The tropical climate and booming economy of the Philippines have made the country a popular destination for expatriates and companies in the process of expanding globally. But like any other country, the Philippines has specific laws regarding visas for foreign nationals who wish to live and work within its borders.
What Kinds of Work Visas Are There in the Philippines?
There are several types of visas available to foreign nationals seeking entry into the Philippines. Visas and permits for individuals coming to the Philippines for business or employment purposes include:
- Temporary Visitor’s Visa for Business Purposes
- International Treaty Trader / Investor
- Special Non-Immigrant Visa Under E.O. 226
- Alien Employment Permit (AEP)
- 9(g) Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa
- Provisional Work Permit
- Special Work Permit
This guide will focus on the 9(g) visa, as this is the most common type of visa that is issued to foreign nationals coming to the Philippines for gainful employment. To apply for this visa, employees will first need to obtain an Alien Employment Permit.
What Are the Requirements to Obtain a Philippines Work Visa?
To obtain an Alien Employment Permit, employees will need to provide the following documents:
- A completed application form
- The employment contract and any related documents
- A copy of the employee’s passport along with a valid visa
- A copy of the business permit
Applicants who are applying for a reissued permit will need to provide a copy of their current AEP in addition to these documents.
Employees must have an AEP to apply for a 9(g) work visa. They must also secure a job with a company based in the Philippines before applying. The following documents are needed to apply:
- A completed 9(g) work visa application form
- The applicant’s valid passport
- A notarized certification of the employer’s Number of Foreign and Filipino Employees
- A certified copy of the AEP issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- A newspaper clipping that shows the publication of the AEP application by DOLE
- A certificate of clearance from the Philippines Bureau of Immigration (B.I.)
- An alien certificate of registration
- Copies of the employment contract, the Articles of Incorporation (AOI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) certification
- Any additional documents that support the applicant’s employment
The Application Process: How to Get a Work Visa in the Philippines
The process of obtaining a Philippines work visa begins with an application for an AEP from the Department of Labor and Employment. This application can be filed by the employer in the Philippines or the prospective employee.
The application for a 9(g) work visa must be sponsored by the employer and can be filed through the Bureau of Immigration.
It can take two to three months to complete the process of obtaining a 9(g) work visa, including two to three weeks for the AEP alone. Employees should plan to apply well in advance of their trip to the Philippines.
Are There Any Unique Considerations for Getting a Philippines Working Visa?
There are a few considerations foreign nationals and their employees should keep in mind about work visas in the Philippines:
- A 9(g) work visa may initially be issued for one to three years, depending on the duration of the employment contract. The visa can later be extended for an additional period of one to three years.
- If an employee needs to begin working before the visa process is complete, they can apply for a Provisional Work Permit. An application for this permit can be filed as soon as the employee files an AEP application, and the permit can be issued in as little as two weeks. Like the 9(g) visa, this permit is issued by the Bureau of Immigration.
- Employees should note that their AEP is only valid for the position they held when they applied. If the employee takes a job with another company in the Philippines or even accepts a different position within the same company, they will need to apply for a new AEP.
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