Friday, February 22, 2008

Philippine Visa

We got a little bit carried away when we booked our flight to the Philippines a few weeks ago. The original plan was to stay for only 21 days, as tourist from most countries are allowed to stay 21 days in the Philippines without visa. In front of the computer, looking at the photos of Boracay, and immediately after reading a travel blog about Donsol, we unanimously decided that 3 weeks is way too short. So we decided to stay 1 more week. This trip home will be very special as I will bring not only my husband but also a good friend from Italy. I want them to see the Philippines as much as possible. Anyway, I thought that it shouldn't be a problem for my husband and my friend to get a visa. So, we decided to stay for 26 days! After 2 clicks it was final (I really like the internet booking system!) !!!

I was right. The Philippine embassy in Berne was so helpful. My husband doesn't even need a visa, we just have to fall in line in the Balikbayan line at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and then show our marriage contract (then he can stay for up to 1 year). My friend needs to get a visa but she only have to send her documents by mail and then pay 51 sfr then the visa will be mailed back to her in 3 days. She can then stay for 59 days. Easy. No hassle at all!

I'm really proud of the Philippine Embassy in Berne because in the 4 years that I've been living in Switzerland, they never gave me any hassle. I needed to get a few important documents from them a couple of times and they were always prompt and efficient. I was able to renew my passport in 3 days without problem whereas I know citizens of some European countries even needed to go home to renew their passports. I know a Russian girl who needed to go back to Russia for 1 month to get her passport renewed.

Anyway, here is the official site to get information about getting a Philippine Visa.
Here is the link to the homepage of the Philippine Embassy in Berne. It is not so easy to find their website because they are not yet in google. To get information about the Philippine embassy in your country and your country's embassy in the Philippines click here.

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