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For Locals, Expats and tourists in the Philippines.
Securing an Expat Work Permit in the Philippines

Securing an Expat Work Permit in the Philippines

A foreign national, when visiting in the Philippines, is classified according to his purpose, length of stay, civil status etc. Resident aliens are those who have acquired necessary requirements that permit them to stay in the Philippines for a lengthy time period. However, those who stay in the Philippines for no longer than 180 days are classified as “non-resident aliens”, doing or not doing business in the Philippines. Being classified as a non-resident alien has its own laws regarding employment.

Non-resident aliens can be employed in the Philippines. To satisfy this obligation, the foreign national is required to fulfil an Alien Employment Permit (AEP). This is a documentary form that grants the foreigner to work in the Philippines, as the country prohibits the employment of anyone who does not contain a work permit, alien or otherwise.

The AEP, or expat work permit, is to be filed at the regional office of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) where the purposed place of work is under the office’s jurisdiction. The expat work permit requires documents for application.

A letter of request should be accomplished as an initial document for an expat work permit. This is a letter addressed to the Secretary of Labour to grant the expat the authorization of working in the Philippines. Obviously, another requirement for the filing of an expat work permit is for the foreign national has to sign a duly accomplished application form. Lastly, curriculum vitae will also be required of the foreign national. This is to prove the authorities that the foreign national is capable of employment. This criterion will play a major role for the approval of the expat work permit in the Philippines. The foreign citizen’s spouse is also required to file her own expat work permit should she be willing to be employed as well. Normally, in the cases of non-resident aliens or otherwise, the work permit is filed by the employer to complete the employment process.

An expat work permit is hard to accomplish due to a major criterion imposed by the Department of Labour. An expatriate has the greatest chance of his or her employment permit be approved should it be proved that he or she can perform a highly-specialized skill where no one in the Philippines is able to do so. The authorities provide top priority to able Filipinos to address the country’s high unemployment rate.

To be not required of an expat work permit, the expatriate should file for an alien certificate registration that transfers his or status to a resident alien. The expatriate can also choose to be naturalized as a bona fide Filipino citizen. Otherwise, the foreign national can secure a business permit to generate an income in the country.


  1. mitch

    Our company’s headquarters was in the Philippines. We have a branch in Singapore. Some of our employees in Singapore need to have a training in the Philippines because our expertise were in PH. Do we need to secure any visa or working permit for these employees who are foreigners?

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