travel Philippines 2021
Philippines

Can I travel to the Philippines in 2021?

On January 4, 2021, the Bureau of Immigration released a press announcement about the latest travel restrictions for foreigners that planned on visiting the Philippines during the ongoing COVID pandemic.  Here are the latest requirements. 

It is nearly impossible for anyone and especially travellers to enter the Philippines at the moment. The new travel ban for 21 countries continues until January 15th but hearsay tells me that it will not be lifted anytime soon.

The fact that the Philippines has to wait a long time for its vaccination program to start might be the reason for that. Fear of the newly mutated virus to spread rapidly in the Philippines is the main reason to close the borders to all foreigners that want to enter.

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This is the list of countries with a travel ban:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Denmark
  3. Ireland
  4. Japan
  5. Australia
  6. Israel
  7. Netherlands
  8. Hong Kong (SAR)
  9. Switzerland
  10. France
  11. Germany
  12. Iceland
  13. Italy
  14. Libanon
  15. Singapore
  16. Sweden
  17. South Korea
  18. South Africa
  19. Canada
  20. Spain
  21. USA
  22. Portugal
  23. India
  24. Finland
  25. Norway
  26. Jordan
  27. Spain

The list is updated almost daily.

At the moment it is nearly impossible to travel to the Philippines unless you have a Filipino passport. Filipinos by birth that travel from the countries on this list are allowed to travel home but have to stay in a quarantine facility for 14 days.

You can find the initial press release here on the Facebook page of the Bureau of Immigration

On January 4 the Immigration Department added a new press release since there was a lot of confusion about the press release of January 2. It stated clearly that even if you have a 9E visa, you are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Palo Leyte travel photos

How can you enter the Philippines?

If you are from one of the countries on the list, you cannot. If you come from another country that is not listed in any press release of the bureau of Immigration you follow the following requirements.

The rules so far for entering the Philipines are:

    • If you have visited 14 days prior to your visit to the Philippines, one of these 21 countries, you have to book time in a by the governement appointed quarantine facility
    • If you do not come from any of the listed countries you have to follow the IATF guidelines, please note that a stay in a quarantine facility is mandatory 
    • If you’ve had a transfer in any of these 21 countries, you can enter the Philippines following the IATF guidelines if you can prove you have not been through customs. (IF you did not leave the airport transfer (free) zone) When you cannot prove this, you cannot enter the Philippines
    • Are you an overseas worker and you come from one of the 21 banned countries you are allowed to return home following the IATF guidelines, but you have to spend 14 days in a by the governement appointed quarantine facility

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Who can enter the Philippines as of January 8?

  • Balikbayans
  • Foreign Spouses and minor children of Filipinos, is you do not have a visa you need a pre-approved visa from the embassy
  • Children with special needs (regardless of age) of Filipinos
  • Foreign parents of minor Filipinos, you need to apply for a pre-approved visa at a nearby embassy
  • Foreign parents of Filipino children regardless of age that has special needs, application for a pre-approved visa is required
  • Foreign airline crew members
  • Foreign seafarers with 9(c) visa

All the above should comply with the IATF rules and you cannot come from any of the 27 listed banned countries.

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I have an SRRV (Retirement) Visa, can I enter the Philippines?

Holders of an SRRV visa are not allowed to enter the Philippines. People that own property in the Philippines, that have investments, and/or have family living in the Philippines are not allowed to enter.

kagusuan beach, siquijor, Philippines

I have a pre-approved visa, can I enter?

No, you cannot, travellers with pre-approved (tourist) visas are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Only 9E visas can enter under special circumstance if they are not on the list of banned countries. And those who have minor children or children with special needs in the Philippines

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I am married to a Filipino/Filipina, can I enter the Philippines?

Rules for those who are married and travel with their Filipino spouse are, that they can return to the Philippines if they can prove the marriage being registered in the Philippines. If you do not travel with your spouse, you are not allowed to enter.

Balikbayans are allowed to enter the Philippines.

 

Please note: There is a lot of hearsay going around on the internet. Do follow the guidelines of the Bureau of Immigration, and only trust their information. To fly back from a country where you are denied access to is very difficult due to the pandemic and flight rules. When in doubt contact the Filipino Embassy in your country.

Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites Currently, she lives in Mexico. She is an emigration coach and works online.

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