Every foreign national whose work is the main purpose of going to the Philippines must go through a long process of legality and a lot of requirements to submit. In the first place, working outside your country, may it be applying for a company or building your own business, could be a gamble because it is very risky.

Second, working in a foreign land has many downsides or disadvantages. You will occasionally miss your home, comfort, and other people you grew up with. However, if you already have the opportunity and you have researched well enough to know the worth of working abroad, then do not think twice and go for your dreams!

Even though there are unavoidable disadvantages that you may encounter, the returns of investment, experience, and knowledge will be great. Of course, one of the reasons why you wanted to work in a foreign country is because you saw that there are good opportunities present in that country. These opportunities will help you improve your work ethics and grow your financial capabilities. And for that, here are some things and steps you need to know to apply for a work visa in the Philippines.

Do I need a work visa in the Philippines?

Yes, like its neighboring countries, it is necessary for the Philippines for workers and business owners to get the appropriate visa and a work permit if they were not Filipino citizens. For this reason, many foreign workers, especially business owners, have considered becoming naturalized citizens of the Philippines to pursue their plans and legally work in the country. This is the first and most important rule to follow if you are not of Filipino citizenship.

However, there are still other exceptions to this rule. You will be exempted to get a work visa in the Philippines if you are a member of a corporate board, owner of a POEA-registered (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) company, diplomat of other state or countries, an employee of an international organization of which the Philippines is a member, and a foreign national with permanent or probationary visas. Other foreign nationals are required to have a visa and a working permit. If the authorities found out that you were working in the country without the said legal documents, heavy fines for you and your company could be filed as a result of breaking the law.

What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in the Philippines?

Applying for a work visa in the Philippines could be very easy if you already have the necessary documents and requirements needed. Preparing the things you need before requesting your visa could save a lot of time and patience. The essential papers and forms you need to have are the work visa application form, the special work permit form by the Bureau of Immigration, your contract for the business or work you are a part of, any proof that you will be working in the Philippines or a business permit, a copy of your passport, your visa for staying in the country, and a certificate of clearance from the Philippines Bureau of Immigration.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in the Philippines

1. Secure a CGAF from the Bureau of Immigration Website

A Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF) is a collection of forms for different visa applications. These forms are needed to be filled out and submitted along with other requirements, for you to be able to apply for a work visa in the Philippines. The specific form you need to fill out is the CGAF-002 Rev 3 which can be found and downloaded in the forms section of the Bureau of Immigration website.

2. Fill out a CRU form

A Central Receiving Unit (CRU) form is a form needed to apply for special work permits alongside CGAF. There are different kinds of special work permits available for download in the Bureau of Immigration sites at the same section For the special work permit for non-immigrants, you will need to download the form with a file name COM02.QF.001-A.

3. Submit the forms along with the required documents

Find or search for the Embassy of the Philippines in your country and submit your papers under visa and permits. Countries that have a relationship with the Philippines will surely have an embassy office or website. However, if you could not find any Philippine embassy or website in your country, you can contact the main office of the Bureau of Immigration.

4. Get the Order of Payment Slip (OPS)

Once you have submitted all your forms and no problems or delays occurred, you will be issued an order of payment slip. This slip has the breakdown of the fees you will be paying to process your Philippines work visa.

5. Pay the required fees

To pay for the fees needed to process your visa and permit, you can go to the Philippine embassy office in your country or check if payments are possible through the embassy’s website. The usual total fees that you need to pay to issue your work visa in the Philippines will never be higher than a hundred dollars. The usual fees for the visa and work permit are application fee, certificate fee, legal research fee, service fee, permit fee, and filing fee. For further details about the needed fees, you may contact them through their email address. Don’t forget to get a copy of your official receipt for proof of transaction.

6. Wait for the embassy’s invitation for issuance of visa and permit

After receiving the Official Receipt, wait for the processing of your Philippines work visa and work permit. This usually takes 3-5 business days or one business week at maximum. You will be notified that all your papers have been processed and are ready to be issued.

7. Get the visa and work permit

To get your papers, you will need to submit your Official Receipt to countercheck that all the transactions and processes have been met. Once it’s finished, you will now be able to legally work in the Philippines.


I hope that this article on how to apply for a work visa in the Philippines wash helpful. If you’re interested in studying abroad make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!

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