Work Permit and Work Visa: A Quick Guide for Expats

July 28, 2021

In 2020, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued more than 100,000 alien employment permits (AEPs) where new applications account for 89.89% and the remaining 10.11% are renewals.

DOLE further details in its Annual Employment Regulation Program 2020 Yearend Report that:

  • 90,650 of foreign nationals issued with AEP are from the sector of Administrative and Support Service Activities
  • Technicians and Associate Professionals from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) dominate the ranking in terms of Occupational Classification, whereby 83,867 or 78.67% foreign applicants were issued with AEP


What is an Alien Employment Permit or AEP?

AEP is the work permit being granted to foreign nationals who have secured an employment contract with a local company in the Philippines.

Every foreign individual who wants to work in the Philippines must secure this from DOLE before the application of work visa (9g). This permit must be applied and secured prior to the start date of employment of the foreigner in any local company.


Major AEP Requirements

A foreign applicant must ensure that prior to the application to DOLE, the following are already available:

  • Application form duly accomplished and signed
  • Photocopy of passport of the Foreign National with valid visa
  • Original copy of Notarized Contract of Employment/Appointment or Board Secretary’s Certificate of Election
  • Certified true copy per page of SEC registration and General information Sheet (GIS) (from SEC)
  • Certified true copy of the Certificate of Business Name Registration in case of sole propreitorships (from DTI)
  • Copy of Certificate of Registration and Authority to Operate as PAGCOR Offshore Gaming Office (POGO), if applicable
  • Proof of publication of the job vacancy/ies in a newspaper of general circulation together with a duly notarized affidavit (not applicable for renewal applications)
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) from BIR (BIR Form 1904 or 1902) or copy of E-TIN registration


For most cases, it is the local employer who sponsors the processing and filing fees of both work permits and work visa for the foreign employee, but this may also vary from one company to another. The processing timeline is also not fixed for AEP application. Generally, from the date of submission, it can take between 3 to 4 weeks before DOLE can release the main output document of the application which is the AEP card.

The AEP can be valid for a period of either one year, two years or three years, depending on the contract signed by both the employer and employee.


The Pre-Arranged Employment Non-Commercial Visa or 9g

According to the Bureau of Immigration website, the 9g visa can be applied by “Foreign nationals who are proceeding to Philippines to engage in any lawful occupation, whether for wages or salary or other forms of compensation”.

This being said, an Alien Employment Permit is useless if the accompanying 9g visa is not applied from the Bureau of Immigration. Unlike in AEP, 9g processing can take approximately between 2 to 3 months from the date of submission to the Bureau of Immigration. There are also more requirements to be required both from the employer and the employee.


Major Requirements of 9g Visa

  • Joint letter request addressed to the Commissioner from the applicant and the petitioner;
  • Duly accomplished CGAF for Non-Immigrant Visa;
  • Photocopy of passport bio-page and latest admission with valid authorized stay;
  • Photocopy of Employment Contract, Secretary’s Certificate of Election, Appointment or Assignment of applicant, or equivalent document, with details of exact compensation, duration of employment and comprehensive description of the nature and scope of the applicant’s position in the company;
  • Photocopy of petitioner’s latest Income Tax Return (ITR) with the corresponding proof of payment (official receipt, bankteller’s validation slip, BIR’s eFPS payment details’ print-out or other similar evidence
  • Company documents such as SEC Registration and Articles of Incorporation if the sponsor company is a corporation; or DTI registration if the employer is a sole proprietorship
  • Photocopy of AEP issued by DOLE and actual publication of the applicant’s approved AEP or in the absence thereof, a Certificate of Publication issued by the Publisher

The validity period of the 9g visa is coterminous with the AEP. Apart from the visa stamp on the foreigner’s passport, the Bureau of Immigration will also issue an order granting the 9G visa and an Alien Certificate of Registration Card or an ACR I-Card.


Are you in need of assistance to apply for AEP and/or 9g? Contact us now. Book an initial consultation with one of our experts by sending an email to or by calling +63 (02) 8540-9623.

DISCLAIMER: The major requirements listed herein may change from time to time without prior notice from the concerned government agencies.

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