The Philippines is one of the most tourist-friendly destinations in the world as it allows visa-free entry for up to 30 days for over a hundred different nationalities. Therefore, travelers should check to see if their country is listed as one of the many countries whose citizens can visit the Philippines without a visa for a limited time.
Foreigners are also encouraged to go through the different visa types offered by the Philippine Government to determine what kind of permit they’ll need to apply for. In case a visa is required, the traveler should select a visa that best aligns with the purpose of the traveler’s visit to the country.
For tourists planning to stay in the Philippines longer than the 30-day limit, a non-immigrant tourist visa will be required for entry into the country.
Fortunately, the process of applying for a tourist Philippines visa has now been made easier thanks to the Philippine Government implementing the Philippines electronic travel authorization system for a select group of countries. This means that the citizens of these countries will be able to apply for and obtain a Philippines eTA visa waiver online without having to visit a local embassy or consulate.
Philippines Visa for Australian Citizens
Australians don’t need a visa for the Philippines if they intend to visit the country for tourism purposes and stay under 30 days on Philippine territory.
However, not everyone travels in these circumstances. Australians, for example, can request an extension of their stay for a fee if they decide to remain longer than the 30-day limit.
However, if it is known beforehand that their visit is likely to last longer than 30 days, it is best to apply for an eTA visa waiver prior to making any travel arrangements.
Passport Requirements for Philippine eTA from Australia
Eligible travelers can apply for an eTA permit for the Philippines from anywhere in the world, including Australia.
The Philippine Government requires that all travelers meet the following criteria in order to successfully apply for and obtain a Philippines eTA from Australia:
- Valid passport with a validity exceeding 6 months from the date of departure from the Philippines
- Roundtrip flight tickets
- Hotel accommodation bookings
- Cash or credit/debit card
It is important to note that all travelers visiting the Philippines will have to go through immigration control where they will be expected to answer certain security questions honestly and accurately.
They might also be required to present their travel documents and a printed copy of their eTA visa waiver.
Apply for the Philippine eTA from Australia
In order to apply for the Philippines eTA visa waiver, travelers will have to access the relevant eTA online portal.
The website contains an online application form that foreigners can fill out s to apply for the eTA permit. The questionnaire asks the traveler to provide information such as:
- Full name and date of birth
- Passport details
- A current email address
- A valid credit/debit card.
After the application form has been completed, the applicant will be assigned a Unique Identification Number or UID. In the case of multiple travelers, the UID will be assigned to the primary applicant in the group. The traveler(s) will also be charged a processing fee on the credit/debit card provided on the eTA application.
It is extremely important that the information provided on the online application form matches the information shown on the applicant’s passport. Otherwise, the traveler may be barred from entering the Philippines on the grounds of having an invalid visa.
If the applicant made a mistake in filling out the online application form, they might have to submit a new application with the correct information. In some instances, they may be required to update the information by contacting the eTA website with their UID number.
Travel to the Philippines from Australia
It is worth noting that it can take up to 3 business days for the eTA visa application to be processed. In some cases, it can take longer than that depending on whether or not there is any additional processing required on the application.
Once the request for a permit has been approved, the applicant will receive the eTA visa waiver via email at the address they provided on their application form.
The Australian traveler will also need to keep a copy of the eTA visa on their mobile phone/handheld device and take a printed copy on an A4 sheet of paper with them to the Philippine port of entry when they travel. In the case of multiple people traveling as a group, each individual will need to have their own separate sheet of paper showing their eTA permit.
Travelers should note that before leaving for the Philippines, they will be required to show a ticket for onward travel at the airport. If they fail to provide a ticket, most airlines will require foreigners to purchase one on the spot or risk being left behind.
Some other things to keep in mind while traveling to the Philippines:
- Travelers are prohibited from carrying firearms/weapons and pornography while attempting to enter the country
- It’s allowed by law to bring up to 2 L of alcohol or 400 cigarettes (or two tins of tobacco) without paying duty fees
- Travelers bringing in $10,000 in foreign currency or P10,000 in local currency will need to declare that to customs upon entry or exit