Updated: Countries Where My Filipino Passport Can Take Me

I have dreamt of travelling for as long as I can remember. Like what I have said, if you have met me when I left my snot where it truly belonged, you will not hear me say – “I want to be a lawyer when I grow up.” (or a doctor, a nurse, or any of those noble professions that adults have bombarded children to memorize) Okay, I admit there were a couple of instances  when I lied about wanting to be a nun just to make the elders happy and there was also that one fine morning when I announced to my mother that I wanted to be a ‘maid; when I grow up because the job did not obviously require me to work my ass off (an observation I have made by watching my own nanny, back then when my parents could still afford to pay a nanny. But man was I wrong. Household helps are the hardest working people I know!). This innocent retort got a scream full of Cynthia-litany that left my poor nanny deaf for a few days. What you will hear me blabber about at such a young age was about flying my own magic carpet or burying my feet in a pile of snow (which mother nature was nice enough to bless the other side of the world with but not the Philippines). I was not your typical little munchkin and with my parents no where to be found, I filled my brain with all kinds of adventures from all the books that I got my hands on or from the movies I saw.

doi and denDen and Doi

Obviously, I’m all 37 years grown up and still wanted the same thing. The dream remains the same – I want to discover the world 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!

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. 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

Number 1: a valid passport. International travel requires passports so if you do not have one yet, by God, move your ass and 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: 21 days
  • Indonesia: 30 days
  • Laos: 30 days
  • Malaysia: 30 days
  • Myanmar: 14 days
  • Singapore: 30 days
  • Thailand: 30 days
  • Vietnam: 21 days

Non-ASEAN Countries in Asia

  • 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)
  • Georgia: e-visa, if you have a valid visa from any of the OECD member countries
  • Hong Kong: 14 days
  • Iran: 30 days, VOA
  • India: 60 days, e-visa
  • Israel: 90 days
  • Kyrgyzstan: 30 days, VOA
  • Macau: 30 days
  • Maldives: 30 days, VOA
  • Mongolia: 21 days
  • Nepal: 90 days, VOA
  • Qatar: e-visa
  • South Korea (if flying directly to Jeju-do and staying there only): 30 days
  • Sri Lanka: 30 days
  • Taiwan: 14 days, Visa-free initiative was extended until July 31, 2019!
  • Tajikistan: e-visa
  • Timor-Leste: 30 days, VOA

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

  • Kosovo: 15 days (but all routes going in are through the Schengen territory so if you do not have a visa for the territory, you will be denied access)
  • Turkey: e-visa, Travel dates are valid as indicated in e-visa (but your supporting documents should be valid and any of the following visa/residence permit from Schengen territory, USA, UK and Ireland)
  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus: 90 days

Australia

  • Australia: 30 days (or more), e-visa

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, VOA
  • Papua New Guinea: 60 days, VOA
  • Pitcairn Islands: 14 days
  • Samoa: 60 days
  • Tuvalu: 30 days
  • Vanuatu: 30 days

Caribbean and North 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)
  • Dominica: 21 days
  • Haiti: 90 days
  • Montserrat: e-visa
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: 30 days
  • Saint Lucia: 42 days, VOA
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 30 days
  • Turks and Caicos Islands – 90 days

Central America

  • Costa Rica: 90 days
  • Nicaragua: 90 days, VOA

South America

  • Bolivia: 90 days
  • Brazil: 90 days
  • Colombia: 90 days
  • Ecuador: 90 days
  • Peru: 183 days
  • Suriname: 90 days
  • Trinidad and Tobago: VOA

Africa

  • Benin: 30 days, e-visa/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)
  • Kenya: VOA
  • Lesotho: e-visa
  • Madagascar: 30 Days, VOA
  • Malawi: 90 days, VOA
  • Mali: VOA
  • 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 
  • Tanzania: 30 Days, VOA
  • Togo: 7 days, VOA
  • Uganda: 30 Days, VOA
  • Zambia: 90 days, e-visa/VOA
  • Zimbabwe: e-visa

REMINDERS:

1. Please remember that the list and information may change. 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.

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.

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.