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Foreign Entry Requirements and Country Information


International Travel Information for US Citizens

 

Entry Requirements

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Visa Required?

 

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Immunization Required?

 

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Invitation Required?

 

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Additional Requirements?

 

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Current Travel Warnings for Travel to Philippines
On April 27, 2007, The United States Department of State issued a Travel Warning for persons considering travel to the Philippines. There is no posted expiration date for this Travel Warning. To read the Travel Warning in entirety, please go to http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_2190.html .
Entry/Exit Requirements
U.S. citizens may enter the Philippines without a visa upon presentation of their U.S. passport, which must be valid for at least six months after entry, and a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country. Upon arrival, immigration authorities will annotate the U.S. passport with an entry visa valid for 21 days. If you plan to stay longer than 21 days, you must apply for an extension at the Philippine Bureau of Immigration and Deportation; Magallanes Drive; Intramuros, Manila, Philippines (http://www.immigration.gov.ph). Persons who overstay their visas are subject to fines and detention by Philippine immigration authorities. American citizens are urged to remain aware of their visa status while in the Philippines and to follow immigration laws and regulations strictly. There are special requirements for the entry of unaccompanied minors. A Passenger Service Charge, currently 550 Pesos (approximate USD equivalent $10.00), must be paid in Philippine Pesos when departing the country from international airports. For further information on entry/exit requirements, please contact the Embassy of the Philippines at: 1600 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20036 (telephone: (202) 467-9300), or via the Internet at http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated special procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship to the person traveling with the child and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure. Please refer to Traveling with Children for detailed information.
Population
86,241,697 (July 2004 est.)
Nationality
noun: Filipino(s)
adjective: Philippine
Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
conventional short form: Philippines
local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
local short form: Pilipinas
Capital
Manila
Climate
tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Currency
Philippine peso (PHP)
Government Type
republic
U.S. Embassy Location
chief of mission: Ambassador Francis J. RICCIARDONE
embassy: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila
mailing address: PSC 500, FPO AP 96515-1000
telephone: [63] (2) 523-6300
FAX: [63] (2) 522-4361
Legal System
based on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Religions
Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and other 3%
Country Background
The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. The islands attained their independence in 1946 after Japanese occupation in World War II. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. The Philippines has had a series of electoral presidential transitions since the removal of MARCOS. The government continues to struggle with armed Muslim insurgencies in the south.
Safety and Security
The terrorist threat to American citizens in the Philippines remains high, and the Embassy continues to receive reports of ongoing activities by known terrorist groups. Americans traveling or residing in the Philippines are urged to exercise great caution and maintain heightened security awareness. A number of security-related incidents highlight the risk of travel in certain areas due to incidents of kidnapping, bombings, and other violence and criminal activity.

The Philippine government has been engaged on and off in negotiations with Communist and Muslim rebel groups. Nonetheless, rebel activity and armed banditry in certain areas of the Philippines still pose security concerns. The Communist Party of the Philippines and its terrorist military arm, the New People’s Army, operate throughout the country and have issued public threats against U.S. citizens and interests in the Philippines. Americans are urged to exercise caution when traveling throughout the country and are specifically warned to avoid hiking or camping in the vicinity of Mt. Pinatubo in Pampanga Province.

In Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago, kidnappings, bombings, violence, and insurgent activity make travel hazardous in many areas. The terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has kidnapped several Americans and other foreign tourists since April 2000. Some were freed after substantial ransoms were paid, some escaped or were rescued by military action, and some were killed. Other kidnapping gangs operate in the same general area and have abducted a number of foreigners for ransom. The Abu Sayyaf Group continues to issue public threats against U.S. citizens and interests in the Philippines.

Americans should defer non-emergency travel to the island of Mindanao due to recurring bombing incidents and threats of other violence and criminal activity, including kidnapping. Americans should avoid all travel to islands of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Jolo located in the Sulu archipelago in the extreme southwest of the Philippines due to kidnappings and other criminal activity.

In October 2002, the United States Government designated the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) a Foreign Terrorist Organization. JI is an extremist group linked to al-Qaeda and other regional terrorist groups and has cells operating throughout Southeast Asia. Extremist groups in the region have demonstrated a capability to carry out transnational attacks in locations where Westerners congregate. Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.

U.S. citizens and interests may also be at increased risk of terrorist actions from foreign or domestic extremist groups in the Philippines. There are periodic reports of plans for possible terrorist acts aimed at U.S. Government facilities or personnel, public and private institutions, and transportation carriers. The U.S. Embassy takes all such threats seriously. The State Department reminds all Americans traveling or living abroad of the need to remain vigilant with regard to personal security issues and to always follow basic and important security countermeasures: do not establish a pattern or routine in movement and travel; vary the times and routes taken to the extent possible; maintain a low profile; and immediately report any unusual activity, to include possible surveillance, to the Philippine Police and the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy.
Crime
As in many of the major metropolitan areas in the United States, crime is a serious concern in Metro Manila. As a rule of thumb, Americans are advised to exercise good judgment and remain aware of their surroundings. Reports of confidence games, pick-pocketing and credit card fraud are common. Be wary of unknown individuals who attempt to befriend you, especially just after you have arrived in country. A number of recent robberies and assaults involving the “date rape drug? (known locally as Ativan) have occurred; the drug is generally administered to unwitting visitors via food or drink. It is best not to accept food, drink or rides in private vehicles from strangers even if they appear legitimate. There have been several kidnappings and violent assaults of foreigners in the Metro Manila area, although Americans have not been specifically targeted in such crimes. There have also been reports of vehicles with foreign passengers being robbed by gunmen while driving to and from the international airport.

Taxis are the recommended form of public transportation; however, the following safeguards are important: do not enter a taxi if it has already accepted another passenger, and request that the meter be used. If the driver is unwilling to comply with your requests, it is best to wait for another cab. It is also a good idea to make a mental note of the license plate number should there be a problem. When driving in the city, make certain that the doors are locked and the windows rolled up. All other forms of public transportation, such as the light rail system, buses, and “jeepneys? should be avoided for both safety and security reasons.

Visitors should also be vigilant when using credit cards. One common form of credit card fraud involves the illicit use of an electronic device to retrieve and record information, including the PIN, from the card's magnetic strip. The information is then used to make unauthorized purchases. To limit your vulnerability to this scam, never let your card out of your sight.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
Medical Facilities
Adequate medical care is available in major cities, but even the best hospitals may not meet the standards of medical care, sanitation, and facilities provided by hospitals in the United States. Medical care is limited in rural and more remote areas. Most hospitals will require a down payment of estimated fees at the time of admission.

Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost several thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals in the Philippines often expect immediate cash payment for health services. A list of doctors and medical facilities in the Philippines can be found on the web page of the U.S. Embassy in Manila at http://philippines.usembassy.gov.

 


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11-14 Day*
$95.00
8-10 Day*
$145.00
4-7 Day*
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1-3 Day*
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* Business Days
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Rush
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