Frequently Asked Questions

For Foreign Nationals:

Requirements for travel

Nationals from other countries listed in the Philippine DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) who are traveling to the Philippines for business and tourism purposes are allowed to enter the Philippines without visas for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days, provided they hold valid tickets for their return journey to port of origin or next port of destination and their passports valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the contemplated period of stay.


Please refer to the “Guidelines on the Entry of Temporary Visitors to the Philippines” as stipulated in the official page of the DFA.


Also, here is the official guidelines and list of requirements for applying for a Philippine Visa.


ADVISORY: Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Philippine Government and Airlines have issued precautionary measures, mandatory protocols and additional requirements for travelers. For passengers in international flights to the Philippines, please be guided on the new arrival and quarantine procedures as stipulated in the Airlines website. The common procedure upon arrival would be as follows:

1. Mandatory taking of a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test for all arriving international passengers including children and infants as required by the Philippine Government. Passengers who do not undergo the test may be refused for entry into the Philippines.

Note: The SWAB Test fee amounts to Php4000, Php4900 or Php4500, depending on your entry point in Manila, Cebu or Clark respectively. Payment can be done in cash or via credit card (in Php or USD). Currency exchange booths are available inside the terminal.

The test is free for OFWs.

2. While waiting for the test results to come out, passengers are encouraged to stay in their booked hotels and follow their quarantine and safety protocols.

3. As soon as the test result comes out and you tested negative on COVID-19, you will be allowed to proceed to travel on a domestic flight. However, if you tested positive on COVID-19, you need to be quarantined for an extended period of time and follow certain protocols by the Local Government Unit (LGU).


Check our Travel Guidelines page for more details.

What will I be taxed on

“Resident citizens” or Filipino citizens who live in the Philippines are taxed on all income derived from sources within and outside of the Philippines.


“Non-residents” or Filipino citizens who do not live in the Philippines and Foreign Nationals who live in the Philippines will be taxed only on income derived from sources within the country.


Please read from source for more details:

Republic of The Philippines – Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

Republic Act No. 8424 Chapter 3 Section 24

How do I send my things (furniture and other possessions)

When you ship items out to the Philippines, you have the option to send it via cargo shipping, air courier, or the Philippine balikbayan box.

But before you import personal belongings, we recommend that you first search for a reliable and trusted professional mover in the Philippines, specifically one that specialises in relocation and international moving.


Choose a moving company that is up to date with current Philippine Customs rules and regulations and that can advise you to consider these government policies when you start packing.


Some basic questions to ask as you shop around should include what is their safety record, what equipment is provided, are there any shipping laws and restrictions applicable to your situation, and if they will handle customs and tax-related paperwork for all items for both departure from your place of origin, to arrival in the Philippines.


(Read more)

Are there any restrictions to setting a bank account

Foreigners can open an account in Philippine banks as long as you comply with the bank’s requirements. The documents you’ll likely need to submit are the following:


1. Proof of your right to be in the Philippines – usually an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) Card. Some banks will accept the Immigrant Certificate of Registration instead.

2. Photo ID like your passport or national identity card.

3. Documents that prove your address. Usually banks request a rental contract or several recent utility bills.

4. Passport-sized photographs.

5. Minimum deposit (the amount varies from bank to bank).


Some institutions also require some form of reference from your previous bank. They may contact your home bank directly or ask for statements that show you were a good customer. This is less likely if you are opening an account with an overseas branch of your own bank or have been introduced by an existing customer.

Some American expats in the Philippines have experienced problems opening accounts with local banks. Although not official bank policy, local branches might be wary of opening accounts because of the stringent anti-money laundering laws that are applied to U.S. citizens, even overseas. If this is the case, you can open an account with an international bank such as HSBC more easily. 


(Read from source)

Driving requirements and restrictions

International tourists can use their foreign driver’s license in order to drive a vehicle in the Philippines. However, conditions and limitations apply:

○ The foreign driving permit must be written in English. If your country does not issue driving permits in English, you can contact your embassy to obtain an official English translation.

○ You can only drive with a foreign license for up to 90 days. After 90 days, you must obtain a driving permit from the Philippine LTO in order to drive in the Philippines.


For further details, please refer to the official page of the Philippine Land Transportation Office.


Also, while you can definitely self-drive even if you are not a local, most foreigners who experienced driving in the Philippines would suggest otherwise, not only because of the traffic condition in the country but mostly because of the culture of driving in the country that ignores most of the basic traffic rules.

Can I ship my car

If you are wanting to ship a privately owned vehicle to the Philippines, you must first obtain a special import Authority permit. This is available through the Philippine Bureau of Import Service and is only available from within the country. Only left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles are allowed in the Philippines.


Although there are concerns about import taxes when bringing a car into the country because it sometimes equals or surpasses the value of the vehicle. Generally speaking, it costs between $2,500 and $4,000 to ship a car to the Philippines from the U.S., though there are factors that can push the cost slightly higher.


(Read more)

What jobs are available for foreigners

You may consider starting your own business to help the local community at the same time. The top industries you can venture on would be travel and tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, IT/BPO services, retail and healthcare. For native English speakers, working as an online English tutor or as a Customer Service Representative would also be a good option. In conclusion, venturing into business or working online would be a much preferable choice as opposed to becoming employed by a local company.

Is there a healthcare available for foreigners

Foreigners currently have access to several affordable options under the national PhilHealth. Private health insurance coverage is also widely available.


(Read more)

Common natural disasters in the Philippines

○ Typhoons and violent storms

○ Volcanic eruptions

○ Earthquakes

○ Floodings and landslides

Electricity and Water Supply

The country has an acceptable water supply system in the urban areas.  Bottled mineral, spring or purified water are also widely available.


Generally, 220 volts, with some areas having 110 volts, 60 cycles. A plug with two (2) flat prongs is the norm. The use of a universal adaptor assures safety.

Internet Connectivity

The geographical features of the Philippines is one of the major reason why it is difficult and capital intensive to build a wireless infrastructure in the country.  While there is tolerable Internet connection in most areas, it is still considered slow and unstable given its cost and expect to have little or no connection at all in the remote parts of the country.

Things to know when buying a home or property in the Philippines:

Can foreign nationals own a real estate property in the Philippines

Foreigners are not allowed to own house and lot properties in the Philippines and contrary to some claims, there is no way to get around the law regarding the matter. However, you are allowed to own condominium units. Your name can also be included in the title of the property if you’re married to a Filipino citizen.


(Read more)

Financing schemes or manner of payment available

You can choose from one of the following:

○ In-house financing

○ Bank financing

○ Pag-ibig loan (HDMF)

○ Cash purchase with discount depends on which type is conveniently adapted by the developer.

Can foreign nationals apply for a loan with local banks in the Philippines

Most banks would not allow those permanently residing abroad for a loan but there are a few banks that will, namely;

○ BDO Unibank

○ Citibank


○ China Bank

○ BPI Bank

○ RCBC Bank

It is best that you contact the bank personally for assessment and updated information.


(Read more)

How much is the down payment

Generally, developers would require a downpayment of 20% while others may go as low as 10% if the project is pre-selling.

Pre-selling is when a property is being offered for sale while the construction of the Subdivision or Project is on-going and the unit is scheduled for construction upon full payment of the downpayment and will be completed at a time frame disclosed to you.


Developers may offer a year to pay for the downpayment of 20% for on-going projects, and when the downpayment has been fully paid, only then will the monthly amortization for the balance will take effect.

Is it possible for non-members to avail a loan with Pag-ibig and what is the maximum loanable amount

An existing Pag-ibig policy requires that you have paid at least 24 monthly contributions before you can avail of any housing loan, but a new amendment to this policy opens the gate to non members to apply for membership and then avail of the loan right away by just paying the 24 monthly contributions at one time.

PDF File: Approved Citizen’s Charter (Housing Loan Availment)


The amount of loan you can avail of will depend on four requisites:

○ Actual need

○ Capacity to pay based on net disposable income. Monthly amortization should be no less than 40% of your net disposable income.

○ The value of collateral (appraisal will be conducted)

○ The monthly contribution of the member. 


(Read more)

How does in-house financing compare with pag-ibig and banks

The advantages of in-house financing are:

1. Simplicity of documents required. You need not be subjected to thorough background/credit check as compared to banks or pag-ibig. A Filipino wife who has no or inadequate income for herself can be approved for in-house housing loan if she has a husband such as a foreigner who can support the monthly amortization. Since the title does not bear the name SPOUSES but only the name of the Filipina married to (foreigner’s name), banks do not approve loan nor Pag-ibig if the wife does not have enough income to pay for the monthly amortization.

2. Maceda Law or R.A. 6656 – mandates the developer to refund 50% of your payments if you have paid at least 2 years installment even if you are delinquent. Refund is not applicable in mortgage with banks or Pag-ibig.

3. Interest charges remain constant no matter what happens to the economy. If contracted to 16%, it shall remain at that throughout the period of the contract. Bank interest rates on the other hand are floating. In times of crises, it can shoot up.

The prime advantage however with Bank financing and Pag-ibig are that of lower interest rates which range from 10.5% to 14% per annum but there are also fees such as processing fees and appraisal fees which are not existing in the in-house financing.


(Read more)

What are the requirements from Pag-ibig for loan application


○ Housing Loan Application with recent ID photo of borrower/co-borrower (if applicable) (2 copies, HQP-HLF- 068/HQP-HLF- 069)

○ Proof of Income (Read from source for more details)

○ One (1) valid ID (Photocopy, back-to-back) of Principal Borrower and Spouse, Co-Borrower and Spouse, Seller and Spouse and Developer’s Authorized Representative and Attorney-In-Fact, (if applicable)



○ Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) (latest title, Certified True Copy). For Condominium Unit, present TCT of the land and Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT) (Certified True Copy).

○ Updated Tax Declaration (House and Lot) and Updated Real Estate Tax Receipt (photocopy)

○ Vicinity Map/Sketch Map leading to the Property subject of the loan

What are the requirements for bank loans

The basic requirements for most bank loans would be as follows, but we suggest that you personally contact the bank of your choice for specifics.


If in the Philippines:

○ Income Tax Return (latest)

○ Certificate of employment with compensation

○ Business Permit (if self-employed)

○ Community Tax Certificate

○ T.I.N. (Tax identification Number)

○ Bank Statement (for the last 6 months)

○ Marriage Certificate (if married) (Photocopoy)

○ Proof of Billing

○ Post Dated Checks


Note: All original except marriage certificate, Business Permit, Community Tax Certificate.


If Borrower is permanently abroad:

○ Federal Income Tax Return (latest)

○ Bank Statement (for the last 6 months)

○ Special Power of Atty. (SPA) (consul authenticated)

○ Certificate of Employment with compensation (consul authenticated)

○ Proof of remittance

○ Business Permit (if self employed)

○ Marriage Certificate (if married)

○ Post Dated Checks


Note: All original except marriage certificate.


In-house financing requirements are similar to bank financing. For specific requirements, it is advised to take note of these requirements per Developer.