The C9 Guide to Visa Applications in the Philippines

by Phillip Lew


Visa application is one of the biggest nuisances when traveling abroad. For the locals and foreigners planning to travel, the ever-dynamic rules in the visa application process in various nations may deter a person’s plans to travel. Besides, many applicants may get discouraged by the extremely tedious, time-consuming and expensive visa application process. Some travelers may get confused on the type of visas they need for travel making the process even more daunting and frustrating. Many applicants hence end up committing avoidable mistakes leading to visa rejection.

Fortunately, to save your time and pain, organizations such as C9 Digital in the Philippines, can help you with the entire legal work. The organization ensures that visa applicants save time and avoid emotional turmoil.

This article will orient you to the visa application process and clear out the misinformation around the process to ensure that you successfully apply for a visa to any country you may wish to travel to.

Visa Application for Filipino Citizens Traveling Abroad

Philippine citizens require a visa to enter various countries such as the USA, UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, and China among other countries of interest. Depending on the purpose of your visit to these nations, there are various visa types to choose from.

Types of Visas for Filipinos Travelling Abroad

Nonimmigrant Visas

These include: Tourist visa, Student Visa and Work Visa.

1. Tourist Visa

The tourist visa is for people traveling abroad temporarily maybe for business, pleasure or medical treatment. For instance, when traveling to the US, the B-1 visa is required for attending business meetings or educational conferences. The B-2 visa is for visiting a relative, pleasure or medical treatment.

Documents Required:

Generally, to acquire a business or a tourist visa you must have;

  • A valid DFA-issued passport
  • A valid visa
  • A return ticket

When seeking a US tourist visa, the application items include;

  • A non-immigrant visa electronic application form (DS-160)
  • A valid passport with a valid date at least 6 months
  • One 5cmx 5cm photograph
  • Payment of US$160 nonrefundable nonimmigrant application fee
  • An interview appointment letter

2. Student Visa

If you are a student living in the Philippines you will require a student visa to study abroad. The student visa is made for students’ ready to begin their study abroad adventure. Before beginning the student visa application process, the applicants must first be approved by their schools. Once approved, the educational institutions will avail the necessary approval documentation needed for the student visa application process.

It is vital to note that the types of student visa vary depending on the country you wish to study. For instance;

  • i) To study in France, Filipino students require a VLS-TS type of visa.
  • ii) To study in the United Kingdom require a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
  • iii) To study in the United States, a Philippine student can apply an F-1 Visa or an M-1 visa. The most common type of the US student visa is the F-1 Visa which is for foreigners that wish to study in accredited U.S. colleges, secondary schools or the approved program. The M-1 student visa is for students wishing to engage in non-academic, training, or vocational study in the US.

Documents Required:

Regardless of the country you wish to study in, Filipinos applying for a student visa require the following documents;Regardless of the country you wish to study in, Filipinos applying for a student visa require the following documents;

  • Proof of payment for the application fee
  • Proof that you can support your living costs during the study program
  • Medical test documents
  • Identification documents (passport)
  • Approval form from your school or program

3. Work Visa

Work visas are given to Filipinos who wish to work temporarily in foreign countries like the US. Countries may offer a work visa based on the type of work one will be doing. The employer must file a petition before an employee applies for a work visa. For Filipinos looking to work in the US, there are over 10 types of US work visas of which one must meet certain requirements to qualify.

  • Proof of payment for the application fee
  • Medical test documents
  • Identification documents (passport)
  • A copy of the employment contract
  • Several passport-sized pictures

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are given to foreign nationals who intend to travel and live permanently in a foreign country. For instance, Filipinos wishing to relocate permanently to the United States require an immigrant visa.

Immigrant visas to other countries are processed by the Philippines citizens at the specific embassies. Immigrant visa categories may be family-based or employment-based. When immigrating to other countries, most nations require one to be sponsored by a citizen relative, the permanent resident governing body or a prospective employer. The sponsor must file a petition on the behalf of a Filipino wishing to immigrate to that country. Other categories of immigrant visas include diversity visa, marriage visas, for orphans to be adopted abroad among others.

Documents Required:

The departure requirements for emigrant Filipino citizens are as follows;

  • A valid passport
  • Immigrant visa/residence card
  • CFO emigrant registration sticker (ERS)
  • A valid travel ticket
  • Birth certificate
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Marriage records
  • For Filipino minors traveling alone or without parents, a DSWD travel clearance is required.

For more information check out this link

VISA Approval Tips

Applying for a visa can be a real struggle. Coming from a country such as the Philippines, processes and the interviews can naturally be rigorous. However, regardless of the disappointing stories that you have heard, read or seen, it is absolutely possible to acquire a visa. Here are some of the visa approval tips;

  • Accomplish the requirements
  • Submit ONLY authentic requirements
  • Provide as much evidence as necessary
  • Collect passport stamps
  • Fill in your application form well
  • Seek advice from experts
  • Know where to consult in case of visa rejection

Visa Approval Interview Tips

Interview success is highly impacted by the submitted documents but if you have genuine papers and genuine intentions of traveling, you should not get nervous. Ensure you answer the interview questions perfectly especially those on the purpose of visiting and the length of stay. Be honest and precise. Other helpful tips include;

  • Dress appropriately
  • Be polite and confident
  • Use English (where applicable)

Visa Application for Foreign Nationals Traveling to the Philippines

There are fourteen different types of visas for foreign nationals looking to visit the Philippines. The visas are also grouped as non-immigrant or immigrant visas. Some foreign nationals are exempted from visa application depending on the length and purpose of their stay. Read more here about visa-exempt foreign nationals

Type of Visas for Foreign Nationals Traveling to the Philippines

Non-Immigrant Visas

These are the types of visas offered to foreigners that travel to the Philippines temporary for business, pleasure, tourism, study or employment.

Non-immigrant visas may be due to the purposes of trade, transit, and education. Under section 9, types of immigrant visas include;

  • Temporary visitor visa-A TVV is given to foreign nationals with no reciprocity agreement in the Philippines but has a valid marriage with the Filipino. It allows the applicant to stay in the Philippines for five years. The application process takes 12 months. Read more on this link:
  • Seaman’s visa- A visa offered to a seaman seeking entry to the Philippines temporarily.
  • Diplomatic visa-A visa for foreign diplomats known by the Philippines government.
  • Student visa-A visa given for foreign citizens wishing to study in the Philippines.
  • Pre-arranged employment visa-A visa given to foreign citizens seeking to engage in lawful occupation in the Philippines.
  • Investor visa-A visa given to a business professional conducting trade between the Philippines and another country.
  • Transient visa-A visa offered for transit purposes.
  • Tourist visa- This is necessary for stays within 30 days.

Special Visas

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are classified into quota immigrant visas and non-quota immigrant visas.

  • Non-quota immigrant visas are ideal for children and spouses of Filipinos and natural-born Filipinos returning to the country. The most popular type of non-quota immigrant visa is the marriage visa. This is offered to a foreign national on the basis of his valid marriage to a Philippine citizen.
  • Quota Immigrant visas are visas given to foreigners who wish to do business in the Philippines that can benefit the nation. Every year, 50 quota immigrant visas are given.

For foreigners planning to work in the Philippines, they must apply for an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) based on the Philippines Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). An ACR I-Card is also required in the employment visa application process. It serves as an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), a Special Return Certificate (SCR) and as a Re-entry Permit (RP).

Documents Required:

The required documents for registration based on the type of visa you choose may include;

  • A passport valid for at least six to twelve months
  • Two completed application forms
  • A copy of your employment contract
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • Several passport-sized pictures, signed on the front bottom
  • A medical and physical examination report by an authorized physician
  • The visa application fee
  • Appropriate and valid visa;
  • Four photographs, 2″ x 2″ in size
  • For aliens born in the Philippines, ACR and other immigration documents of parents

For more information about the documents required for special visa applications read here


The visa application process can be overwhelming but you can get your visa approved as long as you are fully informed. C9 Digital can help you with your travel visa questions and the visa application process. Visit our website and the C9 Digital’s knowledgeable team will help you secure a visa on time while ensuring that your personal data is secure.



EXTENSION OF NON-IMMIGRANT OF OFFSHORE BANKING UNIT UNDER PD 1034. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bureau of Immigration:

GUIDELINES ON THE ENTRY OF TEMPORARY VISITORS TO THE PHILIPPINES. (n.d.). Retrieved from Department of Foreign Affairs:

IMMIGRANT VISA BY MARRIAGE. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bureau of Immigration:

PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA. (n.d.). Retrieved from Bureau of Immigration:

Phillip Lew

Phillip Lew

Phillip Lew helps investors, business owners, executives and government agencies all around the world on helping them leverage the power of outsourcing and using exponential technologies to create massive success within their organization. To contact Phillip for consulting, speaking opportunities or to hire C9 Digital, please fill out the online inquiry form at the bottom of this page.