The Philippines department of foreign affairs has announced that with effect from today, 15th April, 2014, citizens of seven more countries will now have the privilege of entering and staying in that country for a period of 30 days without a visa. The countries afforded/provided such a privilege are Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Croatia and Belize.
This facility and privilege have been granted to these countries to encourage and promote tourism as well as investments from these countries in Philippines. Further, these countries are increasingly becoming economically vibrant nations and playing a key and vital role in the world economy, and also, their bilateral ties with Philippine have also been growing.
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs of Philippines, in a statement said that it wholly supports measures to bring in more tourists and investors into Philippines. The statement also added that its embassies and consulates throughout the world have been playing a key role in helping and assisting the Department of Tourism to reach its goal of getting 10 million foreign tourists into the country.
The decision to provide visa-free travel facility to the nationals of the aforesaid countries was a joint decision of Bureau of Immigration, Department of Tourism, Department of Justice, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Philippines Centre on Transnational Crime and the National Security Council.
But, Somalia has been taken off of the list of countries whose citizens enjoy the privilege of ‘visa-free’ travel. Now, citizens of Somalia who seek to visit Philippines need to apply at the Philippine embassy or consulate wherever they are residing.
The ‘visa-free’ travel facility can be availed of by the nationals of those countries who have been granted this facility by presenting a national passport which has validity for a minimum of six months after their date of arrival into the country (i.e. Philippines). Also, to be provided by the tourist or traveler is his/her return ticket to the country where the national hails from, or his/her ticket which is to his/her onward destination.