Many of the most relevant questions for those planning to go to the Philippines is The Philippines visa. Is it necessary? And where can you get it?
A 30 Day Visa to the Philippines
European Union citizens who want to stay in the Philippines for 30 days do not have to apply or pay for a visa. Upon arriving at the Manila or Cebu Airport, all tourists are required to go through an immigration procedure. The relevant immigration slip will be handed to you by a flight attendant before landing. Filling it out is mandatory. We recommend you do it while still on the plane to avoid any inconvenience or unnecessary stress. Filling out the slip upon landing is a bit trickier because there might not be any comfortable spot for doing so.
Immigration control officers at the airport will likely ask you to produce your return tickets from the Philippines which must be dated no more than 30 calendar days from the day of arrival. After completing the above procedure, tourists are allowed into the country for a 30 day period free of charge.
If you plan to travel around the islands for a bit longer than 30 days, head straight for the immigration control office and apply for a 29-day visa (which will give you 59 days in the Philippines in total). The price of the visa is 50 euros.
Longer Vacations and Living in the Philippines for over 2 Months
Upon boarding a plane somewhere in Europe or an Asian country (Thailand, Singapore, etc.), you might be asked about your final destination, as well as required to produce your return tickets. So keep that in mind if you’re planning a vacation in the Philippines that’s longer than 2 months, or if you want to move here permanently, or in case you’re simply traveling here with one-way tickets. You may choose not to have return tickets and hope that no one will ask, although if that’s your preferred method we’d recommend you find appropriate tickets on-line and set aside a bit of time to purchase them upon landing if such becomes necessary.
Stay for long term
Tourists who decide to stay for longer than 30 days, as well as those who want to live here more permanently, will have to contact the nearest Migration Division. If you have about a week left before the expiry of your 30-day visiting period, head to the aforesaid Migration Division and apply for a visa.
Following your first 30 day period, the visa you obtain afterwards will be valid for 29 days. This will cost you around 50 euros. The type of visa that will be issued in your name will be of the same type as the one you can get at the airport upon arriving to the Philippines.
If you plan to live here for a longer period of time, staying mostly on smaller islands, you’ll have to return to the Migration Division every two months to extend your visa. The cost of each extension will be roughly 50 euros per person. On larger islands and cities, such as Manila and Cebu, visas are extended for 6 months. Each extension is about 110 euros per person. Large cities, such as the ones mentioned above, even have special agencies which can periodically take your passport and other documents to the Migration Division and have your visa extended.
After the first two-month extension, it is mandatory to order an ACR card (an ID card issued to foreign nationals in the Philippines) which you can use instead of your passport to open an account with a local bank, sign up for cellular services, etc. This ID card will set you back around 55 euros. ACR cards are valid for 1 year, which means that you’ll be required to get a new one each year.
Failure to comply with the visa extension rules will impose a 1,000 PHP (roughly equivalent to 20 euros) fine, regardless of the number of days of delay.
If you decide to leave the Philippines after having lived for more than 6 months, you’ll have to obtain a permit from the Migration Division (Exit visa). Such permits are issued only in larger cities, such as Cebu and Manila. The procedure usually takes no longer than 2-5 hours. The migration permit can also be obtained at the Migration Division of Tagbilaran on Bohol Island. Mind you, though, the same procedure takes around 2 weeks here. So make sure to apply a month or more in advance. All issued documents are valid for 1 month.