Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in the Philippines After Studies

Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in the Philippines After Studies

The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia and is a popular travel destination. The country is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands in the Pacific Ocean, so you can just imagine the pristine beaches, vivid coral reefs and beautiful nature as the backdrop of your adventure.

The people in the Philippines are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and the culture is a blend of east and west due to significant Spanish and American influences. The cuisine in the Philippines is a mixture of Polynesian, Spanish, Chinese and American influences.

The Philippines is a newly industrialized country and an emerging market in Asia. In recent years, the country has seen an increasing number of international students. In 2019, a total of 4,785 new applications were received by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration aside from students who want to renew their visas to continue their studies in the country. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the applications received in 2020 were significantly lower than the previous year.

English is widely spoken and, with a population of nearly 100 million, the Philippines is the world’s fifth-largest English-speaking nation. Foreign nationals visiting or moving into the country will not find it hard to navigate the country and do not have to worry about communication.

The country has been a top destination for international students wanting to take English language courses, as well as study in the field of medicine. The higher education system in the Philippines is modelled after the American education system and includes bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral degrees.

Offering the opportunity to study in English at an affordable cost, the Philippines attracts thousands of international students a year from across the globe, with most coming from other countries in East Asia.

Recently, the Philippines has seen a growth of international students enrolled in medical and nursing courses. After the initial 4 years, students have the opportunity to be a part of a 1-year internship in one of the affiliate hospitals and, with that, gain more practical experience and solve problems in real-life situations. Some graduates also pursue further studies in countries like the United States or the United Kingdom.

Students are generally not allowed to work with a student visa, however, due to the country’s low cost of living and the high standard of education, international students are still attracted to study in the country.

Graduates of the Philippines master’s programs are recognized all over the world. Students with degrees in engineering are particularly in demand, but all graduates will find opportunities. Non-native English speakers who wish to pursue a doctorate in the US, UK, Canada, or other English-speaking countries can use a master’s degree from the Philippines as a stepping stone to those countries as they will have proven their ability to accomplish studies in English.

If you have recently started planning to pursue higher education in a new country, it pays to look into post-study work visas. Find out other post-study options like in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New ZealandEurope or other countries in Asia, or read on to explore your post-study options to stay in the Philippines after graduation!

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Visas and Work Permits

Your Philippine Student Visa is valid until the length of your course of study. After completing your studies, you cannot extend your visa unless you continue your studies in the country or you have found a company that can support your work permit application.

9 (a) Temporary Visitor’s Visa

If you want to stay in the country after graduation, you can request to convert your visa to a Temporary Visitor’s Visa, which is valid for 30 days. This short visa can be for tourism, business or medical purposes. The process will take 7-10 business days. You can also request for an extension for up to 6 months under a Long Stay Visitor Visa.

To apply, you should prepare the following documents:

  • Letter of request addressed to the Immigration Commissioner from the representative of the petitioning school
  • Application Form
  • Copy of Latest Transcript of Records or Certificate of Grades
  • School Clearance
  • Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance

*Additional documents may be requested

Special Study Permit

You can also choose to enrol in short courses of less than one year. Your permit will be valid until the completion of your short course. With this permit, you are not allowed to engage in gainful employment. Processing of the permit usually takes 5 business days.

You should prepare the following documents:

  • Letter of request addressed to the Immigratio Commissioner from the representative of the petitioning school
  • Application Form
  • Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay
  • Certificate of Acceptance issued by the learning institution accredited by the Bureau of Immigration 
  • Photocopy of BI school accreditation ID of the registrar or the school representative;
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance
  • Bureau of Immigration (BI) Clearance Certificate

*Additional documents may be requested

9(g) Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa

You can apply for this visa if you are proceeding to engage in any lawful occupation, whether for wages or salary or other forms of compensation. To get this visa, you first need to secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). 

AEPs are issued to foreign nationals for employment purposes after determining that no local resident is competent, able and willing to provide the desired service. This is valid for a year and can be renewed.

You should secure a job contract with a Philippine-based company before applying for the visa. Once you have successfully landed a job, your employer will sponsor the application. The whole process usually takes 2-3 months and the visa will be valid for 1-3 years and can be renewed for additional 3 years.

To apply, you have to prepare the following documents:

  • Application form
  • Valid passport
  • A notarized certification of the employer’s Number of Foreign and Filipino Employees
  • A certified copy of the AEP issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
  • A newspaper clipping that shows the publication of the AEP application by DOLE
  • A certificate of clearance from the Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI)
  • An alien certificate of registration
  • Copies of the employment contract, the Articles of Incorporation (AOI), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) certification

*Additional documents may be requested

9 (d) International Treaty Trader or Investor

This is for a foreign national of the United States of America (USA), Japan and Germany who solely wants to carry on trade or commerce pursuant to an existing treaty of commerce and navigation or a foreign national who seeks admission for the purpose of developing and directing the operations of an enterprise in the Philippines. This visa is valid for 1-2 years.

  • Letter of request
  • Application form
  • Photocopy valid passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay;
  • For Corporations or Partnerships, photocopies of the following:
    •  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Certificate of Registration;
    •  Articles of Incorporation
    • General Information Sheet (GIS) for the current year stamped received by the SEC
  • For Single Proprietorships, photocopies of the following:
    • Photocopy of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Certificate of Registration of Business Name
    • Mayor’s Permit
  • Photocopy of petitioner’s latest Income Tax Return (ITR) 
  • Duly acknowledged Employment Contract, Secretary’s Certificate of Election, Appointment, Assignment, Secondment or Deployment of applicant, or equivalent document indicating duration of employment, compensation and other benefits, and scope of duties
  • Bureau of Immigration (BI) Clearance Certificate
  • Original or certified true copy of Bureau of Quarantine Medical Clearance

*Additional documents may be required

Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG)

This is a visa for qualified non-immigrant foreign nationals who shall actually employ at least 10 Filipinos in a lawful and sustainable enterprise, trade or industry.

To apply, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Letter of request
  • Application form
  • Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay;
  • For Corporations or Partnerships, photocopies of the following:
    • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Certificate of Registration
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • General Information Sheet (GIS) for the current year stamped received by the SEC
  • For Single Proprietorships, photocopy of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Certificate of Registration of Business Name
  • Certified true copy of the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) if the applicant foreign national is elected or appointed to occupy a position in the company
  • DOLE Certification that the applicant’s business
  • Filipino workers on a regular basis;
  • Valid Medical Certificate from the Bureau of Quarantine;
  • Sworn statement by the applicant certifying:
    • The names and addresses of the Filipino
    • That he/she undertakes to pay PhilHealth and SSS contributions;
    • That no employee is receiving salary below the minimum wage;
  • Valid National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance, 
  • Bureau of Immigration (BI) Clearance Certificate

Permanent Residence

Foreign nationals are eligible for permanent residency in the Philippines if they have married a Filipino citizen and the country of origin has a reciprocal agreement with the Philippine government. 

To obtain the visa, you should have an existing Probationary Non-Quota Immigrant Visa status that is valid for 1 year.

Countries with Reciprocity Agreement with the Philippines

Algeria*El SalvadorLithuaniaSaudi Arabia*
ArgentinaEstoniaLuxembourgSenegal
AustraliaFijiMacau SARSerbia
AustriaFinlandMalaysia*Singapore
BelgiumFranceMalta**Slovak Republic
BelizeGabonMarshall IslandSlovenia
BoliviaGermanyMexicoSouth Africa
Bosnia & HerzegovinaGreeceMicronesiaSpain
BotswanaGuatemalaMonacoSuriname
BrazilHondurasMontenegroSweden
CanadaHongkong SARNew ZealandSwitzerland
Cape VerdeIcelandNicaraguaThailand
ChileIndonesia*Nigeria*The Netherlands
ColombiaIraqNorthern Mariana IslandTrinidad and Tobago
Costa RicaIrelandNorwayTunisia
CroatiaIsraelOman*Turkey
CubaItalyPapua New GuineaUnited Kingdom
Czech RepublicJapanParaguayUruguay
DenmarkLatviaPeruUSA
EcuadorLesothoRussiaVenezuela
Egypt*Libya*

*Limited to Filipinas married to these nationals
**Provided that the marriage took place before 24 April 2001 or the couple has been married for at least 5 years.

A foreign national who is married to a Filipino citizen but whose country does not have an existing reciprocity agreement in the Philippines can apply for a Temporary Resident Visa which is valid for 5 years.

Naturalised Citizenship

Foreign nationals who have no blood relation to a Filipino citizen can go through the judicial naturalised path to citizenship with the following conditions:

  • You must have resided in the Philippines for 10 years
  • You must have waited 1 year after you filed your intention to become a Filipino with the Office of the Solicitor General.

The process takes about 2.5 years from the filing of the intention.

Dual citizenship is allowed in the Philippines, so you don’t have to worry about losing your citizenship if your home country allows the same.

So, are you ready to start your adventure in the Philipppines? Comment below.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

Charlie

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