If you wish to visit the Philippines for business or employment purposes, you must obtain the correct visa depending on your purpose of visit and length of stay. This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining the relevant work and business visas in the Philippines.
Philippines Business Visa
Holders of passports from most countries around the world do not require a visa to visit the Philippines for business or tourism purposes if the stay does not exceed 30 days. To be eligible, visitors must have a valid ticket for their onward or return journey and have at least 6 months validity in their passport.
Brazilian and Israeli nationals are given a visa-free stay of 59 days based on reciprocal agreements.
The following are allowed to enter the Philippines without a visa for a stay of no more than 14 days:
- Citizens of Hong Kong SAR/Holders of Hong Kong-British passports.
- Citizens of Macau SAR/Holders of Macau-Portuguese passports.
The full list of eligible countries can be found here.
Business Visa: Visa on Arrival
Foreign nationals who are not eligible for a visa-free stay in the Philippines may obtain a visa on arrival for the purpose of conducting business.
Business Visa: Visitor’s Visa
If you want to stay in the Philippines for 3-6 months or longer, the Temporary Visitor’s Visa (Business Visa) is a suitable option and will allow you to:
- Attend international conferences
- Negotiate contracts
- Attend business meetings
To obtain this visa, applicants must submit their application at a Philippine Foreign Service Post in his/her home country or place of legal residence before arrival in the Philippines and provide proof of a local company sponsor. The sponsor in the Philippines will need to supply an invitation letter stating the purpose of the visit.
Extending your short-term Visa
It’s a (straightforward) process for foreigners to extend their visa at the Bureau of Immigration offices located throughout the Philippines. Requests should be made at least one week before the visa expires and the relevant fee must be paid. Overstaying your agreed stay in the Philippines can result in severe penalties or fines depending on the amount of time the foreigner has spent in the Philippines after their visa has expired. To avoid this, we recommend that foreigners respect the conditions of their visas and seek an extension well in advance and through the appropriate channels.
Philippines Work Visa
Foreign nationals planning to work in the Philippines should secure the appropriate work visa from the Philippines Bureau of Immigration, in addition to the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). These visas and permits are secured for employees and sponsored by a local company established in the Philippines.
Pre-arranged Employment Visa or 9(G) Visa
The most common type of work visa issued in the Philippines is the Pre-arranged Employment Visa or 9(G) Visa and allows employers in the Philippines to hire foreign talent.
The visa is applied for through sponsorship by the employer and must be arranged before starting work in the country. As such, an offer of employment with a Philippines-based company is a pre-requisite. Furthermore, applicants should obtain an Alien Work Permit (AEP) before submitting their applicant for a 9(G)-work visa.
It is important to note that the holder of a 9(G)-work visa is only permitted to work for the company that has sponsored his/her work visa. In case of change of employer before the expiration of the work-visa, the visa is switched to the 9(A) visitor’s visa and the foreign national must apply for a new 9(G)-work visa with their new employer.
Alien Employment Permit (AEP)
The AEP authorizes a foreign national to work in the Philippines and is an important document required to secure work in the country. It is valid for between 1-3 years. A new AEP must be obtained whenever the employee assumes a new position within the same company or changes employer. The AEP alone takes between 2-3 weeks to process, once received by the DOLE.
How long does the Work Visa Process take?
The whole process (including the AEP) takes 2-3 months to complete. If the foreign employee is required to start working immediately but does not yet hold a 9(G) visa or AEP, he or she may apply for a Provisional Work Permit (PWP) which authorizes the foreign national to commence work while waiting. It can be filed as soon as the AEP application is submitted and obtained after two weeks.
INS Global: Your Expansion Partner in the Philippines
Work permits and visas must be secured by a locally licensed and incorporated company in the Philippines, which can be a hurdle for many companies who wish to enter the Philippines market. Whether you’d like to set up a local entity or need to access the market quickly through our PEO solution, we can help you in the Philippines.
Contact us today to learn more about our services in the Philippines.