Foreign Employment Visas in the Philippines

There are several kinds of employment visas in the Philippines, it would depend on several factors such as but not limited to the way that the company was organized or formed, the nature and scope of its authorized activities, as well as its location. The law that mainly regulates foreign employment visas is the Commonwealth Act No. 613, otherwise known as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, and the most commonly applied employment visas based on the aforesaid law are 9(g) Pre-Arranged Employment Visa and 47(a) 2 Visa for foreign employees of companies registered with the Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority (PEZA).

9(g) Pre-Arranged Employment Visa

This visa applies when a foreigner comes to the Philippines in a pre-arranged employment, being such, it is the most common work visa and is applied for in the absence of special qualifications for other types of visas as maybe required by laws. Also, issuance of 9(g) visa shall be in accordance with Section 20 of the Philippine Immigration Act which requires that the petitioning foreigner or local employer must show that no person can be found in the Philippines who is willing and competent to perform the labor or service for which the foreigner is desired and that the latter’s admission would be beneficial to the public interest.

47(a) 2 Visa for foreign employees of companies registered PEZA

Section 47(a)2 of the Philippine Immigration Act authorizes the President to admit as non-immigrants, foreigners, coming to the Philippines for temporary periods, under such conditions as he may prescribe, one of which is provided in Republic Act No. 7916, or the law that creates Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Under the PEZA law, an enterprise located in a Special Economic Zone (Ecozone) may apply for work visas under Section 47(a)2 of the Philippine Immigration Act for their foreign employees which are valid for and renewable every two years. The foreign national must possess executive or highly technical skills not possessed by a Filipino citizen within the Ecozone as certified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Likewise, this type of visa limits the employment of foreign nationals to 5% of the total work force.

This article does not constitute and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any question or need any assistance, please feel free to send us an email at roselle.jean@nonatolaw.com.


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