Debunked: Philippines’ issuance of ‘residency permits’ to foreigners

May 28, 2019 - 4:29 PM
Foreigners in a beach
Foreigners visiting Cuatro Islas in Leyte. (Philippine News Agency/File photo)

A popular social media post has spread false information about the issuance of a supposed residency permit in the Philippines for foreigners who want to stay in the country for a long period.

Twitter user @girlbehindthisb shared that the Philippine government is purportedly issuing a certain “permit” to foreigners.

The user claimed it is called the “Permesso di Soggiorno (permit of stay)” which is roughly translated from Italian to “residency permit.”


The “Permesso di Soggiorno,” however, is a residency permit for foreigners issued by the Italian government and not by the Philippines.

It is required for foreigners who want to stay in Italy for more than three months.

“Kaya kilangan din magkaroon ng mga document ng mga strangers para hindi lang basta nakakapasok ang droga sa bansa natin. Daming Chinese na nakikinabang,” she wrote in a thread.

Despite her intentions, other Twitter users called her out for spreading false information on a serious matter.


The legal requirements for visiting or staying in Italy depends on a foreigner’s citizenship, according to a global expat network.

If a foreigner plans to stay in Italy for more than three months, he is considered a resident.

A foreign resident must secure either a “Permesso di Soggiorno” (a permit to stay), a “Certificato di residenza” (certificate of registration) or a “Permesso di Soggiorno per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo” (long-term residence permit).

If he is from a country that is part of the European Union (EU), he needs to secure a “Certificato di residenza” or a certificate of registration.

If he is from a country that is not part of the EU, he must secure a “Permesso di Soggiorno” or a resident permit. It has an expiry date but it is renewable and issued (with varying durations of validity) for the first five years of one’s residence in Italy.

If the foreigner has a residence permit in Italy for more than five years already and earns a minimum income, he is supposed to secure a “Permesso di Soggiorno per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo” or a long-term residence permit.

How about the Philippines? 

Foreigners are legally allowed to stay in the Philippines for up to 30 days. The extension of their stay, however, depends on whether or not they hold a Philippine visa.

A Philippine visa is required from foreigners who came from countries that do not have bilateral relations with the Philippine government.

For foreigners from countries with bilateral relations to the Philippines, they are not required to have a Philippine visa.

According to a memorandum circular issued by the Bureau of Immigration, a non-visa holding foreigner can extend his stay for up to 36 months.

A foreigner with a Philippine visa, on the other hand, can stay for up to 24 months.

The count starts from the date of their latest recorded arrival in the Philippines.

Foreigners who desire to extend their stay from the maximum allowable period mentioned are supposed to acquire an appropriate visa or permit from the Bureau of Immigration.

Otherwise, they will be tagged for overstaying and run the risk of being blacklisted by the bureau with the exemption of certain circumstances, such as the consideration of their “Filipino lineage, medical condition, minority and analogous circumstances.”