Philippines to grant e-visas for Chinese visitors

By Hoang Phong   August 3, 2023 | 11:17 pm PT
Philippines to grant e-visas for Chinese visitors
Travelers from China line up at the immigration at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, January 24, 2023. Photo by Reuters
The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs announced it would pilot its first-ever electronic visa (e-visa) system from late this month, starting with China, in an effort to revitalize its tourism industry.

Starting August 24, Chinese nationals visiting the Philippines may either visit the website or download an app to apply for an electronic visa, Philippine News Agency reported.

Applicants will be required to fill up the application form at the portal, pay for the visa fee, submit via courier or personal appearance their printed and signed form along with their original documents, and wait for their e-visa to be sent to their email.

Applicants will be asked to pay US$25 for single entry visas and $60 for multiple entry visas.

The e-visa system will be available for Indian tourists by the end of the year.

China was chosen as the pilot country for the e-visa system because it is was one of Philippines’ biggest sources of tourists, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

China was the second largest market in 2019, with 1.7 million Chinese nationals visiting in that year alone.

So far, the Philippines has recorded only just over 130,000 Chinese visitors.

Vietnam currently offers e-visas to citizens of 80 countries and territories and waives visa for nationals of 25 countries, mostly for between 15-30 days, a policy considered less generous than other countries in its neighborhood.

Starting August 15, Vietnam will extend the validity of tourist e-visas from 30 to 90 days and allow visitors multiple entries.

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