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Visa Guide: Understanding Your Visa


Expatch is here to help you with your visa concerns and questions. Here’s a quick and basic guide to help you understand your visa.




Are you planning to move to the Philippines? Before entering any country you will need a visa. What is a visa anyway? In layman’s term, a visa is a stamp in an applicant’s passport which allows for one’s entry and departure into another country. To give a clearer definition of what a visa is, it is a document or a form of permission that allows a non-citizen to enter, leave, transit or remain in a territory or country where it was issued.




In the Philippines, a visa policy is governed by Commonwealth Act No. 613 or also known as the Philippine Immigration Act, and by other subsequent legislation amending it. Visas in the Philippines are issued under the sole prerogative of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is also in partnership with the BI in enforcing this act.


Here in the Philippines, not all foreign nationals who wish to enter the country requires a visa. There are criteria or situations where you won’t be needing a visa when you enter. Some examples of this criteria are:

  • If you are native to a country that is a member state of the ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  • Or if you are a citizen of a country that has a bilateral agreement or diplomatic ties with the Philippines and if you are classified as a non-restricted national. Examples of countries which has a bilateral agreement with the Philippines are United States, Indonesia and Cambodia.
  • Lastly, if you are a balikbayan and you are only returning to the Philippines temporarily.
    • “Balikbayan” is a compound Tagalog word for balik and bayan. Balik means “to return” and bayan is “country/nation”, thus balikbayan means a Filipino citizen who returned to the Philippines (temporarily or permanently) after living or working abroad .





Since a visa grants clearance to enter and remain in a country, naturally, there would be several conditions attached to your authority to stay, such as dates of validity, a number of days or any period of time you are allowed to stay and prohibition for employment. A visa refusal is also possible for a number of reasons, namely:

  • a crime previously committed
  • a person that is a threat to national security
  • failure to demonstrate intent to return or even having a passport that expires too soon


The Philippines is a beautiful country to explore, if you are planning to visit or even stay for that matter, I recommend you do an extensive research about the country and even the conditions of your visa – the type of visa that you are getting, immigration laws, and just about everything that will make your stay worthwhile.


Tell us your questions or concerns about your visa.


For visa processing and all your visa concerns, MultiRational Corporation is here to help you.


MultiRational is a 100% Australian owned and operated leader in the development of multidisciplinary professional services in the Philippines, with a 10-year pedigree of successful service delivery to Australian businesses seeking competitive advantage when expanding their businesses into new markets, new service sets or needing to become more internationally competitive.


Have you heard of VisaPro?

One of the expertise of MultiRational is their visa processing service called VisaPro – a program that our visa officers use to update the status of the visas that they are processing, enabling clients to see the current progress of their applications. This program is updated every day to ensure efficiency and transparency. This program provides no hassle, easy to use system for clients to get the information they need from the company’s visa officers. Contact us now and know more about VisaPro .


Next time, we shall have more articles covering various topics about visa processing.


VisaPro by MultiRational Corporation
Kenneth de Guzman

Visa Accounts Manager / Business Development Consultant

Phone:  +63 2 886-8584

Mobile: +63 998-845-1602




Authors: Aris Malli and Marcelle Villegas  
Photo source:
All photos – and




Recommended article:
Staying Legally In The Philippines






  1. Chris Miller says:

    Chris Miller here. Do you have any objection to me hijacking this blog for my site? As you can see I have promoted you guys before and it is relevant to my clients.

    • Marcy Villegas says:

      Hello, Mr. Chris Miller. Thank you for visiting our site. I shall send you a personal message via your email for our reply to your request to borrow our article for your website/blog. Thank you also for promoting our visa processing service in your website.

      Expatch Editorial Team

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