Visa extensions and requirements for the Philippines

Basic visa requirements for entry

Probably the best resource to find out the visa requirements for entry into any country is the embassy of the country of your passport that is located in Philippines. So if you are a Canadian passport holder, simply go to the website of the Canadian embassy in Philippines. Otherwise, this Philippines government site might give you some quick answers. But generally, to obtain a 90 day visa on arrival, the following conditions could apply:

Temporary Visitors Visa

For visitors coming for business, pleasure, medical treatment, training, attendance in conferences, meetings and workshops/seminars.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Passport/Travel Document Valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines;
  • Duly Accomplished Visa application form;
  • Proof of bona fide status as tourist or businessman;
  • Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination;

Beach-life-coron-Palawan-best-island-vacation-boat-tour-palawan visa requirements

Transient Visa

For visitors passing in transit to a destination outside the Philippines.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Passport/Travel Document Valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines;
  • Duly Accomplished Visa application form;
  • Proof of bona fide status as tourist or businessman; and
  • Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination;

Sand-bar-Sibaltan-Palawan-private-boat-tours-Palawan visa extension

Extending your visa

The conditions can be various. For example, I started off in a smaller city, Puerto Princesa, and originally came in with a 30 day allowable limit. After which I was entitled to extend it one month, and a second time two months. After that I had the option of going to either Cebu or Manila to extend it for six months total. Fortunately, as explained below, I found a trustworthy agency in Manila who I could leave my passport with, and for a small extra fee, they would renew my visa every six months. This was amazingly convenient if living on a remote island like I did. But after three years I was required to leave the country, even if only for one day, before I could return. I guess the border guards want to see you in person. I also needed to obtain NBI clearance (permission to leave), I guess to prove I had a clean record and no outstanding debts.

But others often ride out the storm as long as they like and just pay the small fine on departure (perhaps with a short jail time).

My own story in obtaining a visa entry and extension

visa-extension-philippinesOne of the reasons why I decided to move to the Philippines is because visa requirements are so easy and inexpensive. Unlike something like Thailand, which was a total pain.

For most countries they will automatically give you a 30 day visa on arrival, but if you plan to stay in the Philippines longer, I would suggest you get a 30 day extension on arrival (because it can be expensive and timely to get to the visa extension place). Otherwise, once in country, you can easily get extensions, but only in certain places. Such as Manila and Cebu (where you can also get 6 month extensions), or Puerto Princesa (not far from the airport) in Palawan, but where you can only get a maximum of 2 months extension every time.

I found the pricing a bit strange, as it seems to vary depending on which extension. The first one can be the most expensive (per month) and should be a maximum of 30 days. After that you can get 2 or 6 month extensions. I am currently paying about 8,000p for a six month extension, through the following agency (they can also arrange domestic and international ticketing for you):

494 Soldado Street,Ermita, Manila
Tel. (02)5219192/ (02) 5219193
Mobile: 09997885911

Which is great, because I can leave them my passport and do not have to leave my beautiful island every six months, the cost of which (including getting back and staying at least one night in Manila) can easily cost as much as the extension itself. They are located near to the Bureau of Immigration as explained below.

Live on a beautiful island in the Philippines while others can renew your visa and extension.
The island I lived on at the time.

You can also refer to a list of agencies accredited by the bureau (the above agency is on that list), or two discussions about the subject on facebook: 1 and 2. You can use LBC to courier your passport, although some have said they no longer permit that, but I haven’t had a problem. Others have suggested the 2Go ferry.

Live in paradise, don’t have to leave, except once every three years and it need only be for a very brief time (out-in). But hey, while doing so, might as well explore some of the nearby countries before heading back. I love the ease with which I can stay in this country. Just make sure you have a flight out ticket within 30 days, otherwise the airline may not let you back in.

Update: turns out you definitely need to show a flight out on your return, as you had to when you came for the first time. And if you have any time remaining on your six month extension, all that will be lost and you will have to start over. Through airasia I found a flight within 30 days to Taipei for only $45, subtracting luggage and insurance from the default. Not a bad extra cost every three years. But if you want to save you can try some fake plane ticket sites such as From them I received the following:

They prepare it for you during their operating hours, so make sure you plan a little in advance (ticket good for about 48 hours). Another suggested site is, or through you can get it done for free with a little extra work (the others are about $10 a pop).

Or onward ticket.

Leaving the country after a long stay

After finding the above agency, I simply couriered them my passport, they charge 700p extra to process each extension (which I’m even moreso happy to pay just to not have to endure another long visit to the immigration office), but when it was time to leave around the three year mark, I was alarmed to find out that I need to get an exit clearance!


Unfortunately, in this case, I had to go down to the immigration bureau myself so that they could scan in my thumb and finger prints. Biometric details they call it, and Big Brother is growing big and fat all around the world. Why they couldn’t do this at the border like they do in Thailand, I don’t know. Anyway, it takes 3-5 business days to process, meaning you may have to stay for a few days in Manila.

Fortunately, I found a nice couchsurfing host to let me stay at her place for a couple of weeks, and although Uber taxis were a great improvement over the regular ripoffs, that too quickly became old and I found much better and cheaper ways to…

How to get around Manila (you can also get a six month extension in Cebu)

Uber is great in Manila, but it still gets expensive if you need to move around a lot. Grab is another uber-like service in Manila, but I heard several negative things about it. Below is what I found how to get around based on where I was staying and my needs, but I warn you, I like walking! Keeps you in shape and a great way to discover a city.


The arrow above is where the Bureau of Immigration is, and the red circle to the bottom right of the Market Market balloon is where I was staying.

Getting the Uber and Maps.Me apps on your smartphone is definitely a good way to prepare yourself for a longer stay in Manila.

Because I needed to do a lot of shopping and errands while in Manila, I already knew that Market Market is a good central place for shopping and errands. It is spacious and green, very pedestrian friendly, and you can find everything you need. But after a few days of ubering there, I discovered a wonderful, secret path.


There is one sole bridge crossing this little river, and this is the rough path I chose. Here is a lovely pic as I cross the bridge:


When I told my host I found a way how to walk to Market Market in about 40 minutes (not much longer than the taxis, as they crawl through traffic and are constantly stuck in one way stretches), she dismissed it as a possibility, arguing it is dangerous.

As a seasoned world traveler, traveling for 15 years to 38 countries thanks to my online job, I have passed through a ton of such neighbourhoods and never found them to be dangerous (but true, I’m a guy, and I like to walk barefoot – so perhaps a bit crazy and scary looking). Just because people are poor does not mean they are dangerous. In fact, I often find them more hospitable, giving and open than the rich folks, who are afraid of the poor people because they like to hold so dearly to all their possessions.

Hanging out with the locals outside a 711.
Anyway, it’s a nice walk I did almost every day, made a bunch of friends along the way, but now to get to the immigration office.


At the back of Market Market is where all the jeepneys, taxis and buses stop. You want to take the BGC East Express bus, which takes you straight to the Ayala MRT (above ground train) station. But every time I took it, the traffic was so slow I wished I was walking outside – especially because it was a particularly treey and green area, not because I wanted to save 12 pesos.

From Ayala station you take the MRT train to the end station Taft:


On the MRT line (blue on the map) it takes you to Taft station, from where it is a short walk to Edsa station on the LRT (yellow) line. You want to be going in the direction of Roosevelt station (when deciding on which platform to stand on). From there you want to go to Carriedo station.

Once you get off Carriedo, it’s an easy walk to the Bureau of Immigration:


It’s a nice walk too! That entire distance would cost about 400p by uber and about an hour, or 45p by public transport and maybe 2.5 hours. So $7 bucks savings for the extra 1.5 hours, but so much to explore along the way. Make a fun day trip out of it, if you have the time!

P.S.  On the street someone suggested taking the train north from Carriedo to some station, I think he said Doroteo Jose, just one stop to the north, from where you can take a jeepney straight to Market Market. Jeepneys tend to be crammed and sweaty, but can be fun too. It could be a shorter route.


Potentially yes. After you have stayed here for a certain time (perhaps at least two months), you will need an NBI clearance before you leave. Basically you must go to some police branch where they confirm you have a clean record and perhaps owe no institutional debts. Make sure you check this out thoroughly before making the long and expensive trek to Manila!

Tag: visa

Depends on which country your passport is from, but generally often 90 days. Best is to consult your embassy in Manila or refer to the information above.

Tag: visa

Not really, just make sure you are prepared well in advance, so there are no last second surprises. Again, it depends on which country you are from and where you are applying, but if applying in the big centers like Manila or Cebu, you can easily get a six month extension, and keep repeating that until your stay in the country has reached three years. After which you need to at least cross the border briefly before starting the process all over again.

Tag: visa

For a temporary visitor or tourist visa, the general minimum requirements are:

  • Passport/Travel Document Valid for at least six (6) months beyond the intended period of stay in the Philippines;
  • Duly Accomplished Visa application form;
  • Proof of bona fide status as tourist or businessman;
  • Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination;

But again, this can vary depending on the country of your passport, so make sure to check with your embassy in Manila.

Tag: visa


island-hopping-rural-philippines visa entry requirements

Now that you are in, some Vacation Ideas

And now that you have a travel visa or extension, what to do with it? So much to see in the beautiful country of 7,000 islands! We are happy to give you our suggestions (such as suggested travel routes), or if you’d like to see the cream of the crop, check out our Palawan boat tours between and in El Nido and Coron!

visa extensions and requirements in Island hopping in the Philippines

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines

05:51 03 Apr 24
I give 5 stars because they actually helped me to arrange the tour to Balabac in last minute. However, because the money wired through the local bank in my country took time to be processed, so i missed the boat due to peak season as many people paid before my money was received by the tour guide.As most of people usually feel, once your money has been transferred out to someone you do not know, you probably frustrated that your money would not be able to be refunded.But not in my experience. I dont need to be worry, the owner refunded me the money he has received (minus the bank fees). He promised to refund me and he did it. It was around 18.700 Pesos.So, eventhough i didn't manage to go with the tour, but i am really satisfied with their legitimate and great business practice. Hopefully, people will try their services and not worry about their legit business!Thanks a lot!
Chloe BlanchardChloe Blanchard
13:38 27 Mar 24
The most wonderful experience from booking to beach! Karel and Mel were so fast and responsive to my very last minute trip over the holidays. We booked a private boat for two and could not have been happier with our four day trip! We didn’t think about anything other than snorkeling the entire time. Linda, our captain, cooked wonderful meals and took us to totally empty beautiful beaches. We loved staying the night in Pical especially! Wonderful to experience the Philippines this way! Will come back again and would recommend to anyone!
hotel luci del farohotel luci del faro
08:13 31 Jan 24
We booked the 3 day 2 night expedition, from Coron to Sibaltan.First of all the booking part was really simple. I organized this trip to the Philippines last minute for my family (my parents and my uncles) but Karel answered all my questions very quickly and really made everything easier for me. It was an incredible experience. Albert, our tour leader, is a wonderful guy, always smiling and ready to help us. They assisted us in everything and really took care of making everything go smoothly. The accommodation on the islands is as spartan as you expect but the location of each hut alone is worth the trip. The wonder of nature was then added to the goodness of cuisine. It's really difficult to argue how you can cook all that goodness on a boat.If you are looking for an authentic experience, in contact with nature, off the beaten track, this company's private expedition is certainly for you.
Kate BrownKate Brown
00:22 27 Oct 23
What an unforgettable experience! We did a two night (3 day) island hopping tour from Sibaltan to Coron. Everything was so well organized and the boat crew were amazing and really made sure we had a great time. The accommodation was rustic, but added to the authentic experience of the Philippines. Karel always responded to any queries we had promptly. Our boatman, Albert, was the most amazing chef and we enjoyed every meal. The crew taught the kids how to fish with a line which was their highlight of the trip. They took us to the most unbelievable snorkelling spots along the way. Would highly recommend this trip.
Ian PascualIan Pascual
02:43 10 Aug 23
One of the most amazing, unforgettable things you can do in your life
Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the stunning Bacuit Gulf.Based on the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The on-board staff were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful