Visa Processing Services in the Philippines for Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals who wish to enter the Philippines for work, study, leisure, and retirement purposes are required to obtain appropriate visas to legally stay in the country. The government offers over 20 kinds of visas, categorized into three sections: non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas, and special visas, to best cater to your travel needs.
What We Offer
From visa application to compilation of documents, our team of immigration consultants and visa specialists offers end-to-end visa processing services to guide you through the necessary steps and procedures in securing the appropriate type of visa for your stay in the Philippines.
The Types of Visas for Foreign Nationals in the Philippines
As previously mentioned, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) offers over 20 kinds of visas which are divided into three categories:
- Section 9 Visas or Non-Immigrant Visas. For foreign nationals who wish to stay in the Philippines temporarily
- Section 13 Visas or Immigrant Visas. For foreign nationals who wish to stay permanently in the Philippines
- Special Visas. For qualified foreign nationals belonging to the demographic groups granted special entry privileges through legislation or presidential proclamations
Depending on the country of origin, foreign nationals may enter the Philippines without a visa for visits of up to 30 days. However, foreigners who are planning to acquire work, residency, retirement, and similar activities in the Philippines are required to secure the appropriate visa for their stay.
Commonly Issued Visas to Foreign Nationals in the Philippines
Work visas, tourist visas, and special investor’s visas are a few of the many visas offered in the Philippines, each with their own subcategory to further specify and cater to your travel needs. To give you a general idea, here are the most commonly issued visas to foreign nationals who plan to work, visit, or invest in the Philippines.
There are four work visas in the Philippines, namely:
- 9(g) Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa
- 9(g) Pre-Arranged Employee Non-Commercial Visa
- Special Non-Immigrant Visa or 47(a)(2)
- Special Non-Immigrant Visa under E.O. 226, as amended by R.A. 8756 (ROHQ)
Foreign nationals who wish to engage in gainful employment must secure either one of these visas, depending on their employment needs. Moreover, applicant must also obtain a work permit as part of their work visa application in the Philippines.
9(g) or Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa
The 9(g) or Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa is the most common work visa issued to foreign nationals that are seeking gainful employment in the Philippines. This visa grants the holder multiple entry and exit privileges during their employment with a registered company in the country.
Applicants must submit the following documents to BI when applying for a work visa:
- Checklist with accomplished documentary requirements
- Duly accomplished Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF) for Non-Immigrant Visa
- Additional information on the applicant’s children/dependents (if applicable)
- Notarized certification of the number of foreigners and Filipino employees of Employer/Company
Additionally, your hiring company must serve as your petitioner for the visa. Prior to applying for a 9(g) visa, you will need to obtain an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) to work as a non-tourist in the Philippines.
Foreign nationals who wish to travel to the Philippines for vacation or leisure purposes are required to obtain a tourist or visitor visa. However, some nationalities who come from select country of origin may enter the country without needing to acquire a visa.
Temporary Visitor’s Visa
The Philippines have two categories for tourists or visitors coming into the country: restricted foreign nationals and unrestricted foreign nationals. Restricted foreign nationals who wish to temporarily enter the country for leisure, business, or medical purposes must secure a 9(a) or Temporary Visitor’s Visa. On the other hand, unrestricted foreign nationals may enter the Philippines without a visa for a duration of 30 to 59 days, depending on their country of origin.
Applicants must present the following documents when applying for a visitor’s visa:
- Passport/Travel Document valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines;
- Duly Accomplished visa application forms;
- Passport Photos (2 pieces);
- Proof of bona fide status as tourist or businessman;
- Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination; and
- Payment of Visa Fees
Additionally, 9(a) visa applications require foreign nationals to apply personally at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over their place of residence.
Foreign nationals seeking to stay indefinitely in the Philippines, whether for work, investment, or retirement purposes, can apply for special visas. There are three special visas issued in the Philippines:
- Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)
- Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)
- Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV).
Depending on the purpose of your stay, BI will require different documentary requirements for each type of special visa.
Secure the Right Type of Visa for Your Stay in the Philippines
The Philippines is an ideal destination for individuals seeking to travel, work, study, or retire in a country filled with numerous opportunities. Its robust consumer market, diverse cultural spectrum, and ease of access between key economic players in Asia-Pacific allows you to grow in a vast and competitive market with numerous benefits at hand.
How to apply for a Philippine Visa?
You have three available options when applying for a Philippine visa:
- Personal processing with the Philippine Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin
- Hire a visa processing agency
- Personal processing with the Philippine Embassy or Consulate of your country of residence (if you don’t live in your country of origin)
Can I apply for a Philippine Visa online?
Yes, you can apply for a Philippine Visa through the official website of the Philippine Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin/residence.
How long is the processing period for visa applications in the Philippines?
The visa processing time depends on the kind of visa you are applying for. Generally, it takes two (2) to ten (10) business days. Qualified applicants can request an expedited process for an additional fee.