Friday, October 18, 2013

Traveling to Other Countries Without Visa

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Philippines is a beautiful country but obviously, people travel to other countries for various reasons and they want to know visa requirements.

By definition, a visa is “An entry in a passport or other travel document made by an official of a government, indicating that the bearer has been granted authority to enter and re-enter the country concerned. It usually specifies the authorized length of stay, the period of validity, and the number of entries allowed during that period”.

Entry regulations vary from country to country. As far as Pinoys are concerned, there are countries which grant visa free access to their territories, ASEAN countries for example. There are others who allow “visa on arrival”, Nepal and India for example. In this case, a Pinoy can leave the Philippines without a visa, but, will have to secure one on arrival before submitting themselves at immigration.

According to data compiled by the DFA's Office of Consular Affairs and GMA News Online (as of January 2012), the following countries fall in the visa-free category, followed by the length of allowable stay by Filipinos: (I believe Japan has been added already on the list for 15 days)

The list of countries, although incomplete, is already of great value to Filipinos around the world. The list clearly has immediate value and utility, which is why we decided to publish it even in its in its incomplete form.


  • Bolivia - 60 days
  • Brazil - 90 days (for holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports, visa-free for (a) duration of tour of duty or (b) 180 days for official business or tourism)
  • Brunei - 14 days
  • Cambodia - 21 days
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica - 30 days
  • Ecuador - 90 days
  • Hong Kong SAR - 14 days
  • India - Visa upon arrival valid for 30 days (limited only to New Delhi and Mumbai airports)
  • Indonesia - 30 days
  • Israel - visa-free for tourists (no. of days of stay will depend on Immigration); visa-free for holders of diplomatic and official passports; visa required for business)
  • Laos - 30 days
  • Malaysia - 30 days
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique - Visa upon arrival valid for 30 days
  • Palau - 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)
  • Peru - 60 days
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Singapore - 30 days
  • Sri Lanka - 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return/onward plane ticket)
  • Suriname
  • Thailand - 30 days
  • Tuvalu - 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return /onward plane ticket)
  • Vanuatu - 30 days, visa upon arrival (provided that the Filipino national has a return / onward plane ticket)
  • Vietnam - 21 days
  • Zambia - visa upon arrival; 3 months for tourism, 1 month for business

The DFA is still gathering visa information for the following countries:
  • Guam
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Mongolia

Most countries, however, will require a Pinoy to secure a visa prior to departure. Either through an embassy or consulate or through an on-line application.

Although there are countries who do not charge any visa fee (GRATIS), there are those who charge exorbitant amount, ranging from USD100-USD200.

Passports of departing Pinoys need not follow the six-month rule (six month validity of the passport) because there are countries who allow entry on the following conditions: the passport is valid on the day of arrival, or passport is valid until the date of intended stay.

Your best bet is to check the country’s representative – embassy or consulate. Airline offices are also a good source of information on document requirements. Oman tourist visa for Filipino, for example, should be available at these sites.

There is a map that shows visa requirements of each country with a pin (Visa Policies towards Filipino Nationals). Pin color legend: yellow - visa required; pink - Schengen visa required (Europe); green - visa-free for a certain number of days; blue - visa upon arrival valid for a certain number of days.

How sad that our embassy officials don't even know if the country they are assigned in requires a visa for Filipinos. DFA needs to research and ask our consular offices? Who can't give an instant reply? What are they doing?!?

Our Immigration officials are the worst in the world. You can`t simply leave the country without their unwanted questions and if you failed to answer any questions, their last decision is to offload the passenger, even you have the RT tickets and hotel accommodations.

The irony about our immigration officials is that they're always assuming that Filipino travelers will go TNT. Legally speaking only those who have hold-departure order from the court can be prevented from leaving. Immigration officers have no right to prevent anyone who has tickets and passports with visa or non-visa to leave the country.

Blame the TNTs for the difficult visa issuance for us. Filipinos have a really high possibility of going illegal in other countries this is why it's difficult for us to get visas. If this practice stops, then we will see easier visa access for everyone. TNTs make legitimate Filipino tourists' lives more difficult.

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