The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration (BI) recently announced that foreigners abroad may be able to receive work visas before entering the country.

Key Points:

  • Currently, the 9(g) work visa is only available to foreign workers who are already in the country.
  • Philippine-based employers may apply for the visa on behalf of a foreign national. Once the application is processed, it will be forwarded to the foreign service post closest to the foreign national’s current location.
  • Once the change takes effect, foreign nationals will have to enter the country within 90 days of receiving the 9(g) visa. Upon arrival, they must register at the bureau.

Additional Information: Employers of foreign workers must still apply for an alien employment permit (AEP) with the Department of Labor and Employment on behalf of the foreign national. Officials have yet to release guidelines with regard to the AEP application process. Employees who do not receive an AEP will not receive the 9(g) work visa. An AEP is a pre-requisite for the 9(g) visa, therefore employers cannot apply for the 9(g) Visa until the AEP is issued.

BAL Analysis: The change was made to help ease entry processes amid the ongoing pandemic. Travelers should note that entry from some countries remains restricted at this time. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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