Emigration Clearance Certificate or Exit Clearance Certificate
Update April 2015
An Emigration Clearance Certificate [ECC] is needed when leaving the Philippines after a stay of 6 months or more.
Any child, born in the Philippines, but travelling on a Foreign passport, NEEDS an ECC to leave the Philippines. A notice to this effect is on display at a Bureau of Immigration office.
The ECC-A may be secured at the BI Main Office or in select District Offices, Satellite Offices, Field Offices, One-Stop-Shops.
ECC-A is issued to departing holders of Tourist Visas who have stayed for 6 months or more.
The ECC-B may be secured at the BI Main Office or in the airport upon departure.
ECC-B is issued to departing holders of Immigrant and Non-Immigrant visas with valid ACR I-Cards and are leaving the country temporarily.
See also: How Long is the Philippines ECC valid
This WAS the latest information, as at September 13th 2013, on the facts about the Philippines and the Exit Clearance Certificate (ECC).
WOW, after reading many forums I can see that there is a LOT of confusion about this.
Here are the FACTS, from “the horses mouth” as they say.
All Philippines Exit Points were notified of a NEW ruling on the ECC in a memorandum dated September 13th 2013.
Anyone on a visitor visa that has stayed OVER SIX months, MUST apply for an Exit Clearance Certificate BEFORE departure, at the main BI Office, NOT at the airport or regional offices.
All Philippines Immigration Offices have been told to advise anyone that applies for an extension visa taking them over the 6 months limit, about this rule.
This ruling is VERY strict, with disciplinary action against any Immigration Staff member that allows any exemptions.
The ECC being referred to here (ECC-A), relates ONLY to those foreign visitors that have been in the Philippines for 6 months or over. There is a different, less problematic one for those shorter term visitors.
Since 2001, there has been a rule that every visitor, that has stayed for over 6 months, must get an ECC before leaving. Some immigration officers have enforced this, with payment at the airport office, and some have been more relaxed.
But the rules have changed a few times, with the latest one being issued on a memorandum dated September 13th 2013. This I have seen personally, during my interview with the Captain of Immigration at Manila Airport.
It clearly says that anyone having stayed OVER 6 months MUST apply FIFTEEN DAYS in ADVANCE for an ECC at BI Intramuros, Manila.
It was explained to me that they now have no choice, but to enforce this rule without exemption.
Even a new baby, TWO DAYS OLD, was refused exit as they didn’t have the ECC for it.
ALL Philippine Exit Clearance Certificates MUST be applied for at the Bureau of Immigration(BI), Magallanes Drive, Port Area, Intramuros, Manila, (02) 527-3257 or (02) 338-4542
Although the above words are what I saw, I am going to assume that different memos were sent to the other areas, and applications may also be made personally at Davoa and Cebu. But I am NOT 100% certain about that. I do know that they CANNOT be applied for anywhere else in Luzon, other than Intramuros. And that includes anyone coming from Mindoro. (Cebu and Davao are classed as regional offices on some sites I have seen.) Update Nov 2014. Many Offices now do the ECC’s, including Angeles City, Pampanga.
This is an email from the BI after the event:
Please be informed that a temporary visitor with a total length of stay exceeding 6 months shall comply with the regular clearance certificate requirement at the Alien Registration Division, Bureau of Immigration, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila (main office).
- Duly filled-up application form,
- 5 pcs. colored photo (size 2×2 ) white background,
- Photocopy of passport (biopage, latest arrival stamp and visa extension stamp)
- Receipt for payment of appropriate immigration fees
*Please take note that personal appearance is required for fingerprinting.
Express Lane Fee
*Additional fees may be required upon checking of documents
Additional ACR 500.00
For applications filed in the morning, certificates will be released in the afternoon while for applications filed in the afternoon, certificates will be released the following business day. (But still depends on the volume of the applicants)
Please be informed that ECC for tourists may only be applied at the BI main office and the same may not be applied at any international airports.
If you will depart without the ECC, then you will be denied departure or offloaded.
It differs from the Memo given to the Airport Staff in the timeline part.
Memo says: Applications must be made 15 days in advance
Email says: Maybe done on same day, depending on volume.
My personal experience in Nov 2014: It was issued 24 hours after I applied. On my 2nd exit in two years.
The Captain of Immigration at Manila Airport did indicate that Intramuros can fast track special cases in one day.
There is still some confusion, but the bottom line is that things are MUCH tighter on the ECC now, than a few weeks ago.
For visitors OVER 6 Months…
NO ECC means NO TRAVEL
You CANNOT apply and Pay at the AIRPORT, not any more.
This is 99.999% certain (That percentage used, to cover that odd one in a thousand that somehow manages it)
BI Spokesperson Elaine Tan said that based on airport statistics, foreign nationals who failed to present their ECCs comprised 33% of travelers who were denied departure. “It is unfortunate that we have to deny the travel of our foreign friends, but we have to implement the law”, Tan said.
8 April 2015 www.immigration.gov.ph
And don’t forget the 550 pesos (in cash) for the Airport tax. If you don’t have that (in cash), they WILL refuse you exit. I saw it it happening.
Bureau of Immigration Offices and Phone Numbers
BI Main Office. Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila. Tel: (02) 527-5657.
Marquee Mall, Aniceto Gueco St, Angeles City, 2009 Pampanga. (Clark BI office has closed)
BI Regional Office. P Burgos Street, Tribunal, Mandaue City, Cebu. Tel: (032) 345-6442/6443/6444.
BI Regional Office – Davao. BI Building, JP Laurel Ave., Bajada, Davao City, Tel: (082) 300-7258