How to process a Philippine visa and travel application

How to process a Philippine visa and travel application

There are many reasons to work and live in the Philippines, with the lower cost of living, widespread use of English, and strong economy chief among them. Before you can set foot in the country, however, you need to apply for a visa first. In this piece, we discuss everything you need to know about securing one.

What exactly is a visa?

Contrary to what most people think, a visa in and of itself does not constitute permission to enter a country. Rather, it allows a foreigner to proceed to the country and request admittance upon arrival.

A person applies for a visa in their home country via the closest Philippine embassy or consulate. Without this document, you will not be allowed to board your flight to the Philippines in the first place.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can enter the Philippines visa-free for up to 30 days. Longer stays, however, require the appropriate visa.

What are the requirements when applying for a Philippine visa?

Needless to say, different visa types require different documentary proof, but at the very least prepare the following:

  • Passport. Yours must be valid for at least six months after your last day in the Philippines.

  • Duly accomplished visa forms. Again, the exact form you fill out will depend on which visa you’re applying for. Luckily, if there’s a Philippine embassy or consulate in your country, it will have a website where the relevant forms can be downloaded.

  • Passport-sized photos. You’ll need to submit two pieces; make sure they are fairly recent.

  • Proof of status as tourist or entrepreneur. This is proof that you are visiting the Philippines for travel or business reasons, and that you will duly return to your home country.

  • Confirmed return tickets or proof of onward journey. Again, this is further proof that you will not stay in the Philippines illegally and that you will return home.

  • Visa fees. The fee will vary according to the visa you seek, but it will typically cost around $90. Whether you get a single or multiple-entry visa will also affect the fees you pay.

Processing the visa can take up to 10 business days, so be sure to file your application early.

What visa type can I apply for?

The Philippines offers a variety of visas, including those for students, tourists, and retirees. If you’re visiting the country for work or business, however, these are the types of visas in the Philippines most relevant to you:

  • Temporary visitor’s visa — This visa extends your visit beyond the standard 30-day stay (if you’re American). It may be used for both business and travel.

  • Special non-immigrant visa — This is for people who secured contract-based employment in the Philippines. The employer must sponsor the foreign national, who can work in the country no longer than one year.

  • Special investor’s resident visa — A visa granted to foreigners who invest at least $75,000 in qualified enterprises. You can stay indefinitely as long as your investment continues to operate.

  • Treaty trader / 9(D) visa — A special visa for residents of the U.S., Japan, or Germany who either want to set up or work in a company that has invested at least $120,000 in the country.

  • Employment / 9(G) visa — This visa is for foreign nationals who are hired by a local company for their specialized skills or qualifications. It is valid for three years, but may be extended up to 10 years.


Should I apply for the visa myself or have it processed?

This is entirely up to you.

If you have the time and don’t mind filling out the forms and submitting them to the consulate yourself, you can choose this route. Just be extra diligent when completing the forms and collating your documentary proof.

Most likely, however, you’re a busy person who needs to visit the Philippines as soon as possible. In this scenario, it may be smarter to get visa processing services instead. The experts who handle your application are well-versed in the ins and outs of the process, so you will have a hassle-free visa application. Do note that you will pay a processing fee for this convenience.

Need an expert team to process your application? FilePino offers professional visa preparation services for foreigners who wish to relocate to the Philippines. We handle all aspects of your application and can provide insightful advice on how to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

If you’d like to know more, simply +63.917.892.2337 or send a message here.