For most countries, visitors will get a 21 days visa on arrival.
If that is all you plan to stay in Philippines and you have already a return/outward ticket than that is all you need to know.
However if you plan to stay longer, there are several things you should know.
Return ticketThe return ticket is absolutely mandatory. In general, upon arrival, the emigration office won’t check, but most airline companies won’t allow you to board the aircraft on the departure point without a return ticket.
Air Asia is very strict about this.
In most airports even if you are holding a 6 business months visa, they still enforce to have a return ticket.
Some travelers try using a fake return ticket, not always with successful outcome.
Less than 60 days of stayingIf this your plan. The best it’s to get a 2 months visa for Philippines from your home country. If your traveling around SE Asia, then from Bangkok you can get a 2 months hassle free visa for Philippines.
If you need to extend your visa in PhilippinesYou need to know:
- Availability: There are emigration offices in all major cities where you can apply for a visa extension.
- Dress code: Going to the emigration office, it’s like going to a club. It’s mandatory to dress pants and wear shoes. At least for men. For women it’s more relaxed, just like a club.
This is enforced even if outside is a burning hot day. While in Cebu they are very strict (there is even a profitable rental business running just outside the office), on other places like Baggio they are more relaxed.
- Processing time: The whole process can take up to 2 hours (Cebu) or just plain 10 minutes(Baggio). A good rule it’s to choose smaller places or where there is less expats: it’s quicker and you will get a more friendly response.
- Distance to the office: While some offices are located right on the city center, like in Dumaguete (actually it’s stashed on a hard to find passage), others are pretty far, like in Cebu, which is located on a different city and requires you to take several jeepneys to get there.
- Express fee: When you apply for the visa, there is an express fee included on the total price. This fee is mandatory, even if you aren’t on the rush.
- I-card: If you are staying over 60 days, it’s mandatory to apply to the I-card. This card is done along with the visa extension application, it will cost you 50USD, it requires 2 passport photos, it’s valid for one year, and only will it be delivered on the same office after 30 days (or more, if delayed).
Many travelers don’t plan to stay on same city for such a long time, so they ended skipping collecting the I-card. In general, this is not a problem, if you don’t plan to return to Philippines within a year. Just keep your I-card receipts in case some emigration office asks you about the I-card.
If you plan to do more visa extensions, some offices will accept the receipts as a replacement for the I-card.
- Verify the number of the days extended: Some offices depending on the date you apply might not give you all the days you
are entitled. Verify upon collecting your passport, and if they are less, report the situation to the officer in charge.
- Time between 2 visa extensions applications: Due travel plans you might prefer to apply for a new visa extension a few days after the previous visa extension application. Some offices might not accept your application.
A bit of charm and choose an office in a smaller city might overcome this obstacle.
Visa Costs*1 in 2013
- 1st 21 days: free
- 22 to 59: 3030 PHP
- 3th month*3: 4800 PHP+50USD*2
- 3th and 4th month*3: 5300 PHP+50USD*2
- 5th month: 2330 PHP
*1 This list is including express fee and I-card.
Valid for 1 adult.
Only valid for visitors of the countries that have 21 days visa on arrival.
Koreans nationals have different fees.
*2 I-Card is payed in PHP. And is calculated when you apply for the visa extension.
*3 These two items are in alternative to each other.
ReferencesOfficial Web Site
List of Countries with Visa on Arrival