Important details to know before you can apply for Working Permit in the Philippines

All foreign nationals seeking admission to the country for employment purposes are required by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to secure a work visa. 

These foreign nationals must comply with mandatory submissions from several government agencies before commencing work in a fully-registered Philippine-based company.


Special Work Permit (SWP)

The Special Work Permit (SWP) is a work permit intended for short term assignments/employment of up to 6 months. A locally registered company must be willing to serve as the Petitioner. The SWP is good for 3 months during the initial application and extendible for another 3 months. During the course of the SWP validity, the status of the foreign national remains as a tourist. Thus, tourist visa extension must be undertaken if necessary.


Provisional Work Permit (PWP)

A Provisional Work Permit (PWP) is issued by the BI to foreign nationals who currently hold temporary visitor visas but wish to commence work in the Philippines while the approval of their employment visa application, either the 9g or 9d, is in progress. 

Generally, PWPs are valid for three (3) months after the date of issuance or until the 9(g) visa is issued. The processing time of a PWP takes approximately seven (7) working days when proper and complete documents have been submitted to the Philippine BI. 


Alien Employment Permit (AEP)

Any foreign national seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes and any domestic or foreign employer who desires to engage a foreign national for employment in the Philippines shall obtain an employment permit from the Department of Labor and Employment.

The Alien Employment Permit (AEP) is a permit issued to non-resident alien or foreign national seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes after a determination of the non-availability of Filipino citizen who is competent, able and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the foreign national is desired.

All foreign nationals are required to have an AEP if the intention of entry in the Philippines is to engage in any gainful employment except those expressly exempted by law. Holders of other functional visas such as Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders (9D) Visa, or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47A2) are also subject to an AEP. 

Unlike the Special Work Permit (SWP), an AEP is for longer work assignments or contracts. An AEP is initially valid for one (1) to three (3) years depending on the duration of the contract and is renewable. This should be filed through an accredited agent or through the employer’s authorized representative at the DOLE Regional Office having jurisdiction over the principal place of business of the petitioner. In case the foreign national is to be assigned to branch offices or subsidiaries in a different location, the application must be made at the nearest Field Office.

Applicants for Alien Employment Permit issuances are expected to utilize the online portal for New and Renewal applications. The online application shall also serve as pre-evaluation for completeness of information and uploaded documentary requirements. However, such online application is not definitive of the application, important documents are still required to be presented and submitted at the Regional Office for verification and filing purposes. On a case to case basis, the applicant may pursue application manually.

Once you have your AEP and/or PWP you will still need to process your 9g employment visa.

Need further information and assistance in obtaining your working permit?  Talk to our Visa team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law. Call us at 632-8478-5826 or send an email to You can also send your message to us here.

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