The islands of the Philippines are pieces of paradise. With soft, sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waves, visitors quickly feel their minds sail into a new dimension of relaxation.
But before you close your eyes and drift away, you must take care of the practical matter of getting your travel documentation in order. The first question you should ask yourself is:
Do US citizens need a visa for the Philippines?
If you’re planning a short trip, the answer is no. US Americans do not need a visa for the Philippines to enter the country and stay for 30 days or less. However, there are still some requirements, rules and restrictions you need to prepare for, so you’re not completely off the hook.
Read on for details about what documents you need to travel, what types of activities you can and cannot do without a visa, how to get a visa if you need one, and useful things to know before you go to the Philippines from the US.
- 1 Philippines Visa Requirements for US Citizens
- 2 Philippines Visa Application Process for US Travellers
- 3 How Much Is the Philippine Visa Cost for US Visitors?
- 4 Travelling to the Philippines as an American
- 5 US Embassy in the Philippines
- 6 Philippine Visa FAQs for US Citizens
- 7 More Information about Visiting the Philippines
Philippines Visa Requirements for US Citizens
American tourists are not required to obtain a visa as long as you are staying for 30 days or less.
However, you are strictly required to have the following documents when you travel:
- Your US passport, valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your stay.
- A valid return or onward airplane ticket.
You will be asked to show these documents, so be sure to have them ready in a handy place when you head to the airport.
If you would like to stay in the country for longer than 30 days, you will require a visa. You can find out how to get one in the following section.
Philippines Visa Application Process for US Travellers
If you are going to visit for 30 days or less, there is no application process because you don’t need a visa. Just make sure that you travel the required documents noted above (passport and return/onward plane ticket).
If you want to visit for more than 30 days, you can apply for a Philippine tourist visa for US citizens through the Philippine Consular Office that has jurisdiction over the region where you live. This temporary visitor’s visa, also known as a non-immigrant visa 9A, can be used when travelling for business or pleasure.
There is no Philippines eVisa for US citizens at this time, so you cannot apply online. You will have to apply directly through the Consulate.
For complete application instructions, please visit the website of the Consular Office that has jurisdiction over your region.
Philippines Consular Offices in the US
Location of Office
|Agana, Guam||Guam, Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Wake Islands|
|Chicago, IL||Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin|
|Honolulu, HI||Hawaii, American Samoa, French Polynesia|
|Houston, TX||Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma|
|Los Angeles, CA||Southern California (counties: Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Kern, San Luis Obispo), Southern Nevada (counties: Clark, Lincoln, Nye), Arizona (all counties)|
|New York, NY||Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont|
|San Francisco, CA||Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Utah, Washington State, Wyoming|
|Washington DC (embassy)||Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Aguila, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grand Cayman Islands, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Saint Kitts & Nevis|
How Much Is the Philippine Visa Cost for US Visitors?
If you are travelling for 30 days or less, the cost is 0 USD because you do not need a visa. You can use the money you save on a fancy meal or boat ride!
If you are going to apply for the tourist visa to stay up to 59 days, here are the visa fees:
- 30 USD for a Single-Entry pass valid for 3 months.
- 60 USD for a Multiple-Entry pass valid for 6 months.
- 90 USD for a Multiple-Entry pass valid for 12 months.
Travelling to the Philippines as an American
Don’t forget to pack your travel pillow; you’re in for a long flight!
It takes about 17 hours to fly to Manila, the capital city, from New York City. It takes less time to get there from the West Coast (a mere 15 hours from San Francisco) because in both cases, the plane flies west across the Pacific Ocean. Americans living in Hawaii have the shortest flight time, clocking in at 11 hours.
Once you arrive, there are several things that you should take note of.
First of all, always carry a copy of your passport with you during your time in the country. You may be stopped and asked to provide it.
You are subject to local laws and will be prosecuted if you break them, even if you are not aware of them. The penalties for possessing, using or trafficking illegal substances are especially severe in this country.
An important law to be aware of is that you may be strictly penalised if you are found in the company of a minor under 12 years old who is not related to you within the fourth degree. If you are a family member, such as the child’s aunt, uncle, sibling, cousin, grandparent, etc. there is no problem. However, If you are travelling with a child or children related to somebody in your travel group but not to you, make sure you are never alone with them.
Use caution when taking photographs. You may be stopped and questioned by authorities, especially if you snap shots of government or military-related buildings or institutions.
US Embassy in the Philippines
There is a US embassy in Manila, the capital city.
You should contact the embassy if you need to replace a lost or stolen passport, would like help finding out where you can get medical care, require assistance in reporting a crime to the local police, or need a list of local attorneys, among other things.
If you are arrested, you should ask the police to notify the embassy.
If you are the victim of a crime, report it to the local police by calling 911 and also contact the embassy.
For emergency services, you can email ACSInfoManila@state.gov or call the U.S. Embassy in Manila at +63-2-5301-2000.
Philippine Visa FAQs for US Citizens
At this point you should have a good idea of what type of travel documents you need and how to get them, but you can find additional answers to commonly asked questions below.
Is There a Visa Extension for the Philippines for Americans?
Yes. If you are already in the Philippines and want to stay for longer than the 30 days you are allowed visa-free, you can apply for a 29-day visa waiver at the Bureau of Immigration. You will find it at Magallanes Drive, Port Area, Intramuros, Manila, but check out their website first to download the application form.
If you already have a visa but would like to apply to stay for longer than the 59 days permitted, you can do so at the same Bureau of Immigration.
In both cases, you will need to pay a fee. Be sure to apply while you are still in the country legally, before your approved time has run out.
Is There a Philippines Visa for US Green Card Holders?
Your documentation requirements depend on the nationality of your passport, not your country of residence. This means that green card holders may have different requirements than US citizens. Check your requirements with the embassy in your country of citizenship.
Can All US Citizens Travel to the Philippines?
Yes, as long as you fulfil the document requirements mentioned above. Transgender Americans should be aware that you may be asked to present additional documentation if the gender in your passport does not reflect your gender expression.
What’s the Time Difference Between California and the Philippines?
The Philippines is 16 hours ahead of California. So, if it’s 10 am on Tuesday in Los Angeles, it’s 2 am on Wednesday in Manila.
You’ll definitely want to keep this in mind when making a call! You may also want to turn your phone on silent when you go to bed during your vacation.
Is It Safe for Americans to Travel to the Philippines?
It is important to check the updated travel advisory from the US Department of State before you go, as situations may vary. For example, there can be typhoons or hurricanes, and some areas of the country have greater crime rates than others.
On a health-related front, do not drink the tap water or beverages served with ice. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date and that your health insurance covers your travel overseas.
More Information about Visiting the Philippines
To find out additional details about travelling to this dreamy destination, check out the collection of articles available on the Byevisa website by clicking here.