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According to Wikitravel, for nationalities who are not covered under the 21-day visa waiver, Philippines issues visa-on-arrival. The page linked to reads more like a press release with no further information on how to apply and the name - 'pre-arranged visa upon arrival' - sounds like the system they have in Vietnam where you need to apply in advance for visa-on-arrival. The website for Philippines Embassy in Singapore (the local embassy in my case) does not list anything about this, nor way I able to find information anywhere else online.

Is anyone aware whether VOA is operational for Philippines yet, and if yes, details about it?

Edit: To clarify I plan to go to Philippines for travelling, not business.

  • Question got downvoted; care to explain? – Ankur Banerjee Jun 27 '11 at 17:46
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All you have to do is contact a travel agency to file the paperwork on your behalf several months before you plan to enter the country. If coming for business, the company you are visiting (or their attorney) can also file the paperwork for you. The program is designed to make it extremely easy to enter the country, and it has been working rather well.

If not on business, be sure to retain the help of a reputable travel agent. You might need their help if you want to extend your stay.

I arrived on a 21 day waiver and I'm now a permanent resident, several of my neighbors arrived on a VOA and were able to extend their stay, some of them changed their visas to other types (investor, etc). Immigration here is over worked to say the least, but they are extremely friendly and easy to deal with. If you want to enter the country and stay legally, they will do everything possible to assist you.

As the site says, the major difference is that you no longer have to make a personal appearance at an embassy, someone on this end can just file a few papers and pay a modest filing fee. Again - make sure you do it several months in advance, the wheels do sometimes turn rather slow.

  • Thanks, I was only considering coming on a tourist visa for now. Is the VOA procedure similar for that too? – Ankur Banerjee Jun 29 '11 at 0:26
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    @Ankur - yes. You actually start out with one unless you apply for something else. It's easy to change, though if you want to extend your stay - depending for how long and why. – Tim Post Jun 29 '11 at 3:50
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I hold an American passport and have been in and out of the Philippines for over a year now. I currently live in Dumaguete and have never had any problem receiving a VOA. I've never applied ahead of time. Only showed up to the airport and received my visa. You may however have to show proof of a return flight out of the Philippines. Other than that it is smooth sailing.

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