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Philippines to Launch e-Visa System in Q3 of 2023

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The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced that the electronic visa system for the Philippines will be implemented before the end of the year.

On July 5, Affairs Undersecretary Jesus Domingo confirmed that the e-Visa system will launch in the third quarter of 2023. The application portal is expected to open by the end of September at the latest.

“The Philippine e-Visa system will allow foreign nationals to apply for appropriate Philippine visas remotely through personal computers, laptops, and mobile devices,” Domingo clarified.

At present, a Philippines Electronic Travel Authorization is only available for nationals of Taiwan. However, the new e-Visa system will be available to a wide range of nationalities, although the exact list of eligible citizens is yet to be confirmed.

Travelers considering applying for an e-Visa for the Philippines should be aware that there are additional entry requirements they will need to meet. For example, it is still necessary to get either a Philippines eTravel to enter the country.

Philippines to Launch e-Visa System in Q3 of 2023

Benefits of an Electronic Visa System for the Philippines

The move to include an e-Visa option in the visa policy of the Philippines is expected to ease entry procedures and boost the country’s tourism sector, which is vital for its economy.

Domingo stressed that the e-visa system “would make the visa application process faster, more efficient and convenient for foreign nationals who wish to visit the Philippines for touristic and business purposes”.

Jaime FlorCruz, the Ambassador to China from the Philippines, is hoping that the new system will attract more Chinese visitors to the country in particular. Pre-pandemic, China accounted for the second-highest source of tourist arrivals in the Philippines, after South Korea.

But although 1.7 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in 2019, travelers from China have not yet returned to the country in the same numbers.

“The outbound travel is modest and I think we’re getting a good share of that,”  FlorCruz said. “But the reality is that the Chinese are not yet traveling out of China with full force as they used to”.

Nevertheless, the Ambassador is confident that the e-Visa system will incentivize Chinese travelers to consider the Philippines as a tourist destination once again.

How the e-Visa for the Philippines Will Work

The Philippines e-Visa system will allow tourists and business visitors to apply for and receive a visa exclusively online. This means that eligible travelers will no longer have to visit embassies to get their visa.

Additionally, the e-Visa is expected to cut down on the paperwork and time taken to apply for a visa conventionally.

Finally, the Philippine government is working to ensure that the e-Visa application process is not only accessible but also user-friendly. The process can be completed in a few simple steps, and applicants will receive their e-Visas via email.

The Philippines e-Visa system is being developed by the DFA alongside the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Although the system is now close to launch, the Secretary of the latter organization, Ivan John Uy, stressed that there is still an “anti-fraud element that needs to be consolidated with the platform” before it can be fully implemented.

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