A new electronic travel authorization will soon be available for Russian citizens planning on visiting the Philippines for short-term stays. The local immigration authorities announced the launch of the Filipino eTA that will be mandatory for nationals of current visa-free countries.
Although more information will be released soon, travelers from Russia must know this travel prerequisite will act as a visa waiver. Therefore, in no case it is a visa.
Do Russian Citizens Need a Visa to Enter the Philippines?
Currently, Russian citizens traveling to the Philippines for tourism, business, or family visits are allowed to stay in the country for up to 30 days without a visa. As of 2021, however, they will require a visa waiver (Philippines’ eTA), which is an additional travel document.
In the case of longer stays or different reasons for their visit, Russian nationals do need to possess some type of visa included in the Philippines’ visa policy.
These can be of three types:
- Section 9 or non-immigrant visas: available for temporary visits for reasons such as tourism, business, study, or employment
- Section 13 or immigrant visas: available for citizens looking to become permanent residents
- Special visas: available for specific categories like government representatives, volunteers, exchange professors or scholars, and more.
To apply for a visa, travelers from Russian need to submit their application at an embassy or a consulate of the Philippines.
Philippines’ eTA Requirements for Russia
With the introduction of the new eTA for the Philippines, Russian citizens will need to abide by a series of Filipino eTA entry requirements.
These conditions are yet to be confirmed. However, it is expected that Russians will need to comply with the following to obtain a visa waiver to the Philippines:
- Possess a Russian passport with at least 6 months of validity at the expected entry day
- Provide an active email address where all eTA notifications will be sent
- Submit their expected itinerary while in the Philippines, including roundtrip flights and details of accommodation
- Possess a debit or credit card to pay the Filipino visa waiver fee
Since the eTA is currently available only for nationals of Taiwan, Russian citizens should make sure to check for any updates regarding the eTA for the Philippines.
Why will Russians need a visa waiver to the Philippines
The Filipino visa waiver, or Philippines’ eTA, is meant to simplify the process of requesting a travel authorization from Russia, as well as to further strengthen the country’s border control.
The incorporation of this permit is common practice around the world since it also helps to modernize the way the Filipino immigration authorities supervise and oversee inbound tourists, which includes Russian visitors.
Online Application to Obtain a Philippines eTA From Russia
Russian travelers can complete the online application form for a Philippines eTA from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a good internet connection and the necessary documents.
When filling in the form, citizens of Russia will need to provide:
- Personal information (full name, country of citizenship, date, and place of birth)
- Passport details (passport number, date of issue and expiry, country of issue)
- Security-related and health-related data in the form of routinary, yes or no questions
At the end of the process, applicants from Russia will also need to complete the payment of the Filipino eTA fee using either a credit or a debit card.
Any important communication regarding the status of the visa waiver, as well as the confirmation of approval, will be sent to the email address provided in the application form.
Once they receive the approved travel authorization, Russian travelers must print it and show it when entering the Philippines, together with the passport.
Philippines eTA’s processing time for nationals of Russia
The processing time of the Philippines’ eTA will be of around two days. This time can be longer in case of any inaccuracies in the information provided by Russian visitors. In such situations, it may be necessary to submit a new application form which will mean additional processing time.
Applicants from Russia are encouraged to submit their application form several days prior to their trip to the Philippines to avoid any inconveniences.
Validity of the Philippines eTA for citizens of Russia
The Philippines’ eTA is currently available for Taiwanese citizens only and allows multiple entries within a period of 30 days starting on the date of the first entry. The same conditions will likely apply to all other eligible citizens.
The eTA does not allow for an extension, so nationals of Russia should make sure they do not overstay in the Philippines for the allowed period.