Foreigners should stick to purpose for which their visa is issued

Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Can a foreigner who is only on a tourist visa be deported from the Philippines assuming he is engaged in a business? What other circumstances may cause the deportation of a foreigner?

Dear Maricel,

A foreigner who comes to the Philippines on a tourist visa is presumed that he or she will merely travel around, explore and visit different parts of the country for purposes of leisure and relaxation. This is the reason why tourist visa holders are only given the privilege to stay in the country for a limited number of days.

Tourist visa holders are not allowed to go beyond the purpose for which their visa was issued. In particular, they are not permitted to engage in any form of employment or business as it will run contrary to the very nature of the privilege given them when they entered the country. If a foreigner desires to work in the Philippines or engage in a business, he or she must first secure the appropriate working or business visa or permit. Otherwise, this foreigner may be subjected to deportation proceedings. It is clearly provided for under Section 37 of Commonwealth Act 613, or The Philippine Immigration Act of 1940: “(a) The following aliens shall be arrested upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration or of any other officer designated by him for the purpose and deported upon the warrant of the Commissioner of Immigration after a determination by the Board of Commissioners of the existence of the ground for deportation as charged against the alien: x x x (7) Any alien who remains in the Philippines in violation of any limitation or condition under which he was admitted as a non-immigrant; x x x”

A foreigner may also be deported if he or she: (a) enters the Philippines by means of false and misleading statements or without inspection and admission by immigration authorities; (b) enters the Philippines despite not being lawfully admissible at the time of entry; (c) is convicted in the Philippines and sentenced to a term of one year or more for a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years after his entry into the Philippines, or who, at any time after such entry, is so convicted and sentenced more than once; (d) is convicted and sentenced for a violation of the law governing prohibited drugs; (e) practice of prostitution or participation thereof; (f) becomes a public charge within five years after entry from causes not affirmatively shown to have arisen subsequent to entry; (g) believes in, advises, advocates or teaches the overthrow by force and violence of the Government of the Philippines, or of constituted law and authority, or disbelieves in or is opposed to organized government or who advises, advocates or teaches the assault or assassination of public officials because of their office, or who advises, advocates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property, and the like; (h) engages in profiteering, hoarding or black-marketing; (i) is convicted of any offense penalized under the Revised Naturalization Laws of the Philippines, or any law relating to acquisition of Philippine citizenship; (j) defrauds creditors by absconding or alienating properties to prevent them from being attached or executed; or (i) commits any of the prohibited acts enumerated under Sections 45 and 46 (Section 37, Commonwealth Act 613).

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to


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1 Comment

  1. I would like to disagree, we shall take the US Visa B1/B2 parallel to the Philippines tourist Visas.
    First you must define “engaged in business” is this something with permanency or carrying the business of his main office in the country like a month of auditing, inspection, or importation following the trail of the imported goods and for how long did the tourist stayed in the Philippines.
    Relating to the National Internal Revenue Code, when a tourist holder for the duration of the tourist visas conduct some businesses and in the definition of the Internal Revenue Code his stay is not over 100 days and thereafter return to his port of origin the tourist visa suffices. Internal Revenue Code description is an nonresident alien doing business in the Philippines for less that 120 days, to repeat a tourist visas is just right.

    US B1/B2 visas popular referred as tourist visas may be used for travel to the US for short study, attend meetings, seminars, trainings, businesses like importations as long as the duration does not go beyond 6 months, the B1/B2 visas the correct visa.