Boracay Info

Visa and Employment Information

Do I need a visa to visit the Philippines?

Nationals from most countries are permitted to enter the Philippines without a visa for periods of 21 days or less. There is currently a list of 145 specific countries to which this applies. Some countries which might be expected to be on the list are not listed there.  China, for example, is not listed. See the links below to view the list.

How long can I stay?

Temporary visitors entering the Philippines without a visa are issued a temporary visa good for a stay of 21 days.  This initial visa may be extended for another 38 days sometime within that 21 day period, for a total of 59 days.  Further two-month visa extensions may be granted, and usually are routinely granted. Prior to August of 2007, the limit on the maximum length of stay for temporary visitors was one year. That limit has now been extended to two years for ordinary temporary visitors. Procedural and regulatory details applicable to visitors intending to stay for more than a year are a bit unclear and, as of September of 2007, no information about this is available on the Bureau of Immigration website.

Can I extend my visa while I am on Boracay?

Yes.  The Bureau of Immigration has a field office on Boracay which has the authority to grant visa extensions.  Visitors should be aware that Bureau of Immigration offices generally will not serve persons who do not conform to their dress code.  The dress code varies from time to time and from one office to another, but the usual Boracay attire of T-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops is not generally considered suitable.  The Bureau of Immigration in Manila generally requires long trousers, shoes and socks; and sometimes requires shirts with collars.  The Boracay field office of the Bureau of Immigration may or may not relax this a bit.

As of January 2008, the Bureau of Immigration office is located in the Nirvana Hotel and operates only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

 What do 9a, 9b, 9g, 13a, 13h and similar visa designations mean?

These refer to section and subsection numbers of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 (see below)

  • 9a is for temporary visitor coming for business or for pleasure or for reasons of health

  • 9b is for a person in transit to a destination outside the Philippines

  • 9g is for an alien in the Philippines for prearranged employment

  • 13a is for the spouse of an RP citizen resident in the Philippines

  • 13g is for a former RP citizen or their spouse, resident in the Philippines

These are the most commonly seen types of visas. For information about others, see the information below on the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.

 As a temporary visitor, can I work while in the Philippines?

See http://www.gov.ph/faqs/alienworkpermit.asp for information on this.

 What is a "Retirement Visa"?

See http://www.pra.gov.ph/ for information on this.

I have a more complicated question ...

See one or more of the following: