Keywords on this page:
Visa, long stay, 21 days, visa waiver program, 59 day, tourist, Tourist
To visit the Philippines the simplest thing to do is just get on an
airplane and travel. Citizens of the majority of the world’s countries are
authorized entry into the Philippines on the 21 day visa waiver program.
How to get started - Visa or not?
The simplest and most common visa situation
is for the tourist who is not married to a
Filipino or former Filipino citizen … which
constitutes about 90% of the travelers getting
off airplanes at Manila (Niñoy Aquino
International Airport (NAIA)) or Cebu-Mactan
International Airport. To visit the Philippines
the simplest thing to do is just get on an
airplane and travel. Citizens of the majority of
the world’s countries are authorized entry into
the Philippines on the 21 day visa waiver
program. Make sure the expiration date of your
passport will last for 6 month after the 21 days
Show up at the immigration wicket,
present you passport, and the immigration
officer will stamp your passport with a visa
waiver stamp good for 21 days. This stamp can
later be extended if you desire to stay longer,
up to two years (24 months) from your date of
entry. A lot more detail on these procedures
will follow. I am writing this post to start the
discussion of right, by clarifying that the
stamp you get at the airport is a visa waiver,
and not a visa.
One question everyone asks is the cost for a
visa to stay in the Philippines for either a
specific length of time or forever. You can
arrive here in the Philippines with nothing in
your hand but a US passport and you will be
granted a 21 day "visa waiver" stamp, for free.
This is probably the most common route for
first-time visitors and you may do it this way
as often as you wish.
It is possible to extend this stamp by
converting it to an actual tourist visa … but I
don’t recommend this route unless you truly
could not foresee the fact you wanted to stay
longer. The reason's I don’t recommend doing it
● It costs less money to do it the "right" way …
that is to get a 59-day tourist visa through the
Philippine Embassy before you go.
● If you book air travel for longer than 21 days
between entry and exit to the Philippines your
airline may deny you booking at the last minute
… or (rare, but could happen) the Philippine BID
(Bureau of Immigration and Deportation officers
at your arrival airport could deny you entry.
● It is’ not what the law says to do … and I
believe in following laws, especially Philippine
Immigration law to the letter as a visitor.
People can, and do get deported for running
afoul of the law and it is just too easy to stay
legal instead of taking a risk.
How to start for citizen of
So if you are coming to the Philippines for
longer than 21 days, start
One confusion factor many folks have is the
various visa lengths offered. The length of time
you’ll see on that web site are the lengths of
time you may wait before entering the
Philippines .. or for multi-entry visas, the
length of time you’ll be able to make other
entries…. but all of the visas confer the
one-time right of entry for 59 days … a one year
visa still only lets you stay 59 days at a time
… and unless you plan to be traveling a lot in
and out, no need for multi-entry. The cheapest
single entry visa, for about $30 USD will serve
you and it ‘s actually less than entering for
free and then extending your 21 Day visa waiver.
OK, so you came with a legal visa and now you
want to stay even longer than the initial 59
days. Can you do it? Yepp, easy enough and
completely legal. Just go to the closest BID off
and apply, pay a fee, get your passport stamped
and you’re good to stay. You can also use a
licensed travel agent to do this for you, for an
additional fee, of course.
Regional offices are
The cost actually varies a bit based on which
month of the stay you are in. The official costs
You can just use a rule of thumb that you’ll pay
about 12 or 1300 Pesos per month … some trips
will cost less, some more.
So, in summary, it’s not that hard to stay
● Get a visa before you leave your home country
if you plan to stay more than 21 days
At the expiration of your initial period of
stay, go to the nearest office and renew
● Enjoy your stay