Why is Work Permit Needed?
As per immigration laws, foreign employees interested in working in the Philippines need a valid work permit in Philippines. The work permit must be valid for employees and sponsored by an incorporated entity that is also locally licensed.
About the Philippines Job Market
Types of Philippines Work Visa Available
Here are the main visa types available in the Philippines which allow a foreign visitor to enter the country.
Temporary Visitor’s Visa For Business Purposes 9 (a)
This visa is issued to foreign employees visiting the country for business, leisure, or health purposes. The visa can be extended every two months up to 16 months. Extending beyond this period and up to 24 months requires the approval of the Chief of the Immigration Regulation Division of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
To extend the visa beyond 24 months, one has to take the approval of the Commissioner of the BI.
International Treaty Trader/ Investor 9 (d)
This visa is granted to a foreigner coming to the country for trade purposes between the Philippines and their home country. Or if they are visiting to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested a lump sum amount. (at least USA 30,000 for individuals and USD 120,000 for corporations).
The Treaty Trader Visa is only issued to nationals of Japan, the United States & Germany. The registration process for the visa takes 4-6 weeks, and the visa is granted after 10-15 days.
The visa validity is 1-2 years, and it can be extended up to 2 years.
Special Non-Immigrant Visa Under EO. 226
This visa is issued to foreign individuals of regional or area headquarters or the multinational company’s regional operating headquarters.
The processing time of this visa is between 3-4 weeks which is the duration from filing to submitting the documents.
The Special Non-Immigrant Visa Under EO. 226 is valid for three years and can be extended up to an additional three years.
Alien Employment Permit (AEP)
The Alien work permit of Philippines is granted to foreign nationals who intend to work in the country. Under the Art 40 of the Labour Code, except for specific categories, all the foreign employees have to apply for the Alien Employment Permit at the DOLE Region office or Field Office. The AEP is required before a foreign employee can file an application for the section 9(g) work visa. The duration for this is 2-3 weeks.
Requirements for a Philippines Work Permit and by Philippines Employers
To get the Alien work permit of Philippines, you have to provide the following documents mandatorily:
- ~You must submit a completed application form
- ~You must submit an employment contract and any other related documents
- ~You must submit a copy of the employee’s passport with a valid visa
- ~You must submit a copy of the business permit
Requirements for 9(g) Work Visa:
- ~You must complete a 9(g) work visa application form.
- ~You must submit a valid passport.
- ~You must share a notarized certification of the employer’s total number of Filipino and Foreign Employees.
- ~You must share a certified copy of the AEP approved by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
- ~You must submit a newspaper clipping that has the publication of the AEP application issued by DOLE.
- ~You must submit a certificate of clearance from the Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI).
- ~You must submit an alien certificate of registration.
- ~You must share a copy of the employment contract along with the Articles of Incorporation (AOI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) certification.
Philippines Work Permit Application Process
The process of getting a work permit in Philippines starts by submitting an application for an AEP issued by the Department of Labor and Employment. Then, either the respective employer can file the application in the Philippines, or it can be filed by the prospective employee.
After this, the employee has to be granted a 9(g) visa sponsored by the employer and can be filed through the Bureau of Immigration.
Timeframe for Work Permit Application
The timeframe for getting the Philippines 9(g) work visa can take at least two to three months. This includes getting the AEP, which takes approximately two to three weeks. Therefore, the employees must plan their arrival accordingly.
Work Permit Exceptions and Special Cases
There are some special cases for foreign nationals, which one should keep in mind while applying for a work permit in the Philippines.
- ~Initially, the 9(g) work visa may be issued for one to three years based on the duration of the employment contract. It can later be extended to a further one to three years.
- ~If an employee must join work before the visa process is complete, they can apply for a Provisional Work Permit. For this, an application needs to be filed as soon as the employee files for the AEP application. Unlike the AEP, this permit will be issued in less than two weeks by the Bureau of Immigration.
- ~The employees must also know that the AEP is valid for their current position. If they change their company or accept a different position, they will have to apply for a new AEP.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I work in the Philippines with a 13a visa?
Yes. The 13a visa is the Non-Quota Immigrant visa by marriage which permits the foreign nationals to provide local employment in the Philippines without a Special Work Permit.
What is a special working permit in the Philippines?
This is a work permit for foreign nationals willing to work in the Philippines for six months. The position applied should also be temporary.
How long can one stay in the Philippines if married to a Filipina?
As per the Balikbayan Program, a foreign national coming from one of the countries listed in Executive Order No. 408 (EO 408) and traveling to the Philippines with their Filipino spouse can stay in the country without a visa if their spouse meets certain requirements.
- The Filipino spouse must be a Filipino worker or Filipino citizen overseas who has been out of the country for at least one year.
- The spouse must be a former Filipino citizen who has become a naturalized citizen of a country listed in EO 408.
How to get a work permit in Philippines for Indians?
Indian nationals holding a valid USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Schengen, or Japan visa can enter the Philippines visa-free. In addition, if the Indian national has a Singapore visa, they are allowed for a visa-free entry, but only if used twice; otherwise, they have to apply for the visa.
Application Process for Work Permit in Philippines for Indians:
- The visa applicants must submit an application form along with their valid passport copies. The passport has to be valid for six months from the date of travel.
- You must also submit a photo (not more than six months old) along with plane tickets, hotel or accommodation reservations, and the day-to-day itinerary.
- You must also share the bank statements for the last six months, which should have an original bank seal. The bank balance must show a minimum balance of INR 80,000.
- You must submit a copy of the ITR’s with barcodes dated from the last three years and the payslips for at least three months.
- These documents need to be submitted to the Philippine Embassy in India.
Are dependents allowed to work in the Philippines?
No. The dependents are not allowed to work without a work permit in Philippines. Therefore, they have to apply for a valid work permit and visa.