Before a foreigner commences work in the Philippines, he must first secure an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). However, not all foreigners are required to do so. The following are exempted from securing an AEP:
1. Members of the diplomatic services and foreign government officials accredited by the Philippine government;
2. Officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a cooperating member, and their legitimate spouses desiring to work in the Philippines;
3. Foreign nationals elected as members of the Governing Board who do not occupy any other position, but have only voting rights in the corporation;
4. All foreign nationals granted exemption by special laws and all other laws that may be promulgated by the Congress;
5. Owners and representatives of foreign principals, whose companies are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), who come to the Philippines for a limited period solely for the purpose of interviewing Filipino applicants for employment abroad;
6. Foreign nationals who come to the Philippines to teach, present and/or conduct research studies in universities and colleges as visiting, exchange or adjunct professors under formal agreements between the universities or colleges in the Philippines and foreign universities or colleges; or between the Philippine government and foreign government; provided that the exemption is on a reciprocal basis; and
7. Resident foreign nationals and temporary or probationary resident visa holders employed or seeking employment in the Philippines.
If a foreigner does not fall under any of the categories listed above, then he must secure an AEP. Contrary to popular belief, getting an AEP is quite easy. Although DOLE declared that it only takes twenty-four (24) hours to issue an AEP, in reality, it takes roughly around 1 to 3 weeks for the whole process from application to the issuance of the permit. Nonetheless, it is still relatively fast compared to other permits.
In applying for an AEP, the applicant must submit the following:
• Notarized Application Form;
• 1 x 1 picture
• Photocopy of Passport, with visa;
• Tax Identification Number issued by the BIR;
• Contract of Employment/ Appointment or Board Secretary’s Certificate of Election;
• Photocopy of the SEC or DTI Registration of the employer;
• Photocopy of Mayor’s Permit to operate business or in case of locators in economic zones, Certification from the PEZA or the Ecozone Authority that the company is located and operating within the ecozone; and
• Curriculum Vitae
The original must be produced for authentication purposes only. The initial government fee for a one (1) year AEP is Eight Thousand Pesos (P8,000.00). An additional Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) should be paid for every additional year or a fraction thereof but should not exceed five (5) years.
Upon submission of these documents, the application will be examined. Thereafter, the name, position and employer of the applicant will be published in the newspaper. If all is above board, then the AEP will be issued. Thus, no personal appearance is necessary.
This is how to get an Alien Employment Permit in the Philippines.
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