Filipinos traveling, working, or living abroad will require the assistance of the Philippine government, from obtaining passports and visas to registering births, deaths, and marriages. In some cases, Filipinos need legal aid to protect their rights and welfare, especially the Overseas Workers Filipinos (OFWs). Fortunately, the government established Philippine Embassies in countries where many Filipinos work, live, or have migrated. To learn more about the Philippine Embassy, read on as we share its functions, responsibilities, and services.
The Philippine Embassy is a government entity controlled by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). It is the highest representation of the Philippine government in a foreign country. The Philippine Embassy handles diplomatic relations with the host government and ensures the rights and welfare of Filipinos overseas. Whether living or working abroad, Filipinos will require the legal services provided by the Philippine Embassy. Therefore, the Embassy is vital in promoting the interests of the Philippines, its citizens, culture, and national development.
- What is the Philippine Embassy?
- List of Philippine Embassies Abroad
- Philippine Embassy Consular Services
- Civil Registration
- Notarial Services
- Assistance to National (ATN) Corner
- Other Services
What is the Philippine Embassy?
Also known as the Embassy of the Philippines, the Philippine Embassy is the country’s diplomatic representation in a foreign country. Often found in capital cities of major foreign countries, the Embassy is an auxiliary of the Philippine government. By law, the Philippine Embassy should promote and protect the state interests and Filipino citizens in areas under its jurisdiction. The Embassy also provides the consular needs of Filipinos living outside the Philippines.
As the principal representative of the government, the Embassy enacts the Philippine foreign policy in areas or localities within its jurisdiction. In addition, it serves as a consular post that provides Filipino communities with legal services, such as civil registration, notarial, assistance to nationals, and issuance of passports and visas. The Embassy also focuses on economic diplomacy, promotes Philippine culture, and strengthens relationships with Filipinos abroad and its host country.
Functions & Responsibilities
Since the Embassy represents the Philippine government, it is responsible for promoting the following state’s foreign policy thrusts:
- Promote closer and mutually beneficial ties between the Philippines and the host country government
- Promote national security
- Promote economic diplomacy to aid national development
- Promote the rights and welfare of Filipinos abroad
- Promote the Philippine culture
- Promote a positive national image
Apart from that, the Philippine Embassy should fulfill the following functions and responsibilities:
- Report commercial, economic, and financial developments in its area of jurisdiction
- Handle appropriate cases to enact the Philippines’ laws and regulations overseas relevant to citizenship, immigration, commerce, trade, and navigation.
- Provide passport and visa services.
- Protect and help Filipino nationals, including seaman and other migrant workers.
- Offer registration services, such as birth and death, formalize marriages, and discuss properties of deceased nationals.
- Conduct notarial and other legal services in proper cases
- Assess and validate documents and invoices concerning exports to the Philippines
- Conduct the functions of a diplomatic post in appropriate cases
- Oversee the relationship with the host country’s government
- Manage interconnection with state and local-level governments in areas or localities under its jurisdiction
- Represent the Philippine government and its agencies concerned with international organizations
- Represent the Philippines in international conferences, fora, and symposia
- Manage ties with host country government constituencies that can assist in boosting the national interest, such as business communities, media (national and international), academic communities, policy institutions, non-government organizations, and Filipino communities
List of Philippine Embassies Abroad
As of writing, here are the following countries where you can find a Philippine Embassy:
- Argentina – Buenos Aires
- Australia – Canberra
- Austria – Vienna
- Bahrain – Manama
- Bangladesh – Dhaka
- Belgium – Brussels
- Brazil – Brasilia
- Brunei – Bandar Seri Begawan
- Cambodia – Phnom Penh
- Canada – Ottawa
- Chile – Santiago
- China – Beijing
- Czech Republic – Prague
- Denmark – Copenhagen
- Egypt – Cairo
- France – Paris
- Germany – Berlin
- Greece – Athens
- Holy See – Holy See
- Hungary – Budapest
- India – New Delhi
- Indonesia – Jakarta
- Iran – Tehran
- Iraq – Baghdad
- Israel – Tel Aviv
- Italy – Rome
- Japan – Tokyo
- Jordan – Amman
- Kenya – Nairobi
- Korea (Republic) – Seoul
- Kuwait – Kuwait City
- Laos – Vientiane
- Lebanon – Beirut
- Libya – Tripoli
- Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur
- Mexico – Mexico City
- Morocco – Rabat
- Myanmar – Yangon
- Netherlands – The Hague
- New Zealand – Wellington
- Nigeria – Abuja
- Norway – Oslo
- Oman – Muscat
- Pakistan – Islamabad
- Papua New Guinea – Port Moresby
- Poland – Warsaw
- Portugal – Lisbon
- Qatar – Doha
- Russia – Moscow
- Saudi Arabia – Riyadh
- Singapore – Singapore
- South Africa – Pretoria
- Spain – Madrid
- Sweden – Stockholm
- Switzerland – Bern
- Syria – Damascus
- Thailand – Bangkok
- Timor-Leste – Dili
- Turkey – Ankara
- United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi
- United Kingdom – London
- United States – Washington, DC
- Vietnam – Hanoi
Philippine Embassy Consular Services
One of the consular services offered by the Philippine Embassy is processing visas. The Embassy handles the admission of foreigners planning to enter the Philippines. It’s an endorsement from a qualified Philippine consular officer on a passport or travel document, indicating a foreign traveler has undergone a thorough assessment and met the qualifications to head to the Philippines.
However, the Embassy does not allow entry to the Philippines for foreign travelers below 15 years of age who have no companion or are unaccompanied by a parent. An exception may given if the parent or legal guardian submits an affidavit allowing the child to travel to the Philippines alone or accompanied by a designated travel companion.
Visa-Free Entry for Temporary Visits
Foreigners entering the Philippines may qualify for visa-free entry, given their period of stay will not exceed 59 days and the purpose of the visit is to attend conferences, company meetings, medical treatment, and seminars/workshops. The Visa-Free Entry also applies to foreigners visiting the country for personal nature trips, such as recreation, amusement, tourism/sightseeing, and visiting relatives/friends.
Visa Application Process
The Embassy processes the Visa Applications of foreign travelers who require entry visas to enter the Philippines. Remember to apply for a visa at least two weeks before the intended departure date. Visa applicants should also appear in person at the Philippine Embassy’s Consular Section.
Non-Immigrant Visa Requirements (Temporary Visitor Visa)
The Temporary Visitor Visa is also available at the Embassy for those visiting for pleasure, business, seaman, crew list, government officials, academic programs, and pre-arranged employment.
Non-Quota Immigrant Visa
In addition, the Embassy handles the application for Non-Quota Immigrant Visas of an alien spouse of a Philippine national and returning natural-born Filipinos who naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country.
Other Visa Categories and Extension of Period of Stay
The Philippine Embassy also processes the following:
- Visitor Coming For Short-Term Course/Language Study
- Foreigners Coming to the Philippines as Volunteers from Foreign Volunteer Institutions
- Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV)
- Special Retiree Resident Visa (SRRV)
- Extension of Authorized Period of Stay in the Philippines
Through the Republic Act 6768, the Philippines launched the Balikbayan Program under the management of the Department of Tourism (DOT). This program aims to inspire and attract Filipinos living overseas to visit their motherland. It grants benefits and privileges to Filipinos abroad and former natural-born Filipinos who naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country, including their spouse and unmarried child. Under this program, they can avail of the following when they return or visit the Philippines:
- Tax-free at Philippine duty-free shops (maximum purchase of US$1,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currencies)
- Visa-free entry to the Philippines for one (1) year for foreign passport holders (excluding certain nationals)
- Travel tax exemption
Keep in mind that the Philippine Passport is the property of the Republic of the Philippines at all times. Thus, surrender it if an authorized representative of the Philippine government demands it. Moreover, any destruction, addition, or alteration of the Philippine passport is strictly prohibited, rendering it invalid with subsequent penalties. It’s against the law to use the passport as collateral, resulting in automatic cancellation.
When applying for a Philippine passport, the applicant must have a confirmed online appointment, pay the applicable fees, and submit the requirements and other supporting documents. Also, the applicant should personally appear when processing the following:
- New Application (Adult)
- New Application (Minor)
- Renewal Application (Adult)
- Renewal Application (Minor)
- Special Cases (Lost Passport, Assumed Identity, Mutilated Passport) – treated as new applications
Report of Birth (ROB)
Whether a legitimate or illegitimate child, a Filipino parent must report a child’s birth to the Philippine Embassy within one (1) year from the date of occurrence.
Report of Marriage (ROM)
A Filipino national who has a marriage contracted overseas must report its occurrence within one (1) year to the Philippine Embassy. Also, the applicant should submit additional requirements if they did not apply for Legal Capacity to Contract for Marriage (LCCM) and annulled, divorced, and widowed Filipino applicants.
Report of Death (ROD)
Report the death of Filipino nations within the jurisdiction to the Philippine Embassy within 30 days of the incident.
Filipino national couples who want to get married at the Philippine Embassy may also be issued a Marriage License.
Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage / Certification (LCCM)
The Embassy only issues the LCCM to Filipinos living in the host country who want to marry a foreign national.
Judicial Recognition of Foreign Divorce
Although divorce doesn’t exist in the Philippines, the Filipino spouse can remarry under Philippine law, given the alien spouse obtained a valid divorce abroad.
Annotation of Civil Registry Documents
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Embassy can process the annotation of civil registry documents, given they meet the requirements for this service.
Petition for Correction of Clerical Error in Civil Registry Documents
Under RA 9048, the consul general can correct a clerical/typographical error in the entry/change of the first name/nickname in the civil registrar without a judicial order. Under Ra 10172, the consul general can correct clerical/typographical errors on the date of birth (day and month) or sex in the civil register without a judicial order.
Moreover, the Philippine Embassy provides notarial services to Filipino nationals living abroad who should legalize their documents, including affidavits, deeds and agreements, and powers of attorney. Nonetheless, the Embassy will not help applicants draft their legal documents, and their personnel will not act as witnesses.
Declaration of Philippine Citizenship
Filipino citizens 18 years and above may undergo a Declaration of Philippine Citizenship notarized by the Embassy if required to submit a Certificate of Nationality.
Joint Affidavit of Legitimation
The parents of a child may file for notarization of a Joint Affidavit of Legitimation if they were unmarried during their child’s birth, given they don’t have legal impediments.
Filipinos living abroad who wish to apply for NBI Clearance may do so at the Philippine Embassy. The applicant can also have their fingerprints taken at the Embassy.
Filipino nationals may also apply for Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition from the Embassy.
Petition For Inclusion of Dependent/s Under RA 9225
The applicant may apply for a petition for inclusion for dependent and unmarried children under 18 years of age if the applicant applied for dual citizenship and failed to add a dependent child.
Recognition as a Filipino Citizen
Under the prevailing laws, any child born of a Filipino parent may be recognized as a Filipino citizen, given they submit the required documents to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Renunciation of Philippine Citizenship
A natural-born or naturalized Filipino citizen 18 years of age may voluntarily renounce or give up Philippine citizenship after obtaining a foreign citizenship.
Waiver of Exclusion Ground (WEG)
The WEG is for foreign nationals below 15 years of age traveling to the Philippines alone or unaccompanied by a parent.
Copy Certification of Philippine Passport
The Embassy can verify copies of Philippine passport data and signature pages once the holder presents the original passport.
In addition, the Philippine Embassy offers the following miscellaneous services:
- Apostille (Formerly Authentication)
- Repatriation of Remains of a Filipino National
- Repatriation of Ashes to the Philippines
- Accreditation of Foreign Media to the Philippines
- PSA SERBILIS Delivery Service
- Registration of Filipino Community Organizations With The Philippine Embassy
Assistance to National (ATN) Corner
The Philippine Embassy will also assist Filipino nationals under its jurisdiction by protecting their rights, welfare, and interests, especially those in distressed situations. To help Filipinos abroad, the Embassy offers the following services:
- Arrest and Detention
- Arrest Procedures (Life in Prison)
- Domestic Violence
- Trafficked Persons
- Mental Health
- Death and Shipment of Remains
- Repatriation of Filipino Nationals
- Disaster Preparedness
- Support for Tourists
- Support for Residents
Lastly, the Embassy provides Driver’s License renewal and other relevant services from POLO, OWWA, SSS, and Pag-IBIG. The Philippine Embassy also conducts business-related services, such as investment opportunities and applications for APEC Travel Business Travel Card.
To sum up, the Embassy has a role in improving and strengthening the relationship of the Philippines with foreign countries. By doing so, the Philippine government can promote the rights and welfare of Filipinos living, working, and traveling abroad. The services of the Embassy make it convenient for Filipinos and foreign nationals to visit and explore the Philippines.
Furthermore, the Embassy helps promote the Philippine culture, builds a positive image of the country, and encourages Filipino communities and foreign countries to engage in the nation’s development. Therefore, the Philippine Embassy is a fundamental entity to represent the Philippine government worldwide.