The Philippines is an archipelago consisting of about 7,641 islands, each one offering its own uniqueness. In fact, the Philippines is a country very rich in natural beauty and culture – not to mention the countless beaches.

So, a traveler stopping in the Philippines will have plenty to do and see. However, do you need a visa for the Philippines? Well, it depends on what country you are from.

This article will detail the Philippines visa policy, the visa-exempt countries, and those who can get a visa on arrival.

Do I need a visa for Philippines?

The Philippines visa policy is quite lenient. Passport holders of several countries can travel to the Philippines visa-free. Additionally, nearly everyone can get a Philippines Visa On Arrival.

However, unless you are from one of the countries who can travel to the Philippines visa-free, you have to apply for a visa before you enter.

Visa-free countries for Philippines

If you are from one of the countries listed below, you do not need a visa for the Philippines for the duration stated:

Visa-free for up to 59 days

Passport holders of the following countries can enter and stay in the Philippines without a visa for up to 59 days:

  • Brazil
  • Israel

Visa-free for up to 30 days

Passport holders of the following countries can enter the Philippines and stay without a visa for up to 30 days:

EU Member States Andorra Angola Antigua and Barbuda Argentina
Australia Bahamas Bahrain Barbados Belize
Benin Bhutan Bolivia Botswana Brunei
Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada
Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad Chile Colombia
Comoros Republic of the Congo Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire DR Congo
Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Eswatini Ethiopia Fiji
Gabon Gambia Ghana Grenada Guatemala
Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Honduras
Iceland Indonesia Jamaica Japan Kazakhstan
Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos
Lesotho Liberia Liechtenstein Madagascar Malawi
Malaysia Maldives Mali Marshall Islands Mauritania
Mauritius Mexico Micronesia Monaco Mongolia
Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nepal
New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Norway Oman
Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru
Qatar Russia Rwanda Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia
Senegal Seychelles Singapore Solomon Islands South Africa
South Korea Suriname Switzerland Tajikistan Tanzania
Thailand Togo Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey
Turkmenistan Tuvalu Uganda United Arab Emirates United States
Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Venezuela
Vietnam Zambia Zimbabwe    

 

Visa-free for up to 14 days

Passport-holders of the following countries can stay in the Philippines without a visa for up to 14 days:

  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Portugal (but who are permanent residents of Macau)

Other visa exemptions for the Philippines

Chinese citizens who have a valid Schengen Visa or a tourist visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, or the United States can enter the Philippines without a visa for up to 7 days.

Indian citizens who have a valid Schengen Visa or a tourist or business visa issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, or the United States can enter the Philippines without a visa for up to 14 days.

Who is eligible for a Philippines Visa On Arrival?

Everyone, except citizens of the countries listed below, can get a Philippines Visa On Arrival, valid for 59 days:

Afghanistan Albania Algeria Armenia Azerbaijan
Bangladesh Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina China Cuba
Egypt Georgia India Iran Iraq
Jordan Kosovo Lebanon Libya Moldova
Montenegro Nauru Nigeria North Korea North Macedonia
Pakistan Palestine Sierra Leone Serbia Somalia
South Sudan Sri Lanka Sudan Syria Taiwan
Timor-Leste Tonga Ukraine Yemen  

Who is eligible for a Philippines eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization)?

Only citizens of Taiwan are eligible to receive an Electronic Travel Authorization for the Philippines.

If you are a Taiwan passport-holder, you can request the eTA through the website of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (here).

Do I need a Transit Visa for the Philippines?

You do not need to have a visa to transit in the Philippines if:

  • Your connecting flight is within 24 hours
  • You will not leave the international transit area of the airport
  • You will not switch terminals
  • You have the necessary documents for the third country
  • You are not a refugee or a stateless person

If you will switch between terminals, then you must have a Philippines visa as well as an airport escort.

Do I need a visa for long stays in the Philippines?

Yes, if you intend to stay in the Philippines beyond the time your visa-exemption allows, then you must have the necessary Philippines Visa.

However, if you are already in the Philippines and decide you want to stay longer, then you can apply to extend your stay.

Extension of stay in the Philippines

If you are in the Philippines with a Tourist Visa or under the visa-exemption rule, and you decide you want to stay longer, you can apply to extend your stay. Applications for Philippines visa extensions (extensions of stay) are submitted at an office of the Immigration Bureau in the Philippines.

If you first received a stay of 30 days, and want to extend your stay for another 29 days, then you can apply for a Visa Waiver from the Philippines IB at least one week before your stay ends.

If you have already stayed in the Philippines for 59 days, and want to extend your stay beyond 59 days, you have to apply for an Extension of Stay from the IB in the Philippines.

You can apply for an extension of: 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months.

Those who enter under visa-waiver can extend their stay for up to 36 months.

Those who enter with a Philippines visa can extend their stay for up to 24 months.

How to apply for a visa to the Philippines if I need one?

If you are not exempt from visa requirements, you can apply for a Philippines visa in one of the following ways:

  • On Arrival. This option is available to everyone except passport holders of those listed above.
  • At an Embassy or Consulate of the Philippines abroad.
  • Online, if you are a citizen of Taiwan.

You also have to collect documents, such as:

  • A valid passport, which does not expire for at least another six months
  • Passport-size pictures
  • A confirmed return-flight ticket
  • Proof of accommodation (hotel reservation, etc)
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover your stay

See a more detailed explanation of the Philippines Visa application and requirements.

What do I need when I’m traveling to the Philippines visa-free?

If you are from one of the countries exempt from holding a visa when entering the Philippines, then you can travel with simply your (valid) passport and a booked return or onward flight ticket.

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