Tourists’ initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days

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Starting August, visitors from 151 countries can enter the Philippines without a visa and can extend their stay up to 30 days, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI). AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Starting August, visitors from 151 countries can enter the Philippines without a visa and can extend their stay up to 30 days, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

BI officer-in-charge Seigfred Mison said on Tuesday the visa-free entry privilege has been extended from 21 to 30 days as part of the government’s efforts to draw more foreign tourists to the country.

The Department of Tourism is targeting 5.5 million foreign tourists for 2013 and double the figure by 2016. The tourism agency estimated that up to seven million jobs would be generated for Filipinos if the targets were achieved.

Mison noted that the new visa policy was adopted pursuant to a circular from the Department of Foreign Affairs issued on July 1. He said the bureau recently finished updating its computerized travel control systems in various ports of entry in time for the implementation of the new visa scheme.

59 days for Israel, Brazil visitors

While the scheme would allow foreign travelers up to 30 days in the country, visitors from Israel and Brazil shall be allowed an initial stay of 59 days following existing bilateral agreements, according to Mison.

He also emphasized that foreigners could only avail of the visa-free privilege if their passports were valid for at least six months beyond their intended period of stay.

“They should also present return tickets to their country of origin or onward tickets to their next country destination,” he said.

When asked whether the new scheme would affect the bureau’s collection, Mison said reduction might be minimal since many tourists who usually extended their visit actually stayed more than 30 days in the country.

“Yes to a certain extent since tourists who will be here for more than 21 days but less than 30 days will no longer file extensions,” Mison told reporters.

“But reduction may not be significant since tourists who really extend stay here for more than 30 days,” he added.

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  • yew_tan

    What is there to see worth a roundtrip plane ticket? Garbage piles, cesspools, sewers and chances of getting mugged, or become a target for kidnapped for ransom? That’s no fun at all. Neither are your dirty prostitutes….not even for free.

    • Billy Reyes

      the best island in the world 2013 are Palawan & Boracay both on the top 2. You are here writing comments to make a difference in our country that one day your comment will change the way we think. Don’t be like that bro… peace out.

      • fache

        After 34 years of being away from the Philippines, it is only fair to share my observation to everyone. There are so much to do to improve the surrounding area of CCP, Harbor View, and the surrounding area of Manila City Hall, so much garbage, congested streets, and undisciplined bus, jeepneys, pedicabs, drivers. It is hard not to bring these up and knowing Manila has a new Mayor and the hope these problems will be taking care of will come to reality.

  • Patrick

    It is a good move but unfortunately yew_tan is right. I am trying to set up a Tourist Business here but the salvaging , the tendency to pee openly on walls like a dog etc are a little dis-concerning to most tourists.

  • anongaba

    WOW! BI start to show up, Good move though hopefully this will not be another way of corruption by milking the overstaying foreigner.

  • Billy Reyes

    honestly it should be 3 months, we need tourism boost in our country.

  • novaliches

    sa US 6 months ang tourist visa.

  • novaliches

    Compare to our neighbors, mas kunting tourist ang pumupunta sa pinas. kahit di hamak na mas maganda ang ating mga beaches at tourist spot, hopefully this will enhance the tourism economics and tourist arrival.

    • Darth2D2

      they have better supporting infrastructure kasi. we should work on the same thing fast.

  • ManilaMan

    More than 100 nationalities can visit the PHL visa free.
    But what about countries that Filipinos can visit without a visa? Thats only like 20 more or less.
    Is there anything being done by the DFA to address this and forge more visa agreements with other countries for the rising number of Filipino tourists?
    Lets start with the region, aside from Asean, HK, Macau and Palau, how about the DFA expand the Filipino tourists map to cover also say Papua New Guinea, Saipan (CNMI), South Korea (the PHL gets a lot of Korean tourists entering the country visa free so why cant it be reciprocal?), Japan (some Asean countries already have this agreement incl SG, Malaysia, Thailand), more provinces in China (say Hainan, Xiamen and Guangzhou aside from HK/Macau), and Australia/New Zealand (the steep airfares discourages unwanted and potential illegal aliens from entering anyway).

  • boybakal

    This is good news….
    We welcome tourists around the word, whereas Filipinos are not welcome around the world.
    Pahirapan kumuha ng visa….Why….

  • boybakal

    Tourists’ initial stay in PH extended from 21 to 30 days

    Actually, this is good idea.
    Before the ex BI commissioner is sowing terror among tourists by rounding them up and accused of overstaying.
    The tourists then were branded as undesirable.

    Now, these tourists can now enjoy the country without fear of being arrested.
    We are now treating them with hospitality.
    Good job for a start.

  • BoracayADMIRER

    Another intelligent decision! Good work Departmen of Tourism!
    It’s more fun in the Philippines :-)

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