Updated: Countries Where My Filipino Passport Can Take Me

(Updated: 31 October 2019, all new details have been marked in maroon)

I have dreamt of travelling for as long as I can remember. Obviously, I’m all 38 years grown up, married, and I still want the same thing. The dream remains the same – I want to discover the world (this time with my husband) and maybe, once in a while, get lost somewhere (which I am proud to note that I have been successful at).

There are so many amazing places to visit!

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Don’t get me wrong. Travelling is not as easy as I make it believe and everyone knows this. There are a lot of horror stories out there (I have my fair share but I am not going to talk about them now) and travelling also requires many things. However, instead of giving in to that nagging fear that only cripples your plans, why  not just give travelling a whack and see how it goes. “Try you must” as how Yoda would have phrased it. No one ever gets anywhere without exerting an effort. But please, travel within your means and responsibly. 

You have an option to either travel locally or to take the international route. Both options boost the same amount of happiness hormones in your body but for those who would opt for the latter, there are a number of things that you may need to cross out of your to-do-list first.  

Passport

The most important in the list is a valid passport. International travel requires passports so if you do not have one yet, by God, request for one to be processed at the nearest Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office. Important note to remember though that a passport does not immediately guarantee that you can enter the country that you are eyeing. It is mandatory but not an assurance.

For us, there are several countries that we cannot enter due to various reasons. First are travel bans but usually there will be a stamp on your passport noting this. It is always best to keep yourself updated with news from DFA about which countries you are allowed to travel to or not. I remembered several years ago  that my passport was stamped ‘Not valid for travel to Iraq’ and although this puzzled me, I did not pay much attention to it. Second reason is if your passport is without an issued visa needed to enter some countries. This is where all most of the heartaches come from. I remembered bawling my eyes out having been denied a visa to a particular country (but I will reserve the drama for another article). Third reason would involve the pre-arrangements necessary for entry.

It will be good to know a couple of things first about the country you plan to go to. So to urge you on, here are some helpful information about tourist visas for Filipinos that you may want to take into consideration before you book a flight to your next travel destination.

VISA FREE means you can enter the country without a visa and explore it but within a specific approved period of time.

VISA ON ARRIVAL (VOA) means that you will be granted visa to enter the country upon arriving at the point of entry (airport/seaport). There is usually no pre-application needed but it will be to your advantage to check the necessary requirements first. For instance, when I entered Tanzania they specifically asked for my vaccination book where my Yellow Fever shots were documented. Also, most VOAs involve visa fees that need to be paid to the immigration officer. Checking ahead for related travel information will do wonders. 

VISA REQUIRED means what it means. You will need to apply for a visa to enter the country. I will not be including these countries in the list below. Remember that it is different in every country so you will need to check their official sites for more information about their requirements.

e-VISA means that you can enter the country using the visa application you launched online, usually supported by other valid visas you have like USA, UK, Schengen, etc. Although it is noted that immigration systems will be linked to your passport details, since you do not have a stamp or sticker in your passport, I would suggest that you print out your e-visa or to have an electronic copy handy in a gadget. 

It’s 2019 and I have promised to not laze around in sharing my travel know-how, here are some places you can check out where you can skip out on some of the visa hassle.

Hurrah for ASEAN Countries! Visa free for Filipinos. 

  • Brunei: 14 days
  • Cambodia: 30 days
  • Indonesia: 30 days
  • Laos: 30 days
  • Malaysia: 30 days
  • Myanmar: 14 days
  • Singapore: 30 days
  • Thailand: 30 days (with specifications that there can only be 2 visits annually if not arriving by air. Those work visa runs have caught up on foreigners I guess.)
  • Vietnam: 21 days

Non-ASEAN Countries in Asia

  • China: (for those travelling to Hainan: 15 days as part of a tourist group, Hong Kong: 14 days, Macau: 30 days) VOA for Shenzhen
  • Iran: 30 days, VOA
  • India: 60 days, e-visa (must arrive in 26 designated airports or in 3 designated seaports)
  • Israel: 90 days
  • Kazakhstan: 30 days
  • Kyrgyzstan: 30 days, VOA (must arrive in Manas International Airport), e-visa (must arrive in above airport or Osh Airport and designated borders)
  • Maldives: 30 days, VOA
  • Mongolia: 21 days
  • Nepal: 90 days, VOA
  • Pakistan: e-visa
  • Qatar: e-visa
  • South Korea: 30 days (if flying to Jeju-do and staying there only)
  • Sri Lanka: 30 days, e-visa/ VOA
  • Taiwan: 14 days, Visa-free initiative was extended until July 31, 2019 2020!
  • Tajikistan: 90 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Timor-Leste: 30 days, VOA
  • Uzbekistan: 30 days, e-visa

Eurasia (countries straddled in both Asia and Europe)

  • Armenia: 120 days, VOA but it is better to secure an e-visa (while we were crossing the border, a fellow Filipino I met was held up for questioning)
  • Azerbaijan: VOA (for those residing in UAE)
  • Georgia: e-visa (for those with valid visa of the Schengen territory and have resident permits in GCC states.)
  • Russia: 8 days, e-visa (for tourism/business in Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region; must enter designated ports of entry)
  • Turkey: e-visa (but you should be supported with a valid visa/residence permit issued by a Schengen territory, the USA, UK, Ireland)
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus: 90 days

Europe

Yes, there are countries in Europe that Filipinos can actually travel to without a visa BUT…so here goes.

If you have a valid Schengen visa then you can enter any of the member state listed under the Schengen area, which also happens to be the largest visa free zone. There are 26 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

This also applies to those who have valid resident permits in any of the Schengen countries.

On top of this, you will also be allowed to enter other non-Schengen countries in Europe if you have either of the said documents mentioned above.

  • Albania: (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory, USA, UK)
  • Andorra: 90 days, (but can only be accessed through France or Spain)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: 30 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory, UK)
  • Croatia: 90 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory)
  • Kosovo: 15 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory)
  • Montenegro: (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory, US, UK)
  • North Macedonia: 15 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the US, UK, Canada)
  • Serbia: 90 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of an EU state, US)

Australia

Oceania

  • Cook Islands: 31 days
  • Fiji: 120 days
  • Marshall Islands: 90 days, VOA
  • Federated States of Micronesia – 30 days
  • Niue: 30 days
  • Palau: 30 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Papua New Guinea: 60 days, VOA
  • Pitcairn Islands: 14 days
  • Samoa: 60 days
  • Tuvalu: 30 days, VOA
  • Vanuatu: 30 days

Caribbean and the Atlantic

  • Anguila: 21 days, if you are a holder of a UK visa
  • Antigua and Barbuda: VOA (but your supporting documents should be valid and any of the following visa/residence permit from Schengen territory, USA, UK and Ireland)
  • Bahamas: 30 days (for permanent residents of Canada)
  • Barbados: 90 days
  • Cuba: 30 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the EU member state, USA, Canada) 
  • Dominica: 21 days
  • Dominican Republic: 30 days (for permanent residents of Canada)
  • Haiti: 90 days
  • Jamaica: (for permanent residents of Canada)
  • Montserrat: e-visa
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: 30 days, e-visa
  • Saint Lucia: 42 days, VOA
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 30 days
  • Turks and Caicos Islands – 90 days

Central America

  • Belize: (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory, USA)
  • Costa Rica: 90 days
  • Mexico: (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory, USA)
  • Nicaragua: 90 days, VOA
  • Panama: 30 days (for those with valid visa/residence permit of the Schengen territory, UK, US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea)

North America

  • Canada: (for ‘green card’ holders issued by the USA)

South America

  • Argentina: e-visa (for those with valid B1/B2 visas issued by the USA)
  • Bolivia: 90 days
  • Brazil: 90 days
  • Colombia: 180 days
  • Ecuador: 90 days
  • Peru: 183 days
  • Suriname: 90 days
  • Trinidad and Tobago: VOA

Africa

  • Benin: 30 days, e-visa/8 days, VOA
  • Burundi: VOA
  • Cape Verde: VOA
  • Comoros: 45 days, VOA
  • Cote d’ Ivorie: 90 days
  • Djibouti: 31 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Ethiopia: 30 days, e-visa (but you have to arrive first at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport)
  • Gabon: e-visa (but you have to arrive first at the Leon Mba International Airport)
  • Gambia: 90 Days (but you have to secure your entry clearance from the Gambian Immigration Office before travelling)
  • Guinea: 90 days, e-visa
  • Guinea-Bissau: 90 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Kenya: 90 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Lesotho: e-visa
  • Madagascar: 90 Days, e-visa/VOA
  • Malawi: 90 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Mali: VOA
  • Mauritania: VOA (but have to arrive in Nouakchott-Oumtunsy International Airport)
  • Mauritius: 60 days, VOA
  • Morocco: 90 days
  • Mozambique: 30 Days, VOA
  • Rwanda: 90 Days
  • Senegal: 90 Days, VOA
  • Saint Helena: VOA
  • Sao Tome and Principe: e-visa
  • Seychelles: 90 days, VOA
  • Somalia: 30 days, VOA (available only in Bosaso Airport, Galcaio Airport, and Mogadishu Airport) 
  • Tanzania: 30 Days, e-visa/VOA
  • Togo: 7 days, VOA
  • Uganda: 30 Days, e-visa/VOA
  • Zambia: 90 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Zimbabwe: e-visa

REMINDERS:

1. Please remember that the list and information may change and do not include some places that are disputed, restricted, and partially recognized as countries. I encourage you to check with the respective embassies and consulates before travelling.

2. The days indicated are the maximum days Filipinos are allowed to stay in the said country. If you plan to stay longer, then, you need to apply for an extension or a long-stay visa if you must. Contact the country’s embassy/consulate nearest you.

3. The above list is intended for travel to the mentioned countries for tourism purposes only. There might/will be other guidelines for other types of visa such as business, residence, work, etc.

4. If you are a visa/residence permit holder of the Schengen territories, Canada, USA, or UK, you are entitled to more leeway (and perks). This goes also for overseas Filipino workers based in GCC countries as their residencies grant them more travel benefits. Still, please pay attention to the validity of your documents to avoid any kind of inconvenience later.

5. If you have something to add to this list, please feel free to leave a message so I can make the necessary changes. 


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Comments

  1. Meaningful post ! I enjoyed your post a lot.