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There are about 41 million people working in the Philippines, and more than 21 million of them are employed in the services sector.
Other important sectors for expats working in the Philippines are agriculture and the production industries, mining, the property market and growing tourism leading to the construction of new hotels, shopping malls and casinos, business outsourcing units and EFL education. Foreign investors are also moving into the Philippines for a chance to establish themselves in the region.
Note that it is not recommended to move to the Philippines and then search for work, as hiring companies generally have to prove that the position cannot be filled by a Filipino.
There are four main options for working in The Philippines:
Special Non-Immigrant 47(a)(2) Visa
9(g) Pre-arranged Employment Visa (Commercial)
Special Work Permit
Multiple Entry Special Visa (MESV)
There are a range of intra-company transfer and highly skilled work permit categories according to whether companies are registered with Philippines Economic Zone (PEZA) or Board of Investments (BOI), the length of assignment and whether the company is licensed by the Central Bank of the Philippines to operate as an offshore banking unit.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the type of work permit being applied for. However, non-visa nationals generally enter the country, obtain a temporary visa on arrival and submit the work permit application in-country.
A visa national will be required to obtain a visitor visa prior to travel to enter the Philippines and submit the work permit application in-country.
All categories will involve local registration as part of the process to obtain tax numbers and identity card.
Applicants will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application.
Requirements will vary slightly according to the nationality of the applicant, the country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants and some documents may need to be legalised and/or translated, particularly in relation to family dependant applications. Newland Chase can advise on a case by case basis.
Among the corporate documents to be submitted, note that the Filipino company is required to submit a list of Foreign Nationals with 47(a)(2) Visa and a List of Expatriates Employed by the Company
Processing times will vary according to visa type, nationality, and country of application. For those who require an entry visa to travel to the Philippines, it can take up to 1 month from the date of submission for the entry visa to be processed. In-country work permits processing times as generally 2-3 months.
Duration varies according to visa type, but generally, a work permit is usually issued for an initial period of 1 year and is renewable each year.
The alien card issued in-country is valid for 1 year or the duration of the assignment, renewable each year and is only valid for work with the sponsoring company.
Yes, see above.
There are only a couple of routes for obtaining permanent residence in the Philippines. One is by marriage to a Filipino national. (However, note that this visa is only available to citizens of a country which grants permanent residence and immigration privileges to Philippine citizens). The other main route is as a Retiree.
In the Philippines, permanent resident visa in the Philippines is a kind of visa that lasts for ten years provided that you have a permanent residence in the Philippines. This visa will last one year for the initial application and after further reapplications, it will last for ten years
It is important to ensure that the immigration part of the relocation process is started as early as possible and well in advance of your actual assignment date to the Philippines. Personal documents for dependents will need to be legalised and translated if not in English so sufficient lead time should be allowed for this.
Quotas apply for foreign nationals working in certain positions so this should be verified before initiating an application.
Note that the applicant must be in the Philippines at the time of approval, otherwise, the approved work visa has to be revalidated.
Requirements and procedures may change on a frequent basis, so please consult with your Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for current and detailed information.