The Balikbayan Program as instituted by Republic Act 6768 (amended by Republic Act 9174) was launched by the Philippine Government to attract and encourage overseas Filipinos to come and visit their motherland. The following are considered balikbayans:
- Filipino citizens who have been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year;
- Filipino overseas workers;
- Former Filipino citizens who had been naturalized in one of the listed countries, and who comes or returns to the Philippines. If the country of citizenship is not listed, the balikbayan must apply for a Philippine visa.
Accompanying foreign spouse and children may avail of the Balikbayan Program, provided they are citizens of the listed countries and traveling with the former-Filipino balikbayan. If the country of citizenship is not listed, the foreign spouse and children must apply for a Philippine visa.
Please see: COUNTRIES COVERED BY THE BALIKBAYAN PROGRAM or refer to the table below.
All travellers to the Philippines are required to register at https://etravel.gov.ph at least 72 hours before their arrival. Travelers need to present their eTravel QR code prior to flight boarding. Registration is FREE OF CHARGE.
As of 22 July 2023, no COVID-19 test or vaccination requirement when traveling to the Philippines.
DURATION OF STAY
Visitors who are admitted as balikbayan are given an initial stay of one (1) year. Their stay may be extended for an additional one (1), two (2) or six (6) months at the Visa Extension Section of a Bureau of immigration (BI) office. Balikbayans who have stayed in the Philippines after thirty six (36) months may be required to submit additional requirements.
ONE YEAR VISA-FREE BALIKBAYAN STAY
The Philippines’ BALIKBAYAN PROGRAM allows a one-year visa-free stay for former Filipinos who have acquired citizenship in the countries listed below.
The visa-free stay privilege is extended to the balikbayan’s non-Filipino spouse and children, on the two conditions that:
- They enter the Philippines with the balikbayan; and
- They are citizens of any of the listed countries.
Former Filipino balikbayans traveling to the Philippines are advised to declare before the Immigration Officer at the port of entry that they are availing of the privilege and to bring either their old Philippine passport or copy of Philippine birth certificate as proof of their former Philippine citizenship.
The accompanying family members, who are citizens of countries listed as visa-free, are allowed to enter with the balikbayan to avail of the one-year visa-free stay, provided they are traveling with the balikbayan, and are able to show the following supporting documents as evidence of relationship:
- For the spouse: copy of marriage certificate
- For each child: copy of the birth certificate (indicating the balikbayan as a parent)
- For adopted children: copy of adoption papers (with the balikbayan as a adoptive parent)
Aside from visa-free entry to the Philippines, Philippine Law (R.A. 9174) provides the following benefits to balikbayans:
- Tax-exempt maximum purchases in the amount of USD 1,500.00, or the equivalent in Philippine and other currency, at Philippine Government–operated duty-free shops
- Exemption from Travel Tax provided that their stay in the Philippines is one year or less. If their stay in the Philippines exceeds one year, Travel tax will apply.
COUNTRIES COVERED BY THE BALIKBAYAN PROGRAM
Citizens of countries listed below are permitted to enter the Philippines under the Balikbayan program if traveling with the former-Filipino balikbayan. If the country of citizenship is not listed below, a valid entry visa is required.
|Papua New Guinea
|Antigua and Barbuda
|Republic of Korea
|Saint Kitts and Nevis
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
|Sao Tome and Principe
|Lao People’s Democratic Republic
|Central African Republic
|Trinidad and Tobago
|Democratic Republic of the Congo
|United Arab Emirates
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
|United Republic of Tanzania
|United States of America