Ever dreamed of wandering the time-warped streets of Havana? Or maybe you always wanted to experience authentic reggae and dub poetry in the streets of Kingston? Or, just lounge around on the gorgeous beaches of Grand Bahama? If you’ve been nurturing grand fantasies of the gorgeous Caribbean islands, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled all you need to know in this ultimate Caribbean visa guide for Filipino travelers just like you!
Antigua and Barbuda
Why visit: Antigua and Barbuda are twin islands sitting right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. While it’s famous for its reef-lined beaches (ideal for snorkeling and diving) and lush jungles for outdoor explorers, its capital city of St. John also offers a bustling, rustic, quintessential Caribbean charm. After a day of sunbathing or strolling around the colonial streets, you can take your pick from its many resorts, catering to every style and level of traveler.
What you need: For a visa to Antigua and Barbuda, Filipinos must submit necessary documents to the nearest Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda. In this case, the choices are Hong Kong or Tokyo. For further inquiries, contact the following numbers:
Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, Hong Kong: (852)2736-8033
Consulate of Antigua and Barbuda, Tokyo: (03)3779-1341
Who is exempt: Filipinos with Permanent Resident status in the US, UK, and Canada; or those with valid US, UK, Canada, and Schengen visas can get a visa on arrival provided they are only there for tourism purposes. For more information, click on this link.
Why visit: It may be most famous for pristine stretches of turquoise waters and Rihanna, but Barbados is also home to a World Heritage capital city, bustling night life, and spectacular surfs. Go for a walk around Bridgetown’s historical streets; enjoy the shopping and the food, before exploring the rugged Barbadian coastlines resting beside pink and white beaches.
What you need: Travelers to Barbados are required to apply for a visa before traveling to the country. Requirements are listed at the Barbados Immigration website. Because Barbados has no embassy in Manila, the closest options are through their embassies in Beijing or Singapore. For more inquiries, call the following numbers:
Consulate of Barbados, Singapore: (65)6557-2759
Embassy of Barbados, Beijing: (86)10-8532-5404
Who is exempt: There is no information on visa exemptions for Filipinos traveling to Barbados
Why visit: It may only be 3.2×32 kilometers in size, but Bermuda packs a punch for every kind of tourist. Its string of islands is surrounded by pristine coral reefs making it one of the most popular diving destinations in the world, while its beaches are covered in white and pink sand. City-side it’s teeming with museums, art galleries, and historical forts on top of the stunning resorts and pulsating night life.
What you need: As of 2014, Bermuda no longer hands out its own visas and therefore do not require Bermuda visas from tourists. However, because flights to Bermuda are all via US, UK, or Canada, Philippine passport holders are required to have a multiple entry visa to the specific country they will be flying from, and are required to present this visa upon landing in Bermuda. The visa must also be valid for up to 45 days after their intended date of departure from Departure.
Who is exempt: Permanent residents of the US, UK, and Canada are free to travel to Bermuda. For more information visit this page.
Why visit: Cuba has been caught in standstill for the past 50 years. The result is a culture unmarred by the sameness of globalization. Stroll down the streets of Havana and feel like you’re still in the era of pirates, except for the vintage cars lining the streets. Outskirts like Trinidad and Camaguey are still lined with cobblestones, with grand squares anchoring the city. And once you’re spent from dancing salsa and trying out daiquiris, there are beaches, jungles, and mountains to choose from to experience every angle Cuba has to offer.
What you need: Cuban visas are required for Filipino citizens, but there are different ways to acquire them. The first and easiest is by buying the visa, or Tourist Card as they’re officially called, from Mexican airlines you’re taking to Havana. You can purchase this just before your flight (make sure to allot enough time for delays) at the airline counters in Mexico City or Cancun. Aeromexico and Interjet are the most popular choices thanks to hassle-free purchases. For more information on how to get a Cuban tourist card in Mexico City or Cancun, click here.
However, if you’re not in possession of a US or Mexican visa which allows you to fly to Mexico, you can also apply for Tourist Card in advance at the nearest Cuban Embassy. In the case of Manila, the closest embassy would be in Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta. For information on requirements and processes, check this page. For Filipinos residing abroad, check out this comprehensive list of Cuban embassy locations.
Who is exempt: There are no exemptions for traveling to Cuba.
Commonwealth of Dominica
Why visit: Of the Caribbean islands, Dominica is probably the least known to foreigners owing to its vast difference from its neighbors. While everywhere else boasts of white sand beaches, Dominica has the Caribbean’s first long-distance hiking trail. Where its neighbors have beach parties and swanky resorts, Dominica caters to hardcore outdoorsmen and staunch nature lovers. Come here to get away from it all, in a quiet piece of paradise still unscathed by the madness of mass tourism.
What you need: Filipinos do not require a visa to enter Dominica provided that they have a return ticket and are not staying in the country for over 21 days. For more information visit this page.
Why visit: The Dominican Republic is one of the most geographically diverse islands in the Caribbean. Here the clear, blue sea merges with rolling fields before meeting with towering mountains. Four of the five highest peaks in the whole region are here, making it a mecca for mountaineers, trekkers, and outdoor lovers alike.
What you need: Philippine passport holders are required to obtain a tourist visa before traveling to the Dominican Republic. For details on requirements and the application process, contact their Consulate General in Manila via these numbers:
Consulate General of the Dominican Republic: (632)810-6546 / (632)810-6548
Who is exempt: Permanent residents of the UK as well as holders of valid visas from the US, Canada, or any European Union country do not need a visa to the Dominican Republic. For more information visit this page.
Why visit: Haiti may be best known for natural disasters that hit the country, but this should never deter anyone from considering this geographically rich nation. From beaches covered in white sand to mountains capped with pine trees, Haiti has a unique and varied landscape even by Caribbean standards. And when you roam the streets of Port-au-Prince? It’s music, laughing children, and happy chatter that fills your ears.
What you need: Visas are not required for Filipinos to travel to Haiti as long as they are not staying for more than 90 days. For more information, visit this page.
Why visit: Between the Rastafarian art lining the streets of Kingston to rich Creole flavors in their food to music seeping through everything in between, Jamaica is a cultural giant that encapsulates “the spice of life”. Whether you dive their reefs, hike their lush mountains, or sit back and watch their dub poets hash it out, Jamaica will fill you with a richness that’s hard to find anywhere else.
What you need: Visas are required to travel to Jamaica. For detailed requirements, check out this list. You can also inquire at their Manila consulate for more information at these numbers:
Consulate General of Jamaica, Manila: (632) 887-5550
Who is exempt: Filipinos who are Permanent Residents of the US and Canada are exempt from the visa requirement. For more information, visit this page
Turks and Caicos Islands
Why visit: Turks and Caicos is known for being one of, if not the, most luxurious of the Caribbean islands. Its resorts are plush, its beaches isolated enough to feel private, and its diving is truly spectacular. But when you do venture out, charming colonial towns await amidst rich jungle landscapes, which lure in tourists with a taste for culture and adventure.
What you need: Though Turks and Caicos is part of the British Overseas Territories, it’s not part of the Commonwealth visa. To acquire a tourist visa from Turks and Caicos, make sure you meet these requirements. For the complete application process, inquire at the British Embassy.
British Embassy, Manila: (632)858-2200
Who is exempt: Permanent Residents or holders of valid visas from the US, UK, and Canada do not require a Turks and Caicos visa to travel to the country. For more information, click here.
BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES
What you need: Filipinos traveling to the British Overseas Territories need a Commonwealth Visa issued by the British Consulate. Follow this link for detailed information on the application process. Filing of application is done through VFS Global, the UK’s visa application center in the Philippines.
Why visit: Anguilla is composed of a small main island and a few islets in the Eastern Caribbean. It’s a British Overseas Territory that’s the epitome of island paradise. Lounge around Rendezvous Bay, a quiet stretch of powder white sand and crystal clear waters, that’s aptly named for couples. Cool down with some of their famous rum-punch and jive to live music and your vacation is made.
Who is exempt: Philippine passport holders with valid UK Visas do not need to apply for a separate visa to Anguilla. Diplomatic passport holders are also exempted from needing a UK Visa to travel to Anguilla. For more information, click here.
Why visit: It’s not all about beaches and white sand in the Bahamas (although there’s a stunning amount of that around). It has a fun and funky side to it as well, with the brightly colored colonial buildings of the capital Nassau, the exciting diving spots and historical cays of the Abacos, the over-the-top Atlantis Paradise Island, to Eleutheria’s long stretches of pink sand beach. There’s plenty to discover within its 700 islands and 2400 cays, whatever mood you’re in.
Who is exempt: Filipino citizens who are Permanent Residents of the US or Canada are not required to obtain a visa for the Bahamas. For more information, click here.
British Virgin Islands
Why visit: The British Virgin Islands may be a celebrity hotspot, but its rustic charm has remained untouched over the years. Quirky bars with pirate ship themes and full moon parties are the hotspot for tourists, but sailing is still one of the biggest draws of the BVI. Come to watch the yacht races and participate in the pomp and pageantry, or choose to cut yourself off completely in one of its 50 islets, where you can recharge to your heart’s content.
Who is exempt: Filipino citizens who hold valid visas or are Permanent Residents of the US, UK or Canada are not required to obtain a visa for the British Virgin Islands provided they will be staying for less than 6 months. For more information, click here.
Why visit: As a favorite destination for cruise ships, the Cayman Islands is almost always occupied by foreigners. The result is a diverse, dynamic, and multi-cultural scene that’s as ever-changing as the powdery sand on its beaches. Apart from diving and watersports, Cayman is also home to lush rainforests teeming with exotic birds in the Sister Islands, gorgeous mountain vistas in the North Side, and streets filled with character in Bodden Town.
Who is exempt: According to Cayman Islands’ immigration department, Filipino citizens who are Permanent Residents of the US, UK or Canada are not required to obtain a visa for the Cayman Islands provided they fly directly from their country of residence. For more information, click here.
Why visit: Grenada is known as the Caribbean’s “Spice Island” thanks to its numerous nutmeg plantations. It’s even said that the smell of nutmeg fills the air the moment you step off the plane. Tropical fruits are also bountiful in this small Eastern Caribbean nation – a perfect match for lazy days on the white sand beaches.
Who is exempt: There’s no information on exemptions for Grenada.
Why visit: Montserrat is perhaps most famous for its Soufriere Hills Volcano, and tourism here revolves around the mountain. Go for a hike or just ogle at it from a distance through observatories. Or, enjoy the country’s black sand beaches – a nice break from all the powder in its neighboring islands.
Who is exempt: While visas are required from all Philippine passport holders, it’s also possible to apply for an e-visa online. This means there’s no need to apply via the British Embassy. For more information, click here.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Why visit: The islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis are a perfect pair. On one hand you have Saint Kitts and its bustling party strip, lively town centers, and historical sights. And on the other you have quaint and quiet Nevis, the haven for nature walks, communing with the outdoors, and lazy days by the beach.
Who is exempt: Just like Montserrat, e-visas are also available for Saint Kitts and Nevis. Start the process here.
Why visit: Saint Lucia is an outdoorsman paradise in the Eastern Caribbean. While small and charming resorts are sprouting at a good pace, its natural wonders remain isolated and free from the crowds of its neighboring countries. The Pitons, for instance, remain one of the country’s biggest draws thanks to its unique topography and sheer magnitude.
Who is exempt: Philippine passport holders may acquire a visa on arrival in Saint Lucia. However, there is still a risk of being refused application. For more information, click here.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Why visit: One of the more untouched nations as the Caribbean islands go, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the place to go if you want to get away from it all. Tourist spots and resorts aren’t as commercialized, and its pristine beaches aren’t as crowded with guests. Come at the right time and you can even have these and all their other wonders all to yourself!
Who is exempt: Filipinos can travel visa-free to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. For more information, click here.
Trinidad and Tobago
Why visit: Trinidad and Tobago may already be touched by modern industry in the way of oil refineries, but its natural beauty remains the country’s dominant trait. Look up to the sky for excellent bird-watching or go underwater for some of the world’s best reefs. If you choose to stay on land, there’s rainforests galore and waterfalls to your heart’s content.
Who is exempt: Filipinos can apply for visa waiver upon arrival to Trinidad and Tobago provided that they have been approved to do so by the country’s Immigration Division in Trinidad. For more information, click here. You may also inquire at the Immigration Division through these numbers:
Immigration Division, Trinidad and Tobago: (868) 625-3571 or (868) 625-3572
KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS
What you need: To visit the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Filipinos need a Caribbean Short Stay Visa issued by the Dutch Embassy. Visit this page to see the requirements. Just like the Schengen Visa, your application must be submitted through VFS Global. Check this page for the VFS Global guidelines.
Who is exempt: If you have Permanent Resident status in the Schengen Area, US, Canada, UK, and Ireland, you are exempt from the Caribbean Short Stay Visa. Likewise, if you have a multiple entry visa for Schengen, UK, and Ireland, you are also exempt from the visa requirement. For more details, check the Netherlands government website by clicking here.
Why visit: This Dutch Caribbean Island may be small, but there’s no shortage of things to do. Thanks to its location, it gets nonstop winds sought after by kitesurfers and windsurfers all year round. The winds also create a unique texture across its more remote beaches and forests. It’s capital city of Oranjestad is also a photogenic mix of Dutch, Spanish, and tribal Venezuelan architecture. And if beach bumming is what you want, Aruba is not one of the most visited Caribbean countries by North Americans for nothing!
Why visit: Feel the bursting culture of Curacao with numerous historical museums, photogenic Dutch colonial architecture, and lively streets. It may be in the Caribbean but it definitely has a distinct European vibe, no different than when you’re roaming the narrow streets of Amsterdam – except here everyone is headed to the white sand beaches.
Why visit: Of Caribbean nations, Sint Maarten is perhaps the most urban in that it’s filled with sprawling buildings, massive resorts, and casinos. This resulted in a dual personality: the country with the commercial tourist trade and the country with the isolated beaches and rugged hikes. In short, you get the best of both worlds here.
FRENCH OVERSEAS DEPARTMENTS
What you need: Philippine passport holders traveling to the French overseas departments and territories need DOM (des Outre-Mer) visa from the French embassy. This is processed through VFS Global, France’s local visa application center, and is separate from a Schengen visa. For requirements and other information, visit this page.
Who is exempt: There are no listed exemptions for Filipinos when traveling to the French overseas departments.
Why visit: This archipelago shaped like a butterfly is just as beautiful up close as it is on the map. Challenge yourself by exploring its dozen islands. Hike along the national parks and ogle at the country’s own volcano. Explore the untouched colonial streets and pretend you’re in a time machine. And when you’ve tried everything, there’s always a little more beach to enjoy.
Why visit: Your quintessential vacation town, Martinique offers a plethora of activities for urban escapists and adventure hunters alike. Go on a food trip or brush up on your culture at the bustling capital. Travel to the outskirts and find yourself on a hike through the rainforests or combing the miles of beaches. Or do both, because that’s what vacations are all about.
US FOREIGN TERRITORIES
What you need: Just like traveling to Guam, Filipinos need a US tourist visa to visit the rest of the US Foreign Territories. This is acquired by applying online and appearing in an interview at the US Embassy. For more details on requirements and the application process, visit the US Embassy website. You can also visit this page for more information.
Who is exempt: There are no exemptions for Filipinos applying for a US visa.
Why visit: Come for the beach, the surf, the diving, and any other outdoor adventure you can think of. But what makes Puerto Rico truly unique is its heritage. Thanks to a deep colonial history, its cities are a blend of European architecture and Caribbean vigor. History buffs and culture vultures will come alive here from the war museums, art galleries and historical sites – in between hikes or sunbathing, of course.
US Virgin Islands
Why visit: Do you want a good beach party? Or maybe you want a good adrenaline rush with wakeboarding? Or maybe you just want to go diving then have a quiet night. Or all of the above? The US Virgin Islands has it all for you, all within a few minutes’ boat ride from each other. But whatever adventure you choose, it’s sure to be filled with fun reggae beats and unique Caribbean spices.
Countries with visa-free entry: Commonwealth of Dominica, Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Countries with visa on arrival: Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago (with prior approval)
Countries with e-visa: Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Countries you can enter with US or Canadian multiple reentry visa: Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos
Countries you can enter with US or Canadian PR card: Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten
Countries you can enter with UK multiple reentry visa: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos
Countries you can enter with UK PR card: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos,
Countries you can enter with Schengen visa: Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Sint Maarten