The following are considered Balikbayan (returning Filipino) travelers to the Philippines:

  1. A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one year;
  2. A Filipino overseas worker;
  3. A former Filipino citizen; and
  4. Alien spouse and children of Balikbayan as defined in categories 1, 2, and 3 who are traveling with them.

The following privileges and benefits are extended to the Balikbayan:

  • Visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year for foreign passport holders, with the exception of restricted nationals.

The immigration officer at the port of entry in the Philippines will stamp the one-year stay permit in the passport of the qualified Balikbayan. Thus, he does not need to apply for a visa at the Embassy.

(Note: Restricted nationals must still obtain an entry visa to the Philippines even if they are married to a Filipino or former Filipino citizens. Nationals of countries not appearing in theList of Countries Whose Nationals are Allowed 30-day Visa-Free Entry into the Philippines are encouraged to inquire with the Embassy if they are categorized as “Restricted” before making any travel arrangements.)

  • Exemption from travel tax.
  • Duty-free shopping privilege of up to US$1,500.00 or its equivalent in Philippine peso and in other foreign currencies provided that shopping must be done within two (2) days upon arrival and purchases must be made personally by the Balikbayan.

These benefits are available to the Balikbayans every time they enter the Philippines regardless of their frequent travel and can be availed of as long as either of the following documents are presented:

For former Filipino citizens

  • Valid foreign passport
  • Old Philippine passport or Philippine birth certificate;
  • Foreign naturalization papers to show former Philippine citizenship; or
  • Certification from adopted country

For qualified family members of the Balikbayan

  • Valid foreign passport;
  • Birth certificate (in case of children);
  • Marriage certificate (in case of spouse);
  • Adoption papers (in case of legally adopted children)