Philippines: Visas On Arrival for Qualifying Chinese Nationals
The Philippines has announced that, effective 30 July 2009, nationals of the People’s Republic of China who hold valid visas for the US, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Schengen* area, may enter the Philippines visa free for a period of seven days. Previously, all Chinese nationals were required to obtain 9(a) visitor visas (valid for 59 days) at a Philippines Consulate or Embassy prior to arrival.
The visa waiver has been introduced to encourage tourism to the Philippines and reflects changes made in other parts of the world, for example, Panama, as recently reported by Emigra here.
Emigra can also confirm that the period of seven days may be extended post-arrival, if necessary. Additionally, the introduction of the visa waiver period means that qualifying Chinese nationals arriving in the Philippines for work purposes may now arrive in the Philippines without a prior visa and convert to work status post arrival.
It is important to note that the visa waiver is only applicable for those Chinese nationals who hold current and valid visas for the US, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Schengen* area. Chinese nationals not in possession of such valid visas must still apply for the consular 9(a) visitor visa.
*Schengen area = Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
What You Need to Do Next:
- If you have Chinese nationals travelling to the Philippines, verify if they already hold valid visas for the US, Australia, Canada, Japan or the Schengen area. If they do, no consular visitor visa will be required. If in doubt, ask Emigra to review for you.