I have already posted a travel guide for Filipinos who are planning to visit other countries. This time, before I will post my local travel experiences, I’d like to also give a guide for our foreign tourists who want to see the beauty of our beloved country – Philippines.
FIRST, let’s talk about the visa requirement.
Here is the list of the non-visa required countries who are given an initial stay of 30 days for free under EO408. Again, it’s exactly 30 days, not one month. Okay? 😀
You can extend your stay for a certain fee in any immigration office for another 29 days (a total of 59) and so on but take note that if your entire stay is 6 months or more, you need to get an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) at any immigration office nationwide (see list of offices here or a more detailed one here) and present it to the immigration officer upon departure. You may also avail the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) at the airport to have the 59 days of stay ahead. If you plan to avail the VUA, make sure to prepare your Philippine peso before coming in to our country. There are money changers and ATMs in some airports though, but it’s better if you have Philippine peso on hand. Debit and credit cards are not accepted at the immigration cashiers.
For former Philippine passport holders who are now holding a non-visa required passport, you are given a Balikbayan privilege stay for 365 days. This privilege can be extended to your spouse and children ONLY if you are arriving together. You may be required to present a marriage or birth certificate to the immigration officer upon arrival to establish the relationship.
If you’re traveling with a minor who is not your child and who is 14 years old and below, under Section 29(a) (12) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, that minor is classified as excludable. In order for him to be admitted into the Philippines, he must secure a Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG) from the Bureau of Immigration. For more information about this, click here.
For Brazil and Israel passport holders, you are given an initial stay of 59 days.
For Hongkong – SAR and Macau – SAR, you can stay for 14 days.
For British National Overseas and Macau – Portuguese, your initial stay is 7 days only.
Those countries which are not under EO408 and which are not mentioned above are considered visa-required countries. Visa-required passport holders need to apply for a temporary visitor’s visa at a Philippine Foreign Service Post at his/her country of origin or place of legal residence. However, there are some visa-required nationals who can still stay for a certain number of days here by using his visa issued by other countries.
Take for example, for Chinese passport holders, you may use your valid tourist, business, working, student or resident visa in USA, Japan, Australia, Canada and Schengen to have 7 days of stay. However, you must prepare a photocopy of the biopage of your passport or the visa of any of the said countries because our immigration officers are not allowed to stamp on a Chinese passport.
Indian citizens can also use valid USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen, Singapore and UK visa to have 14 days of stay. Transit visa of these countries is not allowed.
SECOND, your passport should be at least six (6) months valid upon your arrival. However, under Operations Order No. SBM-2015-26, below is the list of countries whose nationals may be admitted into our country with passports of less than six months validity from date of arrival.
THIRD, for holders of temporary visitor’s visa, Philippine visa is usually valid for 3 to 6 months from the issue date, it means you must enter the country on or before the expiration date. However, your allowable days of stay is different. The number of days is normally 14, 30 or 59 which is counted from the date of your arrival.
FOURTH, prepare your return ticket which is encoded in ENGLISH. Sometimes, hotel booking may be also asked or the name and address of your sponsor here in the Philippines.
FIFTH, make sure to fill out completely an immigration and custom form before going to the immigration area.
SIXTH, there are 12 international airports and seaports in our country (see the complete list here). Our major airports are located in Manila, these are NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Terminal 1 is exclusive for international flights. Terminal 2 is operated by Philippine Airlines (both domestic and international) while Terminal 3 is operated by various airlines (international) and Cebu Pacific (domestic). We also have international airports in Kalibo (Boracay), Cebu and Davao. So, you may book your tickets directly to these airports if it’s available from your country.
For more updated information, please check the official website of the Bureau of Immigration of the Republic of the Philippines at http://www.immigration.gov.ph/
SEVENTH, if you have connecting flights, you may avail of the Airport Loop or Airport bus to and from NAIA terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4.
EIGHTH, if you have connecting flight from the other terminal in Manila, please allot enough time going there (like at least 4 to 5 hours gap) because y’know – TRAFFIC!!!
NINTH, Philippines is a tropical country so just wear and bring light clothes. We have two seasons – the wet season and the dry season. The rainy season starts in July and lasts until November. September and October are frequently the typhoon season. While April and May are the hottest months in the Philippines.
Lastly, in the Philippines, power socket type A is used but some of our virgin beaches or islands have shortage of power supply so bring your power banks or extra batteries for your gadgets.
This is just a basic travel guide. In my next posts, I will provide you a list of the best beaches or tourist destinations in the country and a list of the must-try food or delicacies or any list that I can think of, soon. hahaha
I apologize for this lengthy post but I hope you still find this useful. 🙂 Thank you for your time, I appreciate it a loooot! 😉