply for a visitor’s temporary visa. You will be expected to provide information that includes the names of the other crew members, their nationality, and the reason why you’re traveling to the Philippines on the application. You should also know the passport details of the members you’ll be going with, as well as the details of the boat or yacht such as the name, registration number, type, and call sign, among others. Include your expected date of arrival, how long you intend to stay in the Philippines and the port of entry. After getting your visa and traveling to the Philippines, you will be required to report to the nearest coast guard station as soon as possible for inspection.

Those who are traveling for work reasons will have to provide their curriculum vitae, work credits, a sample of work in some professions like journalism and proof of administrative arrangement in the Philippines. On the other hand, those who are traveling for short term study sessions will have to write a letter requesting allowance into the country. A certificate of acceptance from the school you intend to join, your birth certificate, proof that you have the financial ability to support yourself, and a photocopy of passport to support your intended duration of stay. The school has to be a certified one by the Bureau of Immigration to show that it is authorized to accept international students.

Who Is Exempt from Philippine Visa Requirements?

Although these visa requirements in the Philippines apply to residents of all nations, those with diplomatic relations are exempted. Those who are under this category can stay for as long as one month without a visa. However, you must show that you’re in the Philippines for tourism purposes and must also have an airline ticket that shows you will leave. This must be availed at the point of entry.

If you are a United States citizen and you intend to stay in the Philippines for more than a month, then you must apply at the consulate. This rule may be different for those from other countries. It’s therefore advisable that you confirm with your consulate whether you can be allowed to extend your stay or not. For Filipinos who have been in the US for at least a year, and want to come back for a year, no visa is required. This is under a special program that allows Filipino residents to enjoy their stay in the country without the hassle of getting a visa. The program doesn’t fully apply to family members of the Filipino citizen. Children and spouses are expected to provide proof of their relationship with the Philippine citizen in the form of a marriage certificate and birth certificate.

What is the Cost of a Visa?

Getting a visa to the Philippines usually costs less than $50 unless there are other requirements you must meet. For instance, those who are applying for a temporary visa without any other special needs that are to be considered will only pay a processing fee of $30 for every visa. If there are additional requirements such as the need for an affidavit that must be notarized. Then an additional fee of $25 has to be paid.

What Happens if I Extend My Stay?

If you wish to extend your stay in the Philippines for more than 30 days, you will have to get written permission from the Bureau of Immigration. You will also have to pay an additional fee, but the amount may differ depending on your visa requirements.

Where is the US Embassy in the Philippines?

Knowing where your embassy is in any foreign country is very important, and the Philippines isn’t any different. Being the base of all diplomatic missions, the embassy plays a very important role in your traveling plans. If you can’t figure out where the embassy is, you need to make sure that you at least know where the consulate is. The US embassy in the Philippines is located in 1201 Roxas Blvd, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines, but the working hours usually differ even though most of the time, they open from 10.30 am.

Other than knowing the operational hours of the embassy, you also need to know the circumstances under which you can visit them. One of those circumstances is when you lose your passport or damage it in any way. The embassy can ether organize how you get a new passport if you still want to stay in the Philippines or get you emergency travel documents to get you back home if you want to travel back immediately. You can get an emergency limited-validity passport if you intend to travel within ten business days or a temporary one that you can use for up to one year.

Another reason why you should always make it a point to know the location of your embassy in any country is because they can help you if you get arrested. In case you get arrested while you are in the Philippines. The embassy may not get you out of jail, but they can still assist in other ways, such as contacting your family members or arranging for you to be charged back home. They can also help you understand the legal process, especially when you don’t understand the local language and help you get good lawyers. This doesn’t mean they can interfere with the legal process. If the Philippine government decides to deport you, then the embassy will not be of much help. They can also help facilitate communication between you and your family members by posting letters or conveying messaging as well as help you get some basic needs while you’re still in jail. You should understand the legal boundaries an embassy cannot cross to understand the limits regarding the legal assistance you may be able to get from them.

In case you decide to get married in the Philippines, then the embassy will come in handy. The embassy may certify the documents that need certification or even help you get a marriage certificate. They may also help you understand the local marriage laws and give you an affidavit as proof of a marriage contract. They, however, cannot officiate the marriage. It’s vital for those who intend to stay in the Philippines for longer to know where the embassy is. This will make it easier for you to get any additional information regarding the cultural practices or laws of the country.

Can a US Citizen Retire in the Philippines?

The Philippines is a beautiful country with a lot of natural beauty and resources that can please any person. The people there are amicable. Also the cost of living isn’t very high either. Depending on where you choose to live you can find comfortable accommodations for as little as  $150USD a month. You also have the option to rent or buy one of the many condominium properties in metro Manila.  Please visit our Guide to Renting a Condo in the Philippines to find out more on this subject.

These are some of the reasons why most people consider living in the country after retirement. When it comes to the question “Can a US citizen retire in the Philippines?” then the answer is yes. The Philippine government is very welcoming, which means that you can comfortably live there as an expat.

Factors that contribute to the low cost of living in the country include lower housing costs which are over 70% lower than the US, consumption rates which are also more than 50% lower than in the US as well as power consumption which is 70% less than the prices in the US. All these are favorable factors for those who are retired because you will spend less and live more comfortably. Getting to this point may take some measures that could be tiring, but with proper guidance, you can make it easier.

The first step is getting a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa, which is available in different categories, namely SRRV smile, SRRV classic, SRRV human touch, SSRV courtesy, and SSRV extended courtesy. The visa is available for those who are 35 years and above, and they can travel with their children who are below 21 years and are not married. The requirements may differ depending on the package you select. Still, some of the standard requirements include having a valid passport or a temporary visitor’s visa, filling up a PRA application form and eight pictures, 2 inches on all sides.
A police clearance form that wasn’t issued more than six months ago is also required, also NBI clearance form for those who have been living in the Philippines for three decades. You will have to deposit some amount ranging between $10,000 to $50,000, but that money will be remitted. A processing fee of $1,400 for the principal applicant and $300 for the dependent must also be reimbursed. An additional fee of $360 for you and at least two dependents must also be financed every year. An extra 100 will be paid for other dependents. For those who are married and have kids, you will have to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificate. You can check the official immigration website for detailed information regarding the available requirements for all the visa options available.

With the retiree’s visa, you’ll be able to access all the benefits the citizens have. You will be able to buy an apartment or condo or even purchase a home if that’s your preference. You will also have access to health care and other essential services like the residents. However, you have to choose where to live carefully because some places may be prone to inconveniences, such as power outages. Work with a reputable local agent to help you get the ideal place. Selecting the best area to live will also ensure that you don’t get to deal with insecurity or safety issues. When it comes to taxes, the government only expects expats to pay taxes on the money they have earned locally. If you receive a pension, then that money is not taxable.

How to stay in the Philippines Permanently

When it comes to how long you can stay in the Philippines as a US citizen, then the answer is permanent, which is possible in different ways. One of those ways is by extending your visa indefinitely, which is easy for those who get into the country with tourist visas. You can start by extending for shorter periods indefinitely, but you will still have to travel back to the US occasionally. This is because getting an extension is more challenging for those who stay continuously in the Philippines for a year.

Another option when it comes to how to stay in the Philippines permanently is to get a long-term extension visa, but this is usually offered in elective offices. You, therefore, have to visit any Bureau of Immigration office closest to you to find out whether you can get the extension. It is normally given at the discretion of the officers, which means that getting it may not be as easy. The extensions generally for six months, but you can keep it up for three years. You can also try to extend your tourist visa, but that will only get you an additional two months.

More permanent solutions to living permanently in the Philippines are getting married and applying for a resident visa or applying for a retirement visa. With the latter, you will need $10,000 and a pension of $800. Those who are about to reach 50 years and those who above have better chances of getting the SSRV visa but if you can still try if you’re 35 years.

Visa requirements in the Philippines are considered to be some of the friendliest across the world. Meeting them is easy, especially when you start preparing for your trip early. Remember not to book your flight until your visa is approved: otherwise, you could end up losing money. If you’re interested in living in the country permanently, the above ideas will help you achieve that.

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