The Philippines is a tourist-friendly travel destination which attracts millions of tourists from around the world each year. The Philippine Government is committed to making travel easier and more accessible to tourists and has recently introduced some measures in this regard.
The Philippine government offers different types of visas for people seeking to visit the country. These visas fall under two categories: immigrant and non-immigrant visas. Travelers are encouraged to look through the different categories/sub-categories to see if they will be required to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country and if so, which best suits their travel needs.
In the case of traveling to the Philippines as a tourist, there is now an easier way to apply for a Philippines tourist visa. The Philippine Government has now opened up online eTA visa applications to more nationalities than before. This allows the holders of these nationalities to apply for a Philippine eTA tourist visa from their homes or offices instead of having to visit a local embassy or consulate.
eTA Visa Philippines Requirements from the UK
Since British citizens are allowed visa-free entry into the Philippines for a stay of up to 30 days, the traveler will have to assess their travel plans in order to determine whether or not they need to apply for a tourist visa. In cases where the travelers are aware that they will have to stay for a period of more than 30 days, they will have to acquire a visa prior to traveling to the country. In other cases, travelers can obtain an extension to their stay in the Philippines if they arrived on a visa-free basis but decided to stay longer. However, travelers are usually charged extra for this. Therefore, it is recommended that travelers organize their itinerary prior to departure in order to determine whether or not a Philippine eTA visa will be required.
In the event the traveler is required to obtain an eTA visa, the Philippine Government has set certain criteria that must be met by all travelers applying for an eTA tourist visa. The criteria is as follows:
- Having a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond their expected stay in the country
- Roundtrip flight tickets
- Hotel bookings
- Cash or debit/credit cards
It is also worth noting that all travelers to the Philippines will have to go through immigration control at the port of entry, where they will be expected to clear certain security questions. Travelers may also be asked to provide certain travel documents and a printed copy of their eTA tourist visa.
How to Apply for a Philippines eTA Visa from the United Kingdom?
The process of applying for an eTA tourist visa to the Philippines is very simple. The traveler will have to access the Philippines visa online website and fill out the online eTA visa application form. The form will ask the traveler to provide personal and passport details, a valid email address as well as valid debit/credit card information. Once the application has been completed, each traveler will be assigned a Unique Identification Number or UID. In the case of several applicants, the UID will be given to the primary applicant of the eTA visas. The traveler(s) will also be charged a processing fee upon submission of the application.
It is important to note that the eTA visa application should be filled out as accurately as possible. Any discrepancies between the information provided on the form and that shown on the travel documents can render the eTA visa invalid and the traveler can be barred from entering into the country as a result.
In case the traveler makes a mistake in filling out the online eTA application form, he/she will have to fill out a new application form. If the form has already been filled out and the traveler needs to make an update to the information provided on the form, he/she can contact the Philippine eTA visa website with their UID number in order to make the necessary changes.
Philippines eTA Visa for British Citizens
After the application has been submitted, it can take up to 3 business days for the application to be processed and the visa to be granted to the applicant. In some cases, it might take longer than that if there is any additional processing that needs to be done on the application.
Once the eTA visa is granted, the traveler will receive the visa via email. The traveler should keep a copy of the visa on their mobile phone/handheld device and also take a printed copy of the visa on an A4 sheet of paper with them while traveling. In the case of multiple travelers, a separate printed copy will be needed for each of the travelers in the group. The eTA will need to be presented to Philippine immigration officials at the Philippine port of entry.
Traveling to the Philippines from the UK
Travelers should be aware that before traveling to the Philippines, they will be required to show a ticket of onward travel from the country before boarding the flight. In fact, some airlines can refuse to board a passenger if he/she does not have a ticket and can even require that the passenger purchase the ticket on the spot in order to proceed with their planned visit to the country.
Some other things to keep in mind while traveling to the Philippines:
- Travelers are prohibited from carrying firearms/weapons and pornography while traveling to the country
- Travelers can bring up to 2 liters 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 it to customs upon entry or exit