How to Apply for Work Permits in the Philippines

Known as the Rising Tiger of Asia, the Philippines is a land of a bustling economy and numerous opportunities in business for various industries. It is no wonder that foreigners from all over the globe flock to this southeast nation to get their businesses started, build careers, and even retire.

In recent years, the country has been more open to hiring foreign nationals and acquiring foreign investors, provided these people and institutions meet the required standards, carry the right documents, and have the necessary permits. The ease of doing business act also makes it favorable for anyone to set up a business in the country.

Thus, if you are a foreign national thinking of moving to the Philippines for work, you must make yourself aware of all the procedures, permits, and other documents that you will need in order to process your employment. Below, you will find a quick guide on how you can apply for the necessary working permits.

What are the different work permits?

All Foreign nationals are required to acquire a work visa and work permit before legally engaging in work. This includes foreign businessmen who intend to start their companies in the Philippines. Noteworthy, you must first obtain the work permit as it is a prerequisite for your working visa application. 

The most widely used work visa is the Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa which grants multiple entry and exits so long as the employee is working for a registered company in the Philippines.

Note that there are three kinds of work permits, each with varying privileges and requirements. It is vital for you to know which permit you should and need to get.

1. Provisional Work Permit

The Provisional Work Permit is issued to those who wish to start work in the Philippines while their application for a working visa is still being processed. This form of permit is often given to Temporary Visitor Visa holders and can be extended until the work visa application is approved. 

2. Special Work Permit

This permit allows for you to enlist for short term employment for up to six months, without the need to change your tourist status. Locally registered companies where you work should serve as your petitioner. 

3. Alien Employment Permit

All foreign nationals who wish to be employed for the long-term in the Philippines must apply for this permit. It is valid for one to five years and is dependent on the duration of the employment contract. It is also renewable for a maximum amount of five years.

How can one apply for these work permits?

To be eligible for the Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa, your company must petition for you. You will also need to secure an Alien Employment Permit to work as an employee, not a tourist. Furthermore, you will need to secure the following documents to process your Alien Employment Permit application.

1. Accomplished Alien Employment Permit application form

2. Original copy of employment contract (notarized) and all related documents, such as job description, salary and benefits, etc.

3. Photocopy of your employers’ business permit

I. CEZA registered, and PEZA registered companies must present registration and Ecozone Authority

II. If the company is under construction, an original copy of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board and a DO 18-A Registration

4. Two 2×2 ID pictures with white background

5. Proof of Tax ID Number (TIN)

6. Authorization Letter from the Company you work for along with a photocopy of Valid IDs

You may either file these documents personally or through the petitioning employer at the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment Regional Office. The application fee of 9,000 Philippines Pesos will be paid there as well.

As mentioned previously, while you are waiting for the Alien Employment Permit and the in-process working visa, you may file for a Provisional Work Permit if your employer urges you to start working before your permit or visa process is finished.

If you need help processing your documents, give us a call. We can help collate documents and facilitate with the right government agencies. Our firm also offers accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing services. We can also help you with business processing transactions and anything related with the BIR. Call us for a free 30-minute consultation.