Quick Visa Facts
Philippines Digital Nomad Visa Overview
In May 2023, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration announced its intention to launch a digital nomad visa Philippines. It will grant remote workers employed in a country other than the Philippines who meet income requirements a visa for 12 months, which will be renewable for an additional 12 months.
Until the Philippine digital nomad visa is officially launched, remote workers wishing to visit the Philippines can arrive as a tourist. Citizens of many countries do not need to apply for the visa in advance. In most cases it is granted for 30 days on arrival and can be extended for an additional 59 days.
Some countries, including the United States, have even more generous tourist visa conditions with the Philippines. US citizens can stay for up to six months as a tourist.
Who Can Apply for a Tourist Visa for the Philippines
If You Are a United States Citizen
US citizens do not need to apply for a visa before visiting the Philippines and will be issued a 59 day visa on arrival. After this, they can apply to extend the visa for up to an additional six months.
If You Are an EU Citizen
Citizens of EU countries can arrive in the Philippines without a visa. You will be granted a 30-day visa on arrival and you can apply to extend the visa for up to another 59 days.
If You Are a US Green Card Holder
US green card holders can visit the Philippines without a visa if their country of nationality allows visa free entry. If not, you should apply for a visa. First submit your details online via the Philippine visa portal. You will be asked to provide information demonstrating that you are genuinely a tourist and show that you have a return or onward ticket booked.
As part of your online applications, you will need to choose your closest embassy or consulate, and you will need to make a follow up appointment to visit the embassy. You will be required to submit your passport and supporting documents at the embassy. If your visa is granted, you will be able to collect your passport and visa after 10 working days.
The fee for a standard 30-day tourist visa is US$30.
If You Are a Citizen of Canada, Australia, or New Zealand
Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada can arrive in the Philippines without a visa. You will be granted a 30-day visa on arrival and you can apply to extend the visa for up to another 59 days.
If You Reside in Any Other Country
A complete list of the 157 countries whose citizens can travel to the Philippines for a period of 30 days without first obtaining a visa can be found here.
Digital Nomad Visa Philippines
While full details of the Philippines digital nomad visa that will allow remote workers to live in the Philippines have not yet been released, the government has provided extensive information about the proposed conditions of the visa.
Remote workers will be able to apply to live in the Philippines while working remotely for a company or clients outside the country for an initial period of 12 months.
The visa will be extendable for an additional 12 months if the applicant still meets the criteria. Individuals in the Philippines on a DNV will not be required to pay local taxes on their international income, and will not be allowed to work for Filipino employers. There will be a minimum income requirement.
No information has been provided on whether partners and dependents will be able to accompany applicants and additional income requirements associated with this. However, it is expected that it will be possible to apply to be accompanied by your partner and dependent children under the age of 18.
Philippine DNV Visa Requirements
Based on the information released by the government of the Philippines so far, the following are expected to be the main requirements of the digital nomad Philippines visa.
Proof of Employment/Income
Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have a stable income coming from a source outside of the Republic of the Philippines. This could include a contract of employment, or documentation demonstrating that you are self-employed or a sole trader and that you have a stable income.
The government has said that there will be a minimum income requirement comparable to that of other countries offering similar digital nomad visas. Neighboring Malaysia requires that digital nomads demonstrate a minimum income of US$24,000 per year. However, nearby Thailand has a much higher income requirement of $80,000 per year, or $40,000 per year if you have a Masters degree in a relevant digital field.
Many countries set their minimum income requirements for digital nomads at double the minimum or average wage. The minimum wage in the Philippines is just US$2,053 per year, while the average wage is US$12,955. Therefore a minimum income requirement of around US$24,000 per year seems likely.
Full Health Insurance
The government of the Philippines has already stated that to qualify for the digital nomad visa Philippines you will have to demonstrate that you have full health insurance coverage for the duration of the visa.
The quality of healthcare in the more built up areas of the Philippines is generally considered excellent, especially in the private sector. It can be difficult to gain access to medical resources in more remote areas of the country.
Clean Criminal Record
The Philippine government has already stated that they will expect applicants to be able to prove that they have a clean criminal record in their home country.
Law enforcement agencies in different countries will issue a document verifying that you have no criminal record. Remember that this will have to be verified by an Apostille before it can be used internationally for a visa application.
How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for the Philippines
While details of the application process for the Philippines remote work visa have not yet been announced, it seems likely that initial applications will be submitted via the government’s online visa portal, and that you will have to make a follow up appointment at a local embassy or consulate to submit the originals of your documents and your passport.
Timeline for Applying for the Digital Nomad Visa for the Philippines
It is still unclear when the digital nomad visa for the Philippines will officially be available, but a date in early 2024 seems likely.
Currently, applications for work and student visas for the Philippines take two to three months to be processed. The time required for the digital nomad visa is likely to be similar.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for the Philippines?
Costs have not yet been released for the Philippine digital nomad visa, but the current fee for a student visa for the Philippines is US$250, so this should be considered a minimum potential fee.
Taxes for the Digital Nomad Visa for the Philippines
One of the elements of the digital nomad visa that the government of the Philippines has clearly addressed is that a digital nomad in the Philippines will not be liable to pay local income tax. They should pay tax on their income in the country where they are employed. Local value added tax in the Philippines is just 12%.
Living in the Philippines for Digital Nomads
The Philippines is an inviting destination with more than 7,000 tropical islands boasting large and bustling cities, white sandy beaches, and thick green jungles. The country boasts a friendly culture in which English is widely spoken and a highly affordable cost of living.
As a digital nomad in the Philippines you can expect to land in a bustling, densely populated city with decent internet, excellent cultural attractions, nightlife, and food, and terrible traffic! These cities make a great base for those looking for reliable internet and coworking facilities.
As you hop away from the cities, you can find tropical beach paradises where high end resorts and fishing villages sit side-by-side and jungle forests that feel remote and undiscovered. Here Wi-Fi and work facilities are less reliable, but if you plan your travel well, you can touch base in more developed areas periodically to recharge.
The Philippines is a fast developing country and you will encounter many local and regional entrepreneurs on your travels that can act as a source of inspiration and opportunity.
Attractions and Best Places to Visit
There are many stunning natural wonders and cultural sites around the country, but these are the best places for digital nomads Philippines to visit.
Located in the far north of the Philippines, Batanes is a group of 10 small islands with lush green vegetation and an old-world vibe. It is often described as a tropical New Zealand with Lord of the Rings vibes. Visit attractions such as Basco Lighthouse, Morong Beach, and the Vayang Rolling Hills.
Coron are a group of incredible rock-formed islands that jut out of crystal blue waters to create a striking landscape. It is home to fascinating sea life and is well-known for its diving, including historical WWII shipwrecks. As well as swimming in calm blue waters, watch the sunset over My Tapyas and visit Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary.
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
The town of Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its mix of Spanish colonial and Asian architecture. Visits the Calle Crisologo, Syquia Mansion, Ilocos Sur Dancing Fountain, and Baluarte Zoo. It is listed among the New Seven Wonders Cities.
This is maybe the best spot in the Philippines for white sandy beaches and resort-style accommodation and activities. Snorkeling and diving in the area is accessible and rewarding, and the nightlife is notoriously good!
Lake Sebu, Mindanao
Lake Sebu is listed as a cultural landscape by UNESCO. The gorgeous lake and surrounding region is inhabited by the T’bolis, so it is also called the Land of the Dream Weavers because of the T’nalak tapestry central to their culture. The lake is surrounded by excellent hikes that will take you to seven stunning waterfalls.
Digital Nomad Hotspots
Digital nomads in the Philippines will surely want to travel around the country’s more than 7,000 islands, but these cities are the best places for digital nomads in the Philippines to base themselves.
Manila is a big city and it comes with the noise, congestion, and pollution that you would expect. While learning to navigate the city can be a challenge, when you do you will find the best shopping malls, entertainment centers, and cultural corners. There is also a big and young ex-pat community working alongside local entrepreneurs.
You will find the best amenities of all sorts in Manila, everything from internet cafes to yoga studios. It is also well connected for exploring the rest of the country and surrounding region. There is a big Manila digital nomad community and there are some good coworking spaces including Acceler8, Clock In, Bull-ish, and Work Folk.
Cebu was originally the capital of the Philippines and a colonial port, so it has an old-world Spanish vibe. This is another popular destination for the expat community because it has fast internet, good amenities, and easy access to nearby tropical beaches, though they aren’t on your doorstep. Top nearby attractions include Kawasan Falls, the Visayan islands, and the Chocolate Hills of Bohol.
Many young professionals call the city home resulting in a thriving Cebu digital nomad community. There are good amenities for startups and entrepreneurs. Among the best digital nomad Cebu coworking spaces are Nomads Hub, ASPACE Crossroads, and The Company.
If you are looking for a more local experience, then the friendly city of Davao is a great choice as there are few expats and mostly Filipinos. It is more affordable than many of the more popular tourist spots as well, but you can still expect decent internet and to be able to get access to everything you need.
As a Siargao digital nomad you will be joining a big community of international surfers thanks to large and perfect waves. Split your time between internet cafes and gorgeous white sandy beaches, and spend the weekends snorkeling and island hopping.
The digital nomad Siargao community is slowly growing, but coworking spaces are relatively new to the island. Try the Lexias Hostel and Sunflower House Siargao, both of which offer both coworking and coliving facilities.
Benefits of Working in the Philippines as a Digital Nomad
Like many other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines offers an affordable cost of living for most digital nomads. One thing that stands out is that accommodation is surprisingly cheap and it is not difficult to find local rentals as a foreigner.
The Philippines matches countries like Thailand for the quality of its beaches, but it does not have as many tourists so it feels less commercial and it is easier to find affordable accommodation and an authentic place to eat.
English, alongside Filipino, is one of the official languages of the country and it is widely spoken. You will have no problem communicating what you want and finding new friends among the welcoming local community.
There are also several challenges for digital nomads wanting to live in the Philippines that you should be aware of.
- Cities are crowded, resulting in lots of traffic and pollution
- Internet connection can be poor outside of the major cities.
- Crime rates can be high and threats of terrorism are high.
Overall the pros outweigh the cons of heading to the Philippines, but travelers should arrive prepared.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in the Philippines is highly affordable by international standards, though it can vary depending on where you are in the country. It is estimated that you might need about US$500 per month to live comfortably in the Philippines before rent.
This would include expenses such as:
- US$3.50 for a lunchtime meal
- US$10-US$15 for a single meal in a nice restaurant
- US$1.50 for a beer
- USS100-US$150 per month on groceries
- US$100 per month for bill (electricity is expensive)
- US$40 per month for a decent internet connection
The cost of accommodation is also relatively low in the Philippines and locals are often happy to rent to foreigners on a monthly basis. Expect to pay:
|City||One Bedroom||Three Bedrooms|
|The Philippines (in general)||US$325||US$720|
Digital Nomad Essentials
- Internet Speeds: av. download 88 Mbps
- Time Zone: GMT+8
- Socket Type: A, B, and C, 220V and 60 Hz
- SIM Providers: Smart, Globe, Dito Telecommunity, Cherry Prepaid. GOMO, TNT, or get an eSIM in the Citizen Remote app
Rather than going through the hassle of trying to get a local SIM in the local language with significant ID requirements, why not purchase an eSim in the Citizen Remote all-in-one app.
We have a huge range of regional and global provider options that cover all countries, including the Philippines. Just download the eSIM via Wi-Fi within the application and you have instant cellular data while traveling in the Philippines. eSIMs are ideal if you travel a lot as there are no contracts and you can manage all your SIMs in one place.
New Opportunities for Digital Nomads in the Philippines
The imminent launch of a new Philippines nomad visa offers an exciting new opportunity for remote workers. While Philippine tourist visas are already generous, remote workers will soon be able to stay in the Philippines for up to two years. The country’s warm culture, gorgeous nature, and affordable cost of living are beckoning.
FAQs About the Philippines Digital Nomad Visa
Does the Philippines Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
The Philippines announced in May 2023 its intention to launch a digital nomad visa. It is expected to be open for applications by early 2024.
What Is the Length of the Philippines Digital Nomad Visa?
The Philippine digital nomad visa will allow qualified remote workers to stay in the country for 12 months in the first instance, and will be extendable for another 12 months.
Is It Possible to Extend the Philippines Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes, the Philippine government has already announced that their planned 12-month digital nomad visa will be extendable for an additional 12 months.
Will You Get a Refund If the Visa Application Is Denied?
Visa application fees are rarely refundable as these funds are used to cover the cost of assessing and processing the visa. It is not anticipated that the application fee for the Philippine digital nomad visa will be refundable if the application is denied.
How Much Money Do You Need per Month in the Philippines?
While the Philippine government has not yet announced the minimum income requirement for the digital nomad visa, it is anticipated to be around US$2,000 per month. Based on cost of living, it is estimated that a single person needs around US$500 per month in living expenses plus US$300-US$600 for rent.
Is There a Digital Nomad Community in the Philippines?
While the digital nomad community in the Philippines is not as large as in neighboring countries such as Thailand and Singapore, there is a growing community of digital nomads and a long established community of expats, especially from the United States. The Philippines also has a strong startup and entrepreneurial culture among the local population.
What Countries Neighboring the Philippines Issue Digital Nomad Visas?
The neighboring countries of Malaysia and Thailand also offer digital nomad visas. The Malaysian visa allows you to stay for up to 12 months and has a minimum income requirement of US$24,000. That Thailand visa can be renewable for up to 10 years but has a higher income threshold starting at US$40,000 for individuals with a relevant Masters degree and US$80,000 for other remote workers.
I Want to Ask Another Question!
Do you still have questions about the Philippines digital nomad visa and how to apply? Get in touch!