I’m only here for less than 6 months. Do I need a working permit?

Visiting foreign nationals in the country can still engage in work-related activities, provided that it is only for a short period of time. While an Alien Employment Permit grants foreign nationals the ability to have an employer-employee relationship with an employer based in the Philippines, a foreign national can secure a Special Work Permit to be able to work in the Philippines for a period not exceeding six months. The foreign national must be sponsored by the company that is hiring him or her that is registered in the Philippines. The said foreign national can apply for a Special Work Permit at the Bureau of Immigration.   

According to Section 1 of the Bureau of Immigration Operations Order No. JHM-2019-008, the Bureau of Immigration shall issue a Special Work Permit (SWP) to foreign nationals who intend to work, engage in specific activities, or render services outside of an employment arrangement, such as:


  1. Professional athletes, coaches, trainers and assistants; 
  2. International performers with exceptional abilities; 
  3. Artists, performers and their staff, who perform before an audience for a fee, subject to compliance with the requirements of the concerned agency, office or body;
  4. Service suppliers coming primarily to perform temporary services and who do not receive salary or other remuneration from a Philippine source other than expenses incidental to their temporary stay; 
  5. Treasure hunters authorized to search for hidden treasure with business permit from the concerned government agencies and instrumentalities; 
  6. Movie and television crews authorized to film in the country by the relevant regulatory office, body or agency; 
  7. Foreign journalists practicing their profession or covering a specific event in the country; 
  8. Trainee/s assigned in government instrumentalities, government owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) and private entities; 
  9. Lecturers, researchers, trainers, and other pursuing academic work, who are assigned in schools, universities, educational and research institutions, government agencies and other entities (with or without compensations); 
  10. Religious missionaries and preachers; 
  11. Commercial models and talents; 
  12. Culinary specialists/ Chefs;
  13. Professionals; and 
  14. Consultants or specialists 


Section 7 of the same BI Operations Order provides for the duration of the Special Working Permit. The Special Working Permit shall be valid for a maximum period of six months, non-renewable, with an initial duration of not more than three months plus final three-month renewed period when applied for. 


From the date of filing of the foreign national’s application, a Special Work Permit may be issued within two to three weeks. It is to note that the foreign national shall remain as a tourist throughout the validity of the Special Working Permit. Thus, an application for an extension of one’s tourist visa is necessary. 

Need further information and assistance regarding the application?  Talk to our Visa team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law to know more about the requirements and process. Call us today at (+632) 8478 5826 or send an email to info@duranschulze.com for more information.

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