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Balikbayan Visa-Free Privilege


The following shall be covered under the Balikbayan Visa-Free Privilege:

  1. Filipino citizens’ foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them; and
  2. Former Filipino citizens, together with their foreign spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them;

The entry of the above-mentioned foreign nationals shall be subject to the following condition:

  • They must be nationals permitted/allowed to enter the country visa-free under Executive Order No. 408[1], series of 1960;

Who are eligible under the Balikbayan Program?

The following are considered Balikbayan (returning Filipino) travelers to the Philippines:

  • A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year;
  • A Filipino overseas worker;
  • A former Filipino citizen; or
  • Alien spouse and children of Balikbayan who are traveling together with the Balikbayan.

Who are not entitled to the Balikbayan privilege?

Former Filipinos and their immediate family members (spouse and children) who are visa-required nationals (nationals of countries NOT listed in the List of Countries Whose Nationals are Allowed 30 Day Visa-Free under EO 408). They must secure entry visas prior to their travel to the Philippines.

Nationals who are subjects of deportation/blacklist orders of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration shall not be admitted to the Philippines.

What are the privileges of a Balikbayan?

Those who are admitted as Balikbayans are given an initial stay of one (1) year.

They may extend their stay for another one (1), two (2) or six (6) months provided they apply for an extension of stay at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Main Office or any BI field office nationwide.

Other privileges that the Balikbayan can avail themselves of under Republic Act 9174 “Balikbayan Law” are:

  • Exemption from travel tax.
  • Duty-free shopping privilege of up to US$2,000.00, provided that shopping must be done within two (2) days upon arrival and purchases must be made personally by the balikbayan.

What do I need to present to the Philippine Immigration Officer to avail myself of the visa-free privilege for Balikbayan?

Returning Balikbayans or former Filipinos may enter the Philippines without a visa and stay for a period of one (1) year, provided that they have the following:

  1. Passport valid for 6 months beyond the intended stay in the Philippines;
  2. Round-trip ticket;
  3. Proof of former Philippine citizenship (e.g., old Philippine passport or PSA-authenticated birth certificate). Please note that a foreign passport indicating “Philippines” as your place of birth is not sufficient proof of your previous Filipino citizenship;
  4. Proof of full vaccination; and
  5. A negative RT-PCR Test Result taken 48 hours or negative laboratory based Antigen-Test taken within 24 hours prior to the date of departure from the country of origin, in a continuous travel to the Philippines, excluding lay-overs, provided that the traveler has not left the airport premises or has not been admitted into another country during the lay-over.