Philippine Immigration Extends Visa-Free Entry to 30 Days

Starting in August, nationals from 151 countries may now enter the country without a visa and stay here for 30 days, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced. 

BI OIC Commissioner Siegfred Mison (former Commissioner David has resigned)  disclosed that the visa-free entry privilege of the said nationals was extended from 21 days to 30 days as part of government efforts to spur foreign tourist arrivals in the country. 

He added that pursuant to existing bilateral agreements, nationals from Israel and Brazil shall continue to be admitted for an initial stay of 59 days. Interesting as to why these two countries' citizens can visit for 59 days. Has it to do with the "existing bilateral agreements" per the BI announcement or these lovely super models from the respective countries? 

(Brazilian super model, Adriana Lima. A good reason to give a 59 day pass to Brazilians. Photo Sourcecoltsrevolver.wordpress.com)

The BI chief, however, stressed that foreigners can only avail of the visa-free privilege if their passports are valid for at least six months beyond their contemplated period of stay. 

“They should also present return tickets to their country of origin or onward tickets to their next country of destination,” he said. 

(Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot from "Fast and Furious 6" makes a good case for allowing Israelis to stay longer. Photo Source: Barnorma.com)

The Bureau of Immigration has finished updating its computerized travel control systems in the different ports of entry to implement the new visa policy. 

Earlier, the government announced that it was extending the visa-free entry privileges of foreign visitors to spur tourist arrivals in the country.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it aims to attract at least 10 million foreign tourists by 2016.

DOT officials also foresee the tourism sector to generate up to seven million jobs for Filipinos if the said target is achieved.

A welcome change by BI which should prove beneficial to those foreigners planning to visit the Philippines. I commend the Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Tourism for this excellent revision. Tip of the lizard's tail

(Photo Source: www.incrediblethings.com)

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO" aka "THE CRUSTY OLD EXPAT." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 18 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

10 thoughts on “Philippine Immigration Extends Visa-Free Entry to 30 Days

  1. The Philippines is having a hard time getting folks to visit here. They really need to work on the Asia market. A winter golf tour in the Philippines would bring in the folks from Japan. They love golf and pay big bucks to play it. Japan has snow, we don’t!

    😛

    1. Good idea, Gary. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe and President Aquino recently met and made nicey nice. A golf tour sounds like a good way to bring in more visitors. With Taiwan warning their citizens not to visit the Philippines in retaliation for the Philippines Coast Guard killing an unarmed Taiwanese fisherman (and did you see the recent rescue of stranded Filipino fishermen by the Taiwanese Coast Guard?) a golf tour surely couldn’t hurt.

      Along with recent travel advisories regarding the situation in Mindanao, for example, the CDO bombing (which Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas declared “was intended to harm as many people as possible.” Yeah, you think?), which is making the Philippine Tourism Dept.’s job that much more difficult.

  2. Dave,
    It’s a good deal about the visas. We are sitting here in Narita, Japan waiting to go on our final leg to the Philippines. Didn’t get any sleep in the 12 1/2 hr flight from Chicago. Take care. See you soon

  3. Super Dave,

    Excluding the one year Balikbayan Visa which some of us avail of, a 59 or 60 day VISA for everyone would be a good start to bring in tourist, at the end of which, apply for and receive an automatic extension up to 180 days..and so on.

    How about letting expats buy and own residential land but limit it to maybe lets say 1000 sqm to 2000 sqm tops. Or letting a business or corporation come in and open up and not have to be 60% owned by a philippine partner.

    Maybe hire employees for more than 6 months or a year and give them benefits. Just a thought :-).

    John D

    1. John D, I think the Bureau of Immigration should automatically extend a 59 or 60 day visa to any gorgeous super models. But that’s just my humble opinion.

      You have a good idea on letting expats buy land, in 1000-2000 sqm increments, but with the current President strongly opposing Cha-cha, Charter change, it’s doubtful that progressive ideas which would give foreigners more ownership options in the Philippines will come any time soon.

      A handful of families and business control a great majority of the wealth and hold most of the power in the PH. They do not want foreign countries to be able to have majority ownership in any businesses and thus, lose control of that power. Charter change, a change in the Constitution, though sought after by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., an ally of the president, does not seem to be in the cards.

      The Philippines is ranked at the bottom of countries in Asia that receive foreign investments. The current Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, coupled with the bureaucracy and widespread corruption,are the underlying reasons for that.

  4. Super Dave,

    I fully agree on automatic visa extentions for super models, but instead of 59 to 60 days, lets just make it 365 days :-). It’s mind boggleing that the current president is opposed to such changes as his family lived in the U.S. for years and benefited greatly with being able to own a house and such here, and they were not “citizens”.

    People seem to forget where they came from and how they benefited once in power, seems to be the case every where. And yes a few families there more or less own the majority of and run the country to their benefit. Thats one of the reasons FEDEX pulled out from subic, they were not going to be lets just say muscled into paying ever increasing make believe taxes or fee’s to operate there. As well as being opposed by those certain families wanting their cuts and then being taken to the circus court over not being partially owned by a filipino. So it was more economical for FEDEX to pull out which they did. Those certain families or so called corporations that were owned by those certain families didn’t get squat, but hundreds of filipinos lost good paying jobs and no one in the government there cared. Imagine that!

    Oh heck lets just make it an automatic visa for 365 days for all super models :-).

    John D.

    1. I’m all for that 365 day visa for super models, John D. I think that’s a brilliant idea. 😀

      FEDEX is experiencing what many foreign and domestic companies experience in the Philippines. The difficulty of doing business in the Philippines. Here’s some info from the recent 2013 World Bank “Doing Business 2013” report: “The Philippines slipped two notches in the global rankings of the ease in doing business—to 138th from 136th—due to the absence of significant reforms to speed up dealings of enterprises with various government agencies. …it [the Philippines] lags in the implementation of regulatory reforms that would make it easier for local entrepreneurs to conduct their businesses,” the report said.

      Until the widespread corruption is dealt with and the enormous amount of red tape reduced, I don’t see foreign investors flocking to the Philippines anytime soon. Too bad. Jobs are needed here and not just jobs that force Filipinos to leave their home and work abroad.

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