Foreign Nationals Who Can Enter The Philippines During the Pandemic: Guidelines, Requirements, and Travel Updates

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted international travel, leading to the implementation of travel restrictions and entry requirements worldwide. The Philippines, like many other countries, has implemented guidelines to regulate the entry of foreign nationals during this challenging period. This comprehensive article explores the guidelines, requirements, and travel updates concerning foreign nationals who can enter the Philippines during the pandemic, focusing on the categories of travelers allowed and the necessary protocols in place.

1. The Context of Travel Restrictions in the Philippines

1.1 Implementation of Entry Restrictions

To control the spread of COVID-19, the Philippines has imposed entry restrictions on foreign nationals. Initially, non-essential travel was suspended, and only Filipino citizens and specific groups of foreign nationals were allowed entry. These restrictions have been subject to periodic revisions based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation and the country’s risk assessment.

1.2 Categorization of Travelers

To facilitate essential travel and maintain economic activities, the Philippine government has categorized foreign nationals into different groups, each subject to specific entry requirements. These categories include permanent residents, spouses and children of Filipino citizens, accredited foreign government and international organization officials, and individuals with valid and existing visas.

2. Eligible Categories of Foreign Nationals

2.1 Permanent Residents

Foreign nationals with valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas are eligible to enter the Philippines during the pandemic. This category includes holders of Special Resident Retiree’s Visas (SRRVs), investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals with valid working permits.

2.2 Spouses and Children of Filipino Citizens

Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens, regardless of their visa types, are allowed entry to the Philippines. They must present a valid visa or avail themselves of the visa-free entry privilege, along with appropriate proof of relationship such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate for children.

2.3 Accredited Foreign Government and International Organization Officials

Foreign government officials accredited to the Philippines and officials of international organizations recognized by the Philippine government are permitted to enter the country. They must possess a valid 9(e) visa or diplomatic visa, and a letter from the relevant government agency or international organization supporting their travel is required.

2.4 Other Visa Holders

Foreign nationals holding valid visas issued by the Philippine government are also eligible for entry. This category includes holders of work visas, student visas, special non-immigrant visas, and other visa types. However, entry is subject to compliance with specific requirements and protocols.

3. Entry Requirements and Protocols

3.1 Pre-Departure Requirements

Foreign nationals planning to enter the Philippines during the pandemic must fulfill several pre-departure requirements. These include obtaining a valid visa or visa-free entry privilege, undergoing pre-flight COVID-19 testing, and completing an online health declaration form. It is crucial to consult the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the country of departure for the latest information on requirements and travel advisories.

3.2 Testing and Quarantine Measures

All foreign nationals entering the Philippines are required to undergo COVID-19 testing. The specific type of test, timing of the test, and quarantine protocols may vary depending on the traveler’s category and the country of origin. Negative test results must be presented upon arrival, and travelers may be subject to additional testing and quarantine upon entry into the Philippines.

3.3 Compliance with Health and Safety Protocols

Foreign nationals entering the Philippines must comply with the health and safety protocols implemented by the Philippine government. These protocols include wearing face masks and face shields, practicing physical distancing, and following proper hygiene practices. Staying informed about local guidelines and regulations is crucial to ensure compliance and contribute to the collective effort to control the spread of the virus.

4. Travel Updates and Evolving Guidelines

It is important to note that travel guidelines and requirements for foreign nationals can change rapidly in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. The Philippine government continuously evaluates the risks and adjusts entry protocols accordingly. Travelers are advised to regularly check the official websites of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration for the most up-to-date information, travel advisories, and any changes in entry requirements.

Who can travel to the Philippines during the pandemic?

TRAVELERDOCUMENTS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Filipino Nationals • Philippine Passport
• Proof of citizenship
• Pre-booked quarantine hotel accredited by Tourism
and Health Agencies for at least 6 nights
• RT-PCR Test on the 6thday of arrival/quarantine
(at traveler’s expense, except for OFWs, which shall be shouldered by OWWA/LMAs)
Non-Filipino/Foreign
spouse and children
of a Filipino national
• Must travel with the Filipino National
• Foreign Passport with a valid visa at the time of entry
• Any of the following:
For spouses: authentic marriage certificate
For children: authentic birth certificate
• Must meet the additional conditions of the IATF-EID3
Dual Citizens• Foreign PassportANDactual valid Philippine Passport;OR
• Foreign PassportANDany of the following documents:
Identification Certificate
Certificate of Reacquisition/Retention/Recognition
Travel Document of Filipino Certification issued by a PH Embassy Abroad
• Must meet the additional conditions of the IATF-EID3
Diplomats, Accredited foreign
government and international
organization officials and their dependents
• Passport with valid 9(E) or 42(a)(2) visa at the time of entry
• Subject to arrival and quarantine procedures set by the Philippine Department of Health
• No need for DFA authorization/endorsement
Non-Filipino/Foreign seafarers
with 9 (C) crew list visa
• Must be under the “Green Lanes” program
• Foreign Passport/Seaman’s Book
• Must meet the additional conditions of the IATF-EID3
Non-Filipino nationals involved
in medical repatriation​
• Foreign Passport with a valid visa at the time of entry
• Duly endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs- Office of the
Undersecretary ​for Migrant Workers AffairsANDthe Overseas Workers Welfare Administration​
• Must meet the additional conditions of the IATF-EID3
Emergency, humanitarian, and other cases​• Foreign Passport with a valid visa at the time of entry
• Approved by the Chairperson of the National Task Force on COVID-19 or his authorized representative
• Must meet the additional conditions of the IATF-EID3

Traveling to the Philippines is Visa-Free to most countries and travelers can stay up to 30 days provided they undergo the necessary steps implemented by the government. Check to see if your country is among those: Countries whose Nationals Can Enter the Philippines Without a Visa.

Conclusion

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect global travel, the Philippines has implemented guidelines and requirements for foreign nationals entering the country. Travel restrictions remain in place, but various categories of foreign nationals are allowed entry, including permanent residents, spouses and children of Filipino citizens, accredited foreign government officials, and individuals with valid visas. Adhering to pre-departure requirements, testing protocols, and complying with health and safety measures are crucial for a smooth and safe entry process. Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, staying informed about travel updates and official announcements is essential to ensure a successful and seamless travel experience to the Philippines during this challenging period.

Polly Amora

Polly Amora is the señorita behind GoldenIslandSenorita.Net. A corporate warrior by day, and a perpetual explorer by heart. She is a lifelong learner who is very outgoing, speaks four languages, loud & outspoken, and loves to have adventures in the mountains, on the beach, and in the city. You can throw her anywhere, and she'll handle it like a pro. Ice cream and bourbon are two of her weaknesses.

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3 Comments

  1. Sana makakabalik ako sa Pinas sa malapit na hinaharap

  2. Planning to visit the Philippines in June. hoping that everything goes well.

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