Thursday, January 1, 2009

21 Days Later: Visa Waiver for Foreigners, Tourists and Tropical Zombies

Upon your arrival in the Philippines, all tourists are stamped with a visa good for 21 days.

You can visit your nearest Philippines Embassy or consulate in your country of origin about the immigration and visa rules of the Philippines.

In Manila, you must go to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) before your 21 days expire (holidays included or be wary of holidays eating up your visa processing time). To secure an extension of stay, you must register with the Bureau of Immigration, and pay the necessary Immigration fees. The visa waiver will entitle you to another 59 days.

As posted at the Bureau of Immigration, Philippines:

# Effective February 15,2008 all applicants for extension (tourist visa) under the VIMS (VISA ISSUANCE MADE SIMPLE) are required to pay in addition to immigration fees, Certification fee of P500, Express fee of P500 plus Legal Research Fee of P10 for every transaction.

# All APPLICANTS are required to dress properly. Applicants wearing shorts, sandos, and slippers will not be allowed entry to Immigration Office.

Please refer to the folowing websites for specific visa concerns:
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippines

Bureau of Immigration, Philippines

Please DO NOT OVERSTAY, you are merely subjecting yourself to more queues, paperwork and/or fees.

According to one expat friend, if you are unable to file your visa extension on time just exit the country on your 21st day, go to Hong Kong, Thailand or Taiwan and just make a re-entry. You get another 21 days to finish your business here or to file a proper extension.


  1. Hi!
    Thanks 4 the usefull blog. Do you have an idea how much time I shall plan in for the immigration bureau to prolong my 21 day visa? I need that to book my forward flight and want to know if 1 working day is enough for them to prolong my visa. From the immigration office nobody is answering my request ...


  2. Hello Chacalakaboo I would suggest when you get here in the Philippines go to immigration and request an extension in your first week here. I suggest to give it a week processing your papers at least. The queues here are impossible.

  3. Hi Chacalakaboo, I did my 21 days visa extension less than 2 hours. The queues is not that long. Cost around 3038 pesos. Good luck

  4. Actually it is not correct, the first extension will be only for 38 days to amount to a total of 59 days (21 initially on arrival plus 38 extension), consecutive extensions are for 59 days.