A Complete Guide to Acquiring a Work Permit in the Philippines for Foreign Nationals

A Complete Guide to Acquiring a Work Permit in the Philippines for Foreign Nationals

The Philippines is known as one of the fastest-growing economies in the ASEAN region, which attracts foreign investors and workers to come into the country to expand their skills and their businesses. Like many countries, the Philippines requires foreigners to apply for a work permit to legally practice their profession. 

If you are planning to do so, it is crucial to be aware of the procedures and documents needed to support your employment. To guide you in your application, we will discuss how you can obtain a work permit to start your career in the Philippines.

Types of Work Permits in the Philippines

The Philippines requires all foreign nationals to obtain a work permit and work visa before engaging in lawful employment in the country. Keep in mind that obtaining a work permit is a prerequisite before being eligible to apply for a work visa.

The most common work visa is the 9(g) or Pre-Arranged Employee Commercial Visa, which grants the holder multiple entry and exit privileges while working for a registered company in the Philippines. 

There are three types of work permits that cater to different kinds of employment in the country, namely:

  • Alien Employment Permit (AEP). The AEP applies to all foreign nationals who wish to engage in long-term employment in the Philippines. The AEP is initially valid for one to five years, depending on the employment contract’s duration, and is renewable for a maximum of five years. 
  • Special Work Permit (SWP).  The SWP allows the holder to engage in short-term employment for a duration of up to six months without the need to change their tourist status. A locally-registered company must be willing to serve as the petitioner for the holder. The approval time of the SWP usually takes 2-3 weeks.
  • Provisional Work Permit (PWP). This permit is issued to foreign nationals who wish to commence work in the Philippines while the approval of their work visa application is in progress. The permit is usually given to Temporary Visitor Visa (TVV) holders and is extendible until a work visa is approved.

The processing time and validity of Philippine work visas can vary depending on the number of requirements and the applicant’s employment contract, unless stated otherwise.

How to Apply for a Work Permit in the Philippines

As mentioned above, the most common visa granted to foreign nationals seeking employment is the 9(g) visa. To be eligible, your hiring company must serve as your petitioner for the visa. You will also need to obtain an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) to work as a non-tourist in the Philippines. 

To obtain an AEP, employees will need to provide the following documents:

  1. A duly accomplished AEP application form
  2. Original copy of notarized employment contract and any related documents 
    1. Job description, annual salary, benefits, etc.
  3. Photocopy of employer’s valid business permit: 
    1. For CEZA-Registered and PEZA-Registered Companies (must present original copy)
      1. PEZA Registration
      2. Ecozone Authority
    2. If under Construction Company (must present original copy)
      1. Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) License
      2. DO 18-A Registration 
  4. Two pieces of 2×2 ID picture with white background
  5. Proof of Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  6. Authorization Letter from the Company or Foreign National and photocopy of valid IDs

The required documents must be filed personally or through the petitioning employer at the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) regional office with an application fee of ₱9,000. If you are assigned to branch offices or subsidiaries, it is best to apply at the nearest field office. 

If your employer urges you to commence work before your permit or visa process is complete, you can apply for a Provisional Work Permit (PWP), which allows you to work while such documents are in process. 

Travel Restrictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, the government has implemented strict rules to reduce the country’s number of COVID-19 cases. Local travel restrictions, as well as border and international travel measures, have taken place.

Foreign nationals planning to work in the Philippines during the pandemic must comply with the general travel restrictions implemented by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and other respective government agencies.

Start Your Career in the Philippines

Working in the Philippines can lead to a tremendous amount of growth in your career. Its fast-growing economy and openness to innovation and internationalization cater to many brilliant minds in all industries, collaborating to make the country a better place for both local and foreign employees. 

There are many ways to apply for a work visa and permit in the Philippines, either through a representative, a prospective employer, or a visa consulting firm to assist you through your application process. 

RELATED: A Complete Guide on How to Obtain a Retirement Visa in the Philippines

BGC and Co. CPAs is a mid-sized progressive auditing firm providing comprehensive set of cost effective solutions to organizations like yours.

Our services include auditing, accounting, bookkeeping, business management, and HR consulting. Further, we provide other business services like VISA processing in Bureau of Immigration (BI), Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA).

We are equipped with state of art tools and techniques along with dedicated professional to evaluate potential opportunities and risks effective auditing and assurance services. We understand a value adding auditing and assurance service focus on scope of business improvement rather than merely preparing financial statements and reporting on figures.

The firm was formed to assist clients on the preparation of compliances relating to tax, financial management, forecasting and accounting software and system installation. Assist clients in tax investigations, internal auditing procedures and provide on financial, taxation, accounting and auditing matters when needed. Processing of business registration, cancellation / termination.

Our Mission

Deliver reliable cost effective professional services in time meeting specific customer requirements.

Our Vision

To become one of the best auditing and accounting firm in the Philippines providing the utmost satisfaction to all the clients. We would like to be known as one of the finest company to partnered with in all the aspects.

Our Team

Our teams of dedicated professionals led by senior qualified accountants are obliged to give you quality services which will enable you to serve your clients better and there by improve your business. We together with our associates enable to give you the best in the industry.


Auditing and Assurance

We are equipped with state of art tools and techniques along with dedicated professional to evaluate potential opportunities and risks delivering effective auditing & assurance services. We understand value adding auditing and assurance service focus on scope of business improvement rather than merely preparing financial statements and reporting on figures.

Our expertise in analyzing accounting systems, designing better systems with proper internal controls and management information reporting help our clients to adequately plan their business building strategy and give them the confidence to pace up with the rapidly growing economy.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Accounting and bookkeeping is a necessity of every organization irrespective of its size. Our professionally qualified and experienced accountants understand and analyze business transactions and ensure compliance with the accounting standards. BGC has well trained staff familiar with many of the accounting system and most especially to the rapid changes in the BIR rules and regulations. Qualitative and timely accounting reports are crucial for the success of any business organization. BGC ensures relevant and reliable financial reports are delivered on regular intervals to assess performance and to facilitate decision making. Outsourcing of accounts department helps you to get professional expertise at lower cost and BGC provides the most efficient and effective bookkeeping solutions.

We assist you with below services:

• Accounts preparation and supervision
• Preparation and presentation of financial reports
• Bookkeeping services
• Payroll processing
• Training of accounting staff

Business Set-up and Termination

We do assist in setting up different types of business organizations through registrations to different government agencies such as:

• Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
• Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR);
• Local Government Unit (LGU);
• Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);
• Social Security System (SSS);
• Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth);
• Pag ibig;
• Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

We also assist our foreigner clients for the following:

• VISA extension;
• Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR);
• 9g VISA;
• Special Resident Retiree’s VISA (SRRV)
• Social Security System (SSS);
• Passport Renewal


    •  Info@bgcco.ph
    •  lconvento@bgcco.ph
    •  Working Hours : 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m


想了解更多欢迎联系和咨询我们,中文 微信BGC998 电报@BGC998  

想了解更多欢迎联系和咨询我们,微信BGC998 电报@BGC998