Guide to Visa Extension in the Philippines

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Visa extension in teh Philippines

In this guide, I will show you how you can extend your tourist visa in the Philippines. The visa extension in the Philippines is easy and straightforward. If you entered as a tourist, you don't need to hire any agency to do the extension for you. You can simply visit a local Bureau of Immigration office or even do (most of it) completely online.

This Visa Extension in the Philippines Guide focuses on regular tourist visa extensions (the stamp you got in your passport when entering the Philippines!). If you are on any other visa, please refer to the Bureau of Immigration or your preferred Visa Agency for assistance.

What are the requirements for the Visa Extension in the Philippines?

There are only two:

  1. Cash or Credit or Debit Card or GCash*
  2. Your passport

If you go to the physical office, it´s cash only. If you pay online, you can pay with a credit or debit card or Gcash.

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What´s the process of the Visa Extension in the Philippines?

It is very simple. You don't need to hire an agency to do that for you. 

  1. You go with your passport to a local BI office.
  2. They will hand out the application form for you.
  3. You put your information in the application form (Name, passport number, address in the Philippines) - Don't forget to bring your own pen!
  4. You submit the application.
  5. They will check it and send you to the cashier.
  6. If you paid for express, you wait until they call you again and you pick up your passport with the extension papers. If you didn't you come back 3 days later and pick it up.

If you do that 30 min before the cut-off time (1-2h before closing - depending on the office) the whole process shouldn't take longer than 30 min. 

If you get an ACR I-Card, it will take about 2-3 weeks until you can pick it up. (It needs to be printed in Manila and shipped from there to the local office.) They will tell you how long it's gonna take. In Manila, it's often also handed out immediately on pick up of your extension.

If you extend online, just follow the steps. It's pretty foolproof. Just make sure you select the right option first - “visa extension” vs. “visa waiver” (first extension!)

What's the maximum number of days I can extend?

In the Philippines, you can extend a tourist visa for a total duration of up to 36 months for most nationalities. YES, you read correctly - 36 MONTHS! There is therefore no need for a visa run whatsoever!

But please keep on reading because there are some things you have to be aware of!

The initial tourist visa is typically valid for 30 days, and you can apply for extensions in various increments.

Here's a general outline of how the extension process typically works:

First Extension: 
After the initial 30 days, you can extend for an additional 29 days. 

Subsequent Extensions: Following the first extension, you usually have the option to extend your visa every one, two, or six months.

The maximum continuous stay allowed is 36 months for most nationalities. After reaching this limit, you are required to leave the country.

The actual duration for which you can extend your visa at one time can vary based on your nationality and specific circumstances. The first extension can not be more than 29 days. The subsequent extensions are typically one, two or six months at the time. But if you go in person to the Immigration Bureau you may be able to negotiate three, four or five months as well. But you will need to do some convincing and have a bit of luck to get the right officer.

It's important to keep track of the expiration date of your current visa and apply for an extension before it expires to avoid overstaying, which can lead to fines or other penalties.

When should I extend my Visa in the Philippines?

You have to apply for the extension of your Philippines visa at least one day before it expires! The BI recommends 1-2 weeks before the expiry date. But as long as you apply before it expires, you will not have any penalty even if the extension is granted past the expiry date.

Can you extend your Philippines visa early? 

Yes you can! I already successfully extended my Philippines visa the day after I arrived. They may ask why you are extending so early but you can simply tell them that you are planning to go to a small island without BI office. This is usually good enough of a reason.

Where do I extend my visa in the Philippines?

You can extend your tourist visa in the Philippines at any Bureau of Immigration (BI) office. The Philippines has several BI offices located throughout the country, including in major cities and some regional areas, or online!

For Online Visa Extension in the Philippines, you have to register on the following page:

Pay attention: ACR-Cards must be picked up at a local BI Office. Keep that in mind if you register with your Hotel, Airbnb or Hostel address as it usually takes 2-3 weeks for your ACR-Card to be issued.

Of course, you can extend your tourist visa as well in one of the local BI offices directly.

You find them in Manila, Cebu and on every mayor island and city.

Advice for you if you want to save time:

  1. Pick dedicated “extension offices” for your tourist visa extension in the Philippines. Those offices typically have shorter waiting times as they focus on visa extensions only.
  2. Don't go there in the morning. Go 30 min before the cut-off time! (this is usually 1-2h before they close!) If you go before they close, they want to get you out of there and will not have “another coffee” before they actually start working on your application! 😉 The extension is easy and only requires you to fill out a short form and pay the fees. My record is 12 min from entering the office to leaving the office with my extension.

Can I extend my visa online?

Yes! You can extend you Philippines tourist visa online!

For the Online Visa Extension in the Philippines, you have to register on the following page:

Pay attention (1): ACR-Cards must be picked up at a local BI Office. Keep that in mind if you register with your Hotel, Airbnb or Hostel address as it usually takes 2-3 weeks for your ACR-Card to be issued.

Pay attention (2): If you "just arrived" and want to get the first 29 days extension, you have to select VISA WAIVER and not Tourist Visa Extension:

Online Visa Extension in the Philippines

This is what you see after you log into the BI's eServices Website.

What is an ACR I-Card?

An ACR I-Card, or Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card, is an identification card issued by the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines to foreign nationals who are residing in the country for a certain period. It serves as an official identification document and is required for various transactions.

Here are some key aspects of the ACR I-Card:

Who Needs It: The ACR I-Card is required for foreign nationals who intend to stay in the Philippines for more than 59 days. This includes those on extended tourist visas, as well as those holding other types of visas such as retirement, student, or employment visas.

Features: The ACR I-Card is a microchip-enabled, biometric card that contains the holder's personal information, photo, and fingerprints. It's similar in concept to a resident ID card in other countries.

Purpose: The card is used as a primary identification document for foreigners living in the Philippines. It is often required for various transactions like opening a bank account, registering for a mobile phone plan, conducting business, and dealing with government offices.

Validity and Renewal: The validity of the ACR I-Card depends on the type of visa held by the foreign national. It usually needs to be renewed annually or in line with the visa renewal.

The ACR I-Card is an important document for foreigners staying in the Philippines for an extended period, ensuring compliance with immigration laws and facilitating various civil transactions.

If you do not pick up your ACR I-Card, you may have to pay for a new card again on your next extension. If you stay more than 6 months in the Philippines, it is required to have an “Exit clearance” - which will be tied to your ACR I-Card. The exit clearance is simply another check that you haven't committed any crime and another chance to collect more fees! 🙂 

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How much does it cost to extend your Tourist Visa in the Philippines?

The cost of extending a tourist visa in the Philippines varies depending on the duration of the extension and other factors.

Here's a general breakdown of the fees you might expect:

Application Fee: There is a standard application fee for processing the visa extension in the Philippines.

Extension Fee: This fee depends on the length of the extension you are applying for (e.g., 1 month, 2 months, 6 months).

Express Lane Fee: This optional fee allows for faster processing of your visa extension in the Philippines. It's often paid by many applicants to expedite the process.

ACR I-Card Fee: If you are extending your visa beyond 59 days, you will be required to apply for an Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card). This card has its own associated fee.

Other Possible Fees: There might be additional fees for specific circumstances, such as a visa change fee if you are changing your visa type, or a motion for reconsideration fee if your extension is beyond the usual limit.

Total fees for your extension:

  1. A one-month extension (up to 59 days) cost around 2,000 to 3,000 Philippine Pesos.
  2. A extension (past 59) will be around 4,000 to 5,000 Philippine Pesos +  the ACR I-Card fee is around 3,000 Philippine Pesos (for the card) plus approximately 1,000 Philippine Pesos for the application. + 500 for every additional month.
  3. The 3rd and subsequent tourist visa extensions (without leaving) will be about 2500 Philippine Pesos for one month + 500 PHP for every additional month.

The latest and exact fees for all visa extensions you can find at the website of the BI:

How much does it cost to overstay in the Philippines?

It is not recommended to overstay in any country. An overstay can result in travel bans and "deported stamps" in your passport. Both will make your travels significantly harder - not just in the Philippines.

If, for whatever reason, you missed extending your visa online or in an BI-Office, you can expect to pay the following:

First: If someone (online) told you the fee for overstaying is just 500 PHP per month he or she isn´t lying but that´s not at all what you will have to pay!

This is what you have to pay for overstaying:

  1. Regular extension cost + express fees! If you think you will save the money for the extension if you overstay, you are mistaken.
  2. Overstaying fee: 500 PHP per month - if you overstayed 1-30 days 500 PHP but 31-60 days 1000 PHP and onwards.
  3. Motion for Reconsideration for Overstaying: 500 PHP - You pay for the BI-Officers time to listen to the reason why you are overstaying. If it's not a good one - or the officer doesn't like you - you might get a travel ban of at least 2 years to the Philippines and / or a deported stamp in your passport.

Sample calculation:

So if you miscalculated the days and your flight out is after 60 days and not 59 days you will pay 2030 PHP for the extension + 1000 PHP for the mandatory express fee + 500 PHP Overstaying Fee + 500 PHP Motion of Reconsideration of overstaying.

So all in all you will pay 4030 PHP instead of 2030 PHP.

If you overstay after the first extension, the difference will be even higher, as you will have additional mandatory express fees for the mandatory ACR I-Card

Be aware: BI Officers can apply double express fees depending on your circumstances, like paying the “overstay fees” at the airport and not at a local BI Office. It's not mandatory to charge you double express fees, but they have all the right to do so if you are planning to pay at the airport.


With the possibility to extend your visa online, there is not a single reason that justifies overstaying. It´s always much more expensive than the regular extension fee.

The latest and exact fees you can find at the website of the BI:

Recommended Resources

Tourist visa extension Philippines

BI eServices

Here you can extend your tourist visa online and check the status of your extension.

BI Philippines - Tourist Visa Extension

Bureau of Immigration

Find all information about visas and news regarding new immigration to the Philippines directly on the BI´s website.

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