Work Permits in the Philippines

Information about the requirements for foreigners coming to the Philippines for work…

Foreign nationals who want to work in the Philippines must apply for a valid work visa. This must be processed before starting employment in the country.

Foreign nationals coming to the Philippines on business who plan to stay for a maximum of 59 days require only a tourist visa. If they then wish to extend their for stay longer than 59 days, an application for extension of stay must be filed at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Manila, or the Immigration Office nearest to their temporary place of residence.

  • For information on the different types of visa available and the application procedures, see the Information page on Types of Visas in the Philippines

Alien Employee Permit (AEP)

This permit is issued by the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE). It provides authorization for foreign nationals to work in the Philippines. This applies to corporations/partnerships, sole ownership companies, and the self-employed.

Applications are made in person or by the prospective employer at the DOLE Regional Office or Field Office that has jurisdiction over the intended place of work.

There is an application fee and the permit is valid for one to five years. There is an additional fee each time the permit is renewed and it is renewable for a maximum period of five years.

After submitting the documents, the applicant must attend an interview. Applications for Alien Employment Permits are also posted on the DOLE website and in the offices of the Public Employment Service for 30 days. The notice lists the foreign national’s name, position, employer and his/her address, a brief description of the functions to be performed, qualifications, monthly salary range, and other benefits.

If the application is filed at the Regional Office, the AEP is issued (or refused) within 24 hours. If the application is filed at the Field Office, the AEP is issued (or refused) within five working days.

Information about the procedures and documents required is available on the DOLE website.

Provisional Work Permit (PWP)

This permit is issued to a foreign national on a temporary visitor visa who wishes to start work and whose application for an employment visa is in progress.

Application for provisional work permits are made at the main office of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

  • Bureau of Immigration Head Office
    : Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila
    Tel: 02 527 3260 / 02 527 3248

Applicants should bring all the required documents on the checklist, which is available on the Bureau of Immigration website . They should also fill in an application form and if needed, provide additional information on their dependents.

The PWP is valid for up to three months or until the work visa is issued

Special Work Permit – Commercial

This permit is issued to a foreign national employed in the country for three to six months. This applies to corporations/partnerships, sole ownership companies and the self-employed.

Special Work Permit – Artists and Athletes

This permit is issued to temporary visitors working as athletes or artists, entertainers and performers, and staying in the country for no more than six months.