What is a Balikbayan Visa and Who Does it Apply to?

Balikbayan-Visa The Balikbayan program was launched by the Philippine Government to encourage ex or current Filipino citizens living in another country, to come and visit their mother land. This visa can be used by; former Filipino citizens that have now got citezenship in certain other countries on this list or Filipinos working abroad.
The Balikbayan visa will allow a one year visa free stay in the Philippines and this privilege can be extended to a foreign spouse and any current dependents. This is on the condition that; the whole family enters the country on the Balikbayan visa and that each are citizens of the countries listed here.

What Documents are Needed for the Balikbayan Visa?

Former Filipino citizens are advised to bring their old Philippines passport or birth certificate to provide proof of their former Filipino citizenship. Their foreign spouse and dependents need to bring;
  • Their marriage certificate 
  • The birth certificate of each dependent
  • Adoption papers for any adopted children 
  • Passports

Added Benefits to Users of the Balikbayan Visa Programme 

If you manage to get a one year visa free Balikbayan stay in the Philippines, you can enjoy some added benefits.
  • You are exempt from travel tax if your stay is one year or less
  • You can enjoy duty free shopping on purchases up to $2,000 if made by the Balikbayan

How to extend Your Balikbayan Visa

After your initial stay of one year, you can extend the Balikbayan visa for one, two or six months at your local bureau of immigration. When you’ve used your Balikbayan free stay and extended for up to a total of 36 months, you will be required to submit additional requirements if you wish to stay longer.

What to do If You’re Not Eligible for the Balikbayan Programme

If your current country of citizenship is not listed here, you will have to apply for a Philippine visa. If the foreign spouse or dependents come from one of the countries not on the list, they will also have to apply for a Philippine visa.

Can You Work on the Balikbayan Visa?

The Balikbayan program does not allow any of its recipients to work while entering the Philippines with it. If you are married to a Filipina and wish to work, you can get the 13a visa which will allow you to work in the Philippines.
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