Special Work Permit (SWP) in the Philippines

Any foreign national who legally enters the Philippines on a temporary or tourist visa and intends to engage in a professional undertaking or commercial operation needs to obtain a Special Work Permit (SWP).
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A Special Work Permit (SWP) is an authorization document that foreign nationals should obtain if they plan to work in the Philippines for a short-term period not exceeding six (6) months. The Special Working Permit has an initial validity of three (3) months and may be extended for three (3) more months. It should be noted that a Special Working Permit is not a visa but only a temporary permit that enables the foreign national to do partial work in the country if he is already a holder of a visitor visa. 

Difference between Special Work Permit (SWP), Provisional Work Permit (PWP), and Alien Employment Permit (AEP)

  • A Special Work Permit (SWP) is a permit that foreigners should acquire if they will work on short-term employment contracts in the Philippines that can last for up to six months. It should be noted that a sponsorship petition should be obtained from the Philippine-based employer before you can apply for an SWP. 
  • A Provisional Work Permit (PWP), on the other hand, is issued to foreign nationals who are in the process of applying for a pre-arranged employment visa or a 9g visa. The PWP is given to those who are currently holders of temporary visitor visas and who plan to work in the Philippines. A provisional work permit is usually valid for three months from the date of issuance or until the 9g visa is issued.
  • Lastly, an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) is a requirement for foreign nationals or non-resident aliens before working in gainful employment –except for those specifically exempted by law. Obtaining an AEP should be a top priority for all foreigners and aliens since all other visas –including Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders (9D) Visa, or Special Non-Immigrant Visa like the PEZA Visa and E.O. 226 Visa– require an Alien Employment Permit.

Who is eligible to get a Special Work Permit?

  • 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;
  • Foreign nationals on an emergency or temporary mission; 
  • International performers with exceptional abilities, including their staff;
  • Professional athletes, coaches, trainers, and assistants who will compete for a limited time;
  • Service suppliers coming primarily to perform temporary services and who will not receive salary or other remuneration from a Philippine source other than expenses incidental to their temporary stay; 
  • Treasure hunters that are authorized to research for hidden treasures with permits from the concerned government agencies and instrumentalities

Where should I apply for a Special Work Permit?

  • Apply for a Special Working Permit at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Special Work Permit Requirements:

  • Obtain acknowledged Contract of Service, Secretary’s Certificate of Election, Appointment, Assignment, Secondment or Deployment of the applicant, or equivalent document showing the duration of service, compensation and other benefits and scope of duties
  • Get copies of the applicant’s passport, entry visa (if applicable), latest admission, and valid authorized stay or temporary visitor’s visa. 
  • Get a Philippine Tax Identification Number and a copy of this.
  • Prepare company documents.
  • Draft a letter addressed to the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner from the Petitioner.
  • Get a V-NI-002 Form from the Bureau of Immigration and follow the instructions written on the form (a total of 10).
  • Accomplish the Consolidated General Application Form (CGAF).
  • Sworn certifications from the Petitioner that the documents submitted are genuine and that the applicant shall exclusively work for the position indicated. 
  • A sworn declaration from the petitioning company operating in the Philippines:
    •  To withhold and remit to the BIR the taxes due on all income of the applicant
    •  For the main office outside the country to pay the full compensation of the SWP applicant
  • Apply for a BI Clearance Certificate. 
  • Acquire a Special Work Permit Certification.
  • Bring a copy of the petitioner’s Income Tax Return with proof of payment or filing. For new taxpayers, bring a copy of the Certificate of Registration with BIR and Quarterly payment of taxes with proof of payment.
  • For Corporations or Partnerships:
    • Articles of Incorporation/Partnership
    • SEC Registration
    • Board Resolution if the signatories in the application are not those in the Articles of Incorporation and in the latest GSIS. 
    • Stamped General Information Sheet (GIS) for the current year (for corporations only)
    • Mayor’s Permit
  • For Single Proprietors:
    • DTI Registration
    • Mayor’s Permit
  • For consultants or specialists:
    • Certified True Copy of Diploma or Certificate of Completion
    • Certificate of Training, Course Completion, or resume
  • For Doctors, Engineers, and other regulated professions:
    • Special Temporary Permit (STP) duly issued by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
  • For Treasure Hunters:
    • Permits from concerned government agencies 
    • Permits issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
  • For commercial models, foreign journalists, trainees, or religious preachers:
    • An endorsement from the Film Academy of the Philippines, Malacañang Press Corps, sponsoring private entities or religious sects respectively.

Procedure to apply for a Special Work Permit:

  • Get a CGAF at the Bureau of Immigration Main Office or from the BI website.
  • Submit accomplished documents for pre-screening or to the officer in charge. 
  • Claim the Order of Payment Slip (OPS) and pay the charge and then submit a copy of the official receipt. 
  • For those with ACR I-Card, check the schedule and the venue for the hearing, the biometrics, and image capturing. 
  • Attend the scheduled hearing and have your photo and fingerprints captured. 
  • Head to the Image and Fingerprint Capturing Counter of the Alien Registration Division (ARD), and submit the requirements for the ACR I-Card application. 
  • Claim the SWP and ACR I-Card.

The process of this application can also vary depending on the needs of each individual’s circumstances and situations.

Alternatively, instead of doing these tedious tasks yourself, you can Contact Us Here, fill out the form below, call us at +63 (02) 8540-9623, or email us at info@tripleiconsulting.com to book an initial consultation with one of our Special Work Permit experts.

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