Obtaining visas for Philippines

Citizens of most countries don’t need a visa for the Philippines for short-term visits. However, if wishing to live and work in the Philippines for an extended period, expats will need to obtain a work permit for the Philippines.
While citizens of most countries are able to enter the Philippines without a visa, nationals of some countries may require a visa. It’s usually possible to obtain this at the point of entry into the country. The length of time a visitor is able to stay in the country visa-free will depend on their nationality. Travellers must ensure that their passport is valid for at least six months and that they have proof of return tickets. A tourist’s stay can be extended by written application and payment of a fee.

Expats wishing to work in the Philippines must obtain a valid work visa. This should be arranged before arriving in the country and the hiring company will usually take responsibility for the application process. The company will need to prove that the services of the foreigner are indispensable to the management, operation, administration or control of local or locally based firms.

If the duration of the assignment is less than six months, a Special Work Permit application may be submitted to the authorities. If the assignment is for more than six months, the assignee may apply either in the Philippines or via a Philippines consulate.

An application for a separate Philippines Alien Employment Permit is required in addition to the principal work visa application. This is not a travel document; it is issued by the Philippines Department of Labour and Employment and allows a foreign national to work in the Philippines.

An employee must be petitioned by his/her company and it must be shown that no person in the Philippines is willing or competent to perform the service for which the foreign national is hired.

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