As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
Nationals of most countries can enter the Philippines without a visa but we advise you to check with your Foreign Ministry to find out if you are from a restricted country. If so, you will need to secure a visa before arrival. Most visitors are given 30-day tourist visas (9A) at entry and are free to travel anywhere in the Philippines.
What kinds of visas are available?
There are three main categories of visas in the Philippines:
- Permanent visa (also called an immigrant visa) - This category is for foreigners who are married to Filipinos (13A), former Filipinos who are now naturalized citizens of another country (13G) and former PRs of the Philippines (13E).
- Non-immigrant visa - This category covers tourist or short-term business visas (9A) and the most common kind of work visa (9G). Spouses of 9G visa holders will be issued dependent's visas under this category. Also common is the 47A2 for businesses critical to the Philippines E0226 for ROHQ companies and SWP (special working permit) for those planning to work here for no longer than 6 months. Different visa types have different requirements and different processes and are subject to change, so it is best to seek assistance to be sure you comply with the current regulations.
- Special visa - This category is for investors who are registered with the Bureau of Investment.
What is required to obtain these visas?
The tourist visa is easy to obtain as in 1 above. For all other visas, the requirements are many, confusing and constantly changing. Generally, you will need to provide a letter of employment from your employer and certified copies of birth and marriage certificates (as applicable) and photographs. If these documents are not in English, you are required to have them officially translated and certified by an embassy of the Philippines in your own country. Crown Manila can assist you with obtaining your visa and will provide you with a detailed list of requirements, in advance, so that you can have them ready on arrival.
Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Yes, spouses are usually permitted to work, but the company that wishes to employ your spouse will also have to sponsor the work visa; this is a lengthy and not inexpensive process.
What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
The Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) is issued to all foreign nationals who are long-term visa holders in the Philippines. This is the main form of identification during one's stay in the Philippines and is issued by the Bureau of Immigration.
Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
The relevant visa and the ACR are the most important documents for foreign nationals. Also ensure that you register with your embassy and keep them informed on how to contact you in case of emergency.
What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
Do not bring illegal drugs, pornography, guns and weapons.
Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
Always keep your visa updated and valid as otherwise you may be charged a healthy fine.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative. Alternatively, click here to find out more about our immigration services.