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Visiting the Philippines

A Section 9a Visa is issued to a foreign national who will travel to the Philippines for a holiday, medical reasons or business trips. This visa may be secured from the Philippine Embassy from the port of origin and will entitle a foreign national a 59-day stay in the Philippines, or a foreign national (except restricted nationalities) may travel to the Philippines and will be issued a 21-day stay upon entry into the Philippines which may, upon application, be extended for another 38-days.


Working in the Philippines

There are several types of visas issued to foreign nationals (including their dependents) who will stay in the Philippines for regular employment, namely: Pre-arranged Employment Visas or Treaty Trader Visas (available only to US, Japan and German nationals) under the Philippine Immigration Act, or Multiple Entry Special Visas under the Philippine Foreign Investment Act. Foreign nationals who will come to the Philippines for employment for a short period of time should secure a Provisional Permit to Work or a Special Work Permit.

In conjunction with the above-mentioned visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration, applicable Philippine law also requires that an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) be secured from the Department of Labor and Employment


Other visas issued to stay in the Philippines

The Philippine Immigration Act also allows the issuance of resident visas to Balikbayans or naturalized foreign nationals who were formerly Philippine citizens, or to foreign nationals including their dependents (children below 18 years of age). Other visas issued to qualified foreign nationals and their dependents (spouse and children below 18 years of age) pursuant to special laws are Special Investor's Resident Visa (SIRV) or Special Retiree's Resident Visa (SRRV).


Immigration into the Philippines

Qualified foreign nationals may also enter and/or stay in the Philippines as immigrants. The Philippine government observes an annual quota per nationality in the admission of foreign nationals as immigrants.


Registration of Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals who have stayed in the Philippines for at least one hundred eighty (180) consecutive days are required to register with the country's Bureau of Immigration and to obtain an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR). Once registered, a foreign national will be issued an ACR which is now in digital card form and is referred to as the ACR i-Card. The i-Card contains information about the card holder and also includes data concerning a foreign national's Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) and Special Return Permit (SRC) or Re-entry Permit for purposes of exit and re-entry into the Philippines.


Naturalization as Philippine Citizens

Qualified foreign nationals may be naturalized as Philippine citizens. Depending on their qualifications, naturalization may be obtained judicially or administratively.


Recognition of Philippine Citizenship

Philippine citizens who became naturalized citizens of another country or foreign nationals whose mother or father are Philippine citizens at the time of their birth may be recognized as Philippine citizens.