How long can a US Citizens stay in the Philippines?

Whether you need a visa or not to enter the Philippines depends on your intent of your stay and how long you plan to stay there. Since the Philippines continues to maintain diplomatic relations with the US, US citizens may avail themselves of visa-free entry into the Philippines, provided their stay does not exceed 30 days. There are also other factors that plays a part in what type of visa you can apply for, such as marital status. Being married to a Filipino citizen allows you access to other types of visas  not offered to others.

Less than a Month

For those US Citizens who plan to travel to the Philippines for less than 30 days, you will not need a visa to enter. Upon entry, you will receive an entry stamp when you arrive at the airport which will also contain the date you must exit the Philippines (30 days from the date of entry). For you to receive a 30-day entry stamp, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure. In addition, you must also provide a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country.

Visits over 30 Days

For US Citizens who plan to stay longer in the Philippines for longer than 30 days, a visa must be obtained prior to your arrival. To obtain a tourist visa, you will need to present a copy of your itinerary, hotel reservations, proof of financial capacity (photocopy of latest bank statement and an employment certificate from the employer indicating position and salary, or affidavit of support), and an invitation letter from friends or family members living in the Philippines. If you’re applying for a business visa, you will need a letter from your employer or sponsor. There is a fee to secure your temporary visa – single entry valid for (3) months – $30.00 USD, multiple entry valid for (6) months – $60.00 USD, and multiple entry valid for (12) months – $90 USD.

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are reserved for a foreign national based on their valid marriage to a Philippine citizen and their children under the age of 21. To apply for an Immigrant visa, applicants must submit a medical examination which also include chest x-rays, police record and an in-person interview. In addition, you must also provide documentary evidence of spouse’s Philippine citizenship in form of NSO birth certificate or passport, evidence of financial status such as bank statements, real state or a notarized Affidavit of Support from a relative in the Philippines, with attached documents to substantiate declaration or claim. The current fee for an Immigrant visa is $150 USD which must be paid in cash or money order. Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted.

Balikbayan Program

The Balikbayan Program as instituted by Republic Act 6768 (amended by Republic Act 9174) was launched by the Philippine Government to attract and encourage overseas Filipinos to come and visit their motherland. This is in recognition of their contribution to the economy of the country through the foreign exchange inflow and revenues that they generate. The program allows visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year for foreign passport holders, with the exception of visa-required nationals.

Under the “Balikbayan Program” of the Philippines, the following persons are considered Balikbayans:

  • a Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one year from the date of last departure;
  • a Filipino Overseas Worker; and
  • a former Filipino citizen who had been naturalized in a foreign country and holds a foreign passport (original proof of former Philippine citizenship, such as old Philippine passport, birth certificate, or foreign naturalization papers showing Filipino nationality will be required).

Balikbayans are entitled to the following benefits:

  • travel tax exemption
  • visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one year from the date of arrival in the Philippines
  • duty-free shopping privileges up to US$1,500.00

Family members (spouse and children) of a Balikbayan who are holding foreign passports are also entitled to Balikbayan privileges, on the condition that they:

  • travel with the Balikbayan;
  • pay any applicable immigration fees; and
  • observe and comply with immigration rules and regulations.

Balikbayans traveling to the Philippines are advised to declare before the Philippine Immigration Officer at the port of entry that he/she is availing of the privilege and has to present either their old Philippine passport or copy of Philippine birth certificate as proof of their former Philippine citizenship.
Accompanying family members of the balikbayan should bring appropriate supporting documents:
• For the spouse: copy of marriage certificate
• For each child: copy of birth certificate
• For adopted children: copy of adoption papers

If you do not fall within the following categories or you have any questions in regards to your status, visit http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/ for more information.

41 thoughts on “How long can a US Citizens stay in the Philippines?

  1. Hi Alvin , my name is Ashreen both of my parents went home last summer stayed over a little 6 months . Their both U .S citizens and applied for dual citizen in Hawaii. Now their returning both have valid US passport. Is there going to be issue when they return to the U. S . Please let me know ASAP thank you !

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    1. If they were allowed to enter in the Philippines for over 6 months, then they most likely entered as a BALIBAYAN. Under the BALIKBAYAN program, former Philippines nationals are permitted to enter the stay in the Philippines for up to 364 days, regardless of current nationality. To avail of the BALIKBAYAN program, travelers must show a form of identification which shows their previous Philippines nationality such as an expired passport, original birth certificate or drivers license. Under the BALIKBAYAN program, travelers and their immediate family can enjoy the same benefits while traveling in the Philippines together.

      For more information, kindly visit http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/philippines-dc/consular-services-dc/faq-dc/

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  2. Hi there. What if my friend (US Citizen) will visit Philippines for 31days. Does he stil need visa in immigration at the airport?

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    1. U.S. citizens may enter the Philippines for purposes of tourism without a visa if they present:

      a valid U.S. passport and
      a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country.
      Upon your arrival, immigration authorities will stamp an entry visa valid for 30 days on your passport. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, you must apply for an extension at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI).

      If you overstay your visa, you are subject to fines and detention by Philippine immigration authorities.

      You may obtain a multiple-entry transit 9(b) visa to permit travel from one country to another via the Philippines. Travelers must receive a transit visa from a Philippine embassy or consulate prior to traveling to the Philippines.

      Visit the Embassy of the Philippines website for information on other types of visas and the most current visa information.

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  3. Do the Balikbayan Program documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate,etc) need to be an original or seal stamped ‘copy’ or will a ‘copy’ from a copy machine be sufficient ? Thank You.

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    1. Dear Edward,

      The documents presented should be original copies. The documents such as drivers license and passport can be expired. There are cases where individuals were able to pass immigration with copies however that would be based on the officer who processes your passport. Thank you!

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  4. Dear Ashley,
    Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on the penalty that will be imposed. Every situation is different and it will depend on your son’d entry and when he actually leaves the Philippines.

    Although your son is registered a U.S. Citizen, you will be able to report his birth in the Philippines and register him as a Dual Citizen. You will need to go to the NSO and submit a REPORT OF BIRTH form and all of the required documentation. Once you have registered his birth, although in the U.S. he will be able to take advantages of being DUAL since his father is a Filipino citizen. After he is given DUAL status, you should not be required to pay for any penalties.

    This is an alternative other than paying the fines and penalties, however you should consider your current situation and see which would cost more.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks,

    Alvin

    ………

    Hi Alivin,
    Am going home to the Philippines next year but im only staying there for 3weeks. I have my son’s Report of Birth with me. Once I show the Report of Birth and other documents, what other things should I do? And how long will my son receive his Philippines passport ?
    One more question the day i gave birth ,i wasn’t married yet to my husband so they didnt put my son’s father in the Birth cert because they wanted his signature but he also was in the Philippines at the time our son was born.. 😫
    Thank you again sir. Im very desperate to know. Pls help and Thank you.

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  5. Hello sir.
    Am a Dual Citizen, (Filipino -American) i was born in U.S , and im married to my husband who is a filipino citizen. We have a son who was also born in U.S. My Concern is my son overstayed in the philippines, I send him home with his dad in the Philippines in 2016. How much is the penalty that i have to pay? Pls i need your help. I’ll be

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    1. Dear Ashley,
      Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on the penalty that will be imposed. Every situation is different and it will depend on your son’d entry and when he actually leaves the Philippines.

      Although your son is registered a U.S. Citizen, you will be able to report his birth in the Philippines and register him as a Dual Citizen. You will need to go to the NSO and submit a REPORT OF BIRTH form and all of the required documentation. Once you have registered his birth, although in the U.S. he will be able to take advantages of being DUAL since his father is a Filipino citizen. After he is given DUAL status, you should not be required to pay for any penalties.

      This is an alternative other than paying the fines and penalties, however you should consider your current situation and see which would cost more.

      Hope this helps.

      Thanks,

      Alvin

      Like

      1. Am going home to the Philippines to pick my husband and our son next year but im only staying in the Philippines for 3weeks? Do you have any Idea how long will it take to finish? I have my son’s Report of Birth with me. Thank you again sir.

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  6. Hi Alvin, I am a Filipina,and a green card holder, married to American which is American citizen. I have now a 10 month old baby born in Texas who is also American citizen.nu baby and I are going to the Philippines and stay there for six months. The question, do I need to get a visa for my baby? If needed, where should I get a visa? Just worried rut now, coz, my flight is coming soon and we’ll be running out of time.. Your answer will be a great help for us. Thank you so much!

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    1. Since you are still a Filipino citizen, your husband and child will be allowed to enter the Philippines under the Balikbayan program. You must show proof that you were previously a Filipino citizen and all of you will be allowed to stay in the Philippines visa-free for up to one year. However you must enter and depart the Philippines at the same time. Once arriving at immigration, show proof (Filipino passport, birth certificate, license) and make sure that you are all stamped with an exit date one year from your entry date. Hope this helps. Safe travels

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  7. Hi Alvin, I have a question. I was born in the Philippines, but was born an American Citizen since my father is an American Citizen. Is there any law regarding Filipinos who were born in the Philippines, but were born American citizens, or am I only allowed to stay for 30 days unless I get a Visa?

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    1. Hi Nico! If you were born in the Philippines and was registered as a Philippine Citizen. You are able to stay up to one year visa free. If you were never established as a Filipino citizen, then you would be considered an American and would be held to the same restrictions as any other US citizen. However, since you were born in the Philippines, you can apply as a dual citizen and receive a Filipino passport to stay as long as you like. You would need to present a birth certificate from the NSO (National Security Office) from the Philippines to apply.

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  8. Hi I am a Filipina and I have a green card that is good for 10 years. I’m planning to go back to the philippines for vacation and want to stay longer for at least 3 months. Now my husband which is a U.S. citizen want to come along and want to stay with me for 3 months also. My concern is Can my husband stay with me for at least 3 months legally? or does he still need to extend his stay

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    1. Hi Gerie! That’s a great question. If you are a Philippine citizen at the time of entry in the Philippines, you and any immediate family members who are traveling with you, will be allowed to stay in the Philippines for up to one year – visa-free. The Balikbayan program is only if your immediate family has the same itinerary as you. For more information , please visit http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/philippines-dc/consular-services-dc/faq-dc/#balikbayan Thank you!

      Like

  9. Hi I’m just my citizenship last December I planning to back to the Philippines how I can stay in the Philippines I want to stay there for a year

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    1. Dear Marites,
      You would be able to avail of the the Balikbayan program if you a prior Filipino citizen. Once you enter the Philippines and approach immigration, you must proof of prior citizenship such as an expired Philippine passport or birth certificate. If you are unable to prove your prior citizenship, then you would be considered a US passport holder and will only be allowed in the Philippines for 30 daysfrom your entry date without a visa.

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  10. Hi I’m just my citizenship last December I planning to back to the Philippines how I can stay in the Philippines I want to stay there for a year

    Like

  11. Hi I’m just my citizenship last December I planning to back to the Philippines how I can stay in the Philippines I want to stay there for a year

    Like

  12. Can i stay with my gf until i get married because im a US citizen but im half German as well does it help me being half German to stay longer…and can I film for my YouTube channel and get paid as well or do i need visa for it if so what kind of visa card I need

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear John – unfortunately your girlfriend will not be able to sponsor you until you are married. If you are a US Citizen, then you are able to stay in the Philippines for up to 30 days without a visa. Anything after 30 days will require you obtain either a single entry or multiple entry visa.

      There are many vbloggers and YouTubers who film in the Philippines- depending on the footage you plan on filming you may need authorization. But for simple landscape and drone type footage, I do not know of any.

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  13. Sorry, I’m confused. I plan on coming to the Philippines soon, but from reading the comments here, are you saying that I have to have had my passport at least 6 months before I can come there, or to stay longer than the 30 days??? Thanks…

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    1. Dear Ronny,
      I am very glad that you decided to visit the Philippines. You are going to have a great time and I hope you go during the winter months (lot less humid). Anyways to clear up any questions
      1. If you are a US Citizen, you are able to go to the Philippines without a VISA, if your visit is 30 or days less.
      2. The 6 months for the passport means that your passport cannot expire within 6 months from your return date. For instance if you leave in August 2017 and plan to return in September, your passport must not expire before March 2018. If it does, you may have difficulty traveling abroad. This restriction not only applies to visiting the Philippines, but almost every country outside of the US.

      Hope to clear up your questions.

      Thanks,

      Alvin

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      1. Being half German but a US Citizen only means you are recognized as a US Citizen. If you are dual citizen between Germany and the US, you will still be required to obtain a visa after 30 days

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  14. I have a tourist visa. I’ve been over two years. I have a house here and have kept my visa. Current. I’m going back for an operation. What do I need to do to come back.

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    1. If you have a tourist visa, kindly check how long it is valid for. Usually tourist visas are issued in 3 month intervals and you would need to renew before it expires. If you have not renewed your passport then you will need to pay the penalties and fees to renew your visa. To avoid being stopped at immigration before exit by the country, I would advise to check with the local consular office for visas to calculate your penalties.

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  15. Hi
    My son went to philipines for vacation and stay there for more than a year can he come back here in the US as soon the passport got renewed. He supposed to coming back August but they won’t let him get off the plane. Said has to be valid six months before get off on the plane.

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  16. I am married to a Filipina. I knew before I was married that I could stay only 30 day. We are now in the US and my wife has a green card. 4 weeks ago we came back to Philippines for my wife’s father’s funeral. The customs officer told me that I could stay for 1 year.

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    1. Under the Balikbayan program, previous citizens of the Philippines who become naturalized can stay in the Philippines without a Visa for up to a year. In addition, any immediate family members who are also traveling with the Balikbayan will be able to stay in the Philippines granted they are with the Balikbayan through their stay in the Philippines.

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      1. I am naturalized American Citizen, and I planned to travel to Philippines the end of this month . April 30. I don’t have my Pilipino Passport.. cause I been an American citizen since 1980, thru my marriage and my Citizenship certificate I used his name but when I got divorce through the court stipulation I am using my maiden now from 1991 to present. Can I show the my Citizen certificate and the divorced decree to proved the legality of my US passport and my acclamation of being a Filipino by birth.

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        1. In order to prove your were originally of Filipino citizenship, you would need to bring a copy of your expired Philippine passport or a certificate of birth from the Philippines. There are also considerations for other legal documents such as marriage certificates and naturalized papers, however additional scrutiny may occur. Although these are rules, there are always exceptions.

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    2. Under the Balikbayan program, any immediate family members who are traveling with the Balikbayan will enjoy the same benefits granted they are with the Balikbayan throughout their stay in the Philippines.

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  17. Hello i am not a US citizenship yep, and i am still have my Philippine passport my greencard is for 10 year and i married to a US cittizen retired vet. My parent are in bohol and my children are in manila, how long i. Can stay in philippines when ii go see them?

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    1. As long as you Philippine passport is not expired you can stay in Philippines as long as you like. Since you will enter Philippines as a Filipino citizen you are permitted to stay indefinitely.

      Like

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