Sec 9a (Temporary Visitor Visa)
The Sec 9a (Temporary Visitor Visa) and its extension called The Visa Waiver Extension is the visa on which most visitors are initially admitted to the Philippines.
All visitor’s or foreigners transitioning visas must start with the 9a to move onto other visas in the Philippines.
Foreign nationals who are travelling to the Philippines for these common purposes can obtain this visa:
- Visiting friends and famiy
But must be temporary in nature. Such as:
- Those who are attending international conferences.
- If you are here to negotiate contracts.
- Attending business meetings.
- Job fairs or recruitments.
Provided not contagious, loathsome and/or dangerous diseases for the Filipino population. One that springs to mind is dental work.
Your passport should be valid for at least the period of your stay, depending on the country passport you hold.
You should have a return or onward ticket either open or dated for your departure.
This executive order created a Visa Waiver Program. It has had many amendments since it was created in 1960. A list of countries was created, of countries whose nationals are allowed 30 days entry on arrival, without a pre-approved visa.
The list, which is maintained by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and enforced by The Burea Of Immigration, shows all the countries at a particular time whose nationals can enter the Philippines in this way.
The list as at 4 May 2018 can be found here.
Your visa “kicks in” on the day after you arrive and expires after the prescribed number of days have passed. For example, a 7-day visa stamped in your passport on the 8th May takes effect on the 9th May, day one, you must leave the country by the 16th May, 7 days later.
Not all initial Sec 9a Temporary Visitor Visas are of 30 days duration, so please check the list for duration applicable to the country on whose passport you are travelling.
In many countries, travel agents will do this for you. But it is always better to be responsible and double check as you are buying your tickets.
The term Visa Waiver or Visa Free is a misnomer as on arrival at your port of entry (air or seaport) you will receive a visa stamp in your passport.
There is no charge for the initial 30-day visa on entry.
Those holding dual citizenship can use the passport that gives them the better deal.
Where to obtain a Sec 9a (Temporary Visitor Visa)
If you are not on the EO 408 list then you must obtain your visa from the nearest Philippines outpost to your country or official country of residence. Here is an example for Algeria
If your country is on EO 408 and you know ahead of time that you wish to stay beyond the duration of your initial 30-day visa. Then you can apply for a visa from the Philippines Embassy in your country or the one serving your country for an additional period known as a visa waiver.
For example, UK citizens can apply at the Philippines Embassy in London, for a 59-day visa. The fee which appears to vary from country to country is for the additional 29 days known as Visa Waiver, not for the first 30 days.
Embassy’s in larger countries often provide an outreach program to other parts of the of the country from time to time, which can reduce the amount of travel for you.
Processing times for local approvals are usually under a week, plus post time.
Applications requiring clearance from the DFO in Manila can take up to two months.
Those that may require DFO clearance include:
- Applicants with a criminal history.
- Those suffering from a chronic medical condition
- Where previous requests have not been approved.
If you chose not to apply overseas, once in the Philippines, you will need to apply for your Visa Waiver if you intend to stay more than 30 days.
You can either attend the Bureau of Immigration Head Office, at Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila or one of the sub-offices listed here. The list is a PDF document arranged alphabetically.
Not sure where your nearest office is, check out this office map
If You Are Planning On Attending A Bureau of Immigration Office.
Be aware that there is a dress code for both yourself and your companion/s. It is unevenly policed, but it is not worth taking the chance of being sent home for non-adherence.
The dress code policy isn’t a debate, but a statement of what is, in a country in which we are visitors.
Documentation For Visa Waiver
- Completed Application Form TVS-CGAF-VE-2016. Can be downloaded or obtained at the front desk of the BI office you make your application at.
- Your original passport. That is the one with your visa stamp in it.
- Submit the completely filled-out application form and attachments together with the passport to the frontline officer.
- If you have no derogatory records, you will be issued a BI Clearance Certificate.
- Otherwise, the applicant must proceed to the Verification and Certification Unit for Clearance.
- Get the Order of Payment Slip and proceed to Cashier for payment.
- Pay the fees and get the Official Receipt.
- Submit the Official Receipt with the application form, attachments and passport to the receiving/assessment Officer.
- Claim the passport stamped with the requested extension of stay.
There is no longer a requirement for
a) 2 photocopies plus the original of the passport pages with the Philippines entry stamp for your latest arrival, this should show the date your visa expires.
b) 2 photocopies and the original of the page of your passport with your picture and biometrics on it.
Process For Visa Waiver
The current cost for the Visa Waiver is 3030php
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In the second part of this post, we will cover obtaining longer-term visas or further extensions to your Sec 9a (Temporary Visitor Visa)
The 3 months, 6 months and 12-month visas obtainable by citizens included on EO 408 from embassies situated in those countries
And 1 month, 2 months and 6-month visa extensions obtainable from BI in the Philippines.
Introduction to the ACR card
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