In accordance with Republic Act No. 9174, pursuant to Republic Act No. 6768, known as the “Balikbayan” Program, a “balikbayan” is defined as the following:

  • A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year;
  • A Filipino overseas worker; or
  • A former Filipino citizen and his or her family, who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines.


The eligible participant or the principal “balikbayan” in the program shall be entitled to tax-exempt maximum purchase in the amount of One Thousand Five Hundred U.S. Dollars (U.S.$1,500.00) or its equivalent in Philippine Peso and in other acceptable foreign currencies at all government-owned and –controlled/operated duty-free shops.

In addition to the above-cited privilege, the “balikbayan” and family members (foreign spouse and minor children) who are foreign passport holders are allowed visa-free entry to the Philippines for a maximum stay of one (1) year from the date of their arrival in the country and each time they enter the country, but only when traveling together with the principal “balikbayan.”

To avail of this privilege, the principal “balikbayan” must present any of the following:

  • Old Philippine passport or Philippine Birth Certificate
  • Foreign naturalization papers to show former Philippine citizenship; or
  • Certification from adopted country

In case of qualified family members of the “balikbayan,” the following should be presented:

  • Birth certificate, in case of children
  • Marriage certificate, in case of spouse
  • Adoption papers, in case of legally adopted children

For more information on the benefits and privileges of the Balikbayan Program, please click:

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