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Philippines – COVID-19: Temporary Travel Restrictions

PH – COVID-19: Temporary Travel Restrictions

The Philippine government has limited the entry of certain foreign nationals effective 22 March 2021, in response to rising COVID-19 cases. Travel by Filipinos and exempted foreign nationals shall be subject to the arrival quota set by the Department of Transportation. This GMS Flash Alert covers the categories of travelers subject to (as well as exempt from) the latest travel restrictions.



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The Philippine government has limited the entry of certain foreign nationals effective 22 March 2021, in response to rising COVID-19 cases.1  


The sudden implementation of new restrictions might affect current international travel plans for foreign national employees bound for the Philippines.  This may mean the suspension or delay of travel plans for globally-mobile employees bound for the Philippines.  It may be advisable for employers and their employees to arrange for remote working as an alternative until such time as restrictions are lifted.

In making adjustments to travel and business plans, employers may also wish to bear in mind the possibility of the government deciding to further extend these restrictions.

Travel Restrictions in the Philippines

The following travel restrictions shall be implemented for inbound travelers to the Philippines:

  • All Filipino citizens whether a returning overseas Filipino or overseas Filipino worker shall be allowed to return to the Philippines. 
  • Effective 22 March 2021 until 21 April 2021, the entry of foreign nationals shall be temporarily suspended except the following:

a.     Diplomats and members of international organizations, and their dependents provided they hold a valid 9(e) visa or 47(a)(2) visa, as the case may be, at the time of entry;

b.     Foreign nationals involved in medical repatriation duly endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA – OUMWA), and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), provided that they have a valid visa at the time entry;

c.     Foreign seafarers under the “Green Lanes” program for crew changes provided that they hold a 9(c) crew list visa at the time of entry;

d.     Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens travelling with them provided they have valid visas at the time of entry; and

e.     Emergency, humanitarian, and other analogous cases approved by the Chairperson of the NTF COVID-19 or his duly authorized representative, provided their foreign nationals have valid visas at the time of entry.

Travel by Filipinos and exempted foreign nationals shall be subject to the arrival quota set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

(For related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2021-046, February 4, 2021.)


1  See IATF-EID Memorandum Circular No. 6, Series of 2021 posted in National Task Force Against COVID-19’s Official Facebook page 19 March 2021.  

*  Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services.  However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.   


The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Philippines.


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© 2021 R.G. Manabat & Co., a Philippine partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.


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