CONSULAR OFFICE

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Passports
Affidavit of Support/Letter of Invitation
Pag-IBIG Fund Membership
PhilHealth
Work Permit and Visa
Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (CLCCM)
Special Power of Attorney
Report of Birth
Report of Marriage
NBI Clearance
Travel Tax Exemption
Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG)

INFORMATION ON:

Importation of plants, plant products and planting materials

Importation of Live Pets to the Philippines

Thai Immigration 101

PASSPORTS

Q. What are the requirements for an ePassport?

A. The requirements for renewal of passport are as follows:

  1. Duly accomplished application form;
  2. Valid passport and photocopy of its personal data page
  3. Personal appearance; and,
  4. Payment of processing fee (THB 2,100.00).

Q.  Where can I apply for an ePassport?

A.  You can apply for an ePassport at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok or at DFA in Manila or in any of the DFA’s Regional Consular Offices when in the Philippines.

Q.    What is an ePassport?

A.  An ePassport is a passport which features microchip technology. An integrated circuit (chip) within its pages contains the data that are essential in verifying the identity of the passport holder. These data include the personal data found on the data page of the passport, the biometrics of the passport holder, the unique chip identification number, and a digital signature to verify the authenticity of the data stored on the chip. The chip technology allows the information stored in an ePassport to be read by special chip readers at a close distance.

Q.  What are biometrics?

A.  Biometrics are the unique and measurable physical characteristics of an individual that include face recognition, fingerprints, and iris scan. The Philippine Electronic Passport (or Philippine ePassport) uses the digital image of the passport photograph that can be used with face recognition technology to verify the identity of the passport holder. It captures the fingerprints of the passport holder, for identification using the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

Q. What are the special features of the Philippine ePassport?

A.  The Philippine ePassport allows information stored on the chip to be verified with the information visually displayed on the passport.

It uses contactless microchip technology that allows the information stored on the chip to be read by special chip readers at a close distance.

It contains an integrated photograph of the holder, a digitized secondary photo, and an electronic print of the holder’s signature.

It contains overt and hidden security features such as Invisible Personal Information (IPI), letterscreen, microprinting, and UV reactive ink, among others.

Q.  What is the difference between the existing maroon machine readable passport (MRP) and the ePassport?

A. An MRP contains a machine-readable zone (MRZ) printed in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard. It is capable of being read manually and with the use of a machine.

An ePassport has an embedded IC chip where the photograph and personal information of the bearer are stored in accordance with ICAO specifications. These information can be read by chip readers at close distance. An ePassport also contains an MRZ.

Q.  What are the advantages of the Philippine ePassport?

A. The ePassport is highly secure, hence avoids passport reproduction and tampering. The ePassport database is enhanced with AFIS that guards against multiple passport issuances to the same person and enhances impostor detection. It facilitates fast clearance of travelers at immigration checkpoints.  Moreover, ePassports enable their holders to use automated border clearance or “E-gates”, automated issuance of boarding passes, and faster travel arrangements with airlines. For countries, the use of electronic passport also provides better border protection and security.

Q. Why do we have to use ePassports now?

A. The ePassport is the world standard in travel documents. As member of ICAO, the Philippines has an international obligation to enhance the security of its travel documents.

The issuance of ePassports will allow the Philippines to offer world-class consular services to its nationals.

Countries have greater confidence and acceptance of the ePassport since it is enhanced with biometric technology.

Q.  How much does an ePassport cost?

A. The ePassport costs THB2,100. Comparative prices of ePassports from different countries, however, show that the cost of the Philippine ePassport is among the lowest in the world.

Q.  What other countries use ePassports?

A.  ePassports are already being used in more than 60 countries worldwide. In ASEAN, besides the Philippines, five other (5) countries are already issuing ePassports (Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia). In the future, all countries are seen to switch to the ePassport due to the increasing need for efficient and better border security.

Q. When should I renew my Philippine passport?

A. You have to renew your passport six (6) months before its expiry date. For purposes of travel abroad, international civil aviation regulations require passports to have at least 6 months’ validity beyond the intended period of stay in the country of destination.

Green and maroon(machine readable) passports that have not yet expired will remain valid and will be honored by immigration authorities worldwide until their stated expiry dates.

Q.  I lost my passport on my way to work.  What are the requirements if I want to apply for a new passport?

A.  The requirements in applying for the replacement of a lost passport are as follows:

  1. Police report (Thai and English translation);
  2. Affidavit of Loss (and payment of separate notarial fee of THB 875.00);
  3. Duly accomplished passport application form;
  4. One (1) passport-sized photo ID with plain light blue background;
  5. Personal appearance;
  6. Passport replacement fee of THB 5.250.00.

There is a clearing period of fifteen (15) days. After 15 days and the Embassy has not received any negative information from the office that issued the passport (i.e., DFA-Manila, Regional Consular Office, or another Philippine Embassy or Consulate) preventing the issuance of a new passport to the applicant, the latter shall return to the Embassy to have his photo, fingerprint, and signature electronically taken using the new ePassport machine.

Q.  What are the requirements for applying for a passport for my new born child?

A. The requirements are the following:

  1. Four sets of duly-accomplished Report of Birth form;
  2. Personal appearance of the new born child and at least one parent (Note: If the child is illegitimate, the mother shall file the report of birth).
  3. One (1) colored passport-size photo of the child.
  4. Thai birth certificate of the child translated into English and duly authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  5. Copy and 4 photocopies of the marriage certificate of the parents.
    • If the marriage was solemnized in the Philippines, the marriage certificate must be duly authenticated by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-Authentication Division.
    • If the marriage was solemnized under Thai law, the marriage certificate must be accompanied by an English translation and duly authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Note: The marriage must also have been previously reported to the Embassy.)
  6. Report of Birth processing fee of THB 875.00

Q.  I recently got married to my Thai partner under Thai law. What is the procedure if I want to use my married name in my Philippine passport?

A.  First, you have to report your marriage to the Embassy.  The requirements for Report of Marriage are as follows:

  1. Thai marriage certificate translated into English and duly authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  2. Original and copy of both your passports’ personal data page and visa pages;
  3. Duly accomplished Report of Marriage Form (4 sets); and
  4. Processing fee of THB 875.00.

After reporting your marriage, you may already apply for a new e-passport.

Q. How long does it take before my passport is released?

A. Once you have applied for your passport at the Embassy, the electronic information is automatically sent to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas-Department of Foreign Affairs for printing. Once printed, the passport is sent back to the Embassy for release. The entire process takes six (6) to eight (8) weeks before the applicant can claim it at the Embassy.

Q.  I already applied for a new e-passport. How would I know if my passport is already available?

A. Passport releases are announced on the website bangkokpe.com. You simply have to type-in your application number on the search bar on the “Passport Ready For Release Page” to see if it is ready for pick-up.

Q. I found out that my passport is ready for release. What do I have to present when claiming my passport?

A. You need to present your old passport for cancellation and official receipt.

Q. What will happen to the visas stamped on my old cancelled passport?

A. The visas on your old passport will remain valid even if you have a new e-passport.

Q. Will I be able to keep my old passport after it is cancelled?

Q. Your old passport will be returned to you after cancellation.

Q. Will I be able to travel while my new e-passport is being processed?

A. While we are processing your new e-passport application, your old passport will be returned to you so you can still travel.

AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT/ LETTER OF INVITATION

Q. I want to invite my cousin in the Philippines for a one-week visit of Bangkok.  Someone told me that I need to give my cousin an Affidavit of Support/Letter of Invitation duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok or else the Philippine Immigration will not let her depart for Bangkok. Is an Affidavit of Support really necessary?  If I send an Affidavit of Support/Letter of Invitation, is my cousin guaranteed of clearing the Bureau of Immigration and departing for Bangkok? How much is the authentication fee?

A. In a letter dated 11 October 2010 of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration to the Philippine Embassy in Thailand, the Bureau said “an authenticated affidavit of support/guarantee/sponsorship is not necessarily required but many Filipino travelers resort to this when they cannot otherwise show either their personal capacity or that of their sponsor to shoulder the costs of the trip.”  The Bureau further stated that “having an authenticated affidavit of support/guarantee/sponsorship has to be read and carefully assessed, as authentication only guarantees due execution by the affiant [of the affidavit] and does not guarantee its contents.”  Commenting on a recent case whereby the Bureau refused a Filipino female traveler to depart for Bangkok despite presenting a duly authenticated affidavit of support executed by her supposed sponsor in Thailand, the Bureau said the sponsor was not able to present proper identification documents which could have fully established his relationship with the female traveler.

Based on the explanation given by the Bureau of Immigration, it is clear that an affidavit of support/guarantee/sponsorship, though authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, is not a guarantee that the holder thereof can leave the Philippines.   Invoking its powers to properly enforce the provisions of Republic Act 9208, also known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” the Bureau of Immigration reserves the right to prevent a Filipino traveler from leaving the Philippines despite the presentation of a duly authenticated affidavit of support/guarantee/sponsorship.

Applicants are required to personally present an affidavit, valid passport, proof of financial capacity to support to invitee, and a confirmed and valid roundtrip ticket. The authentication fee is THB 875.00.

Q.    Is “show money” required by the Bureau of Immigration?

A. “Show money” is not generally required by the Bureau of Immigration. However, Bureau of Immigration agents may require proof of financial capacity (such as bank statement, certificate of employment and compensation, etc.) especially if a passenger is traveling outside the Philippines only for the very first time.  In the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, it is also stated that foreign nationals applying for a tourist visa must present evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family).

PAG-IBIG FUND MEMBERSHIP

Q.  Can Filipinos working in Thailand who are not yet PAG-IBIG members apply for PAG-IBIG membership at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok?

A. PAG-IBIG Fund does not have a representative or collecting office in Thailand.  However, this is one of the programs that the Embassy is trying to work out with PAG-IBIG Fund. Hopefully, PAG-IBIG Fund will consider setting up a collecting or representative office in Bangkok in the near future.

PHILHEALTH

Q.  I want to apply for PhilHealth.  My friends, who are also working in Thailand, want to continue with their PhilHealth contributions.  Can I apply for PhilHealth and can my friends pay for the PhilHealth  premiums at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok?

A.  Like Pag-IBIG Fund, PhilHealth does not have a collecting or representative office in Thailand.  This is another project that the Philippine Embassy is working on. Hopefully, PhilHealth will consider setting up a collecting or representative office in Bangkok in the near future.

WORK PERMIT AND VISA

Q. My employer cancelled my work permit after I resigned from my job. The immigration stamp in my passport shows that I am authorized to stay in Thailand until December next year. Can I continue staying in Thailand on the basis of my entry visa?

A. No. The cancellation of your work permit automatically carried with it the cancellation of your entry visa. This means you have to exit Thailand immediately and re-enter the country with a new entry visa.

CERTIFICATE OF LEGAL CAPACITY TO CONTRACT MARRIAGE (CLCCM)

Q.  I want to inquire about how to obtain this affidavit or affirmation of freedom to marry since my fiancé (who is also a Filipino) and I are planning to get married here in Thailand. How do I apply for this affidavit?

A.  You are actually referring to the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (CLCCM), which Filipino nationals getting married abroad are required to apply for at the Philippine Embassy with jurisdiction over the country or place where they intend to marry. The requirements for securing a CLCCM are as follows:

  1. Personal appearance of both parties at the Embassy;
  2. If one or both of the contracting parties is/are between 18 and 21 years old, an “Affidavit of Consent” executed by the parents of the contracting parties should be presented to the consular officer;
  3. If one or both of the contracting parties is/are between 21 and 25 years old, a written proof of parental advice should be presented to the consular officer;
  4. Certificate of No Record of Previous Marriage (CENOMAR) from the NSO and duly authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  5. Certificate of Live Birth from the NSO and duly authenticated by the DFA;
  6. Photocopy of the data page of the applicants’ Philippine passports;
  7. Two witnesses above 21 years old, preferably a male and a female, to be present during the solemnization of the marriage;
  8. Processing fee of THB 875 (per person).

The solemnization of marriage can then be performed within the Embassy premises by a consular officer on a date arranged by the contracting parties.

The following fees apply: solemnization of marriage (THB 2,100.00), application for marriage license (THB 875.00) and Report of Marriage (THB 875.00).

If the other contracting party is a foreign national, only the Filipino national needs to personally appear and apply for a CLCCM at the Embassy.  The foreign national will have to secure his/her Certificate of Capacity (or its equivalent document) from his/her own  Embassy or consulate in Thailand.

SPECIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

Q. I live in Phuket and work as an English teacher in one of the local schools.  ?I need a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) for my son who is in the Philippines. Can I apply for the SPA by email or fax? I can send you a copy of my passport and my son’s passport. I can also send the payment via Western Union.

A. Sorry, but personal appearance is required for purposes of applying for a Special Power of Attorney at the Embassy.  You must bring with you your passport and photocopy of its personal data page.  The processing fee is THB875.00.

REPORT OF BIRTH

Q.    My wife recently gave birth to our first child in Thailand. What is the process in applying for our child’s Philippine birth certificate?

A.    You will have to report the birth of your child to the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok.  The requirements for reporting your child’s birth are as follows:

  1. Personal appearance at the Embassy of at least one parent (Note: If the child is illegitimate, the mother shall file the report of birth);
  2. Four (4) sets of duly accomplished Report of Birth Form (4 copies);
  3. One (1) passport-size colored ID of the child;
  4. Birth certificate of the child with official English translation and duly authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  5. Original and 4 copies of the marriage certificate of the parents.  (If the marriage was solemnized in the Philippines, the marriage certificate must be duly authenticated by NSO and DFA.  If the marriage was solemnized under Thai law, the Thai marriage contract must be accompanied by an English translation duly authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.)
  6. Payment of the processing fee of THB 875.00.

REPORT OF MARRIAGE

Q. My fiancé and I recently got married in Bangkok, Thailand. We want to register our marriage with the Philippine government.  What are the requirements for registering our marriage?

A. You must report your marriage to the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  The requirements for reporting your marriage are as follows:

  1. Thai marriage certificate translated into English and duly authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  2. Original and copy of both your passports’ personal data page and visa pages;
  3. Duly accomplished Report of Marriage Form (4 copies); and
  4. Payment of the processing of THB 875.00.

NBI CLEARANCE

Q. My prospective employer says I need to submit an National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance from the Philippines.  Can I apply for the clearance at the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok?

A.    You can apply for the clearance at the Embassy.  However, the Embassy will merely give you an NBI application form and take your fingerprints.  (Note: There is no fee for the taking of your fingerprints.) After that, you will have to send the form, with your photo and fingerprints on it, to the NBI through a relative or friend of yours in the Philippines.  Your relative or friend will submit your application form to the NBI and later receive the clearance on your behalf.  Your relative or friend will then be the one to send your clearance to your mailing address in Thailand.

TRAVEL TAX EXEMPTION

Q. Who are entitled to the travel tax exemption?  What are the requirements if a person qualified wants to avail himself/herself of the exemption?

A. Pursuant to Section 2 of President Decree No. 1183, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are exempted from payment of travel tax which the Philippine Department of Tourism collects from every Filipino citizen traveling out of the country. The amount of the travel tax is PhP1,620.00. Executive Order No. 284, which amended PD 1183, extended the travel tax exemption privilege to Filipino residents abroad.

To avail oneself of the exemption, an applicant who is an OFW must submit the following:

  1. Copy of personal data page and visa page of valid passport;
  2. Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); and
  3. Certificate of Employment issued by the Philippine Embassy in the place of hire.  For those directly hired, an employment contract authenticated by the Philippine Embassy.

Q. Related to the question above, what are the requirements for the issuance of a Certificate of Employment?

A.  The requirements are as follows:

  1. Copy of personal data page and visa page of valid passport;
  2. Valid work permit or original copy of employment contract; and
  3. Duly accomplished application form.

Q. How can a Filipino residing abroad avail himself of the travel tax exemption?

A. To avail himself of the exemption, a Filipino residing abroad must present the following documents upon arrival at a Philippine port of entry:

  1. Documentary proof of the grant of permanent residency status by his country of residence; or
  2. Certificate of Residency issued by the Philippine Embassy for those who have resided abroad for a period of 5 years without having been absent for more than 6 months in any one year, or appropriate entries in the passport establishing 5-year residency

Q. In relation to the immediately preceding question, what are the requirements for the issuance of Certificate of Residency?

A.  The requirements are as follows:

  1. Proof of residency in Thailand for at least 5 years;
  2. Copy of personal data page and visa page of valid passport; and
  3. Duly accomplished application form.

INFORMATION ON:

IMPORTATION ON PLANTS, PLANT PRODUCTS AND PLANTING MATERIALS

Plants, plant products and planting materials carried by passengers shall be declared to the Custom Officer and Plant Quarantine Officer for inspection and clearance.

For complete information on importation procedures, please click on the link directed to the website of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Service.

IMPORTATION OF LIVE PETS TO THE PHILIPPINES FOR DOGS AND CATS

1. Apply for an import permit with the Animal Health Division (AHD), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) by writing a letter addressed to the BAI director containing the following information:

a. species and breed of animal
b. sex, color and number of pets
c. expected date of arrival

The BAI address and contact number is:

Animal Health Division-Bureau of Animal Industry, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines ?Telephone no. (632) 928 2743; Fax no. (632) 928 2836 Website:www.bai.da.gov.ph

*Always inquire for new rates on inspection fees

2. If the number of animals to be brought to the Philippines exceeds five, the animals have to be inspected at quarantine site.
3. Issuance and inspection fees are 50 pesos and 165 pesos for the first two heads and 220 pesos for each succeeding head, respectively. Payment may be made upon arrival at the Veterinary Quarantine Unit, Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
4. A valid health certificate (issued shortly before shipment) from the country of origin must be presented upon arrival.

The permit is good for 2 months. Extension for another month may be requested before the permit’s expiry date.

FOR EXOTIC ANIMALS

1. Apply for an import permit as in A, number 1.
2. Arrange schedule with AHD for inspection of the quarantine site.
3. A CITES certification issued by the Parks and Wildlife Bureau shall be presented.
4. Issuance and inspection fees are 40 pesos and 10 to 50 pesos per head (depending on the size of the animal), respectively.
5. A valid health certificate from the country of origin shall be presented upon arrival.

Plant Quarantine  Services:

Bureau of Plant Industry
612 San Andres, Malate, Manila
Tel. No.: (632) 404 0409
Fax. No.: (632) 521 7650   Email: bpinir@info.com.ph

The permit is good for 2 months. Extension for another month may be requested before the permit’s expiry date.

THAI IMMIGRATION

30-day no visa privilege

Filipino nationals with ordinary passports are not required to obtain a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes and will be permitted to stay in the Kingdom for a period of not exceeding 30 days on each visit. However, they must possess adequate finances for the duration of their stay in Thailand (i.e., cash 10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family).

Extension of temporary stay

Filipinos who want to extend their temporary stay in Thailand can apply for extension (up to 7 days) at any immigration office except at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. For a list of Thai immigration offices, please visit the Thai Immigration office website atwww.immigration.go.th

Extension fee

The fee for application for extension of temporary stay is THB 1,900.

Visa run

If a 7-day extension is too short, Filipino nationals can do a visa-run to immigration checkpoints at border neighboring countries such as Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia. This will give them 15 days of stay on each visa run. However, under new regulations issued by the Thai Immigration Bureau, this privilege can only be availed of up to four (4) times.

Penalty for overstaying

The penalty for overstaying is THB 500 per day.

Airport re-entry fee

If you are merely transiting through Suvarnabhumi airport (meaning, Thailand is not your final destination) but mistakenly exit the airport (meaning, you go past the immigration counter), you will be asked to pay a re-entry fee of THB 700.00 when you re-enter the airport to catch your connecting flight.

Work permit

Foreign nationals are not permitted to work regardless of their types of visa, unless they have a work permit.

Working as teachers

Filipino nationals who intend to work as school teachers below university level in Thailand must have a Non-Immigrant Visa Category “B” (Teaching) and submit the following documents:

  1. Passport or travel document with validity of not less than 6 months;
  2. Completed visa application form;
  3. Recent passport-sized photograph (4 x 6 cm) of the applicant taken within the past 6 months;
  4. Letter of acceptance from employing institute or school in Thailand;
  5. Letter of approval from government agencies such as the Office of the Private Education Commission and the Office of the Basic Education Commission;
  6. Evidence of educational qualification such as diplomas or teaching certificates;
  7. School license or business registration, list of shareholders and school profile;
  8. Applicant’s resume;
  9. Police certificate verifying that applicant has no criminal record or equivalents or letter issued by authorized agencies in applicant’s country. (The requirement of the submission of such police certificate is optional. The applicant must submit it if consular officer requests he/she to do so. This requirement is effective as from May 2007).

The family members (i.e., spouse, parents and children who are unmarried and under 20 years old) are eligible to apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa (category “O”) and will be allowed to stay for a period of 90 days but no longer than 1 year.

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