Philippines Tourist Visa for Indians – Why not Indians?
Indians traveling to Philippines for tourism is unheard of, let alone securing a Philippines Tourist Visa for Indians! News watchers may be aware of it’s existence on account of the ongoing dispute in South China Sea. “What? Are you going to the Philippines…? Why? Do you want to Starve?” blurted the Immigration officer, when i was on my way to the heaven! First of all, its ignorance and an uncommon travel for an Indian. It was an overwhelming joy to break the myth.
The picturesque country has stunning and pristine islands offering wonderful tourism destinations.The cumbersome process in securing a Philippines tourist visa for Indians is the major setback discouraging the Indian tourists in visiting the Philippines.You might ask, if visiting Philippines is really worth the painstaking Visa process. I would happily nod an YES!
Imagine a trip to the Philippines & Get a Visa:
Imagine a lazy sunbath on a pristine beach side with a cocktail.Imagine meeting scores of foreigners and Filipino on a pub hopping; diving in to the deep seas to see the vibrant corals; swimming with the Whale Sharks; seeing the vast green UNESCO World heritage site of “Banaue rice terrace” and the sight of the chocolate hills. Philippines could make your dreams come alive! This is what a trip to the Philippines looks like! Is it worth the pain? Why not go on an off-beat tourism destination?
Key Facts to understand about Philippines Tourist Visa for Indians (9A):
- Philippines does not offer Visa on Arrival for Indians. (Ah! This is one country, we MUST fight for a VOA!)
- Indians must obtain a valid Temporary Visitor’s Visa for Pleasure (Tourist Visa) – 9A, before entering the port of entry in the Philippines.
- Visa will be verified before boarding an air plane to the Philippines. In the event of not showing a valid tourist visa, the airline can deny boarding (in any country) and so does the Indian Immigration.
- An applicant can apply for a Temporary Visitor’s Visa for Pleasure (Tourist Visa) either individually or by availing visa services of a travel agent, such as Thomas Cook.
- The applicant has to appear in person, if the Consular officer so demands, when applying through a travel agent.
- The Embassy does not accept Passports for visa processing via Mail or Courier.
- Indian Nationals holding diplomatic or official passport need not apply for Visa if the intended stay is within 30 days.
- Visa Validity: A tourist visa, if and when issued, is valid for 3 months from the date of Issue.
- Length of Stay: The length of stay during each visit cannot exceed 59 days. The number of days issued for a visit lies with the Consular Officer and is also the discretion of the officer examining the Visa at the port of entry.
- You can choose Single entry or Multiple entry Visa depending on your travel needs.
Visa Free Entry for Indians : A Welcome relief for Indian Nationals holding PR:
Effective 20 April 2015, Indian passport holders do not require a visa for tourism travel (Visa Free Entry for Indians), if the leisure travel does not exceed fourteen (14) days provided that they –
- hold a valid visa or permanent residence permit issued by Singapore (including E Pass, S Pass, Work Permit,Student Pass, Dependent Pass), Australia, Japan, Schengen country, U.K. or U.S.A.
- hold a valid return ticket to country of origin or next country of destination.
- have a passport valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the stay in the Philippines.
Philippines Tourist Visa for Indians in Chennai:
I applied for Philippines Visa a month before the travel date. The travel forums and the official Philippines Embassy website in India were my reference for Visa application and Guidelines. I applied for the Visa as an individual applicant and did not use travel agents. I would strongly advise you to read the official Embassy website in addition to the information presented here.
Philippines Honorary Consul General Chennai:
The “Philippines Honorary Consul General Chennai” is located in SPIC building, Guindy. The Embassy has a token system for processing Visa applications. It is advisable to arrive early morning (around 8 AM) at the SPIC building. The security guard at the entrance of the building issues token for the Embassy. The Embassy office is located on ground floor on the left side, towards the parking lot. Applicants are allowed to enter the Embassy office waiting area only after 9 AM. A Consular officer starts verifying the Visa documents around 930 AM, based on the token system. The officer verifies all the documents and accepts or rejects the papers on a case to case basis.
My First Experience – Mistake and Learning:
I was the third in line to appear for the Visa scrutiny. I walked up to the officer with the papers mandated by the official website, New Delhi. The officer rejected my visa documents on the following grounds.
- The Payable Name on the Demand Draft was not in line with the Chennai office requirements. The Payable name quoted in the official website was different – “Embassy of the Philippines“. (Read the Official Guidelines laid down by Chennai office).
- Printout of the HR letter stating the Leave Dates, Certificate of Current Employment and Salary Certificate. The Embassy does not accept Printouts. The certificates issued by the Employer should be on Original Letter Head.
- Credit card copy, as mandated by the official website was not required.
- PAN card copy was not required.
The officer handed out a document carrying the requirements in detail, requesting me to come back with the right set of documents.
It is advisable to go to the Philippines Embassy and get the latest handout before applying for the Visa.
Official Guidelines For Tourist Visa – Handout from the Philippines Honorary Consul General Chennai:
- Visa application form fully and legibly completed in English by the applicant.
- One Passport size photograph taken no more than 6 months ago. Scanned photos are not acceptable.
- Original Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the contemplated stay in the Philippines.
- One Passport photocopy (first and last page).
- Letter of Invitation (if applicable) indicating complete address and telephone number should be notarized by the notary public.(Passport copy and the Visa copy) – Scan copy.
- Covering letter from the applicant.
- If employed, applicant’s certificate of current employment from employer to include Leave sanctioned, employer’s full name, address, telephone number, applicant’s length of service and salary details and the registration certificate of the company.
- Business Men (If self-employed), Proof of Business.
- If Student, applicant’s certificate of Bona fide from the School/College.
- If minor, under 15 years of age traveling alone or to be accompanied by a person other than a parent or not joining a parent in the Philippines. Affidavit of support and Consent to travel. The affidavit must be executed by either or both parents indicating traveling companion of minor and address in the Philippines, duly Notarized by a local Notary Public, attested by the MEA and consular officer of the Philippine Embassy. This affidavit must be presented before immigration officials at the port of entry in the Philippines upon the minor’s arrival in the Philippines.
- Spouse of a Philippine Citizen: Name of the Filipino spouse should be indicated in the visa applicant’s Passport copy of Report of Marriage issued by the Philippine Embassy of Philippine National Statistics Office.
- Unmarried Minor Child of a Filipino Parent: Copy of the Birth Certificate and Copy of Parent’s valid passports.
- Spouse is in the Philippines under Business visa or Employment visa, the copy of marriage authentication certificate to be submitted along with the other documents.
- Bank statements for latest 6 months(Healthy Balance).
- IT Returns for 3 years.
- Confirmed return air ticket.
- Confirmed Hotel Accommodation.
- Visa processing – normal – 5 working days,express – 2 working days.
- Visa submission time – 9.30 to 10.30 (Monday to Friday).
- Schedule of Visa fees – Normal Rs.2840/- Express Rs.6390/- each
- Only demand drafts drawn from any bank in India with a branch in Chennai are accepted. Pay to be “PHILIPPINE HONORARY CONSULATE GENERAL CHENNAI” Payable at Chennai.
Are you contemplating if you should visit Philippines, having read the tedious visa requirements? Here are 6 reasons why you should travel to the Philippines.
Ever heard of Boracay? Boracay is featured in the Top 10 romantic beaches in the world. Boracay is a romantic place to go on a honeymoon. El Nido, Palawan Islands is another island you would fall in love with!
Visa Approval – Success on second attempt!
Do you remember walking in to the Principal’s office at school? Well, my second attempt instigated the anxiety hormones. The papers were in order as mandated by the Philippines Honorary Consul General Chennai. I had to cancel the previously issued Demand Draft and request a fresh one with the mandated payable name. The certificates were on the original company letter head. I didn’t want my Visa rejected, having planned and waited for the dream trip!
Travel agents charge approximately INR 6000 for Visa processing. I opted to process my application through “Express”. I was happy to pay the required fees than opting for a travel agent. The consular officer accepted the papers on my second visit, since I had the right answers for the Consular’s questions. Consequently, the consular officer asked me to come two days later, around 4-430 PM, in the evening to collect the Passport. Finally, I was granted a 9A-Tourist Visa for 3 weeks, valid for 3 months from the date of issue.
Philippines Visa Application Form Download Link – Application form available in the official website. Please refer the official website – http://newdelhipe.dfa.gov.ph/index.php if the link is outdated.
Philippines Embassy / Philippine Honorary Consulate General – India locations:
Contact Information as listed in Philippines Embassy Website, New Delhi.
Philippine Embassy in New Delhi
H.E. (Mrs.) Ma. Teresita C. Daza
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
50-N Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi: 110021
Tel number:+9111- 2688-9091, 2611-0152, 2410-1120 and 2688-8838
Fax number: +9111- 2687-6401
Office Hours for Submission of Visas: 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Monday to Friday
Philippine Honorary Consulate General Mumbai
Mrs. Rajashree Birla – Consul General ad Honorem
Mr. Retnaswamy Swaminathan – Consul ad Honorem
Mr. Subramaniam Krishna Moorthy – Vice Consul ad Honorem
1st Floor, Industry House
159 Churchgate Reclamation,
Tel: (+91-22) 2202-4792
Fax: (+91-22) 2281-4103
Office Hours for Submission of Visas: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Collection of Visas on the 3rd working day between 10:00 am to 12:00pm
Philippine Honorary Consulate General KOLKATA
37 Shakespeare Sarani
2nd Floor, Kolkata, 700001
Office Hours for Submission of Visas: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Collection of Visas on the next day between 2:00 pm to 4:00pm
Philippine Honorary Consulate General Chennai
Mr. Ashwin Muthiah – Consul General ad Honorem
“Spic House” Annex Building
VIII Floor, 88 Mount Road
Guindy, Chennai 600032
Tel: (+91 44) 22354063 and
Fax: (+9144) 22352062
The Philippines tourist visa for Indians seems like a tough process. However, if you have the right documents, you could enjoy a trip to the heaven!
Do you have an experience getting a Philippines Tourist Visa? In addition, do you have any suggestions or points to add? Request you to add your experience in the comments section.