Balikbayan Visa Stamp – One Year Free Stay Requirements Philippines

Balikbayan Visa Stamp provides a one-year visa-free stay in the Philippines for former Filipino citizens, their spouses, and family members. The requirements and benefits are listed in this post.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) contribute so much to the economic growth and prosperity of the Philippines. The government launched a Balikbayan Program to honor OFWs and former Filipino citizens who miss their hometown and country.

What is a Balikbayan Visa Stamp?

The Balikbayan Stamp is a One-Year Visa-Free stay given to overseas Filipino (citizens or former citizens) returning to the Philippines, including their non-Filipino spouse and children, provided they enter the Philippines with the “balikbayan”.

Meaning, if you are a foreign spouse or a family member of a Filipino citizen, you can also avail the Balikbayan Visa as long as you are traveling with the Balikbayan.

balikbayan visa stamp requirements

Who are eligible under the Balikbayan Program?

  • Filipino citizens who have been continuously out of the Philippines for at least one (1) year
  • Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)
  • Former Filipino citizens who had been naturalized in one of the following countries and who come or return to the Philippines:
    • Andorra
    • Angola
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Bahamas
    • Bahrain
    • Barbados
    • Belgium
    • Belize
    • Benin
    • Bhutan
    • Bolivia
    • Botswana
    • Brazil
    • Brunei Darussalam
    • Bulgaria
    • Burkina Faso
    • Burundi
    • Cambodia
    • Cameroon
    • Canada
    • Cape Verde
    • Central African Republic
    • Chad
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Comoros
    • Congo
    • Costa Rica
    • Cote d’Ivoire
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Denmark
    • Djibouti
    • Dominica
    • Dominican Republic
    • Ecuador
    • El Salvador
    • Equatorial Guinea
    • Eritrea
    • Estonia
    • Ethiopia
    • Fiji
    • Finland
    • France
    • Gabon
    • Gambia
    • Germany
    • Ghana
    • Greece
    • Grenada
    • Guatemala
    • Guinea
    • Guinea Bissau
    • Guyana
    • Haiti
    • Honduras
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Indonesia
    • Ireland
    • Israel
    • Italy
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    • Kazakhstan
    • Kenya
    • Kiribati
    • Kuwait
    • Kyrgyzstan
    • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
    • Latvia
    • Lesotho
    • Liberia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Madagascar
    • Malawi
    • Malaysia
    • Maldives
    • Mali
    • Malta
    • Marshall Islands
    • Mauritania
    • Mauritius
    • Mexico
    • Micronesia
    • Monaco
    • Mongolia
    • Morocco
    • Mozambique
    • Myanmar
    • Namibia
    • Nepal
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Nicaragua
    • Niger
    • Norway
    • Oman
    • Palau
    • Panama
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Qatar
    • Republic of Korea
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Rwanda
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Saint Lucia
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Samoa
    • San Marino
    • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Senegal
    • Seychelles
    • Singapore
    • Slovak Republic
    • Slovenia
    • Solomon Islands
    • South Africa
    • Spain
    • Suriname
    • Swaziland
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Tajikistan
    • Tanzania
    • Thailand
    • Togo
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Tunisia
    • Turkey
    • Turkmenistan
    • Tuvalu
    • Uganda
    • United Arab Emirates
    • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    • United States of America
    • Uruguay
    • Uzbekistan
    • Vanuatu
    • Vatican
    • Venezuela
    • Vietnam
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe
  • Immediate family members (spouse and children) of the Balikbayan, who are nationals of one of the countries above and who are traveling together with the Balikbayan

Balikbayan Visa Stamp Requirements:

The Former Filipinos traveling to the Philippines are required to bring their old Philippine passport or a copy of their Birth Certificate to prove their former citizenship. Family members who are traveling with the “balikbayan” who avail of the One-Year Visa-Free stay must bring the following documents:

  • For the Foreign spouse: copy of Marriage Certificate
  • For each child: copy of Birth Certificate
  • For adopted children: copy of Adoption Papers

Balikbayan Program Benefits:

The Balikbayan Program has amazing benefits for former Filipinos returning home. They include the following:

  • Visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of 1 year for foreign passport holders, with the exception of restricted nationals.
  • Tax-exempt maximum purchases in the amount of USD 1,500, or the equivalent in Philippine and other currency, at Philippine Government–operated duty free shops
  • Travel Tax Exemption, provided that their stay in the Philippines is one year or less. If their stay in the Philippines exceeds one year, Travel tax will apply to them.
  • Kabuhayan shopping privilege allowing tax-exempt purchase of livelihood tools and providing the opportunity to avail of the necessary training to enable the balikbayan to become economically self-reliant members of society upon their return to the country.

For the complete list and terms of the benefits, please see Philippine Law (R.A. 9174)

How long can a Balikbayan stay in the Philippines?

According to the Bureau of Immigration, those who are admitted as Balikbayans are entitled to an initial one-year stay in the Philippines. They can apply for an extension for another one (1), two (2), or six (6) months provided that they present their valid passport and fill out the visa extension form.

The application form for visa extension must be submitted to the Visa Extension Section in any Bureau of Immigration office nationwide. Balikbayans who have stayed in the country after thirty-six (36) months will need to submit an additional requirement.

Other OFW Guides:

Fehl is the founder of Philpad and has been writing online for 12 years. She has a bachelor's degree in Accountancy and a background in Finance. She is a licensed Career Service Professional and author of a poetry book at Barnes & Noble. In her spare time, she likes to travel and discover new places.

11 thoughts on “Balikbayan Visa Stamp – One Year Free Stay Requirements Philippines”

  1. I travelled from the USA as a Balikbayan spouse with my Filipina wife. When we returned from a trip to Guam our visas were extended for another year. How many times could this process be repeated if we leave every year? Would it be better to apply for a 13A Visa? Salamat. Thank you. Glynn.

  2. My us passport was stamped with pp on my arrival to philippines, whats is the meaning and difference between BB or Pp stamp on my arrival? Does it mean that on pp arrival stamp that I can stay in philippines for more than 1year because of the pandemic

  3. I am an American Citizen traveling for the first time with my Filipina Wife to the Philippines. We are wanting to request Balakbayan Privelage. My question is the following: Do I need to purchase an outgoing flight for myself? If so should it be within the year I will be afforded? Do I need to wait until I get to the airport or should I apply at the consulate? Please advise.

  4. Hi, I am a Philippine Born US citizen
    I wanted to clarify as I am quite confused with the Article. So If I am a Former Filipino Citizen I can stay in the Philippines for however long I want as long as I apply for BALIKBAYAN?

  5. I am a British Citizen living with my Filipina wife in the Philippines. My current visa expires in December. If I leave the country with my wife before my current visa expires and return once it has already expired with my wife can we avail the 1 year Balikbayan visa? The reason I ask is because I am confused about the wording. It’s states it’s available to ‘former’ Filipino’s & Overseas Filipino workers returning to the Philippines. My wife by definition is a Filipino national who lives and works in the Philippines. Therefore she’s not a ‘former’ Filipino or offshore worker. Some articles suggest that the balikbayan must be outside the Philippines for a period of 1 year. Let’s say in our scenario we are only outside the country for 1 week on vacation and return, would the balikbayan visa be something that’s available to us? I look forward to your response and thank you for time & consideration 🙂

  6. Is there any way if getting a balukbayan stamp without being with my wife? If I enter solo but have my marriage certificate?

    • The short answer is no you must be accompanied by your filipino wife and also need to show the marriage certificate to the immigration officer on entry

  7. Hi my name is Sam… i am curently engaged to a filipina working in china at the moment… i am a canadian citizen… but we are getting ready to get married this coming december… we were planning on living in the philippines and work there… i had heard of the balikbayan befire as some people told me i could live in philippines for a year free once married… so in my mind i only had to go to immigration to get the clearance to stay for a year free….now that i read about it more and more it seems that its impossible to get it since were not yet married and you cannot obtain it once your in the country either even if u do get married…. so i am now getting close to the date of our wedding and now the plans i had set are crumblings slowly and im running out of options to stay with my wife there once were married …. any ideas that could help would be appreciated i really dnt wanna leave her side….. is it possible to leave the country toguether after the wedding and comeback and claim the balikbayan even if it hasnt been a year since the last depature ? Since ahe will be coming back this november prior to the wedding…… im lost at the moment …anything would help …thank you so much ahead of time…. Sam

  8. I am an American wife is a Philippines. We live in Philippines but I work in Afghanistan. When I travel home to Philippines I only given a three week visa can I get a longer visa when I arrive at airport.


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