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Guide List: Visa Options for Foreigners

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For those who want to run a business, they first have to incorporate it as an investor and then seek employment with it.  If one would like to run an existing business, then a board resolution (to be engaged as a director) would be necessary. In some cases, employment is sponsored with either a 9(g) visa or an SRRV (Special Resident Retiree’s Visa).


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Other types of visas in the Philippines:


  • 9(G) Commercial: Pre-Arranged Employees – These are issued  to foreigners proceeding to the Philippines to engage in any lawful occupation, whether for wages or salary or for other form of compensation where legitimate employer-employee relations exist.
  • 13A (Non-Quota Immigrant Visa) – Issued by the Philippine Immigration to the wife or husband or the unmarried child under twenty-one years of age of a Philippine citizen
  • Special Work Permit to the Philippines (SWP) – Issued by the Philippine Immigration to foreigners who are employed or engaged in short term, seasonal or contractual employment.
  • 47A2 (Special Non-Immigrant Visa) – Issued by the Philippine Immigration to foreign investors. This visa is issued by the Secretary of Justice on the basis on public interest or public policy considerations.
  • Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) – Issued by the Philippine Retirement Authority and promotes and grants SRRVs to would-be retirees complete with a range of services and benefits.



For those merely seeking a job in a company, the same applies, they have to be sponsored by the company, in that, the company must give them a contract and make certain commitments (i.e. to deduct and pay taxes etc.).


A person wanting to set up on his or her own business essentially cannot do so legitimately.  To stop them doing so, even a partnership with a foreign partner has to have a paid up capital of US$200,000; sole proprietorships are not allowed.


A person wanting to set up a business in RP  has to face the requirement for five shareholders and five directors. Unless the paid up capital is over US$ 200,000, the capital must be 60% owned by Filipino nationals and three of five directors must also be Filipinos.  This so called 60/40 company rule which may not have a foreigner as President and no company may have a foreign Corporate Secretary.



Author: Alexandra Salcedo






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