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Updated last year

What are the formalities you need to be aware of before traveling to the Philippines? Do you need a visa? Find out in this article.

If you intend to travel to the Philippines, you should probably start by inquiring on related formalities and procedures. It's important to know whether you need a visa to travel, since there are certain countries exempted from this requirement.

Travel requirements

In general, Philippines-destined foreign nationals need to present the following:

  • passport which should be valid for at least six months* following your trip to the Philippines;
  • unexpired entry visa (unless you're visa exempt); and
  • validly-issued return ticket (unless you're a permanent resident or a holder of a valid ACR I-Card).

* Pursuant to Operations Order No. SBM-2015-026, nationals of the following countries may be admitted into the Philippines with passports of less than six (6) months validity from date of arrival:

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, and Venezuela.

The Philippine visa

The Philippine visa is a sticker affixed on the passport endorsed by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in your home country. However, having obtained a visa does not guarantee admittance into the country. This will ultimately be determined by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) official at the port of entry.

You're a national of one of the countries listed below

Nationals of the countries below can travel to the Philippines without a visa for business and tourism purposes.

For a maximum of 59 days:

Brazil and Israel.

For a maximum of 30 days:

Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (Republic of Korea), Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru ,Poland ,Portugal ,Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania (United Republic of Tanzania), Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, UK, USA, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

For a maximum of 14 days:

Holders of Special Administrative Region (SAR - Hong Kong and Macau) passports.

For a maximum of 7 days:

Holders of Macau-Portuguese and Hong Kong British passports.

Foreigners who have been deported or blacklisted by the DFA and the BI are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

You're a national of a country listed above but your stay exceeds the maximum visa-exempt days

You will need a visa in order to travel to the Philippines. In order to know which visa is right for you, we have prepared a comprehensive guide of Visas for the Philippines.

On the other hand, if you are already in the Philippines and you wish to extend your stay beyond the allowed visa-exempt days, you can apply for an extension with the BI. You are required to present the following documents:

  • original passport;
  • two duly accomplished Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF) for Tourist Visa Extension; and
  • notarized sworn statement for overstaying/updating of stay of more than six months.

Fees vary depending on the number of months of extension. Note that non-visa required nationals are allowed to extend their stay for up to 36 months. Make sure to start the application for an extension at least one week prior to the expiration of your valid stay.

You're a national of a country not listed above

You will need a visa in order to travel to the Philippines. Your next step would be to identify which type of visa you need to apply for. We have prepared a comprehensive guide of Visas for the Philippines in order to help you.

International Airports

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,641 islands and it has international airports in each main island. Know which airport is closer to your destination.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)

NAIA is the Philippines' largest airport and is one of the two international airports serving the Metro Manila area. In 2017, the airport served 42 million passengers, making it among the 50 world's busiest airports by passenger traffic.

Clark International Airport CRK

Located in Pampanga, at the heart of Central Luzon, CRK caters mostly to low-cost carriers that avail themselves of the lower landing fees than those charged at NAIA. It is easily accessible by shuttle bus from various points of Metro Manila.

Puerto Princesa International Airport

This airport serves the general area of Palawan. Currently, its only international destinations are Busan and Seoul Incheon, South Korea.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Serves Metro Cebu and Central Visayas and is the Philippines' second busiest airport.

Subic Bay International Airport

This airport's international destinations are mostly in Asia, with the exception of Los Angeles.

Davao International Airport

The busiest airport on the area of Mindanao (Southern area of the Philippines) located at Davao. It is currently serving 7 airlines and is handling from three to four million passengers annually.

Iloilo International Airport

Iloilo airport's international destinations include Hong Kong and Singapore.

Kalibo International Airport

Non-stop flights to and from Kalibo Airport are currently being offered by carriers to and from Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Busan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Useful links:

Bureau of Immigrations
Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs
Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Clark International Airport
Mactan Cebu International Airport
Subic Bay International Airport
Davao International Airport
Iloilo International Airport
Kalibo International Airport

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.