In addition to having internationally acclaimed beaches, a hospitable english-speaking population, and a very affordable cost of living, the Philippines also has one of the most traveller friendly tourist visas in the world. It’s possible to stay in the country long term on a tourist visa without needing to buy an international flight for a visa run. Though the visa fees can get costly, it’s often cheaper and always less time-consuming than it would be to do a visa run.
First time visitors are often confused about the Philippines tourist visa policies. Here are some of the questions that I’ve heard over and over regarding Philippines tourist visas:
How much does a visa to the Philippines cost?
The Philippines Bureau of Immigration allows citizens of many countries to enter the Philippines for tourist purposes without a visa. For many nationalities, you can visit the Philippines without a visa for up to 30 days. This applies to a whopping 155 countries. Brazilians and Israelis have it the best and are able to stay 59 days without a visa! Find out if your nationality is eligible for entry without a visa in the Philippines here. If you want to stay longer, you will need to purchase and organize a visa extension to stay in the Philippines.
How much does the 59 day visa, or visa extension cost in the Philippines?
The cost will vary based on your age. It is cheaper for minors < under 16 years of age. In the Philippines, a price for things like this is rarely straightforward. I have included a screenshot of all the seemingly random fee’s that added to the visa application process. My personal favorite is the sticker fee, what is that?
I have created a simplified list of the cost of a 59 day visa extension in the Philippines. The breakdown of all costs associated with applying for a 59 day visa extension, as well as a visa application checklist can be found here.
- Below 14 years old:
1 month: PHP 3, 150. 00
2 month: PHP 3, 650. 00
- 14 – 16 years old below:
1 month: PHP 4, 150.00
2 months: PHP 4, 650.00
- Adult (16 years old and above):
PHP 4, 400.00
PHP 4, 900.00
It is worth noting that this should not be taken at face value. There are other Philippine visa cost variations when applying for:
- ACR I-Card
- Restricted nationals
- Tourists staying longer than 7 months.
The complete information on visa cost can be found on the PH Immigration website.
Do I need to show proof of an onward flight to visit the Philippines? What if I have an ACR I-Card?
You absolutely need to show proof of an onward flight before entering the Philippines. You will not be allowed to board your arrival flight without an itinerary showing your travel plans to leave the Philippines within the period your visa is valid. Showing the itinerary on your phone or laptop is not always enough, so it is probably still worth printing it. It is not fun to worry about missing an international flight because you’re hastily trying to purchase a flight last minute and figure out how to print your receipt in the airport.
Having an ACR I-Card does not count as having an entry visa. Therefore, even if you have a current ACR I-Card for long term Philippine tourists, you will still need to show proof of onward travel before entering the Philippines.
Pro tip: try our onward flight hack to provide proof of onward travel for the Philippines, without booking a flight!
Can I extend my visa on the day that it expires?
Yes, although I don’t recommend it. Check to make sure your expiration date isn’t on a holiday or weekend as the Bureau of Immigration is closed those days. This will result in you overstaying your tourist visa. If you try to extend your visa on the day it expires, and are not able to because you run into a problem, you will need to pay a fine for overstaying.
What happens if I overstay my Philippines Tourist visa?
Overstaying visas in the Philippines is unfortunately somewhat common due to a number of factors, some intentional but some not. It is worth noting that once you overstay, you are illegally staying in the Philippines. Depending on the severity of your overstay, you could also be deported. This means that you may also have trouble getting visas for other countries, so I don’t recommend it.
How much do I have to pay if I overstay my visa in the Philippines?
Accidents do happen, though, and if you do overstay your Philippines visa, you’ll need to pay a fine and deal with the disapproval of the immigration officers. The cost of overstaying your visa in the Philippines varies based on how long you have overstayed. As mentioned above, the fine also comes with a chance of getting deported from the Philippines, which can cause all sorts of problems with getting visas for other countries. The costs of overstaying your visa in the Philippines are outlined below. Please be aware these are subject to change.
- 4,310 From One day to One Month Overstay
- 13,000 Total for Up to Three Month Overstay
- 18,000 Total for Up to Six Months Overstay
- 30,000 Total for Up to Twelve Months Overstay
- 60,000 Total for Up to Two Years Overstay
- 150,000 Total for Up to Five Years Overstay
- 300,000 Total for Up to Ten Years Overstay
- 440,000 Total for Up to Fifteen Years Overstay
(Updated Sept 2017)
Is it cheaper to overstay the visa rather than pay for the visa extension?
In short, no it is not cheaper to overstay your Philippines visa.
Though it might be tempting to work out the cost of travel, plus the cost of the visa and realise that it would be cheaper, not to mention easier, to overstay your visa in the Philippines and pay the fine at the airport, this is a common misconception. If you try this, you will be slapped with not only the fine, but also the cost of renewing your visa at the airport.
Do I need to purchase a visa when the valid Philippines visa time period is up?
Sort of. If you are a citizen of a country given 30 days visa free, then at the 30 day mark you will need to purchase a Philippines visa extension that is good for an additional 29 days. The total cost of the visa waiver is 3,130php. Previously it was 3,030php, but a 100php sticker fee has been added, at least at the Bureau of Immigration in Surigao.
What happens if I want to stay in the Philippines longer than 59 days?
Staying longer than 59 days requires a visa and an ACR I-Card. All Bureaus of Immigration can handle visa extensions of 1 or 2 months. Offices in larger cities allow for 3 or 6 month visa extensions.
What should I bring to immigration when I extend my Philippines visa?
- Enough cash to pay for your visa or visa waiver. They usually have ATM’s near the immigration bearue, but, Philippine ATM’s can be very unreliable. If you want to get in and out of there as soon as quick as you can, be prepared.
- A recent 2×2 photograph of yourself for the application form (depending on the office — it’s an outdated requirement but as of October 2016 some offices were still requesting them)
- Close-toed shoes, a shirt that covers your shoulders, and pants (depending on the office)
I know I’m going to be staying long-term in the Philippines, can I apply for a long term Philippines visa in my home country?
Yes, you can apply for a visa in your home country. It will save a lot of visits to Bureau of Immigration offices and could be more cost effective and less chaotic. If you are planning to extend your visa in the Philippines and stay longer than 29 days, then I highly recommend taking the time to get the 59 day visa in your home country.
Do I need to visit an immigration office before I leave the Philippines?
Visitors that stay longer than six months will need to purchase an Emigration Clearance Certificate. The ECC is good for 1 month and should be purchased at least 72 hours before departure. It costs 1,210php.
The Philippine visa extension process can be mildly confusing. However, it’s great to be able to stay in such a beautiful country for a long period of time without needing to leave. Questions or additions? Leave it in the comments!