The Philippines requires a sort of exit visa for tourists staying longer than 6 months, called an "exit clearance cerificate" or ECC. (Sometimes, confusingly, "emigration" is substituted for "exit.")

This paperwork usually takes at least a week to process, but I forgot to obtain one for my flight which leaves a week from today. Is an expedited service available?

The US Embassy mentions expedited service for only 500 pesos, and that info is widely quoted around the web, but it may be out of date. Will it be possible to get the clearance in time, maybe if I go to the Bureau of Immigration head office in Manila?

  • 2
    I'm not sure why substituting "emigration" for "exit" is confusing--the words mean the same thing--to leave one's country.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 11, 2014 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Flimzy Because, most bureaucracies prefer to assign exactly one name to each paperwork process. The words don't mean exactly the same thing, either; tourists "exit" but only residents can "emigrate."
    – Exitvisa
    Oct 11, 2014 at 14:01
  • I realize they aren't exact synonyms, but in this context they are... it seems the gov't assumes that someone living there for 6+ months is no longer strictly a "tourist."
    – Flimzy
    Oct 11, 2014 at 19:07

3 Answers 3


I just got my ECC in Cebu City.

It took only 1 hour to process.

The things I was required to show were:

  • 3 passport photos
  • ACR card
  • Passport

That's it. Not 6 photos, only 3. No plane tickets, no photocopies of anything, no receipt of my last visa extension, no fingerprints.

The application form was a single page with the usual questions on it. Also it asked about your flight information, ACR card number (it's in the top left), address in PH and your home country and your reason for leaving(!)

It probably varies depending on your location and the wind direction so take this with a grain of salt.

  • It's better at my location too, this year. I'm not sure exactly what the new requirements were, since I simply went in with all the visa photocopies and such. They did take 4 photos and a whole day, so mileage does seem to vary.
    – Exitvisa
    Nov 19, 2015 at 15:25

Edit: I went through the process again and now the turnaround at the local office is just one day. Also, only 4 photos are required, not 5.

I don't know whether this is true of all field offices, but do check before making assumptions.


Today I visited the Bureau of Immigration head office in Intramuros, and they informed me that the normal processing time is three days. (Exactly three days, to the minute. You cannot apply Monday afternoon and pick-up Thursday morning.) The exit clearance fees are included in the ACR I-Card (Alien Certificate of Registration), leaving "only" the P500 general transaction fee.

If you can make a couple round trips to Manila (or one round trip if your flight is late on a weekday), you can save a flight from having missed the provincial ECC deadline.

Since the requirements aren't listed online or even on the official application form, but only on a paper slip stapled onto it, this list might help if you're making a long trip:

  • 5 pieces, 2-inch square glossy photos, passport-style (no eyeglasses or hat)
    • You can buy a set on-site for P100.
  • Photocopies of all passport pages containing Philippine visas and extensions up to the last entry
  • Photocopy of passport info page
  • Photocopy of ACR, front & back
  • Photocopy of last visa extension receipt (!)
  • Your passport, obviously
  • Your hands. They will take a complete set of fingerprints, so there's no way to send an agent.
  • 1
    This is some extraordinary procedure for exiting as a tourist! O.O Aug 22, 2015 at 20:58

Yesterday I had my ECC in Davao, requirements there were photocopies of your passport showing your entry stamp showing the date you came into the country the last extension on your visa your man bio page and copies of your ACR Card front and back also 4 photos, you also fill in a form and they take your thumb prints then you pay , I had everything done in around one hour the officers were very good and help you fill in the form

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