About visa

Travel Tips

A post about what I dislike the most, and about what you can’t go anywhere without. Visa. How much for me in this word. I can tell a great many horror stories on this subject. But I won’t. Otherwise, all desire to travel outside the country will be lost.

Since this section is about the Philippines, I will talk about the Philippine visa. And if you need help planning your trip to the Philippines, I will be happy to help you 🙂

So, for citizens of the Russian Federation entering the territory of the Philippines up to 21 days, in 2012 a visa was not needed. In 2020, this period has been extended to 30 days. Only at the border you need to show return tickets. But, as practice shows, there are special cases when return tickets may not be asked. As was mine. At my home airport, I was immediately checked in for a flight to Hong Kong and to Manila.

Logically, since in my city they immediately registered me to Manila, then they should have asked for a return ticket from the Philippines. But those responsible for this are representatives of another company, the one with which I flew from Hong Kong to Manila, respectively, in which case they will be asked. Therefore, in my city they simply registered me without asking anything.

Another option if you have already been to the Philippines and have resident’s certificate (ID), then you can just show it. I haven’t tested it myself, but I know it works.

In any case, I am for everything to be done according to the rules. Therefore, if you do not want to run around with your device, looking for Wi-Fi urgently, in order to book and pay for a return ticket with a card, and present it at the check-in desk, it is better to take care of this in advance. Would you like to stay for, say, 2 months? Please take a return ticket after 2 months and extend your visa on the spot.

And one more recommendation.

If you are a tourist, still check everything you need to enter or obtain a visa to a particular country. Yes, I understand that you pay money to an agent to take care of everything. But far from always this very agent turns out to be sufficiently competent in one direction or another (for objective and subjective reasons). Just look for official information on the Internet. I emphasize – official, i.e. information on the websites of embassies, consulates and visa centers. If something is confusing, ask your agent. If you are lucky with him, he will do everything to clarify the situation. Because, with 100% certainty, I can say that no manager then needs to listen to the objective claims of dissatisfied tourists, explain himself to his superiors and pay fines from his already small salary. Most importantly, no nerves. We are all human and it is simply impossible to know everything. In the section on Denmark, I will give my own example on this topic.

But back to the Philippines

First, I’ll tell you how it was for me in 2012, and then how things are in 2020.


So, if 21 days in the Philippines was not enough for you, and you wanted to stay longer, then you will need to contact the immigration service for an extension. Extended for 38 days. To do this, you just need to bring a photo and copies of the passport photo page and pages with Philippine services marks. And, of course, a certain amount.

When I paid, this service cost about 3500 pesos. A lot, right? And if 59 days in the Philippines seemed not enough for you, then get ready to pay even more – about 8,000 pesos, which is, consider, 200 dollars.

Let me explain why there are so many. If you decide to stay after 59 days, then you already need to issue a resident certificate, the so-called ID, which I wrote about above, and which does not give you anything, but for which you need to pay about 3500 pesos. Well, just an extension. You can extend it for a month for more than 3,000 pesos, or you can extend it for 2 months for 3,500 cents, or rather centimes. As you can see, it is more profitable to extend for 2 months.

By the way, more about ID. Do not even expect to receive it in the promised 3 weeks. You can rejoice if you get it at all. This is a classic of the Filipino genre, so you don’t even have to be nervous about it. Take a cue from the Filipinos.


In 2020, visa-free entry for Russians is allowed for up to 30 days. If you know in advance that you want to stay longer, you can apply for a visa for 59 days for 500 pesos and $50 right at the border upon entry, or apply for a visa in advance while still in Russia (it’s cheaper, it will cost about $40, but you will need to collect package of documents).

Further, in principle, everything is the same: from 60 days you need to issue an ID, and then renew, renew and renew the visa, each time unfastening the money.

For “long-livers”

If you decide to stay for the 5th and / or 6th month, you need to pay for the extension about the same as for the 3rd and 4th. Only already without ID. Those. 3000 or 3500 (the amounts are inaccurate, because everything changes). After 6 months, you still have to leave. You can also go to Thailand for 1 day, and then return and repeat everything in a new way. Or you can stay, but before leaving the country you will need to do something called Clearance – a paper confirming that you have not done anything terrible in the Philippines, and you can be released from the country. Such paper is also made in the immigration service and costs about 500 pesos. Manufacturing times in different places in the Philippines are different – from a couple of minutes to a month.

A few words about corruption

I’ll give you more a personal example showing how things work in the Philippines. I worked for 4 months and for certain reasons decided to leave. I worked on a tourist visa, but with a work permit. The work permit expired and I left. As soon as the visa expired. There was no reason to leave the Philippines before the scheduled time, since housing had already been paid for for 6 months and tickets were bought for May, i.e. I would lose more money than I earned. I decided to stay on the island, but I needed to extend my tourist visa.

I come to the immigration service, and to my request the officer replies that he cannot extend my visa without the consent of my boss, who is already a former one. Just think: I don’t want to renew my tourist visa without my former boss’s permission, even though my work permit has expired anyway. Then my former boss, with a smile on his face, explained to me that there is no such rule (and this is basically illogical), it’s just that the island is small, everyone knows each other. All of a sudden, we broke up badly, and he doesn’t want to see me on the island anymore, and the officer will take me and extend the visa, how will he then justify himself. This is the Philippine system of work. Even in government. Or, it would be more correct to say, especially in the authorities.

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