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Monday, July 24, 2017

VISA-FREE COUNTRIES FOR FILIPINOS

A lot of Filipinos these days are getting blissful about traveling overseas specially the chance of obtaining visa is getting bigger and bigger and add the promo fares, inexpensive accommodation, and affordable tour packages. For you convenience, I listed down the countries that Filipino travelers can visit without worrying about the hassle of applying for a visa or visitor’s permit. This is a total of 76 nations around the world including the duration or validity of stay according to region and listed in alphabetical order.

ASIA
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Members
1. Brunei Darussalam – 14 days
2. Cambodia – 21 days
3. Indonesia – 30 days
4. Laos – 30 days
5. Malaysia – 30 days
6. Singapore – 30 days
7. Thailand – 30 days
8. Vietnam – 21 days

Non-ASEAN Members
1. Armenia – 120 days
2. China, Shenzhen – 7 days from Hong Kong (valid only in Shenzhen)
3. Hong Kong – 14 days
4. India – 30 days (eTourist visa is required, available online). For more details about visa information, you may visit India Embassy
5. Iran -15 days (e-visa pre-approval code is required available in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
6. Israel – 90 days 
7. Kyrgyzstan – 30 days
8. Laos – 21 days
9. Macau – 30 days
10. Maldives – 30 days
11. Myanmar – 21 days
12. Mongolia – 21 days
13. Nepal – 21 days
14. South Korea – 30 days if only arriving in Jeju Island or after visiting South Korea 4 times with visa.
15. Sri Lanka – 30 days (electronic visa authorization is required before arrival), for more details about the visa, you may visit Sri Lanka Embassy
16. Taiwan – 30 days if one has permanent residence certificate or an visa from United States, United Kingdom, Schengen countries, New Zealand, Japan, Canada,and Australia, but it should not be expired. For more information about Taiwan visa application, read this article How to Apply for Taiwan Tourist Visa
17. Tajikstan – 45 days
18. Timor Leste (popularly known as East Timor) – 30 days

AFRICA
1. Cape Verde Islands – 21 days
2. Comoros – 21 days
3. Djibouti – 30 days
4. Gambia – the visa will be issued upon arrival but needs a clearance from the immigration beforehand.
5. Guinea-Bissau – 90 days
6. Kenya – 90 days
7. Madagascar – 30 days
8. Mauritania – visa is issued upon arrival
9. Morocco – 90 days
10. Mozambique – 30 days
11. Rwanda – 90 days
12. Saint Helena – visa issued upon arrival
13. Senegal – 30 days and the visa is available online. An invitation letter is required.
14. Seychelles – 30 days. Bring your proof of accommodation and enough funds.
15. Somalia – 30 days. An invitation letter is required and must be submitted several days before arriving.
16. Tanzania -visa is issued upon arrival.
17. Togo (also known as Togolese Republic) – 7 days. Yellow fever vaccination is required.
18. Uganda – 90 days
19. Zambia – 90 days

CENTRAL AMERICA
1. Costa Rica – 30 days
2. Guatemala – 90 days
3. Nicaragua – 90 days

CARIBBEAN
1. Anguilla – 21 days
2. Dominica – 21 days
3. Haiti – 21 days
4. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 30 days
5. Turks and Caicos Islands – 21 days

EUROPE
1. Georgia – visa is issued upon arrival. An invitation is required.
2. Kosovo – 90 days
3. Liechtestein – 30 days
4. Turkey – 30 days (single entry). eVisa is required.

PACIFIC ISLAND NATIONS / OCEANIA
1. Cook Islands – 31 days
2. Fiji – 120 days
3. Marshall Islands – 90 days
4. Micronesia – 30 days
5. Nauru – 30 days
6. Niue – 30 days
7. Northern Marianas – visa is issued upon arrival.
8. Palau – 30 days
9. Papua New Guinea – 60 days
10. Pitcairn Islands – 14 days
11. Samoa – 60 days
12. Tuvalu – 30 days
13. Vanuatu – 30 days

SOUTH AMERICA
1. Bolivia – 90 days
2. Brazil – 90 days
3. Colombia- 90 days
4. Ecuador -90 days
5. Peru – 183 days
6. Suriname – 90 days

Reminders:
* If you plan to visit one of these countries, it is advisable to visit their website to double-check other requirements such as providing an itinerary or travel plan, a copy of your bank statement, hotel booking or your accommodation, and flight details.
* Visa application in some countries listed above requires the traveler to apply online and print the copy once supplemental requirements are submitted and approved by the ministry.
* Remember, your passport must have more than 6 months of validity. To apply for your passport, refer to this article How to Apply for Philippine Passport


Thursday, July 20, 2017

REQUIREMENTS FOR CHINA TOURIST VISA

If you are a Filipino who’s planning to visit People’s Republic of China (PRC) for travel or tour, there are important documents you must prepare to obtain a tourist visa commonly known as Visa L.
1. Philippine Passport
The passport should be valid at least 6 months. It should have at least one blank visa page including the photocopy of the passport’s information or photo page, and emergency contact page. Please submit your old passport if you have one. On the other hand, if the applicant doesn’t have any passport before, take note of this in the item 3.7 found in the visa application form. To apply for Philippine passport, visit DFA Passport Application

2. Visa Application Form
You must type your answers using capital English letters in the visa application form available in the embassy. Type N/A if the item does not apply and never leave any filed blank. The application form for minors should be signed by their parents or legal guardians. Remember, it is important to submit truthfully completed and signed application form. To download the application form, click Visa Application Form (Mainland China only)

3. Photo
Please provide 2 pieces of photos. They must appear alone and face forward and should have a standard size of 48mm x 33mm with white background without any border, designs, objects, and shading. The applicant wearing headbands, caps, eyeglasses, etc. is not accepted. Your facial expressions in photos must have general expressions not exaggerated and don’t let your hair obscure your facial features. Do not staple, tape, clip, or detach your photo.

4. Travel Itinerary
Additional requirement such as travel itinerary should be provided by the applicant.

5. Airline Ticket and Hotel
The embassy requires the applicant to provide his/her round-trip airline ticket and hotel.

6. Invitation Letter from China
An invitation letter from China must include the photocopy of the ff:
a. Inviter’s Chinese ID
b. Passport with Chinese Residence Permit
Please take note of the important information that an invitation letter must have.
1. Applicant’s information: full name, gender, date of birth, etc.
2. Information of the planned visit: purpose, arrival and departure dates, places to be visited, relations between the applicant and the inviting entity or individual, financial source for travel, etc.
3. Invitor’s information: name, contact telephone number, address, official stamp, signature of the legal representative or the invitor.
Remember that the invitation letter can be in the form of:
- fax,
- photocopy or
- computer printout, or
- just the original copy required by the consular officer
The proof of kinship can be:
- marriage certificate,
- birth certificate,
- certification of kinship issued by Chinese Public Security Bureau or notarized certification of kinship

If you are a first time Chinese visa applicant, you are required to provide the following additional document.
7. Bank Certificate
Your bank certificate or bank statement should indicate the deposit balance for the past 6 months and the receipt for the payment of this certificate.

8. Income Tax Return (ITR) Form
Your ITR should be stamped by BIR.

9. Certificate of Employment
Your certificate of employment should indicate the salary and the length of the employment)

10. Business Registration Certificate
If you are a business owner, you can submit this requirement.

11. Professional ID / Student’s ID
For professional, you may submit a copy of your PRC ID, while for students, you can submit a photocopy of your school ID. You may bring the original ID when submitting your these requirements.To apply for PRC ID renewal, you may visit PRC Online

12. Other Relevant Documents
The applicant is required to submit a few relevant documents that will provide the applicant’s economic condition, employment/study, or support the applicant’s travel to China, or explain the purpose of the applicant’s travel (if applicable).

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* Please provide complete and authentic application materials. Forged and incomplete applications will be denied.
* The consular officer will decide on whether he or she will issue the visa and its validity, duration of stay and number of entries in light of specific conditions of the applicant. And according to the relevant Chinese rules and regulations, the consular officer is not mandatory to give reasons for the refusal of visa issuance.
* The applicant should submit his or her visa application in person or authorized person (immediate family member/household staff/co-worker) or an accredited travel agency to submit on his/her behalf.
* No appointment is required.
* Mailing the application is not accepted.
* It’s case to case basis, the consular officer may require the applicant to provide other proof documents or additional materials, or an interview with the applicant.
* You have to check the visa after receiving it and if there are some discrepancies, please contact the Visa Office immediately.

Visa Fee
Visa Types                  Application Fee         
Regular Processing
Single Entry                 P 1,400                       
Double Entry               P 2,100                       
6 months (multiple)    P 2,800
Over 6 months            P 4,200
(multiple)
Express Processing     P 1,100 per visa (additional)
Rush Processing          P 1,700 per visa (additional)
Note: These special services are not available for the first time Chinese visa applicant/ X1 and Z visa applicant.

Processing Timeframe:
Regular Processing                 4 working days
Express Processing                  3 working days
Rush Processing                      2 working days

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* The office reserves the right to withhold the reason for the disapproval of any visa application.
* If in case the application was declined after the review, the fees charged are NOT REFUNDABLE.
* Please pay visa fees when collecting passport. Visa fees should be paid in cash. 

Contact Information
For the complete contact information of the consular office, you may click Chinese Embassy Office

For more information about other types of visa in China, pls click Chinese Embassy in the Philippines

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

REQUIREMENTS FOR TAIWAN TOURIST OR BUSINESS VISA

If you are a Filipino who’s planning to visit Taiwan for travel or tour, there are important documents you must prepare.
1. Philippine Passport
The passport should be valid at least 6 months. If it is an old passport, it must be showing your previous travels. Remember that your passport must be signed.
To apply, you may click DFA Passport

2. E- Visa Application Form
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of China (Taiwan) has started its online visa application among Filipino visa applicants since October 7, 2016. This simplified visa policy will save the applicant’s time and cost of traveling to the office. This means that the applicant doesn’t need to have a physical appearance in the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines to get and fill this form in. 
To apply, click E-visa.

3. Photo
Your photo must appear alone and face forward. It should have a standard size of 1.5 inches x 2 inches with white background without any border, designs, objects, and shading. The applicant wearing headbands, caps, eyeglasses, etc. are not accepted. Your facial expressions in photos must have general expressions not exaggerated and don’t let your hair obscure your facial features. Then the photo must be taken within 3 months.

4. Birth Certificate
Your birth certificate must be issued by Philippine Statistics (PSA) Office.
To apply, please click PSA Birth Certificate

5. Marriage Certificate
This has to be provided if female applicant is married.

6. Financial statements of the applicant or guardian
You can provide the copy of your or your guardian’s bank book or bank statements.

7. Certificate of Employment
If the applicant is under 18 years old, he or she must submit an evidence of enrollment at school.

8. Traveling on Business
If you are traveling on business, please provide the following:
- Certificate of business name registration and SEC registration (if you are the owner of the company)
- Invitation letter from Taiwan company / organization
- Request letter from applicant’s company
- Certificate of employment

9. Other Supporting Documents
Provide other documents if required such as your Transcript of Record (TOR), Diploma, Year Book, etc.

10. Schedule of Interview
If required, you will be provided a schedule for an interview in the office.

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* All documents that will be submitted to the office should be original and with 1 photocopy. Furthermore, the information on your eVisa should fully match the information on your travel document. If not, your eVisa is invalid in this case and you must re-apply and obtain a new eVisa.
* Each traveler must obtain his or her own eVisa.
* Applicants over 60 years old for tourist purpose may waive the documents #6 and #7.
* Please prepare your travel plan or itinerary in Taiwan for it is needed in your eVisa application. If your itinerary changes, you have to re-apply for a new eVisa.
* Once eVisa is approved, you have to check your email and download the file and print it. You are required to present this at the immigration checkpoint for verification by the National Immigration Agency upon arrival in Taiwan.
* This visa application does not apply to family or group application for eVisa.
* You are only allowed 30 minutes to complete filling in each page of the form. If the applicant is not able to save the draft, the filling-in process will stop automatically. Then you have to start the process once more.

Visa Fee
Visa Types                           Application Fee       Rush Handling Fee
Visitor (Single Entry)             P 2,400                      P 1,200
Visitor (Multiple Entry)          P 4,800                       P 2,400
Resident (Single Entry)        P 3,100                       P 1,550

Processing Timeframe:
Visitor Visa                            3 working days
Expedite Processing             1 working day

Resident Visa                        4 working days
Expedite Processing              2 working days

Resident Visa for Missionaries 2 to 4 weeks

Filling and Releasing Time
Filling Time                           M – F, 08:45 am – 11:45 am
Releasing Time                    M – F, 01:45 pm – 04:45 pm

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* The office reserves the right to withhold the reason for the disapproval of any visa application.
* If in case the application was declined after the review, the fees charged are NOT REFUNDABLE.

* Visa fees should be paid using credit card from either MasterCard or Visa only.  

Office Address
41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza
6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City 1200,
Metro Manila, Philippines

Contact No.
Telephone: 632-887-6688
Fax: 632-887-7679

Note: 
The information above can be found in the website and for further information, you may click Taipei Economic and Cultural Office

Sunday, July 9, 2017

REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH KOREA TOURIST OR BUSINESS VISA

If you are a Filipino employee who’s planning to visit South Korea for travel or tour, there are important documents you must prepare to obtain a tourist or business visa.
1. Philippine Passport
The passport should be valid at least 6 months.
To apply, please click DFA Passport

2. Application Form
This form can be downloaded in the website. Please provide the necessary information.
To download the pdf file, you may click 




Sample Application Form courtesy of Korean Embassy

3. Photo
Provide 1 copy of your photo. You must appear alone and face forward. It should have a standard size of 35 mm x 45 mm with white or off-white background without any border, designs, objects, and shading. The applicant wearing headbands, caps, eyeglasses, etc. are not accepted. Your facial expressions in photos must have general expressions not exaggerated and don’t let your hair obscure your facial features. Then the photo must be taken within the last 6 months.

4. Bank Statement
Please provide an original or certified true copy of your bank statements or passbook for the last 3 months.

5. Certificate of Employment
You have to submit the original copy of your certificate of employment which includes important details such as the applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number (mobile number is not allowed), and HR e-mail address.

6. Personal Bank Certificate
Please provide an original copy of your personal bank certificate which includes vital details including account type, current balance, account opening date, and ADB.

7. Passport Bio-page
You must photocopy and submit the bio-page that can be found on the second page of your passport.

8. Income Tax Return
Ready your ITR specifically Form 2316 and have it photocopied.

9. PRC or IBP copy
Provide the copy of your PRC or IBP if applicable.
To apply for PRC ID, click PRC ID Renewal

10.  Visa and Arrival Stamps
Please provide the original and photocopy of valid visa(s) or arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years if applicable only.

If personally invited by Korean
1.    Invitation Letter
2.    Photocopy of Invitor’s Passport or Identification Card (authentication is not mandatory)
If invited by a company in Korea
3.    Invitation Letter
4.    Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit (authentication is not mandatory)

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* Visa validity is only 3 months from the date of issue.
* It is advisable not to apply more than 3 months prior to your date of travel.
* For family application, submitting the necessary documents must be at the same window and at the same time. Representative may file the visa applications of all family members. For this kind of application please provide a proof of relationship like marriage contract and birth certificate.
* Frequent travelers who have traveled as tourist to Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.
* Fill the application in with correct and complete details. You have to write block letters either in English or Korean.

Visa Fee
Visa Types                           Application Fee      
59 days or less stay             Gratis or free of charge                      
60 to 90 days                        P 1,800         

Processing Time Frame
* Visitor who have been to OECD member             3 working days
countries w/in 5 years as tourist
* Visitor who have NOT been to OECD member    5 working days
Countries w/in 5 years as tourist
Reminder:
First-time travelers                                                   5 working days
Frequent travelers                                                    3 working days    

Filling and Releasing Time at the Consular’s Office
Filling Time                           M – F, 08:30 am – 11:00 am
Releasing Time                    M – F, 01:30 pm – 03:00 pm

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* There is no expedite process
* Apply for your visa before purchasing your airline tickets since visa issuance is subject for approval of the consul in charge.

* Applicants arriving after 10:30 am may not be accommodated. 

REQUIREMENTS FOR JAPAN TOURIST VISA

If you are a Filipino who’s planning to visit Japan for travel or tour, there are things you have to consider. And if the arrangement or filing the documents in Japan Embassy will be made by you, here are the essential requirements you have to prepare:
1. Philippine Passport
Your passport must be signed and must have at least 2 blank visa pages. Broken passport is not accepted.
To apply, you may click DFA Passport

2. Visa Application Form
This applicant form has to be filled in correctly. Write N/A if the item is not applicable because the embassy may not accept the application with blank item. In addition, your application may be denied if you don’t have the signature and date or the application form is filled out incorrectly or with wrong information.
You can avail this form at the entrance of the embassy, in any of the accredited travel agencies, or in the embassy website.
To download the pdf file, you may click the link below.
Photos courtesy of Japan Embassy

3. Photo
Your photo must appear alone and face forward. It should have a standard size of 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm with white background without any border, designs, objects, and shading. The applicant wearing headbands, caps, eyeglasses, etc. are not accepted. Your facial expressions in photos must have general expressions not exaggerated and don’t let your hair obscure your facial features. Then the photo must be taken within 6 months. Remember to write your name and birthdate at the back of your photo, and paste it on the application form.

4. Birth Certificate
Your birth certificate must be issued within a year from Philippine Statistics (PSA) Office or Serbilis Outlet Center available nationwide.
To apply, you may click PSA Birth Certificate
* If unreadable or with incomplete information
Submit the birth certificate issued by PSA together with a birth certificate issued by the Local Registrar.
* If late registration
Submit a baptismal certificate, a school record (Form 137) from elementary school or high school, and a school yearbook (if possible)

5. Marriage Certificate
If the applicant is married, he or she has to provide this document. It must be issued within one year from PSA or Serbilis Outlet Center.
* If there is no record
Submit a “Certificate of Non-Record” form from PSA together with the Marriage Certificate from the Local Civil Registrar.

6. Daily Schedule in Japan
Daily schedule is similar to your travel plan or itinerary in Japan, also known Taizai Yoteihyo in Japanese. This form is also downloadable in Japan Embassy website.
To download the pdf file, you may click the link below.
Photo courtesy of Japan Embassy

The following document should be provided if the applicant will shoulder a part or all of his/her travel expenses
7. Bank Certificate
Just remember that your bank certificate’s validity should be 3 months from the date of issue.

8. Applicant’s Income Tax Return
Provide the latest photocopy of your ITR specifically Form 2316.

The following document should be provided if the applicant’s travel expenses (a part or all) will be shouldered by a Guarantor who lives in the Philippines
9. Guarantee Letter

10. Proof of Relationship
The proof of relationship between the applicant and the guarantor should be provided such as Birth Certificates, etc.

11. Guarantor’s Bank Certificate
Please provide the guarantor’s original copy of bank certificate.

12. Guarantor’s Income Tax Return
Please provide a clear photocopy of the guarantor’s ITR specifically Form 2316

OTHER IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
* The size of document for the application must be A4 only. If documents are in other size, adjust them in A4 size from its original size without stapling or pasting the pages.
* Please write or write in block letter on the application form.
* Paste your photo but not staple it.
* You are exempted from providing documents such as #4 and #5 indicated above if you can submit an old and valid passport with used Japan visa.
* It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet the requirements to grant your visa. You are encouraged to submit any documents not mentioned above to to support your application. For instance,
- Applicant’s economic or social ties with the Philippines
- Urgent reasons for visit: medical certificate, wedding invitation

Visa Fee
- Temporary visitor visa for Filipinos is free of charge. For the list of nationalities who are required to pay for their visa, you may click the link below.

Office Hours
M – F (except holidays)
08:30 am – 12:30 pm
01:30 pm - 05:15 pm

Address
2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300

Trunk Line
(02) 551-5710
Visa / Consular Matters
Filipino:            (02) 834-7514
Japanese:       (02) 834-7508

Note: All of these details can be found in their website. You may click the link below for further information.