Thinking of taking a trip to the Philippines? You’re in for an exhilarating experience. Just be aware that alongside mapping out how you’re going to see all those dazzling islands, beaches and mountains, you’ll need to find out how to get a Philippines visa. Read on to discover how to do exactly that.
Do I need a visa to go to the Philippines?
For stays not exceeding 30 days, visitors from 100+ countries that have diplomatic relations with the Philippines are allowed entry into the country without securing a temporary visitor’s visa. This includes travellers from the UK and US.
In order to qualify for this visa-free status, you must be entering the Philippines for tourism purposes, and have valid tickets for onward travel.
In addition, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from your intended date of entry to the Philippines.
Finally, you must also register with the ‘e-travel’ system within 72 hours before your arrival.
Note that visitors holding passports from Hong Kong and Macau can stay in the Philippines without a visa for up to fourteen days.
Meanwhile, holders of Israeli and Brazilian passports can stay in the Philippines without a visa for up to 59 days.
To reiterate, UK citizens visiting the Philippines for a maximum of 30 days don’t need a visa. You just have to follow the guidelines and process detailed above.
If you want to stay for 30+ days, see below for how to get a Philippines visa.
As with UK citizens, US citizens can visit the Philippines for up to 30 days without requiring a visa.
How to get a Philippines visa
If you’ve ascertained you do need a Philippines visa, you have a few options when it comes to applying for a Temporary Visitors Visa.
Note that in order for you visa to be approved, your passport must valid for a least six months beyond your planned stay in the Philippines. You also have to submit an application form, and have tickets for your return or onward journey from the Philippines.
Applying for an E-Visa online
To start applying for your Temporary Visitors Visa online, you need to complete a form on the official website.
At the time of writing, this site advises that:
“For the time being, this online portal only accommodates applications for 9(a) Temporary Visitors Visa. This is a portal for the INITIAL submission of your visa application ONLY. Submitting your application form through this portal does NOT mean your visa is already in process. Once you have submitted your application through this portal, please contact the Embassy or Consulate concerned with instructions on how to submit your application officially.”
Applying for a visa on arrival
Note that you can no longer apply for a visa on arrival in the Philippines. If you need a visa, you’ll have to apply via the Philippine embassy or consulate.
Applying via the Philippines embassy or consulate
The visa policy of the Philippines states that around 40 nationalities need to obtain a travel visa, no matter the duration or purpose of the stay.
In addition, even if you hold a passport from one of the 100+ countries that have diplomatic relations with the Philippines — allowing you entry into the country without a temporary visitor’s visa — to stay for more than 30 days, you must apply for a visa.
To apply for a visa, complete and print a visa application form and submit it in person at your nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate.
Can I get help with a Philippines visa?
If you need a Philippines visa, and don’t want to go through all of the above yourself, a number of agencies offer a Philippines visa application service.
Alternatively, you could call on the expertise of our local Philippines experts. On hand to help curate your perfect Philippines itinerary, they can also offer advice on practical matters, like visas.
How quickly will I get the visa?
Expect to receive your Philippines visa in around 10 working days.
How long is a Philippines visa valid?
The Philippines’ Temporary Visitor's Visa allows the holder to stay in the Philippines for up to 59 days from the date of entry.
How much does a Philippines visa cost?
A single-entry Philippines visa costs around $30 USD. If you use an agency to handle your visa application, expect processing fees.
Can I extend my visa while in the Philippines?
If you’re already in the Philippines on a Temporary Visitor's Visa and want to stay beyond 59 days, you can apply for a visa extension at the Bureau of Immigration office.
If granted, this allows you to stay for an additional 29 days beyond the validity of your original visa.
Note that visa extension applications must be submitted before the expiration of your current visa.
Also be aware of the time it can take to process your extension application — apply at least a week before your current visa is due to expire.