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Special Work Permit

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Special Work Permit (SWP) Application in the Philippines

Foreign nationals seeking to engage in temporary employment in the Philippines must obtain a Special Work Permit (SWP), along with their current visa. An SWP is granted to foreigners who intend to stay in the country for no more than six months and cannot be extended or renewed after such period.

To help you determine the right visa or work permit for your stay, we offer end-to-end assistance with visa application processes to help you enjoy a fruitful stay in the Philippines, allowing you to focus on your work at hand.

What is a Special Work Permit?

An SWP is for foreign nationals who plan to engage in short-term employment, specifically around three to six months. Take note that this permit requires sponsorship from the hiring company registered in the Philippines.

However, during the validity of the SWP, the foreign national’s status remains as a tourist. Therefore, their SWP must be attached to their tourist visa.

Who Can Apply For an SWP?

An SWP is granted to foreign nationals who will be engaging in their specific professions such as the following for six months or less:

  • Professional Athletes, coaches, trainers, and assistants
  • International performers with exceptional abilities
  • Artists who will perform to an audience for a fee together with their staff
  • Service suppliers who do not receive a salary from a Philippine source other than an incident or stay
  • Treasure hunters are authorized to search for hidden treasure 
  • Movie and television crews authorized to film in the country 
  • Foreign journalists practicing their profession or covering a specific event in the country
  • Trainees assigned in government instrumentalities, GOCC, and private entities
  • Lecturers, researchers, trainers, and others pursuing academic work (with or without compensation)
  • Religious missionaries and preachers
  • Commercial models and talents
  • Chefs
  • Professionals
  • Consultants or specialists

Foreign nationals whose profession is within the scope of this selection must obtain an SWP if they plan on staying in the country for a short employment period.

General Requirements for SWP

Before proceeding with your visa application, you must ensure to obtain the following documentary pre-requisites:

  • Checklist
  • Application Form
  • Special Work Permit Certification
  • Photocopy of passport with a valid visa 
  • Photocopy of the SEC registration and By-laws articles of Incorporation of the Company
  • Company ITR
  • A certified true copy of the contract stating exact earnings 
  • Bio-data
  • Letter request from the Petitioner Company

Take note that an SWP is not applicable for an extension. Therefore, If the non-citizen is required to extend his work in the country after the expiration of the SWP, it is imperative for them to apply for a 9(g) work visa and an Alien Employment Permit (AEP).

How to Apply for an SWP?

After the completion of the general requirements and others that are required by the Bureau of Immigration (BI), you may proceed with the following steps for your visa application: 


  1. Acquire the CGAF from the Public Information and Assistance Unit (PIAU), BI Main Office, or from the official BI Website.
  2. Submit the required documents for pre-screening to the Central Receiving Unit (CRU) or to the frontline officer or staff of other Immigration Offices.
  3. Get the Order of Payment Slip (OPS).
  4. Pay the required fees:
    • Foreign nationals with ACR I-card must pay ₱6,440, plus an additional USD $50 annually.
    • Foreign nationals without ACR I-card must pay ₱6,440
  1. Submit a copy of the official receipt (OR)

Once you have acquired your SWP, you can now stay in the Philippines for a maximum of six months and achieve gainful employment in the country.

Acquire an SWP to Achieve Gainful Employment

With the Philippines’ open culture, foreign nationals who wish to engage in gainful employment and activities, whether paid or unpaid, must obtain an SWP to stay in the country for six months or less. If you find the SWP application challenging, you may seek assistance from visa processing firms to guide you through the application process.

Special Work Permit in the Philippines FAQs

Who can obtain Special Work Permit in the Philippines?

Foreign nationals who currently hold a temporary tourist visa and want to temporarily engage in legal employment in the Philippines for three to six months can apply for a Special Work Permit (SWP).

What are the requirements for Special Work Permit in the Philippines?

The requirements for obtaining a Special Work Permit (SWP) in the Philippines are as follows:

  1. Letter request addressed to the Commissioner by the petitioning company
  2. Duly accomplished Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF)
  3. Original Passport with valid entry visa
  4. Duly acknowledged Contract of Service indicating duration of service, compensation and benefits, and scope of duties
  5. Tax Identification Number (TIN) of applicant
  6. Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) Clearance Certificate

How to obtain a Special Work Permit in the Philippines?

To obtain a Special Work Permit (SWP), you must be a foreign national who currently hold a temporary tourist visa and want to temporarily engage in legal employment for three to six months in the Philippines as any of the following (not limited):

  1. Professional athlete visiting and competing for a limited period
  2. Artist, musician or other type of performer
  3. Professional/Specialist who can perform emergency or exceptional temporary services (but did not secure a pre-arranged employment visa)

What is the process for applying Special Work Permit in the Philippines?

The process for applying Special Work Permit (SWP) in the Philippines is as follows:

  1. Secure CGAF from BI’s main office or website
  2. Submit all required documents for pre-screening
  3. Get the Order of Payment Slip (OPS)
  4. Pay the required fees
  5. Submit copy of Official Receipt
  6. Get the approved SWP (for SWP without ACR I-Card)
  7. If with ACR I-Card, attend hearing (refer to official receipt for schedule and venue)
  8. In case of renewal application, the biometric data previously captured during the visa conversion shall be used in the printing of the renewed ACR I-Card
  9. Proceed to Image and Fingerprint Capturing Counter and submit requirements for ACR-I Card application
  10. If approved, claim SWP and ACR I-Card
Disclaimer: Immigration laws in the Philippines may change without prior notice. New updates on eligibility for visa application, documentary requirements, processing timelines, length of validity of visa, and other information related to your visa application may arise any time. We recommend that you consult with our Immigration and Visa Specialists to stay up-to-date.

Confidently Secure The Right Visa for Your Stay

With our end-to-end visa services, our team is dedicated to helping you apply for an SWP to ensure a lawful stay and gainful employment in the Philippines.

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