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10 Countries Filipinos Can Enter with Just 1 Visa (Hint: It’s Not Schengen)

This is the 1st of a series of Visa-related articles brought to you by Ellry. For Philippine passport holders, visa requirements are a necessary evil to enter most countries. We aim to help you get the most of your visas through this guide.

As the United States remains the top tourist destination for most Filipinos, it’s not surprising that the US Embassy approves more than a thousand applications in a day.

But that’s not without the hassle of obtaining strict visa requirements, including paperwork, fees, and maybe even filing a leave to go through the interview.

So once you obtain your US visa, it would be ideal to make the most of the time, effort and money you spent in getting it. Did you know that you can stretch the benefits of your hard-earned US visa by using it to enter other countries? Stretch your vacay to nearby Caribbean or Central American islands, or use it when you visit Taiwan and Eastern European countries.

Some general reminders:

– We use the term ‘Filipinos’ in this post to refer to Philippine passport holders.
– Always ensure that your US visa is still valid at the time of travel.
– Always contact the embassy of each country to clarify entry or visa requirements. While you may use your US visa to enter these countries, they may require you to apply for a Travel Certificate before your arrival or for a visa upon arrival.
– The visa referred to on this article is a tourist visa.
– Moreover, some countries do not have embassies based in Manila, so what you can do is obtain your visa from another Asian country (e.g. Japan, China or India).
– Moreover, ask the Consulate about entry taxes (if any) and any travel advisories related to diseases or crime/violence.

Here are 10 countries Philippine passport holders can visit with a valid US visa:

ASIA

Ran out of funds while in the US? Scratch the travel itch by going to nearby Taipei with the use of your US visa.

1. Taiwan

Why Visit: Aside from good Chinese cuisine, Taiwan is also a must-visit for its beautiful mountains and busy night markets. Every major city has at least one night market, all of them worth visiting to try local specialty snacks and shop for souvenirs. The country is also tourist friendly – English signages, orderly, cheap and timely subways; clean restrooms and rentable bikes are located all around the city.

Taiwan market
Photo by calshutter / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa can stay in Taiwan visa-free, for up to 30 days. Visitor must apply for a Travel Authorization Certificate before entry to Taiwan. For more details, visit this link.

How to get there: Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines have direct flights from Manila to Taipei, Taiwan.

CARIBBEAN

Extend your US trip by hopping to the Caribbean islands of Belize or Dominican Republic.

2. Belize

Why visit: Belize is the only Central American country whose national language is English, although Belizean Creole and Spanish are also commonly spoken. With one foot in the Central American jungles and the other in the Caribbean Sea, Belize may be small but it’s packed with adventure and culture. You can be snorkelling in the Belize Barrier Reef or the famed Great Blue Hole one day, and hiking a jungle the next.

Belize sea
Photo by dronepicr / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with US multiple entry visa may obtain a visa on arrival in Belize. For further details, contact the Consulate of Belize in Manila: lee@rjdelpan.com.ph / (+632) 522-0066 or 338-8305.

How to get there: Belize is a 2-hour flight from the USA. You can fly direct from Miami, LA, Houston and North Carolina. You can also hop from USA-Mexico-Belize. Water taxis depart from Chetumal, Mexico to Belize: http://www.belizewatertaxi.com/book-now

3. Dominican Republic

Why visit: Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s most geographically diverse countries. It offers stunning mountain scenery, desert scrublands, colonial architecture, and dozens of pristine beaches. Alongside nature, it also offers arguably the best nightlife and entertainment in the Caribbean, with a wide range of trendy bars, discos, casinos and restaurants. Many say it’s the Caribbean version of New York.

Nightlife and entertainment in Dominican Republic
Image Source
Beach in Dominican Republic
Photo by noelizdiaz / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa may enter Dominican Republic with a Tourist Card. To apply, visit this link.

How to get there: Dominican Republic is a 2.5-hour flight from the USA. The cheapest and most frequent flights depart from Miami and New York, landing at the cities of Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Santiago.

LATIN AMERICA

Use your US Visa to do a Latin American roadtrip, jumping from US to Mexico-Belize-Guatemala-El Salvador-Honduras and finally, Nicaragua. Their neighbors Costa Rica and Colombia are visa-free countries for Filipinos, allowing you to cover 8 countries in total in this region.

4. Mexico

Why visit: Mexico is a one-of-a-kind destination because of all its variety. You can stay in luxury resorts on the Riviera Maya, or choose the humbler beach huts on the Pacific. You can eat sensational, chilli-laden food in chic city restaurants or indulge in equally delicious meals at a busy market comedor. You can basically experience Mexico a variety of ways — stroll along colonial streets in Guanajuato, enjoy beach parties in Cancun, hike mountain clouds in Oaxaca, or explore Mayan ruins in Tulum. In Mexico, the possibilities are endless.

Colonial street in Mexico
Photo by Bud Ellison / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa may enter Mexico visa-free and stay for 180 days. For further details, refer to this link.

How to get there: Distances in Mexico can be huge, so the best way to get from the US is still through air. Flights from major cities fly direct to Mexico City, or to a lesser extent, Guadalajara.

5. Guatemala

Why visit: Guatemala is a hiker’s haven. It has remarkable Mayan ruins that can rival Mexico’s, most famous of which is the Tikal. It has about 25 volcanoes as well, some of them still active, but despite the occasional activity, Guatemala’s volcanoes are usually in places that offer spectacular views. Lastly, it’s home to the Chichicastenango, a colourful Mayan city most famous for its markets.

Mayan ruins in Guatemala
Photo by verovera / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa may obtain a visa on arrival in Guatemala and stay for up to 90 days. For further details, contact the Guatemalan Embassy in Japan: http://www.mofa.go.jp/ / embguate@vega.ocn.ne.jp / + 03-3400-1830.

How to get there: There are direct flights from Miami, LA, Washington and Dallas. The shortest flight is 2.5 hours, from Miami. You can also hop from Belize to Tikal, Guatemala by flying direct or by rental car.

6. El Salvador

Why visit: El Salvador remains the least visited Central American country. It’s still overshadowed by its more famous neighbors Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama, which means you’ll rarely find tourist traps here. Some of the best surfing in the world can be found here, with the port city of La Libertad as the epicentre. For those who don’t like the water, a series of volcanoes (22 in all, some of which are still active) run right through the middle of the country.

Surfing in El Salvador
Photo by elchurro / CC BY
El Salvador volcano
Photo by canadianveggie / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa can enter El Salvador visa-free for a stay of up to 90 days. For further details contact the El Salvadoran Embassy in Japan: +045-224-8022 and look for Mr. Maekawa Hiroyuki.

How to get there: El Salvador is a 50 minute flight from Guatemala. There are no direct flights from the US to El Salvador, but there are 1 to 2-stop flights from most major US cities like New York, Miami and Texas.

7. Honduras

Why visit: Honduras has the highest percentage of English speaking population in Central America. In addition to this, it is the only Central American country whose infrastructure for tourism was developed in the Carribean, making it easy to travel from the city to the world-renowned snorkelling and diving spots of Bay Islands either via ferry or a short plane ride.

Honduras beach
Photo by John Colby / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa may obtain a visa on arrival in Honduras and stay for up to 90 days. For further details, contact the Honduran Honorary Consulate in Manila: idhiports@yahoo.com / r_zosa@pldtdsl.net / (+632) 634-5708.

How to get there: You can fly direct from El Salvador to Honduras, via 3 routes. From the US, you can fly from Miami, New York, Washington, Texas and San Francisco.

8. Nicaragua

Why visit: After decades of political turmoil, Nicaragua is now safer and open to tourists. It’s filled with undisturbed beaches and eco-conscious hotels, and is home to the Paris of Central America, the sleepy colonial town of Granada. Nicaragua’s first private airport opened in 2015 and is already open to direct flights from several US cities.

Nicaragua tourist spot
Photo by Javier Losa / CC BY
Nicaragua community
Photo by BORIS G / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa may obtain a visa on arrival in Nicaragua and stay for up to 90 days. For further details, contact the Nicaraguan Embassy in Manila:  consuladodenicaragua@gmail.com.

How to get there: You can fly direct from Honduras to Nicaragua, via 4 routes. From the US, direct flights depart from Atlanta, Miami and Houston.

EASTERN EUROPE

Travelling to Europe? Travail the mountain ranges and sleepy towns of these two Balkan countries, even if they’re not covered with your Schengen visa. You can do so with the use of your US visa!

9. Albania

Why visit: Albania has just gotten back on its feet 20 years since the end of a particularly brutal strain of communism in 1991. Considering its proximity to Greece and Italy, it offers the same beautiful Mediterranean weather, immaculate coastlines, mountain ranges, and archaeological sites, without the crowds. As a developing country, it also offers affordable lodging and food at prices you will not see anywhere in Europe.

Albania mountain ranges
Photo by Rob Hogeslag / CC BY
Albania coastline
Photo by Avisionn Photo / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa can enter Albania visa-free. For further details, contact the Albanian Embassy in China: http://www.ambasadat.gov.al/china/en / embassy.beijing@mfa.gov.al / +8610 65321120.

How to get there: There are 9 airlines that fly to Albania via Istanbul, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi, Milan, Munich and Frankfurt. Two or three boats per day also travel between Saranda and Corfu, in Greece. From Italy, there are ferries travelling from four ports – Ancona, Bari, Brindisi or Trieste.

10. Montenegro

Why visit: Its name might trick you into thinking that it’s a country in South America, but it’s actually one of the oldest European states. The underrated tourist destination is home to Sapphire beaches like Croatia’s, mountain ranges like Switzerland’s and towns as old as Greece’s. It’s a small country, so you can easily fit it into your European roadtrip.

Montenegro beaches
Photo by Peter Fenda / CC BY
Montenegro mountain ranges
Photo by Trish Hartmann / CC BY

How to use your US Visa: Filipinos with a valid US visa can enter Montenegro visa-free. For further details, contact the Embassy of Montenegro in Japan: kenji.otsubo@verizon.net / +81 3-5510-5511.

How to get there: Flights to Montenegro are in pretty short supply, but Montenegro Airlines (www.montenegroairlines.com) flies to Podgorica and Tivat (near Kotor) from several European destinations. You can also ride a ferry from Italy through the port of Bari.

Main Photo by Aurimas / CC BY

 

56 thoughts on “10 Countries Filipinos Can Enter with Just 1 Visa (Hint: It’s Not Schengen)”

  1. hello,
    this is interesting.. very informative and i guess there are more countries that is easy to enter with US visa.
    just a question… what kind of US visa you are pertaining to? is it tourist visa? migrant?
    and by the contacts that you gave are from different embassies in different countries.. heheh it be all in Phil.. hehe
    but otherwise this is a good read.

    1. Hi there! This is for a tourist visa and the embassies are not all from Manila because as stated in the article ‘Some countries do not have embassies based in Manila, so what you can do is obtain your visa from another Asian country (e.g. Japan, China or India).’ Glad you enjoyed the article!

    2. You can use any US Visa like a Business / Tourist Visa (B1/B2), a Transit Visa (C-1), a Trader Visa (E-1) an Investor Visa (EB-5), a Student Visa (F-1) or even a Working Visa (H-1B). The company I used to work for in the Caribbean has some Filipino Engineers and Office staff in Guatemala using C-1 Visas.

  2. so true! i’ve used my US tourist visa to enter nicaragua and panama last year. just make sure to give them a photocopy and proof of exit within the 90 day period. costa rica, colombia and peru just asks for your filipino passport 🙂

  3. Hi.
    Good article. In addition, apart from other quite a few more, you can also enter turkey with a valid US Visa, you can just apply online for an e-visa prior to your trip and use it to enter. 🙂 keep it up xx

    1. Hi Dee, this is great! More countries are always better for us. Thanks for this additional tip and we’ll definitely check it out.

    2. Hi Dee

      for Turkish visa , you need to apply online for e-visa and pay.
      I think the above article informed us that we can use US visa to those country without applying visa and pay. except for Taiwan, need to apply online but free.

      Happy Trip 🙂

    3. Hello I come across this response and strike me because I’ve been browsing the web for an article regarding Philippine passport holders with valid US tourist visa if I qualify for an e visa for Turkey for my long lay over in Istanbul. Can you please enlighten me. Thanks

        1. Still way better. Coz without a valid US visa, you will have to go through the traditional way of submitting your application to the Turkish embassy in Manila.

      1. Hi Jane.

        Indeed true. You can enter Turkey using your VALID US Visa. I was in Turkey in 2015 using my US visa.

        Cheers!

  4. Thanks for the info! I already went to Mexico City using my US visa last September 2014. But you also have to take note that some countries require tickets from and to the United States if you go there, like Mexico (depends on the immigration officer I’m told). Because they might suspect you of being a drug mule if you go Mexico then some other Latin American country like Guatemala or Colombia. No need to pay anything. They automatically give you 30 days if you have a valid, multiple-entry visa. Also, it must be the 10 year multiple entry visa B1/B2.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips, Matt!

      You can also get more information about how to enter Mexico on the link provided in the article. It states there ‘Other nationalities, Non-US Permanent Residents. Starting May 1st, 2010, all those foreign nationals, regardless of their nationality, visiting Mexico for tourist, business or transit matters won’t need a Mexican visa as long as they have with them a valid and not expired USA visa in the passport. In this context, if you have a valid US visa in the passport you do not need to obtain a Mexican visa.’. The B1/B2 info was not provided although we highly encourage our readers to call embassies first to verify information before traveling.

      With regards to having a round trip ticket USA-MEX, it was also not stated Mexican Consulate website and from personal experience, I was not asked for it although again, please verify with the respective embassies 🙂

    2. I got 180 days in MX using my US visa. Probably I was just lucky, but no one in the immigration asked me for a return ticket to US upon entering MX.

  5. Thanks for this information. My work has taken me to 6 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is worth noting that you can also enter Panama with a valid US visa. Also, if you are already in that part if the world, Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador allow entry for Filipinos without requiring a visa. You would need a visa though if you will transit through the US.

  6. I also used my US B1/B2 multiple entry visa to SERBIA. You can stay maximum 90 days there. You may check the complete information online.

    Also check GEORGIA (not the US). Just check their website for all the details.

    And I agree with DEE, we can enter TURKEY too! But you have to secure an online e-visa.

  7. I wonder if this is the latest ruling as I had acquired a b1/b2 multiple entry visa but when I went to Taiwan i still secured a Taiwan visa in 2005 and schengen visa to tour around Eastern Europe in 2008 my US visa is valid until 2012 at that time

    1. Hi Abbey, which ruling are you pertaining to? For Taiwan, you can secure a Travel Authorization Certificate (link provided in the article). For Eastern Europe, you can only use your US visa in Albania and Montenegro. If you passed through other Schengen or Eastern European countries before heading to Albania or Montenegro, that would be the reason you needed a Schengen visa.

  8. Nice article. Just want to know if it’s possible, having a valid US tourist visa, to just go straight to any of these countries without passing thru the US? Thanks

    1. Hi Joel, passing through US before going to the countries on the list was not mentioned as a requirement when we contacted their respective embassies; although, I recommend that you contact the embassy of the country you would like to visit before heading there 🙂

    2. Hi Joel,

      I have been straight to Mexico and Albania using my valid US visa and everything went well.

      No need to pass thru the US borders if you have plans of visiting those mentioned countries.

  9. Thank you very much. I have been wanting to find out how I can go to Montenegro. I did try to send an email to the email address that you posted but I have not received any response. Can you please confirm that this is the correct person to send emails to about visa inquiries in order to enter Montenegro? I do have an existing and vaild B1/B2 US visa.

  10. Hi – my husband & children with grandson are planning to go to Taiwan on a vacation. I am the only one who has a valid US visa. It says in your article that I have to go to the link mentioned but unfortunately I cannot. Please help me on this as I wanted further more info on my part. I know my companions have to apply for a Taiwan visa and they will doing it as a group. What about me? I admit that I am not a computer savvy ….. I would often go to google and type what I am searching so please help me as to what link do I have to go. Thanks.

  11. My daughter has a Philippine passport and a US Visa. She is coming for a visit which coincides with my trip on a Mediterranean cruise. If she comes with me, what visas should she obtain and from where does she get them?
    We are going to Greece, Italy, Croatia, Monte Carlo, etc.

  12. Thank you. Your blog is very informative and helpful!!! Planning to visit some of the countries mention above on my next vacation.

  13. Aren’t Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand included in the list of countries you can visit using only valid US visa (if you’re a Phil passport holder)?

    1. Hi Emelita, you have to apply to them separately as they do not accept US visa to enter their country if you’re a Philippine passport holder

  14. Hello my mom and I have philippine passport and we just got our b1 b2 us visa for 10 years . We are going to miami fo cruised and then disembark in belize. And stay there for 30 days? My partner is working there Can we used our us visa to enter belize? Or do we still need to go to belize embassy in manila to get our visa?
    A little bit help please.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Heidi, I called Belize embassy early this year and they said you can enter Belize with your US visa. Better call the contact number to make sure the same rule applies. I entered Belize last May 2016 with my US visa 🙂

  15. how about bahamas? using your multiple entry US visa? i read one blog she said she was able to use her US visa however upon checking other websites specifically bahamas stuff the sites say we need visa… kindly enlighten me thanks a bunch guys

    1. You may contact the Bahamas Embassy in China via info@bahamasembassy.cn and 011-86-106532-2922. We were informed that Filipinos who hold a Canadian or US Permanent Residency do not need a visa. They did not inform us that US tourist visas are allowed for entry to Bahamas.

      1. Thanks a bunch
        Yeah thats what i researched din
        too bad but at least Turks&Caicos we can 👍 Im excited ❤️😍

        If on a cruise ship (bahamas) ” i think” no need for visa if it is less than 24 hours (kindly double check n lng guys hehe)

        Enjoy traveling guys

  16. Would there be an issue in the US immigration if I enter these countries via US and then return again to the US and go through immigration and exit back to the Philippines? With this setup, I will be entering US immigration twice.

  17. Hi Ellry, you can add Korea to that list. When I was on route to US, i had my layover in Korea and I was able to enter the country using my B1 (Business) US Visa.

    Now, I’m wondering if I can still use my single entry US Visa to the countries you mentioned in the list as it hasn’t expired yet.

    1. Hi Kar, thanks for this! South Korea allows only layover and it requires that the traveler has a return ticket to their country within a certain amount of hours.

  18. 2 additional info:
    – you can also enter Panama using your US visa
    – when you enter Colombia, an exit ticket is normally required. but with your US visa, this requirement is waived

  19. Puerto Rico works too. Of course, technically PR is US territory.

    How about a list of those where Filipinos don’t need a visa? Like Costa Rica, Vanuatu, etc.

  20. How about Japan? Can I use my US tourist valid visa to enter japan?

    Nice blog btw, very helpful. I hope more to come 🙂 keep it up!

  21. Wow! This blog is awesome! Lots of important information when traveling. Thanks all for this! Keep it up and God bless you all!

  22. Thanks guys! Very helpful information indeed. Glad to know that Panama accepts Pinoy with valid US visa. Please Keep this blog updated as other countries not initially mentioned here may open up their borders to discerning Filipino travelers.

  23. I’ve been all over carribean. From near as the bahamas to as far as st. Lucia. I will advise u guys that the best place in thr carribean is “Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire and St. Maarten”

    Nothing special and not much to do in “Belieze, Honduras especially dominican republic”. The people are rude and its quite dangerous, as people try to ‘hustle’ you if you don’t speak n understand spanish.

    Being spanish as my 4th language, I managed to avoid that and I sincerely hope that this will be of use to you, my fellow kababayans.

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