(Last updated 8 April 2017)
How Long Can I Stay in the Philippines?
Recently I received a question from a fellow who was planning to visit the Philippines. He didn’t know for sure how long he wanted to stay, so he asked me how long he could stay. A very simple and intelligent question. But the answer is actually complicated as all get out, and it shouldn’t be. Let’s see if we can apply the KISS principle and make the answer as simple as it ought to be.
To Make A Complicated Answer Short, Simplicate
The first thing to consider here is citizenship. I’m going to answer this question specifically for US citizens. Many other countries have identical rules, but it’s complicated to go into all the details … we’re keeping it simple, right?
One additional thing many people might have in the back of their mind … are there any restrictions imposed by the US in staying extended times, even living permanently overseas?
The answer to that, except for a couple counties clearly listed in your passport, is no, not at all. Asa US citizen you need no permission or applications to allow overseas stays, and no, you will NOT risk losing your US citizenship, no matter how long you stay in the Philippines.
Simple Enough So Far, Isn’t It?
Guess what? It’s almost as simple under Philippine law. If a US citizen just gets on a plane and lands in the Philippines, s/he gets an automatic passport stamp (Tourist Visa waiver, technically) which allows him or her to stay 30 days in the Philippines.
Free, and about as simple as it gets. But as my old friend Ronald M. “Ron” Popeil (Look him up in Google) is famous for saying.
But Wait, There’s More!
If you want to stay longer than 30 days, you can go to any Philippine Immigration Office (BI) and renew your stay for 30, 60 or 180 days at a time, for a small fee, as many times as you care to, up to a total of 36 months. Yep, you can stay for up to 3 full years by just renewing as required by just filling out a simple, short form at any BI office. It’s really pretty simple.
Of course you’re going to ask how much these renewals cost. The simple answer is, over the course of several years, it will average out to less than $2 USD per day.
At the end of your allowed stay on a tourist visa, you must leave the Philippines. Some people say you must leave for at least 24 hours, but I’ve never seen that in writing. Any trip out should be good enough.
If you still want to stay in the Philippines, you can then return to the Philippines and start the whole tourist visa renewal cycle all over again. Maximum of three years at a time for as long as you wish. Pretty simple.
There Are Other Ways To Stay That Don’t Involve Periodic Renewals
But they may be “less simple” or cost a bit more. Although sometimes they are very simple as well. For now, let me know if this article was simple enough for your questions about How Long Can I Stay in the Philippines?