Philippines – COVID-19: Lifting of Expanded Travel Ban

PH – COVID-19: Lifting of Expanded Travel Ban

The Philippine government lifted its travel ban on countries with confirmed cases of the new COVID-19 variants effective 1 February 2021. Foreign nationals with falling in a number of listed visa categories shall be allowed to enter the Philippines.



Flash Alert 2021-046

The Philippine government lifted its travel ban on countries1 with confirmed cases of the new COVID-19 variants effective 1 February 2021.


The lifting of the expanded travel ban will allow foreign nationals coming from these countries to enter the Philippines subject to holding certain visa categories and other conditions.  Employers may resume their international travel plans for their foreign national employees working in the Philippines.

This advisory will help with companies’ cross-border planning and assessment of the potential tax and immigration risks related to foreign nationals with Philippine assignments but working remotely in other countries due to the travel ban.

Travel Restrictions in the Philippines

Foreign nationals with the following visa categories shall be allowed to enter the Philippines:2

  1. 9(E) Visa Holders – diplomats accredited to Philippines including foreign embassies and foreign government and international organization officials;
  2. Foreign Airline Crew;
  3. 9(C) Visa holders – Foreign Seafarer visa;
  4. 9(D) Visa holders – Treaty trader visa (U.S., Japan, and Germany);
  5. Section 13 Series of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended;
  6. RA7919 Visa holders (The Social Integration Act of 1995) – granted to qualified foreign nationals who have entered the country prior to 30 June 1992;
  7. EO324 Visa holders – Legal residence granted under EO 324 for qualified foreign nationals who entered the Philippines before 1 January 1984;
  8. Native born Visa holders – foreign national children born to foreign nationals with permanent resident status in the Philippines;
  9. Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) holders;
  10. MCL-07-021 Permanent Resident Visa holders – Chinese nationals married to Filipino citizens;
  11. Foreign national spouse and minor children of Filipinos, children with special needs regardless of age of Filipinos, foreign national parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign national parent of Filipino children with special needs regardless of age will also be allowed entry;
  12. Foreign nationals in possession of Recognition Certificate (RC) or Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 (CRPC) under RA9225 Certificate;
  13. EO226 Visa holders;
  14. RA 8756 Visa holders – Regional Office Headquarters (ROHQ) visa, intended for executive positions for multinational companies;
  15. 47(A)(2) Visa holders – granted to foreign employees working for Regional Headquarters, Regional Operating Headquarters, or employees of PEZA and/or BOI-registered companies;
  16. Visas issued by Aurora Pacific Economic Zone, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and Clark Development Corporation;
  17. Filipino citizens’ foreign national spouses and children, regardless of age, from non-visa required countries who are travelling with them and avail of visa-free entry privileges under R.A. No. 6768;
  18. Former Filipino citizens, together with their foreign national spouses and children, from non-visa required countries, regardless of age, who are travelling with them, and avail of visa-free entry privileges under R.A. No. 6768;
  19. 9(G) Visa holders who left the country on December 17, 2020 or later may return upon presentation of a valid ACR I-Card and Special Return Certificate.

Foreign nationals with pre-arranged employment in the Philippines who have an urgent and essential need to enter the country but do not fall under any of the categories mentioned in the list above may request a recommendation letter indicating they are exempt from the current restrictions from the Department of Foreign Affairs through the endorsement of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Department of Transportation (DOTr), or other national government agencies or instrumentalities.


1  For prior coverage of the expanded travel restrictions in the Philippines, read GMS Flash Alert 2021-029 (19 January 2021).

2  See BI Public Advisory posted in the official Facebook page 31 January 2021.

Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.   

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Philippines.


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GMS Flash Alert is a Global Mobility Services publication of the KPMG LLP Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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