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The Philippines: Entry Requirements - The actually visa waiver program

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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 30 day visa waiver program.

Entry requirements

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 (Ninoy 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 30 day visa waiver program. Make sure the expiration date of your passport will last for 6 month after the 30 days limit. Show up at the immigration office, present you passport, and the immigration officer will stamp your passport with a visa waiver stamp good for 30 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 30 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 this way:

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 30 days between entry and exit to the Philippines your airline may deny your 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 your 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 the USA
So if you are coming to the Philippines for longer than 30 days, start here. 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 30 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 office 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.

For more information take a look here

You can just use a rule of thumb that you'll pay about 7000 Pesos per 59 days Visa extension.

So, in summary, it's not that hard to stay legal:

- Get a visa before you leave your home country if you plan to stay more than 30 days
- At the expiration of your initial period of stay, go to the nearest Immigration office and renew
- Enjoy your stay





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