Real life doesn’t echo the movies, and I’m not just talking about unrealistic romantic expectations. Those scenes where someone buys a plane ticket on the spot and immediately jumps onto the plane? Obviously unreal, as anyone who’s accidentally worn loafers with a leather buckle on them will painfully tell you — as well as anyone who holds a Philippine passport.
Ranking 69th with Georgia on the Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index 2014, the Philippines has access to 62 countries. It doesn’t sound too bad, if you don’t take into account the fact that countries with lower rank are the combative type: China, Egypt, Korea, Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan. If this isn’t throwing shade (not only on our economy standing but general perception), I don’t know what is.
So the solo trip everyone inevitably attempts — that life-changing Eat Pray Love adventure on every bucket list — is hardly a passionate, impulsive decision. I can’t randomly book a flight to Malta because I’ll have to check visa requirements, get ID pictures taken, procure bank statements, make an itinerary, buy insurance, book an appointment… Ugh. The ideal of course is to marry a Swede or a Brit, get a second passport, and be done with it. Unfortunately, not everyone you fall in love with is a citizen of the first world, so visas are a necessary evil.
As a veteran of the last minute visa acquisition (I’ve received a visa in the morning of my evening flight), I’m hardly a role model. But I am always trying to find loopholes in anything, so when I found out that Philippine passports can enter Taipei if they have an existing U.S.A., Canada, Japan, U.K., EU Schengen, Australia, or New Zealand visa, I immediately Googled for a list of countries with similar entry restrictions.
Um, I didn’t find one. So I made my own. (Well my mother told me to, but anyway.)
Please note that you should still check with the appropriate embassy if this information is accurate at the time of your departure. I could be making it up so I can take your seat on the flight.
COUNTRIES THAT PHILIPPINE PASSPORT HOLDERS HAVE ACCESS TO BY EXTENSION
Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and fairly close to Australia are the islands of Tutuila, Manuʻa, Rose Atoll, and Swains. It’s part of the Samoan Islands chain, and as United States territory, requires a US visa upon entry (if you can find your way over there).
Surprise attack! If you’re already within the US on a B2 visa, you can go to Canada as long as it’s within the period specified that you would be in the US: “During your visit to the U.S., you may visit Canada or Mexico for up to 30 days and re-enter the U.S. as long as you re-enter within the period noted on the Form I-94 which you received when you first entered.”
It’s not just Canada — if you’re already within the US on a B2 visa, you can also go to Mexico under the same terms. God bless America. God bless your Filipino relatives who chose to settle in sunny California. “During your visit to the U.S., you may visit Canada or Mexico for up to 30 days and re-enter the U.S. as long as you re-enter within the period noted on the Form I-94 which you received when you first entered.”
Although not declared as part of the Schengen area, the European microstate of Monaco is easy access if you have an existing Schengen visa, considered de facto due to lack of border controls. If not, application for a visa is via your French consulate.
NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
Also a territory of the United States, fifteen islands in the northwestern area of the Pacific Ocean form the Northern Maria Islands. Add Guam, and it becomes the Marian Islands.
One of two commonwealths under the United States, the same visa that gets you into mainland America will also get you into Puerto Rico.
Situated on the Italian Peninsula, the European microstate of San Marino is easy access if you have an existing Schengen visa, considered de facto due to lack of border controls.
“Effective August 08, 2013, Philippine passport holders are exempted from visa and are allowed to stay in the Republic of China (Taiwan) for thirty (30) days provided that they have never worked in Taiwan as blue-collar workers and are currently holding valid visas or permanent resident cards of U.S.A., Canada, Japan, U.K., EU Schengen, Australia and New Zealand. Qualified applicants may register for approval athttps://niaspeedy.immigration.gov.tw/nia_southeast “
44 hectares within the city of Rome is a European microstate known as — of course — the Vatican, also considered de facto to the Schengen area due to lack of border controls.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Also a US territory.
If you don’t have any of the above visas, you can always apply for a Japanese visa. Everyone seems to have one nowadays anyway.