7 more countries get visa-free stay in PH
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that passport holders of countries Belize, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will now be able to enjoy 30 days of visa-free stay in the country.
The move aims to promote tourism and investments from all 7 countries that have been emerging as key players in the international economic community and which have growing bilateral ties with the Philippines.
"The DFA fully supports national efforts to attract more tourists and potential investors to the Philippines. In particular, the DFA, through its various embassies and consulates abroad, has been playing an active role in helping the Department of Tourism reach its target of 10 million foreign tourist arrivals by 2015," said DFA Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis.
To visit the Philippines visa-free, nationals of countries included on the list can avail of the privilege by presenting a national passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the contemplated period of stay and a return ticket to the country of origin or onward ticket to the next country of destination.
The Philippines allows nationals from the following countries to visit the Philippines for 30 days without a visa:
|Angola||Czech Republic||Jamaica||New Zealand||Swaziland|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Democratic Republic of Congo||Japan||Nicaragua||Sweden|
|Bahrain||Ecuador||Kyrgyzstan||Panama||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Barbados||El Salvador||Lao People's Democratic Republic||Papua New Guinea||Tunisia|
|Bolivia||Fiji||Lithuania||Qatar||United Arab Emirates|
|Botswana||Finland||Luxembourg||Rapublic of Korea||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Brazil*||France||Madagascar||Romania||United Republic of Tanzania|
|Gabon||Malawai||Russia||United States of America|
|Burkina Faso||Germany||Maldives||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Uzbekistan|
|Cambodia||Greece||Malta||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Vatican|
|Cape Verde||Guinea||Mauritius||Sao Tome and Principe||Zambia|
|Central African Republic||Guinea Bissau||Mexico||Saudi Arabia||Zimbabwe|
|Costa Rica||Indonesia||Myanmar||Solomon Islands|
|Cote d'Ivoire||Ireland||Namibia||South Africa|
Israeli and Brazilian passport holders get to stay in the Philippines for 59 days due to existing bilateral agreements while Somalia has been removed from the list of countries whose nationals enjoy visa-free privilege. Somali nationals may apply for visas at Philippine embassies or consulates in their countries of origin or residence.
Citizens of the following countries are allowed a 14-day stay in the country visa-free:
- Hong Kong Special Administrative (SAR)
- Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR)
Staying in the Philippines no-longer than 7 days without a visa is allowed for the following:
- Holders of Macau-Portuguese passports
- Holders of Hong Kong British passports
Japan also looking into 'relaxed' visa requirements
The Philippines isn't the only country looking into strengthening its tourism sector. Kyodo News reports that the Japanese government is mulling a visa waiver for tourists coming from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Kyodo adds that the initiative is aimed at "drawing more tourists from Southeast Asia, including the Muslim population in the region, is envisioned as Japan seeks to achieve its goal of increasing the annual number of foreign visitors to 20 million in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."
Around 110,000 Filipinos visited Japan in 2013 despite the stringent visa requirements. – Rappler.com