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Philippines Travel Tips

Make the most of your trip to the Philippines with our useful Philippines travel tips, as well as our list of top-rated destinations, best attractions, and things to do while you are on a holiday in the country.

Philippines Tourist Visa Guidelines

Philippines Tourist Visa Guidelines

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The Philippines is one of the most flexible countries in the world in terms of visa requirements for foreign visitors. Every German, Austrian, or Swiss citizen, as well as the citizens of many other countries, receives a Philippine visa for 30 days, free of charge when entering the Philippines without a visa.

So, if you travel to the Philippines in less than 30 days, the only requirements that you must meet would be the following:

  • A passport valid for at least six months from the day you travel to the Philippines.

  • A flight reservation in the first 30 days. This will be requested in the country of origin.

The day of arrival and the day of departure together count as one day. You can stay in the country for 31 days without having to extend the visa.

The validity of the passport must exceed the desired length of stay by at least six months.

A return flight ticket may be requested upon entry. In the past, this was rarely checked, but in recent years it is now usually being checked.

Children younger than 15 years old must be accompanied by a parent on entry, otherwise, they need a "travel permit" in which the parents confirm that they agree to the entry. This permit is available from the Philippine Embassy.
illustration technology Philippine VISA

Visa Extension in the Philippines

It is now possible to extend the visa not only for one or two months (after the first 59 days) but also for 6 months. The costs for the extension are just over 7.000 PHP. On top of that, there are of course the costs for the ACR I-Card.

The 30 days Philippine Visa can be extended several times at the local immigration offices. Immigration Offices can be found in many medium and large cities. Sometimes the processing of the extension is done in 10 minutes, but can also take longer than 24 hours in exceptional cases, despite the payment of the obligatory express surcharge. Sometimes it can take a few days up to a few weeks, especially during the peak travel season. The processing time will generally vary from one immigration office to another.

The first extension of the Philippine Visa is valid for another 29 days, i.e. for a total stay in the country of 59 days. The costs are 3.130 PHP.

If your idea is to stay in the Philippines for up to 59 days, we will have two options, get a visa in advance in your country of origin or make the extension in the Philippines.

After that, the visa has to be renewed every 2 months. The costs for this are different for each extension:

  • Extension to 4 months: 4.150 PHP

  • Extension to 6 months: 2.930 PHP

The further extensions will cost between 2.800 and 4.300 PHP. An expensive extension alternates with a less expensive one. I.e. extension to 8 months over 4,000 PHP, to 10 months under 3,000 PHP, then again more expensive.

This process can now be repeated for 3 years (until recently it was 16 months, with a maximum total stay in the country of 24 months) until you have to leave the country for a short time, and then the process can start again.

Since 2010 there is a new regulation: all visitors to the country who stay in the country for more than 2 months must now have an ACR I-Card issued. This I-Card can be obtained from the Immigration Offices and is usually applied for at the same time as the extension of the visa. The issuing of the card can take up to one month or longer (in Manila it is faster). The card is then valid for one year. And, of course, expect to pay more, 50 USD, plus 500 PHP Express Lane fee.

So, if you want to stay in the Philippines for one year, you have to pay a total of about 24,000 PHP for the extension of your visa including the I-Card. It's a lot of money, but the advantage is that you don't have to enter another country, like Thailand, in short intervals but can stay in the country all the time.
passport and boarding pass on top of Philippine map

When leaving the country

Anyone who has been in the Philippines for more than 6 months needs an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) to leave the country. This will be asked by the Philippines’ Immigration Officers, so you must apply for this at least 72 hours before your departure to another country. 

You can get this clearance within a month before your departure. It should, however, only be used once. The ECC will only be valid for a month, so you need to leave the country within its validity. Otherwise, you might have to process it again. Three weeks before leaving the country, take three passport photos with you, and then you get this letter, which confirms that you are not guilty of anything in the Philippines. The costs are about 1,200 PHP.