Travel Documents for the Philippines

So you are ready to take a trip to the Philippines. Great! Here are the travel documents that you will need if you have a U.S. Passport.

  • A valid United States Passport that will be valid for at least 6 months beyond your contemplated length of stay.
  • A return plane ticket or an outbound ticket to another country.

When you arrive in the Philippines you will have to go thru immigration. Just jump in the correct line for foreign passport holders and wait your turn.

Once you get up to the immigration desk you will present your passport. The immigration officer will then generally ask you a few questions. What is the length and purpose of your visit? I have been asked what my occupation is at home. Mostly it is pretty quick and painless. They will then take your picture and enter you into their system.

As an American you will be given a Visa on arrival that is good for 30 days. So you do not have to get a Visa at the embassy in your home country prior to going to the Philippines. The immigration officer will then stamp an entry stamp in your passport.

You then go collect your luggage and head through customs.

When you leave the country you will check out with immigration and they will verify that you did not overstay your tourist visa. If you do there will be a fine. Once you are in the Philippines if you find that you need to stay longer, you can pay to have your visa extended for an additional 59 days. You can continue to extend your visa for two month interval for a fee, but only for a maximum period of two years.

Before the two years is up you can make a Visa Run to another country and stay twenty four hours before returning to the Philippines. If you do a Visa Run the two year clock starts over!

If you are married to a Filipina and she is travelling with you, she can use the balikbayan privilege to get you a 1 year visa free entry. In order to do this she must have her passport from the Philippines and your marriage certificate. In order for the Filipina to qualify if she is a citizen of the Philippines she must have been out of the country for at least one year with an exit stamp in her passport indicating that exit. If she is an American Citizen by naturalization, then she must have her old passport from the Philippines.

Happy travels!