The Basics You Should Know About Immigration Law in Manila, Philippines

Due to its attractiveness, environment, modern facilities, living standards, and safety controls, the Philippines, a community of 7,107 islands, has become a popular expat destination for individuals from all over the world.


In comparison, similar to western countries, the cost of living in this country is comparatively modest. Many individuals have migrated to this island nation from the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe to start up their business, seek jobs or retire.


Before deciding to go somewhere, it is essential to read about immigration regulations and documentation. Below are some of the fundamentals of immigration law in Manila, Philippines.


Authorities for Visas

Before entering the country, all foreign nationals intending to travel to the Philippines should apply to the Consulate or Embassy in their residence for a visa.


The Labor and Jobs Department is responsible for ensuring that foreigners in the Philippines perform their business and other transactions within the permitted period.


Passports and other travel-related documents are checked on arrival and departure by officials of the immigration department.



A passport should be valid for at least six months after the planned end of your stay, much as in other countries.


Visa exemptions have been issued to residents of about 157 foreign countries by the Filipino authorities. Without applying for a visa beforehand, people of specific nationalities may enter the country. For a limited number of days, they even have permission to stay.


Before traveling, tourists who wish to stay in the Philippines must apply for a visa and secure it for a more extended time.


A person who has been admitted as a non-immigrant to the Philippines can not remain permanently there. To be permanently admitted, a person must willingly leave the Philippines and receive a visa before other formalities, such as inspection, are completed.


Types of Visa

There are various visa types issued in the Philippines to foreigners who visit or stay in the country. These are:

  • Temporary Visit Visa
  • Transient Visa
  • Seaman’s Visa
  • Treaty Trader/ Investor Visa
  • Diplomatic Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Employment Visa (Prearranged)
  • Special Non-Immigrant Visa
  • Multiple Entry Special Visa
  • Special Resident Visa


The documents can vary. Foreigners should consult whether which type of visa applies to them before submitting their application.


Five types of Special Resident Visa can be issued:

  • Special Investor’s Resident Visa
  • Visa of Special Investors Resident in Projects related to Tourism & Tourism Establishments
  • Special Investors Retirees Visa
  • Subic Special Investors Visa
  • Subic Special Retirees Visa


Permanent Resident Visa for Foreigners Married to Filipino Citizens

Any foreign national is eligible for permanent residency based on marriage to a citizen under the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must demonstrate:


  • The marriage to the Philippine person is legitimate and is recognized under the current laws of the country
  • There are no records in any law enforcement agency of any derogatory data against them.
  • They have not suffered from any dangerous or contagious illnesses.
  • They have enough financial means to support themselves and their families
  • They were permitted to enter the Philippines and allowed to stay by the appropriate authorities.


It is necessary to remember that permanent resident visas are only made available to residents of locations that offer Filipino nationals’ equivalent privileges.


“Quota immigrants” with a single ethnicity can be accepted into the Philippines for no more than 50 days in a calendar year, according to the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. There are no other “non-quota refugee” limits.


To protect foreign workers’ rights, laws stipulated by the Bureau of Labor & Employment have been put in place.


These are the basics; the Philippines’ immigration regulations are very complex, and it is better to obtain legal guidance when applying for a job or residency visa. If you want to know more about the immigration law in Manila, Philippines, contact us today!