Immigration for Foreigners entering the Philippines

Please note that the information changes on a daily basis and you should check with the Philippine Embassy in whichever country you are intending to fly from. Airlines will sell, in most cases, happily take your money and sell you a ticket, however upon check-in you must have the correct documents such as as a relevant visa and/or an exit ticket out of the country.

Disclaimer: This is the information as we understand it, on the date of publication of this article:
Immigration Entering Philippines
Passenger Type Documentary and Other Requirements
Non-Filipino/Foreign spouse and minor children or children with special needs of a Filipino national
  • Passport with Philippine entry visa or long-term visa1
  • For spouses: authentic marriage certificate and any other document as proof of nationality of Filipino spouse
  • For minor children (below 21 years old) and children with special needs (regardless of age): birth certificate and any other document as proof of nationality of Filipino parent
  • May or may not travel with Filipino spouse/parent. If not traveling with Filipino spouse/parent, the Filipino spouse/parent should be alive and must be in the Philippines during the intended date of travel.
  • Must meet the four (4) conditions of the IATF-EID2
Non-Filipino/Foreign parent of a minor Filipino child (below 21 years old) or a child with special needs (regardless of age)
  • Passport with Philippine entry visa or long-term visa1
  • Proof of filiation to the minor Filipino child or child with special needs
  • Proof of citizenship of the minor Filipino child or child with special needs
  • May or may not travel with minor Filipino child or child with special needs. If not traveling with the minor Filipino child or child with special needs, the minor Filipino child or child with special needs should be alive and must be in the Philippines during the intended date of travel.
  • Must meet the four (4) conditions of the IATF-EID2
Accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents Please check with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs or contact the Philippine Bureau of Immigration
Non-Filipino/Foreign seafarers with 9(c) visa
  • Passport /Seaman’s Book
  • Must meet the four (4) conditions of the IATF-EID2
Non-Filipino/Foreign nationals with an eligible long-term visa3
  • Eligible Visas:
    • Section 13 series visa (Sec. 13; Sec. 13(a); Sec. 13(b); Sec. 13(c); Sec. 13(d); Sec. 13(e); Sec. 13(g))
    • RA 7919 visa
    • EO 324 visa
    • Native Born visa
    • Temporary Resident Visa relative to Section 13 of CA 613, as amended (based on Memorandum Order (MO) No. ADD-01-038/ ADD 02-015)
    • MCL-07-021 Permanent Resident Visa based on Section 13(a) of CA 613 under MO No. MCL-07-021
    • MCL-08-003
    • 9E
    • TRV
  • Must meet the four (4) conditions of the IATF-EID

In simple terms

What does this mean in simple terms and as interpreted from reliable sources:

  1. Only those passengers with a spouse and/or dependent are allowed entry. Those with 13A visa’s are not required to have additional documentation, however the arrival requirements still apply. Those passengers without a 13A, must show proof of marriage and/or dependents, they must also have resided in the Philippines previously, under a Balikbayan or visit visa. They must also obtain a visa from their local Philippine Embassy/Consulate.
  2. As far as we are currently informed, all other forms of visa, such as 9A or SRRV are not valid for entry unless they can comply with elements of point 1.

Are you planning for entry to the Philippines?

Immigration Entering Philippines - airport

Source: Philippine Bureau of Immigration Facebook Page

If you’re planning to enter the Philippines at this time, you have to ensure you comply with all the protocol. Here are steps that you should remember.

Prior to departure

1. You must register with their airline such as PAL:

2. You must book a Hotel which is accredited with the Tourism & Health Agencies, while waiting for your COVID-19 test results. This should be for at least 2 days that you are required to stay at the booked Hotel until your test results are sent and the BOQ medical certificate is issued. You can check the full list of hotels here.

After Check-In
Complete the Electronic Heath Locator Form and arrival card here.

Upon arrival in the Philippines

  1. Upon arrival listen to the briefing given by the Philippine Coast Guard
  2. Undergo a temperature check upon disembarkation and proceed to the designated waiting area. Complete the Affidavit of Undertaking
  3. Proceed to the verification and barcoding booth. Present your passport and the QR code sent to you after completing the e-CIF
  4. Pay for your RT-PCR Test. The test costs Php 4500 and you can pay using cash, card etc, you will then be given 3 barcode stickers
  5. Proceed to the Swab Test Booth and hand out the 3 barcode stickers
  6. Undergo the COVID-19 RT-PCR Test and receive a sticker indicating that you have completed the test. Place this sticker on the back of your passport (outside back as we understand it)
  7. Help desks, phone charging stations, ATM’s are available to assist passengers. However, I would always advise, even when traveling in normal times, always arrive enough charge to use your phone for calls etc and never pack your house car or house keys in your check in luggage
  8. Clear with immigration. Present the QR code sent to your email after completing the Electronic Health Locator Form and Arrival Card
  9. Proceed to the Hotel verification desk and arrange you shuttle, you can use taxi’s if they are running, you must use the required sticker
  10. Claim your baggage
  11. Submit the affidavit of undertaking before exiting the terminal. Proceed to your booked hotel, using the preferred method of transport

At The Quarantine Hotel

1. Wait for your test results, which they say can take 24-48 hours, however they can take longer
2. Please note all Hotel fees, sustenance, etc. during your stay is at your expense, however long this takes


Q: I don’t have a spouse visa (13A), but I’m married to a Filipina, can I enter the Country?
A: Yes provided you have resided in the country before on a tourist or balikbayan visa. You will need to register at your local consulate and comply with the entry regulations contained within this article.

Q: I hold a work visa, such as a 9A, can I reenter the Country?
A: Not without dependents or spouse

Q: I have a Retirement Visa (SRRV), but I’m without a spouse or dependents, can I enter the Country?
A: No, as per work permit

Q: I’m currently in the Philippines and wish to return to my own Country, what do I need to do?
A: In the first case check the entry requirements for the Country you are returning to, so for example if it’s the UK or Australia, you will have to quarantine for 14 days. In the UK it’s your home or an address you register, in Australia it is a Government Approved Hotel. In terms of leaving the Philippines, as long as you can secure a flight, you can leave, however if your on a tourist visa and have been here you will need to get an Exit Visa. This needs to be obtained from your local Bureau of Immigration at least 5 days before you travel.

Please note we are told, regardless of changes to Quarantine Rules, there is unlikely to be changed in the existing travel restrictions.

Matthew Stuart FIMI

Matthew Stuart FIMI

Matt is British and 3rd generation Automotive Professional with 35 years’ experience in the Automotive Industry. Matt has worked in Senior Management positions in the UK and Asia, having been based on Asia since 2003. Passionate about anything Automotive and a fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry. Matt enjoys dining and entertaining, he is on the Board of Trustees of the Cheese Club of the Philippines.

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