Did you know that the Philippines offer visa-free entry to Indian passport holders if you have a visa from Singapore, USA, UK, Schengen, Japan, Australia or Canada! Those holding a permanent resident status from these countries also enjoy this benefit. Recently, an Indian tourist, Himanshu travelled from India to the Philippines this way. He has shared his experiences of getting a visa-free entry.
Enter Philippines with Singapore Visa
I had booked my flight on Singapore Airlines & I already had Singapore Visa valid for 2 Years so I don’t need transit visa while transiting through Singapore with a layover of 6 hours. You can easily get flights from Mumbai or Delhi to Cebu or Angeles for just Rs. 18,000.
How I got my boarding pass
I took BOM-SIN-MNL (Mumbai – Singapore – Manila) route. I left home & reached the airport 4 hours earlier than my departure time to make sure everything gets settled easily. I was waiting for my turn on Check-In Counter to Check-In my Baggage. I handed over my passport and ticket to the airlines’ official. The lady on the counter asked me for the visa. I said we Indians don’t need the visa to go to the Philippines. I had the confirmation page printout from Embassy Website stating “Visa Free travel for Indians” with me. I handed it over to her. I told her that I’m going to use my Singapore visa to get Visa-free entry into the Philippines. After verifying this, she gave me my boarding pass.
Immigration formalities in India
Now I reached the immigration counter. The lady started scanning my passport and simultaneously she asked me ‘where are you going’? I said, ‘going to the Philippines’. She asked ‘for how many days’? I replied, ’14 days’. Seems like she was finding something on my passport. Suddenly she asked me where is your Philippines visa? I said ‘I’m using a visa-free entry with my Singapore tourist visa’. She was shocked. She said, “I don’t believe it because I think they have recently changed their visa policy. I can’t let you go without any confirmation”. She took me to her supervisor office to clarify if Indians are allowed visa-free entry into the Philippines!
I again explained my case to the supervisor. Then he asked me on what airline are you travelling? I said ‘Singapore Airlines. I got 2 years Singapore visa’. The Supervisor said ‘you’re good to go. Just make sure you won’t get overstayed there. After this, I was all clear to go.
Transit at Singapore
Finally After 6 hours flight time finally I arrived in Singapore and went to the waiting area. I was already having 6 hours of layover time so was finding some ways to do something on that free time. Somehow I manage to spend that 6 hours by resting.
Arrival in Philippines
After a 4 hours flight from Singapore, I arrived in Manila. There was a long queue at Immigration Counter. It was scaring me a lot because I was not sure if they will let me go through this! Now it was my turn. The officer was looking at me and says how many days you’re here! I replied, ‘I’m here for 14 days & here’s my return ticket for India’. He asked, ‘ what visa are you using?’ I said, ‘I’m using Singapore visa’. Then he started doing an entry on his computer. He also asked me, ‘have you ever visited the Philippines earlier?’ I replied, ‘I was here just last year’. After this, he stamped my passport and said, “Welcome to the Philippines”. I was super happy. Finally, I got entry into the Philippines without its visa”.
Paid extension for 7 days
You can extend your stay for further 7 days. So in total 21 days. For that, you can approach any Metro City (Bureau of Immigration Office) by applying the fee of 2500 Pesos. You will get the extension in just an hour without any questions asked. I extended my 7 days Visa from Cebu City as I was in short of time to visit some more places.
Wish you all have a great time in the Philippines.
Important Information from Embassy of Philippines in India
Indians who wish to visit the Philippines for tourism purposes may be granted visa-free entry in any port of entry (major international airports and secondary international hubs (SIHs), as well as in seaports by passengers on board cruise ships/vessels for an initial authorized stay not exceeding fourteen (14) days, provided they possess the following:
- Either a valid (used or unused) American (US), Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Schengen, United Kingdom, or Singaporean multiple-entry visa or permanent residence permit.
- An Indian passport valid at least six (6) months beyond the date of departure from the Philippines;
- Return or onward ticket to the next country of destination; and
- No derogatory record with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration.
For more information, please check the official website of Embassy of Philippines in India