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Working Permits for Foreigners in the Philippines

Working Permits for Foreigners in the Philippines

Foreign nationals who want to work in the Philippines have to obtain not just the appropriate visa, but a work permit as well. Working without a permitcould result in heavy fines for both the employee and the employer.

Not all foreigners who come to the Philippines to work need a permit. The following are exempted from this rule:

  • Members of a corporate board with voting rights, but without any position in the company

  • Owners and representatives of a POEA-registered foreign company who come to the Philippines to interview job applicants

  • Foreign nationals who were invited for teaching or research jobs, as part of an agreement between a foreign and local institution, or between a foreign government and the Philippine government

  • Members of the diplomatic services or accredited officials of foreign governments

  • Officers and employees (and their spouses) of an international organization, of which the Philippines is a member

  • Any foreign national exempted by Philippine special laws

  • Foreign nationals with permanent or temporary/probationary resident visas

There are three kinds of work permits for foreign nationals: Special Work Permit, Alien Employment Permit, and Provisional Work Permit.

Special Work Permit

A Special Work Permit is granted to those who will be working in the country for only six months or less. They include:

  • Professional athletes who will be competing or participating in an event for less than six months

  • Foreigners with special merits and abilities who have been invited to the country for specific temporary activities

  • The crew of a movie or TV show to be shot in the country

  • Reporters who come to the country to cover an event or person

  • Artists who will be performing in the country for a limited time

Alien Employment Permit

An Alien Employment Permit (AEP) is required for foreign nationals who want to work in the Philippines for more than 6 months. It is granted only if it can be established that the job requires skills thatare not available locally.

Here are some details about the AEP:

  • Application for one may be done personally by the foreign worker or by the company petitioning for his services

  • Application has to be filed with the Department of Labor and Employment office with jurisdiction over the area where the foreign national will principally be assigned

  • An AEP has an initial validity of one to five years, renewable for another five years

  • The AEP is a prerequisite for a working visa, such as a 9(g) or 9(d) visa

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