How to get a Special Work Permit

A Special Work Permit or SWP is issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to foreign nationals visiting the Philippines on a tourist or temporary visitor’s visa who wish to engage in short-term commercial or professional employment.

If you’re only going to be working in the country for three to six months, then you don’t have to get an Alien Employment Permit (AEP). You can apply for an SWP instead.

There are two types of Special Work Permits: SWP-Commercial and SWP – Artist and Athletes.

• SWP – Commercial is for professionals coming into the country on temporary assignments, commissions, or fixed-term contracts, such as seasonal employees, specialists, and consultants.

• SWP – Artists and Athletes is for people such as professional basketball players, Olympians, musicians, and others with similar professions who are visiting the country as part of their work via concerts, sporting events, performances, etc.

An SWP cannot be extended beyond six months. If you wish to continue working in the country for more than six months, then you’ll need to apply for an Alien Employment Permit and a Working Visas well. All of these are issued by the Bureau of Immigration.

Where to apply for an SWP

Special Workers Permits are obtained through Bureau of Immigration offices, which are located throughout major municipalities across the Philippines.

The BI’s main office is located in Metro Manila on Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila 1002.

Visit this link to find more BI office locations near you.

Requirements and application procedures for SWP – Commercial

• Requirements:

1. Duly accomplished SWP – Commercial Checklist with complete documentary requirements.

2. Duly accomplished Consolidated General Application Form(BI FORM CGAF-002-REV3)

3. Additional Information on Applicant’s Child(ren) (BI FORM 2014-00-005 Rev 0)

• How to apply:

1. Get the latest CGAF from BI’s website or their Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU), which is on the ground floor of the main office in Intramuros.

2. Submit your duly accomplished documents for pre-screening. If you’re in the main office, submit to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU). If you’re in one of the authorized district and satellite offices, submit to the frontline officer or staff.

3. Receive your Order of Payment Slip (OPS).

4. Pay the required fees.

5. Submit copy of Official Receipt.

6. Claim your approved SWP.

Note: If you are staying more than 59 days in the Philippines, then you will need to apply for the Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card or ACR I-Card as well. Here are the additional steps:

7. Check the Official Receipt, that’s where you will find the schedule and venue for the hearing as well as the image and fingerprint capturing for the ACR I-Card.

Note: If you are applying for an ACR I-Card renewal, then your previously captured biometric data will be used. Image and fingerprint data will need to be recaptured periodically, however, specifically:

o Upon every visa extension for applicants aged 10 years and younger
o Every 5 years for applicants aged 11 and older

8. Go to the Image and Fingerprint Capturing Counter of the Alien Registration Division (ARD) to submit your ACR I-Card application requirements.

9. Once approved, you will receive your authorized SWP and ACR I-Card.

Requirements and application procedures for SWP – Artist and Athletes

• Requirements:

1. Duly accomplished SWP – Artist and Athletes Checklist with complete documentary requirements.

2. Duly accomplished Consolidated General Application Form (BI FORM CGAF-002-REV3)

3. Additional Information on Applicant’s Child(ren) (BI FORM 2014-00-005 Rev 0)

• How to apply:

1. Get the latest CGAF from BI’s website or their Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU), which is on the ground floor of the main office in Intramuros.

2. Submit your duly accomplished documents for pre-screening. If you’re in the main office, submit to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU). If you’re in one of the authorized district and satellite offices, submit to the frontline officer or staff.

3. Receive your Order of Payment Slip (OPS)

4. Pay the required fees.

5. Submit copy of Official Receipt.

6. Submit a photocopy of your receipts after 2 to 3 days to claim your approved SWP.

Cost

As of March 2014, the fee for these is PHP6,440.

If you’re getting an ACR I-Card, this will cost USD50 and an additional PHP500for processing.

Please note that the fees may change without prior notice so double-check with the BI first.