If you do not require a visit visa (please see our Do I need a visa page), you will be given 21 days on arrival. If you apply for a tourist visa from the Philippines Embassy before you travel, you will receive a visa that will allow you to visit the Philippines for 59 days.
After your arrival, you can extend your stay by visiting the Bureau of Immigration in your area. You can extend your stay for up to and including 16 months (in batches of 1 or 2 months – see below). On completion of your 16 months, you will need to leave the country. You will, however, be permitted to return to the Philippines, in which case you will again be allowed to keep on extending your tourist visa up to a period of 16 months.
If you arrived without a visa and were given 21 days, your initial extension will be for (another) 38 days, bringing you to a total of 59 days. If you applied for a visa and were already given 59 days, you can extend your stay as well. It is advisable to apply for your extension around seven days prior to the expiry of your stay.
You extend your stay at the local Bureau of Immigration. You will have the option to extend for a period of 1 or 2 months (two months is relatively cheaper!). Once these are up, you need to apply for an extension of 1 or 2 months again. You can continue doing so until you have remained in the country for up to and including 16 months (without ever having to leave the country). Once you have completed 16 months, you will need to leave the country. But as soon as you return, the process as outlined above can be repeated.
In summary, by using this option you remain a tourist but can remain in the Philippines for 16 months, which, after leaving the country and returning again can again be extended up to 16 months, and so on.
This option could be an attractive one for those that are seeking to remain in the Philippines beyond the normal period granted to tourists and to those that are seeking to stay in the Philippines but are not married to a Filipino national.
Visa extension do of course come at a price. The Bureau of Immigration extension fees can be found here.
Important note: as a visitor, you will be required to have an onward or return ticket each time you arrive in the Philippines.
Immigration regulations are complex and subject to regular change. Before travelling to a country, always check the latest immigration and visa requirements from the authorities direct. The information provided in these pages is for informative purposes only and may not be up to date, applicable to your personal circumstances, or may not even be correct.