Foreign travel advice

Philippines

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to the Philippines

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Philippine government has announced temporary entry restrictions.

British nationals will no longer be able to receive a visa on arrival and will not be able to enter the Philippines until further notice. Foreign spouses and children travelling with a Filipino national and members of international organisations already accredited to the Philippines will be exempt from this restriction.

From 1 August 2020, foreign nationals with long-term visas will be permitted to enter the Philippines subject to the following conditions:

  • Must have valid and existing visas at the time of entry. However, no new entry visa will be accepted;
  • Have made a booking with an accredited quarantine facility; and be subject to Covid-19 testing requirements.

Foreign nationals wishing to enter the Philippines must hold a visa under the following categories, otherwise they risk being turned away at the port of entry:

  • a non-immigrant visa issued under Section 13 of the Immigration act (Section 13 series visa: a,b,c,d,e,g);
  • those who acquired resident status under Republic Act 7919 or Alien Social Integration Act (RA 7919 visa);
  • those who availed of Executive Order 324 or Alien Legalization Program (EO 324 visa); and
  • native-born foreign nationals (Native-born visa).

Quarantine requirements

Passengers arriving at any international port of entry may be subjected to mandatory quarantine (for a maximum of 14 days) and/or be required to undergo Covid-19 testing on arrival. You are expected to pay the costs of your quarantine and/or Covid-19 testing.

Visas

As long as you have a valid visa you will be allowed to remain in the country, but will be required to observe the local government rules if your present location is under quarantine.

If your tourist visa expired during the ECQ period

You can apply for an extension, without penalty, up to 30 days after the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). If you have overstayed and are trying to leave the country, you can arrange a visa extension at international airports. There may be a standard fee in order to extend the visa but no penalty fee will be applied.

If your visa expired before the ECQ and you have been in the Philippines for more than 12 months

Any fines and penalties will need to be settled in a Bureau of Immigration (BI) sub-port office. The list of BI sub-port offices may be found at the Bureau of Immigration website.

If your visa expired before the ECQ and you have been in the Philippines for less than 12 months

Any fines and penalties may be settled at the airport before your departure.

Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC)

You should refer to the Bureau of Immigration website to check if you are required to pay for an ECC. Instructions and a checklist can also be found at the Bureau of Immigration website. You can settle this at the airport before your departure.

All ACR I cardholders are generally required to pay for the ECC upon departure. Those with approved visas but who are yet to receive their ACR I cards can show their receipt at the airport. Foreigners with approved visa applications which have not yet been issued can present their valid passport, DOJ endorsement or Certification from the approving office and receipt.

Alien Certificate of Registration-Identity Card

The Bureau of Immigration has temporarily suspended the filing for renewal of ACR I-cards during the imposition of the MECQ period 4-18 August. This is with the exception of those persons departing the Philippines. The Bureau has advised that it shall waive the payments of fines and penalties for renewals of outbound passengers whose ACR cards will expire during the period of MECQ.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassy before you travel, which will allow an initial 59 day stay.

You can apply to extend your stay at the offices of the Bureau of Immigration. Overstaying without the proper authority is a serious matter and can lead to detention pending payment of outstanding fees and fines and voluntary deportation at your own expense. The British Embassy is aware of cases where visitors trying to extend their stay in the Philippines by regular renewals of tourist visas have been challenged on arrival by Philippine immigration officials. If you wish to stay long-term in the Philippines, make sure you do so in full accordance with Philippine immigration regulations.

Evidence of onward travel

Entry to the Philippines may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of return or onward travel - for example an onward or return air ticket.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Departure tax

If you’re leaving the country from Cebu Mactan airport you must pay a departure tax of 850 pesos in local currency or the equivalent in US dollars. There’s no longer a departure tax at Manila airport. This information is subject to change and you should check with local authorities before you travel.

Visiting Boracay Island

Boracay Island reopened to visitors in October 2018 after a six-month closure for environmental improvements. If you’re planning to visit the island, you will need to have evidence of a confirmed booking with an accredited hotel. You should take local advice on documentation and port of entry to the island before you travel.

Living, working or studying in the Philippines

If you intend to live, work, or study in the Philippines you’ll need to have certain UK documents (eg birth certificates, marriage certificates, UK police certificates, school documents) legalised by the FCO Legalisation Office and by the Philippine Embassy in London before relocating to the Philippines. These documents are required by the local authorities when applying for long-term resident visas. Contact the Legalisation Office and the Philippine Embassy in London for more details.

Children travelling to the Philippines without their parents

Non-Filipino children under the age of 15, who are not travelling with a parent or joining a parent in the Philippines, must apply for a Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG) for entry into the Philippines. You can do this at the Philippine Embassy in London or on arrival through the Bureau of Immigration. For either application, you will need to submit the right documentation and pay a fee. For more information and details of payment, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs’ website

If a minor under the age of 15 is travelling to visit a parent they should carry a copy of their parents’ resident visa.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry, airside transit and exit fromthe Philippines. If you plan to use an ETD to enter Philippines, the ETD should be valid for 6 months from the date of arrival and have a valid Philippine visa. Check entry requirements with the nearest Philippine Embassy before you travel.

If you apply for an ETD from the British Embassy in Manila, you should get the necessary stamps from the Bureau of Immigration and confirm your Philippine visa is up to date before attempting to leave the Philippines otherwise you’re likely to face problems at the point of departure.