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:    Who may register?

A1:    Filipino citizens who are

  • abroad or who will be abroad on election day,
  • at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election,
  • intending to vote
  • not otherwise disqualified by law

:     Who may not register?

A2:    Those who have lost their Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws

  • Those who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship and who have pledged allegiance to a foreign country
  • Those convicted by final judgment of a court or tribunal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one (1) year, including those found guilty of disloyalty, including rebellion, insurrection, violation of the firearms laws, any crime against national security, unless such disability has been removed by plenary pardon or amnesty

  • Those convicted by final judgment shall automatically acquire the right to register upon expiration of five (5) years after service of sentence,
  • Any citizen of the Philippines abroad previously declared insane or incompetent by competent authority in the Philippines or abroad
  • An immigrant or a permanent resident who is recognized as such in the host country, unless he executes upon filing of an application for registration as overseas absentee voter, an affidavit declaring that he shall resume actual physical permanent residence in the Philippines pursuant to Section 5 of R.A. 9189 and he has not applied for citizenship in another country,

  • Those already registered as overseas absentee voter.

:     What is the period for filing of applications?

A3:    From 1 February 2009 to 31 August 2009, Monday thru Fridays, 9:00am – 5:00pm, except during Philippine and US holidays.

:     Where can I register?

A4:    For residents of Southern California, Southern Nevada, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, you should register at the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles, 3600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

In special cases, during field registrations and consular outreach missions upon prior notice of the date and place of registration.

:     What are the requirements for registration/certification?

A5:    A valid Philippine passport,

         Additional requirements for:

  • Seafarers – his Seaman’s Book or any other document that will prove that he is a seafarer
  • Dual citizen – original or certified true copy of Order of Approval of his application to retain or reacquire his Filipino citizenship, orOath of Allegiance issued by Post or Bureau of Immigration

:     What are the procedures for registration/certification?

A6:     The applicant shall

  • personally appear before a representative at Post
  • fill-up the Application Form for registration/certification as Overseas Absentee Voter (Form OAVF No. 1)
  • submit all supporting documents and have his biometrics taken

:     My name was excluded in the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (NROAV), should I register again?

A7:    If your name was excluded from NROAV through inadvertence, you just need to accomplish the Application for Reinstatement in the National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (Form OAVF No. 1D) at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over your residence not later than 31 December 2009.

:     What if my name was misspelled in the NROAV?

A8:     You need to accomplish the Application for Correction of Wrong Entries/ Misspelled Names/Change of Name and Other Entries in the Voter’s ID/ National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (Form OAVF No. 1E) and present a copy of your birth certificate at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over your residence not later than 31 August 2009.

           The National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (NROAV) could be found at the COMELEC's website: www.comelec.gov.ph.

:     I registered when I was still single, now that I am married I want to use my married name in my record, what will I do?

A9:     You need to accomplish the Application for Correction of Wrong Entries/ Misspelled Names/Change of Name and Other Entries in the Voter’s ID/ National Registry of Overseas Absentee Voters (Form OAVF No. 1E) and present a copy of your marriage contract at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over your residence not later than 31 August 2009.

:     I have previously applied for registration/certification but due to some personal/official reason, I no longer want my application to be acted upon and I want to do it in another place (another Philippine Embassy or Consulate or in the Philippines), what will I do?

A10:     You have to file for Letter-Request for Transfer of Registration Record (Form OAVF No. 1B) and Letter-Request for Withdrawal of Application for Registration/ Certification Pending Approval (Form OAVF No. 1F) at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate where your application was originally filed or which has consular jurisdiction over your new residence not later than 31 August 2009. A photocopy of passport or any legal document identifying applicant shall be attached. You shall then apply for registration/certification/transfer at the Post where you intend to vote.

:     What if I transferred to another residence but falls under the same jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles?

A11:     You should file for Application for Change of Address within the same Consular Jurisdiction (Form OAVF No. 1H) at the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles where application was originally filed not later than 31 October 2009.

:     What if I transferred to another state which is not under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles where I previously registered?

A12:   You have to accomplish a Letter-Request for Transfer of Registration Record (Form OAVF No. 1B) at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate which has consular jurisdiction over your new residence not later than 31 August 2009. 

Click HERE to view Consular Jurisdictions of the Philippine Embassy and Consulates in the U.S.

:     What is the manner of casting vote?

A13:     Voting can be done by mail or in person starting from 10 April 2010 up to 3:00 pm of 10 May 2010 (Philippine Time) or 11:00 pm of 9 May 2010 (Los Angeles Time).

Voting in person:

  • Casting of votes shall be done in the designated voting area within the premises of the Consulate.

Voting by mail:

  • The Commission on Overseas Absentee Voting (COAV) will send directly to the voters by registered mail the Mailing Envelope containing the following:

  1. List of candidates
  2. Instruction for Voters
  3. Inner Envelope
  4. Outer Envelope
  5. Paper Seal for the Outer Envelope
  6. Ballot

    Instructions to Voters:

    1. Accomplish personally the ballot by writing the names of candidates of your choice.
    2. Affix your right thumb mark on the ballot coupon which is located on the lower portion of the ballot
    3. Detach the ballot coupon and place it inside the Outer Envelope provided for the purpose
    4. Place the accomplished ballot inside the Inner Envelope.
    5. Close the Inner Envelope
    6. Place the Inner Envelope inside the Outer Envelope
    7. Write your name and affix your signature on the proper space in the Outer Envelope. Failure to affix your signature will invalidate your ballot.

    8. Seal the Outer Envelope with paper seal provided and return personally or by mail to the Philippine Consulate General with address at 3600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

I have a legal document (e.g., power of attorney, deed of sale) to be sent to the Philippines. How do I have this acknowledged or authenticated?

Legal documents for use in the Philippines must be acknowledged before a Consular Officer. Those appearing in person are requested to bring a proof of identity such as driver's license, state ID or passport.

If the person who signed the document could not appear in person, it is required that the document be notarized by a notary public, and further authenticated by the following, in the order stated: Secretary of State (where the notary public is registered), and then the Philippine Consulate.

The notarial fee is $25.00 per document.

Click here for LIST OF NOTARIES PUBLIC

Click HERE to go to NOTARIAL & LEGAL FORMS (e.g. SPA, GPA, etc.)

I am interested in adopting a Filipino child. How may I go about it?

A child who is below 15 years of age and is in the legal custody of the Department of Social Work and Services (DSWD) may be adopted under the Inter-country Adoption Law. Prospective adopters may contact:

The Inter-Country Adoption Board
Department of Social Welfare and Development
6th Floor Sinagoga Bldg.
Sinagoga St., Malate, Manila
Tel. Nos. : (632) 525-1375; (632) 524-1243;
Fax : (632) 524-1425
URL: http://www.dswd.gov.ph

What is the effect of a divorce obtained abroad to the marital status of a Filipino citizen?

The following illustrative cases are helpful in determining the effect of a foreign divorce on the marriage or legal status of a Filipino citizen:

Case: Pedro and Maria are both Filipino citizens when they got married in Manila in 1989. The following year, Maria migrated to Southern California. She later met John, a U.S. citizen, and both planned to marry. As Maria had a previous subsisting marriage with Pedro in the Philippines, she secured a divorce decree from a U.S. court to enable her and John to get married. The U.S. court granted a divorce decree dissolving Maria’s marriage to Pedro.

Will the divorce be recognized under Philippine law?

Answer: NO, the divorce decree obtained by Maria will not be recognized under Philippine law. Maria and Pedro were married in the Philippines, hence the laws of the Philippines, i.e. the Family Code of the Philippines, should determine how the marriage will be severed. Moreover, Maria is still a Filipino citizen. Even though she is permanently residing outside of the Philippines, as a Filipino citizen she is still subject to the laws of the Philippines relating to family rights and duties or status, condition and legal capacity (Art. 15 of the Family Code). Therefore, under the purview of Philippine law, the marriage of Maria and Pedro was not dissolved by the divorce decree issued by the U.S. court. Pedro is still the legal husband of Maria.

What if Maria obtained a divorce decree from a U.S. court not for the purpose of marrying John but solely to dissolve her marriage with Pedro?

Answer: Regardless of Maria’s intention in obtaining a divorce, a decision of a foreign court dissolving a marriage between Filipino citizens does not have any legal effect under Philippine law. Such a divorce would still be void and invalid.

Are there foreign divorces that are recognized under Philippine law?

Answer: As a rule, divorce is not recognized in the Philippines as a mode of dissolving marriage. In cases however where a Filipino citizen contracts a marriage with a foreigner, a divorce validly obtained thereafter in a foreign court by the foreigner spouse, i.e. the foreigner spouse initiated the divorce proceedings, such a divorce will be recognized under Philippine law (Article 26, paragraph (2), of the Family Code). The foreign divorce will have the effect of capacitating either the foreigner spouse or the Filipino spouse to remarry under Philippine law.

What if Maria initiates the court proceedings to obtain a divorce?

Answer: The Family Code provides that the foreigner spouse should be the one who will initiate the divorce proceedings. If Maria herself initiated the action to dissolve the marriage, a divorce obtained thereafter will not have any legal effect on her marriage with Pedro. Any subsequent marriage contracted by Maria will be considered null and void under Philippine law.

Can Maria use the surname of John in the event that she applies for a Philippine passport?

Answer: Since the marriage of Maria and John are not recognized under Philippine law, Maria cannot use John’s surname as her married surname in her Philippine passport. She will still use the surname of Pedro as her married surname or she may revert to the use of her maiden surname in her passport. In the latter case, she has to execute a sworn declaration to revert to the use of her maiden surname.

Passports In General

1. What is an electronic passport or ePassport? Biometric? Special features of the ePassport?

What is an ePassport?

An electronic passport or ePassport is a passport with an added integrated circuit or chip embedded in one of the passport pages. Such chip contains the data essential in verifying the identity of the passport which include the personal data found on the data page of the passport, the biometrics of the passport holder, the unique chip identification number, and a digital signature to verify the authenticity of the data stored of the chip. This chip is highly interoperable; meaning, it can be read by any standard border control machine worldwide. It is integrated with high security mechanisms in order to prevent any forceful scheming of data it contains, any cloning, and any remote reading.

What is a biometric?

A biometric is a unique and measurable physical characteristic of an individual that includes face recognition, fingerprints, and iris scan.

The Philippine ePassport utilizes the digital image of the passport photograph that can be used with face recognition technology to verify the identity of the passport holder. It also makes use of the fingerprints of the passport holder for identification using the Automated Fingerprint Verification System (AFIS).

What are the special features of the Philippine ePassport?

The Philippine ePassport allows information stored on the chip to be verified with the information visually displayed on the passport. It also uses microchip technology.

The Philippine ePassport also contains an integrated photograph of the holder, a digitized secondary photo, and an electronic print of the holder's signature. It also features overt and hidden security features such as: Invisible Personal Information (IPI), letterscreen, microtext ghost image, and UV reactive ink, among others.

2. What are the advantages of having an electronic passport?

The ePassport is highly-secure, hence avoids passport reproduction and tampering. The ePassport database is enhanced with Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). That guards against multiple passport issuances to the same person and enhances imposter detection. It facilitates fast clearance of travelers at immigration checks. ePassports provide travelers benefits such as use of automated border clearance or "e-gates", automated issuance of boarding passes, and faster travel arrangement with airlines. For countries, the use of electronic passport also provides better border protection and security.

3. What is the difference between the existing maroon machine-readable passport (MRP) and the ePassport? Why do we have to use ePassports now?

What is the difference between the existing maroon machine-readable passport (MRP) and the ePassport?

An MRP is a passport which has a machine readable zone (MRZ) printed in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard. It can be read manually and with the use of a machine. An ePassport, on the other hand, has an embedded Integrated Circuit (IC) chip where the photograph and personal information of the bearer are stored in accordance with ICAO specifications. These information can be read by chip readers at a close distance. The ePassport also has an MRZ.

Why do we have to use ePassports now?

The machine-readable passports or MRP is only the minimum ICAO standard in travel documents. The ePassport is now the world standard in travel documents. As member of ICAO, the Philippines has an international obligation to enhance the security of its travel documents. The issuance of ePassports will allow the Philippines to offer world-class consular services to its nationals. Countries have greater confidence and acceptance of the ePassport since it is enhanced with biometric technology.

4. What countries use ePassports?

ePassports are already being used in more than 60 countries worldwide. In ASEAN, five countries have already issued electronic passports (Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia). In the future, all countries are seen to switch to the ePassport due to the increasing need for efficient and better border security.

5. What is the ePassport logo and what does it mean?

The ePassport logo which appears on the cover of the ePassport is the international symbol for an electronic passport. This means that the passport has an integrated circuit or chip on which data on passport and passport holder is stored. The logo will alert border inspection lanes at all airports and transit ports with special data readers for ePassports that the passport is an ePassport.

6. Who is entitled to a Philippine passport?

All Philippine citizens are entitled to a Philippine passport. This right can only be abridged for reasons of national security and the public good. Those who have acquired foreign citizenships, i.e. Filipinos who were naturalized in foreign countries, are no longer entitled to Philippine passports as they are considered to have renounced their Philippine citizenship.


7. I am an undocumented Philippine citizen (TNT). Can I apply for a passport? Will the Consulate help me?

The Consulate helps and protects ALL Filipinos, regardless of their immigration status. A Filipino who has no legal immigration status in the United States deserves the same assistance as that accorded to a legal resident.

8. Does the Consulate require the payment of taxes before it issues a passport?

The Consulate General no longer collects taxes from Filipino citizens residing abroad in accordance with the Comprehensive Tax Reform Code passed by Congress in 1997. Under the said law, income earned by Filipino citizens outside the Philippines are exempt from taxation.

First-Time Applicants

1. What are the requirements for an applicant wishing to obtain a passport for the first time?

In order for an individual to qualify for a Philippine passport, the Consulate General must determine two things: the true identity of the individual and that the individual is a citizen of the Republic of the Philippines. For a detailed information on requirements and procedures that must be complied with by first-time applicants, see Passport Requirements and Procedures: First-Time Applicants.

2. How long does it take to process a new passport?

If all documents required are submitted, the new passport may be released within eight (8) to ten (10) weeks from the receipt of application.

Passport Renewals

1. What are the requirements for the renewal of passports?

Personal appearance is required for those who wish to renew their passports. Application sent by mail are no longer accepted. In addition, individuals would not have to pay additional fees, other than the consular fees prescribed by Philippine law. A comprehensive list of requirements is included in the downloadable passport application form found in this site.

2. How long does it take to renew a passport?

If all documents required are submitted, the new passport may be released within eight (8) to ten (10) weeks from the receipt of application.

Extension of Validity of Passports

In view of the longer period required for the processing and issuance of the machine-readable passport (MRP) or e-Passport, the following guidelines shall be observed in the application for extension of the validity of Philippine passports:

1. The passport holder must personally file for the extension of his/her passport with the Consulate;

2. The passport to be amended has a validity of less than six months;

3. The extension of the validity is a measure to address emergency or meritorious cases;

4. The extension of the validity of passport should not be considered as an alternative in lieu of a renewal of the passport;

5. The passport holder must submit an application form for the amendment of the validity of the passport, with the affidavit and passport to the Consular Officer. In the affidavit, he/she must state:

a. The reason/s for the urgency of having the validity of the passport extended for one (1) year and that he/she cannot wait for the issuance of the MRP or e-Passport;

b. The affiant undertakes to apply for a new passport within the extended period of validity; and,

c. The affidavit must be duly authenticated by the Philippine Consulate where a person is applying for the renewal of the said passport.

6. If the Consulate finds the applicant's stated reason/s for extension to be meritorious, the validity of the passport may be extended for a period of not more than one (1) year from the date of the application;

7. In the application for the extension of the validity of his/her passport, the fee for affidavit required is waived as it addresses an emergency situation and is considered to be done gratis or free of charge. The applicant should only be charged with a flat fee of $20 for amendment of passport and shall be paid prior to any extension.

Lost Passports

1. I just lost my passport. What should I do?

You must first immediately file a police report and execute an Affidavit/Sworn Statement stating the circumstances surrounding the loss of the passport. Second, apply for a replacement passport at the Consulate with as many of the documentary requirements as you can gather. While it is a good idea to apply immediately, you will eventually have to produce all of the required documents.

2. What are the requirements for the replacement of a lost passport?

Lost passports can only be replaced when the consular officer can determine that, in addition to meeting the minimum requirements for a Philippine passport, that the applicant has actually lost his or her passport.

The documentary requirements for the replacement of a lost passport are essentially the same as for a first time application. Additional supporting documents may also be required to establish the applicant's identity, Philippine citizenship, and the circumstances surrounding the loss of the passport.

In addition to the documentary requirements, the Consulate General has to receive clearance from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila to replace a lost passport. Due to the significant volume of such cases, the mandatory waiting period for the clearance normally takes 15 working days (3 to 4 weeks - do not count Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) plus the processing time for the issuance of the new passport.

A comprehensive list of requirements may be found in this site.

3. How does the Consulate deal with cases involving assumed names, or in the case of seamen who jump ship?

Cases involving assumed names, and cases involving seamen who jump ship, are treated in the same way as lost passport.

4. How long does it take to replace a lost passport?

The mandatory waiting period for the clearance normally takes 15 working days (3 to 4 weeks - do not count Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays) plus the processing time for the issuance of the new passport.

5. Why are there so many documents required to replace a lost passport?

The Consulate must be able to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss of an applicant's passport. To do this, substantial documentation is needed. Such thoroughness is necessary to protect the integrity of the Philippine passport.

6. Why does the Consulate require National Statistics Office (NSO) certified birth certificates? Why can't I use my old one?

The Consulate must clearly establish the identity of the applicant. To do so, it must be confident that the documents submitted are authentic. Only the new NSO-certified birth certificates provide the required level of security.

The Consulate is also required by law to ensure that all of the particulars that appear in the passport are the same as those that appear in the birth certificate.

Please click here to secure an NSO-certified birth certificate.

7. I applied for a replacement for my lost passport and I was asked to submit a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance. Why was this so?

In some cases, the Consul may require an NBI clearance to aid in establishing an applicant's identity. An NBI clearance is usually required in complicated lost passport cases and in situations in which the applicant does not have any form of photo ID.

8. How do I apply for an NBI clearance?

Please click here for complete information on how to apply for an NBI clearance.

9. I have an INS appointment but I can only produce some of the requirements for my replacement passport. How can the Consulate help me?

In very limited cases, the Consulate can issue a passport with a limited validity, provided that most of the requirements have been met, and that there is substantial proof of the applicant's citizenship and identity.

Travel Documents

1. What is a Travel Document?

A travel document allows the bearer only a direct, one-way trip to the Philippines. It is only issued in critical instances, usually in life or death situations. A travel document is not intended as a short cut in complying with the requirements for the renewal of a passport or the replacement of a lost passport.

2. How can I apply for a Travel Document?

You cannot apply for a travel document. Travel documents can only be resorted to when the consular officer determines that its use is warranted.

3. I have a ticket to return to the Philippines but my passport application will not be processed before I'm supposed to leave. Can I travel on a Travel Document?

It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that a passport will be available at the planned date of travel. Again, a travel document is not intended as a short cut in complying with the requirements for the renewal of a passport or the replacement of a lost passport. Therefore, it is probable that unless you have valid proof of a serious emergency, you will not be issued a travel document solely on the basis of your ticket.

4. What constitutes valid proof of an emergency?

If you urgently need a travel document because of a serious emergency, such as a death in the family, then the particulars of the emergency should be faxed directly to the Consulate. In the case of a death in the family, for instance, the hospital should fax the death certificate directly to the Consulate.

Who are exempted from getting visas to the Philippines?

Case 1: US passport holders visiting the Philippines as a tourist for 30 days at most.

Nationals of countries which have diplomatic relations with the Philippines are generally allowed entry into the country without visas for a stay of thirty (30) days or less, provided, the nature of the trip is for tourism only and are holders of a roundtrip or onward travel airline ticket.

Case 2: Former Filipinos.

Former Filipinos who are now naturalized citizens of the United States who wish to visit the Philippines for tourism purposes can avail of the "Balikbayan" status. As a "balikbayan", the former Filipino can enter the Philippines without a visa provided he shows any proof of former Philippine citizenship (e.g. old Philippine passport , birth certificate or naturalization papers) and stay for a year or less in the country.

Foreign spouses and children traveling with the former Filipino citizen may avail of this privilege by presenting legal documents establishing their relationship with the former Filipino citizen upon arrival in the Philippines (e.g. marriage certificate in case of husband or wife or birth certificate in case of children).

What are the requirements for a business visa?

The applicant must fill up the application form and submit a passport-sized photo, a passport whose validity is at least six months beyond the length of proposed stay in the Philippines, proof of financial capacity (or a letter from the employer) and a photocopy of the applicant's airline ticket or travel itinerary. All applications not filed personally by the applicant at the consulate must be notarized. Click here for more information.

Are business visas issued only to US passport holders?

No, business visas can also be issued to other nationals provided that they can show proof of legal residency in the US.

What are the requirements for a tourist visa?

Basically, the applicant must fill up the application form and submit a passport sized photo, a passport whose validity is at least six months beyond the length of proposed stay in the Philippines, proof of financial capacity and a photocopy of the applicant's airline ticket or travel itinerary. Click here for more information.

Are these requirements the same for minors?

All foreign nationals aged below fifteen years (15) and traveling with their parents to the Philippines for tourism purposes are required to submit the same requirements for tourist visas. Only when they are not traveling with their parents are they required to file for a waiver of exclusion ground (WEG).

What is the waiver of exclusion ground (WEG) and how do I get it?

The waiver of exclusion ground (WEG) is a document issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Manila which allows the child to travel to the Philippines unaccompanied by a parent. Under the current regulations, the minor's passport and documents for WEG will be submitted to the immigration officials upon arrival. Please prepare to pay for the following fees: application fee P2, 000.00; WEG fee P600.00 and service fee (P500.00). The Bureau of Immigration will process the application for a WEG and the minor's passport will be returned when the minor exits from the Philippines.

The Philippine Consulate General will issue a visa to the minor on the understanding that the minor will submit all requirements needed by the BI for a WEG. These documents are needed at the Consulate:


Visa requirements: application form, valid passport, photographs, parents affidavit of support and supporting documents, photocopy of airline ticket or itinerary, visa fee of $30.00


WEG requirements: letter of request and affidavit of consent and guarantee, copy of birth certificate, copy of data page of minor's passport, copy of passport of accompanying adult

Bureau of Immigration is located at Magallanes Drive, Port Area, Manila and the telephone numbers are (632) 527-3279 and (632) 527-3314.

Who can apply for Student Visas?

(c/o E.O. No. 285, Sept. 4, 2000)

Foreigners, at least 18 years old at the time of enrolment and have sufficient means for their education and support for study for the purpose of taking up a course higher than high school at an educational institution duly authorized to admit foreign students.

What are the steps taken in applying for a student visa?

Step 1. Application with the Preferred School - Communicate directly with the school of choice and comply with their requirements which includes:


Five (5) copies of Duly Signed and accomplished Personal History Statements (PHS) with 2 X 2 photograph.


Notarized affidavit of support including bank statements to cover all expenses of the student.


Scholastic records duly authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate located in student's country of origin or legal residence.


Photocopy of data page of student's passport showing date and place of birth.


Birth certificate or its equivalent duly authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate located in student's country of origin.

Step 2. Acceptance by School - School upon satisfaction of compliance of requirements issues Notice of Acceptance (NOA) to student and submits the duplicate copy to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), together with the certified true copy of CHED-CEA when necessary. For quota courses such as medicine and dentistry, a certificate of eligibility for admission (CEA) is also issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Step 3. Department of Foreign Affairs indorses documents to the foreign service post (FSP) located in the student's country of origin/place of legal residence for the issuance of the student visa.

Step 4. The Philippine Embassy or Consulate notifies the student in writing to appear in person and bring all the required documents.

Step 5. Upon receiving the letter from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate, the student makes an appointment to appear for an interview at the consulate or embassy. Please bring the following documents:


Valid Passport


Application Form for Student Visa (accomplished in triplicate)


Three photographs


Medical Health Certificate (DFA Form 11) in triplicate with life-size chest x-ray and laboratory reports.


Original Notice of Acceptance (NOA) and when appropriate, the CEA.


Police Clearance Certificate authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate located in student's country of origin or legal residence.


Visa Fee of $250.00

FOREIGNERS WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE PHILIPPINES UNDER ANY VALID VISA ARRANGEMENT MAY APPLY FOR THE CONVERSION OF THEIR VISA STATUS TO 9(F) STUDENT VISA PROVIDED THEY SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING:


Original Notice of Acceptance (NOA) and when appropriate, the CEA.


Proof of adequate financial support. Scholastic records duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate located in student's country of origin or legal residence.


National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance (if student resided in the Philippines for more than 59 days)


Quarantine Medical Examination by the National Quarantine Office. Copy of Duly signed and accomplished Personal History Statements (PHS) with 2 x 2 photograph.


Photocopy of data page of student's passport showing date and place of birth.


Application Fee
Php 2,000.00
Express Lane Fee
Php 500.00
Conversion Fee
Php 1,000.00
Visa Fee
Php 1,000.00
LRF
Php 40.00


Can a former Philippine Citizen, the spouse and the unmarried minor children apply for an immigrant visa?

Yes, provided that the applicants comply with these requirements: passport valid for at least six months, three original and two copies of the application form and 2" x 2" pictures, original and two copies of any documentary evidence of Philippine citizenship, original and two copies of the medical examination report duly accomplished by physician, original and two copies of police clearance and original and two copies of evidence of sound financial status or notarized affidavit of support and supporting documents of a relative in the Philippines. The applicant may have to submit other documents as may be required by the visa officer. Before any visa is issued, the applicant must be interviewed. All schedules for interview must be coursed through the visa section. Fee is $150.00 per applicant.

1. Passport FAQs
2. Visa FAQs
3. Legal FAQs
4. Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) FAQs
5. Can I acquire land in the Philippines even if I am already a naturalized American citizen?
6. I would like to donate certain items (books, computers, medicine, etc.) to a beneficiary in the Philippines. Can said items be extended duty-free entry status and be brought into the Philippines without paying customs duties and taxes?
7. I am interested in adopting a Filipino child. How may I go about it?
8. I would like to get information on Philippine importation procedures and requirements including duty and tax exempt privileges, if any?
9. What is the effect of a divorce obtained abroad to the marital status of a Filipino citizen?

Can I acquire real property in the Philippines even if I am already a naturalized American citizen?

Any natural-born citizen who has lost his Philippine citizenship may acquire a private land up to a maximum area of five thousand (5,000) square meters in the case of urban land or three (3) hectares in the case of rural land to be used by him/her for business or other purposes. In the case of married couples, one of them may avail of the privilege herein granted (please see Republic. Act 8179, Sec 10).

I would like to donate certain items (books, computers, medicine, etc.) to a beneficiary in the Philippines. Can said items be extended duty-free entry status and be brought into the Philippines without paying customs duties and taxes?

Food, medicine and other relief goods, books and educational materials, essential machineries/equipment, consumer goods and other articles may be granted duty-free entry by the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Customs, upon the recommendation of the Department of Social Work and Development or other concerned agency. Prospective donors can seek assistance from the:

Commission on Filipinos Overseas
1345 Citigold Center, Quirino Avenue
cor. South Superhighway, Manila
Tel # (632) 562.3852
Fax # 011.632.561.8332
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I am interested in adopting a Filipino child. How may I go about it?

A child who is below 15 years of age and is in the legal custody of the Department of Social Work and Services (DSWD) may be adopted under the Inter-country Adoption Law. Prospective adopters may contact:

The Inter-Country Adoption Board
Department of Social Welfare and Development
6th Floor Sinagoga Bldg.
Sinagoga St., Malate, Manila
Tel. Nos. : (632) 525-1375; (632) 524-1243;
Fax : (632) 524-1425
URL: http://www.dswd.gov.ph

What is the effect of a divorce obtained abroad to the marital status of a Filipino citizen?

The following illustrative cases are helpful in determining the effect of a foreign divorce on the marriage or legal status of a Filipino citizen:

Case: Pedro and Maria are both Filipino citizens when they got married in Manila in 1989. The following year, Maria migrated to Southern California. She later met John, a U.S. citizen, and both planned to marry. As Maria had a previous subsisting marriage with Pedro in the Philippines, she secured a divorce decree from a U.S. court to enable her and John to get married. The U.S. court granted a divorce decree dissolving Maria’s marriage to Pedro.

Question: Will the divorce be recognized under Philippine law?

Answer: No, the divorce decree obtained by Maria will not be recognized under Philippine law. Maria and Pedro were married in the Philippines, hence the laws of the Philippines, i.e. the Family Code of the Philippines, should determine how the marriage will be severed. Moreover, Maria is still a Filipino citizen. Even though she is permanently residing outside of the Philippines, as a Filipino citizen she is still subject to the laws of the Philippines relating to family rights and duties or status, condition and legal capacity (Art. 15 of the Family Code). Therefore, under the purview of Philippine law, the marriage of Maria and Pedro was not dissolved by the divorce decree issued by the U.S. court. Pedro is still the legal husband of Maria.

Question: What if Maria obtained a divorce decree from a U.S. court not for the purpose of marrying John but solely to dissolve her marriage with Pedro?

Answer: Regardless of Maria’s intention in obtaining a divorce, a decision of a foreign court dissolving a marriage between Filipino citizens does not have any legal effect under Philippine law. Such a divorce would still be void and invalid.

Question: Are there foreign divorces that are recognized under Philippine law?

Answer: As a rule, divorce is not recognized in the Philippines as a mode of dissolving marriage. In cases however where a Filipino citizen contracts a marriage with a foreigner, a divorce validly obtained thereafter in a foreign court by the foreigner spouse, i.e. the foreigner spouse initiated the divorce proceedings, such a divorce will be recognized under Philippine law (Article 26, paragraph (2), of the Family Code). The foreign divorce will have the effect of capacitating either the foreigner spouse or the Filipino spouse to remarry under Philippine law.

Question: What if Maria initiates the court proceedings to obtain a divorce?

Answer: The Family Code provides that the foreigner spouse should be the one who will initiate the divorce proceedings. If Maria herself initiated the action to dissolve the marriage, a divorce obtained thereafter will not have any legal effect on her marriage with Pedro. Any subsequent marriage contracted by Maria will be considered null and void under Philippine law.

Question: Can Maria use the surname of John in the event that she applies for a Philippine passport?

Answer: Since the marriage of Maria and John are not recognized under Philippine law, Maria cannot use John’s surname as her married surname in her Philippine passport.