Working in the Philippines

Non-Resident Aliens Who Intend to Work in the Philippines

All foreign nationals seeking admission to the Philippines for the purpose of employment, all non-resident foreign nationals already working in the Philippines, and all non-resident foreign nationals admitted to the Philippines on on-working visas, who wish to work in the Philippines, regardless of the source of compensation and duration of employment are required by the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP).

Where to Apply

Foreign nationals can apply for an AEP at the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate. Local employers who wish to hire the services of a foreigner can apply on behalf of the foreign national at the nearest Regional Office of the DOLE. Foreign nationals who are already in the Philippines should apply through their prospective employers with the nearest Regional Office of the DOLE. A DOLE AEP frequently-asked-question sheet is available here.

Validity of AEP

The period of validity of an AEP will depend on the nature of the position occupied by the foreign national, whether elective, technical, advisory or supervisory.

Exemptions

All members of the diplomatic services, foreign government officials accredited with the Philippine government, missionaries engaged in missionary work only, members of international organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and specialized agencies of the United Nations are exempted from securing an AEP.

NOTE: In support of the UN Spouse Employment Policy, the Philippine government has also exempted the spouses of members of international organizations from securing an AEP. Spouses however, are required to file an application for a Certificate of Exemption from the DOLE’s Bureau of Local Employment (BLE). Missionaries or religious workers who intend to engage in gainful employment are not exempted from securing an AEP.

Penalties

Aliens who are found working without an employment permit as required by law, are penalized with a fine ranging from one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) to ten thousand pesos (P10,000), or imprisonment ranging from three months to three years, or both. In addition to such penalties, any alien found guilty shall be summarily deported upon completion of service of sentence.

Resident Aliens and Immigrants Who Intend to Work in the Philippines

Resident Alien – refers to any foreign national who is allowed by law to reside indefinitely in the Philippines

All foreign nationals admitted to the Philippines as immigrants, who wish to seek employment, and all resident aliens already working in the Philippines, irrespective of the source of compensation and nature and duration of employment are required to secure an Alien Employment Registration Certificate (AERC) from the DOLE’s Regional Office.

Where to apply

The resident alien or the employer shall apply at the nearest Regional Office of the DOLE where the employer-establishment is located. Requirements for application of an AERC can be found at the Bureau of Local Employment website: www.ble.dole.gov.ph.

Validity of AERC

An AERC issued shall be valid only for the position and employer which it was issued, unless otherwise cancelled or revoked for cause.

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The FREEDOM HANDBOOK
By Bruce Silverman
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