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Philippine Visa and Immigration

The Philippines allows foreigners from certain countries to enter the country as a tourist without a visa provided that a) the foreigner holds a valid ticket for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and b) the foreigner’s passport is valid for a period of not less than six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay. For a more exhaustive discussion on tourists, please check out our Tourist page.

For those who wish to enter or stay in the Philippines for reasons other than for leisure or tourist purposes, various visas are available, the common of which are:

a. 9g visa – working visa for those who desire to work in the Philippines.
b. Special Work Permit (“SWP”) – visa for foreigners who intend to engage in a professional or commercial undertaking, which is not considered purely local employment, such as: professional athletes competing only for a limited period, foreigners of distinguished merit and ability entering to perform exceptional temporary services, but having no contract of pre-arranged employment; artists and other performers who wish to perform in the country when the audience pays for the performance; foreigners, coming primarily to perform a noncompetitive temporary service or training, who could be categorized as temporary workers or industrial trainees; foreigners authorized to search for hidden treasure; movie and television crews filming in the country; and foreign journalists pursuing their profession in the Philippines.
c. 9f – student visa for those who wish to study or enroll in courses or schools in the Philippines
d. 47a2 visa – special non-immigrant visa, by authority of the President, for foreigners employed in technical, supervisory or advisory positions in Board of Investment (BOI) registered enterprises, Export Processing Zones, special government projects and other matters of public concern.
e. Quota visa – Quota immigrant visa granted to foreigners not in excess of fifty (50) of any one nationality or without nationality for any one calendar year, subject to financial requirements.
f. Subic Bay Freeport Work Visa – non-immigrant visa granted to foreigners who possess executive or highly technical skills, which no Filipino citizen within the Subic Bay Freeport possesses.
g. Treaty Trader’s or Investor’s Visa – non-immigrant visa for nationals of the US, Germany or Japan, countries with which the Philippines has concluded a reciprocal agreement for the admission of treaty traders or investors, employed in a supervisory or executive capacity in a local petitioning company, whose shares are majority-owned by US, German or Japanese interests.
h. Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (“SRRV”) - a visa issued by the Bureau of Immigration through the Philippine Retirement Authority (“PRA”) for foreigners and former Filipinos, at least 35 years old, who deposit the minimum amount required by law with a bank accredited by the PRA.
i. Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) - a visa issued by the Bureau of Immigration through the Board of Investments (“BOI”) pursuant to the provisions of the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987. The SIRV is a special non-immigrant visa that entitles the holder to reside in the Philippines for an indefinite period as long as the required qualifications and investments are maintained.
j. Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG) - a special visa issued to a qualified non-immigrant foreigner who shall actually employ at least 10 Filipinos in a lawful and sustainable enterprise, trade, or industry.

If you need help in getting the proper visa in the Philippines, the assistance of a competent Philippine lawyer, attorney or law office is primordial. Nicolas & De Vega Law Offices has immigration lawyers that specialize in securing Philippine visas for its foreign clients. For more information on getting a Philippine visa, visit our website

The information provided in this website should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. This is for information purposes only and is not intended to solicit or create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship between NDV Law and any person or entity. Please consult with a lawyer about your concerns.