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Life Philippines

Dress Code Policy At BI Offices

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Dress Code Policy

I hear a lot of negative chatter about the Bureau of Immigration dress code policy.

Firstly, The talk is as if there is no dress code policy in other countries when visiting Govt. Departments.

Here is the dress code policy for visiting immigration in Indonesia, and another for visiting the Senate and House of Commons in Canada and finally one for Barbados Treasury Department

Secondly that it inconveniences visitors who have to buy clothing just to visit BI.

The dress code policy was amended and became more relaxed in 2013. It was acknowledged that most visitors to the Bureau of Immigration Offices were tourists on holiday, and did not have ready access, to the clothing previously required.
The policy is now meant to be strictly enforced. Your experience may be different as many offices especially smaller ones may not have Muslim staff or be aware. That does not mean that your current experience will apply the next time you visit that office or another.
Adhering to the code is not only complying with a directive but showing respect for the religious beliefs of Muslim Filipinos.

If you are attending an official meeting or hearing office attire is required.


The policy may be waived in an emergency. You must explain such an emergency to the guards at the gate who will decide.

Key Points Of The Policy

  • No bare feet.
  • No hats, motorcycle helmets. Only head coverings with recognised religious significance allowed.
  • No brief shorts, no track pants.
  • Sleeved shirts for men.
  • Shoulder straps “3 fingers” wide for women.
  • No bare midriff.
  • Underwear not showing
  • Clothing must be in good repair
  • Interestingly there is no requirement that women wear a bra!


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    Source Material

    Below you will find the official memorandum and a separate illustration of the code for men and women

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