Oct 31 2014

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Requirements for an ECC – Exit Clearance Certificate

Requirements for an ECC

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) has stated that the following are needed to get an ECC – Exit Clearance Certificate (also called Emigration Clearance Certificate)

  • Completed application forms. (They supply numerous forms for you to fill in !!)
  • 6 pcs. colored photo (size 2×2 ) white background. (NOTE: SIX were needed, not the FIVE that web sites say.
  • Photocopy of passport (3 Pages: biopage, latest arrival stamp and last visa extension stamp).
  • Photo of both sides of Alien Certificate of Registration ACR card. (Must be Current NOT Expired)
  • Photocopy AND Original of the Receipt for payment of last visa extension fees.
  • A personal appearance is required for fingerprinting, both electronic scanning and manual ink, and photograph.

There are various forms available for download at: http://immigration.gov.ph/index.php/downloads/application-forms but… not for the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) as it is now called.

Philippines BI Forms

More Information on the Exit Clearance Certificate

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.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.in-philippines.com/requirements-for-an-ecc-exit-clearance-certificate/


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  1. Faisal

    Hi!i arrive here to the philippinw in 9 octobre 2016 with my wife filipina i get balikbayan visa after expire one year i convert balikbayan visa to tourist visa extend one month so i want to exit from the philippine before my visa will expire in 9 november do i need ECC??

    1. admin

      If the immigration officer sees you have been in Philippines for over 6 months, and on a visitor visa, they will want to see an ECC.

      If you leave while the Balikbayan is current then an ECC is not required.

      It is posibble that they may allow you to leave without an ECC in your case, but I would get one just in case.
      Being refused boarding is not something you want to risk.

  2. Hasegawa,

    Goodday Sir, i just want to ask about the ECC of my daughter, she is a Filipino-Japanese born here in Phil.I am planning to fetch her a few months from now to live with us here in Japan.I got her Japanese passport and adviced by the Embassy of Japan Manila to secure an ECC frm BI. She do not have a Philippine passport yet and we are set to travel using only her Japanese passport. it is also her 1st time to travel abroad.She is now 6months old so since we as parents cannot attend to process the ECC for her can i ask my brother as her guardian to process it for me? what are the required papers to be shown at the BI in order for the gaurdians to get the ECC? We are originally from Bacolod city, do the the Immigration Field-Bacolod provides ECC?

    1. admin

      I would suggest the guardian contact the nearest BoI and check the requirements. My experience has been that the actual requirements can vary from those listed on the website.

      By checking locally you can reduce the chances of getting it wrong, and ensure you follow the local procedure.

  3. Tony Akins

    I arrived last month in Cebu City with a month Visa and will need an extension for two months. Visa is still good for two weeks. Can I go to Mactan office for Visa Extension? How many 2 x 2 pictures do I need? Do I need to make photo copies of some pages in my U.S. passport? How much is the cost of two months extension?

    1. admin

      The costs are indicated at http://www.in-philippines.com/philippines-visitor-visa-extension-cost/

      The Gaisano Mactan Island office do visa extensions according to the last information that I had.
      I did one there myself some years ago.

      I would do 6 photos and 2 copies of passport pages. To be on the safe side.

  4. Christopher Johnson

    Good evening.

    I arrived in the Philippines on the 24th of May, and will leave on the 23rd of November, when my 6-month tourist visa expires.

    That is one day short of 6 calendar months.

    Will I need an ECC or not?

    Thank you,

    Christopher Johnson

    1. admin

      As long as you have no real delays you should be ok without the ECC.

  5. ces

    may i know if i need to visit your main office in manila to secure for an ECC for my son who is a 10 month old or can i visit your branch here in cagayan de oro city instead..

    1. admin

      Cagayan de Oro Immigration District Office is listed as being able to do the Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), among others.

      Cagayan de Oro Immigration District Office
      Door 7, Ground Floor, YMCA Building, Julio Pacana Street, Cagayan De Oro.
      Tel: (088) 880-1824


  6. Kevin

    Hi. The last stamp in my passport is balikbayan good for one year stay back in year 2000. The only document I have is my order of recognition dated 1994. Will I be able to get ECC using that document only and eventually travel back to the US? I only have a US passport.

    1. admin

      I am unsure what you mean by “order of recognition”. However. if you have been in the Philippines without a valid visa since the balikbayan expired in 2001, then you need to pay for all missed visas, and other normally required things such as the ACR-I cards, plus all penalties.

      To get an ECC you NEED a valid visa and a valid ACR-I card.

      1. Kevin

        The order of recognition is a document which states that they recognize me as a filipino citizen wherein I should be issued an Identification Card and also an ECC if I will depart from the PH using a foreign passport. I’ve been going back and forth to the BoI office, all they have done was to pass my inquiry from different floors to different windows.

        1. admin

          If the BoI can’t decide what is right, and whether to give you an ECC, that is a problem. I would try to get one anyway, as the Immigration officer at the airport is the one who makes the final decision. And if they decide you need one…. well, you don’t fly till you sort it out.

  7. Paul

    Hi Myself Paul a valid work visa holder valid till July 2018, I came in Philippines this June 2016 so if I want to leave philippines temporarily on a vacation do I need ECC and do I need a return ticket also as a proof that I will return back. Kindly assist.

    1. admin

      You should not need a return ticket, to show you are coming back, only to actually travel.

  8. Romeo Loh

    Hi Admin, I had a Alien Certificate of Registration(Yellow Card) under Temporary Visitor, which expired on 08 Oct 2016. I arrived in Philippines on 29 June 2016, and going to leave by this week. Do I need to apply for ECC? Hope to get the reply as soon as possible as I’m gonna buy a flight ticket.

    1. admin

      An Emigration Clearance Certificate [ECC] is needed when leaving the Philippines after a stay of 6 months or more.

      1. Romeo Loh

        Hi Admin, thanks for the reply so soon!
        But actually I got downgraded my CEZA during the current visit. Do I fall under the circumstances below?
        1- Holders of expired or downgraded Immigrant or Non-Immigrant Visas;
        2- Holders of valid Immigrant or Non-Immigrant Visas but are leaving for good;

        And another question, can I do the ECC in MAKATI IMMIGRATION EXTENSION OFFICE, instead of the head office?

        Many thanks for your reply!

  9. Jessie

    I hope someone can give me some advice. I have a 9G work visa (granted in March; prior to that I had a tourist visa stamped December 2015) – do I need an Emigration Clearance Certificate to travel out of the Philippines?

  10. Kim

    Hi, i just want to know if i need ecc for my baby 9mos old travelling to korea with phil passport and korean passport. What is more convenient to make for our travel please neef your advice

    1. admin

      If a person of any age travels only a Philippine Passport they do not need an ECC.

      But in 2014 I was personally told by Immigration at Manila airport that even babies travelling on foreign passports need the ECC, and of course up to date valid Visas, to be able to board the plane. The immigration officer felt it was wrong, but had to follow the rules. Maybe one day it will change, but until then, you need to go to the BoI and arrange it in advance.

  11. recel

    good day there in phil.i just wanted to ask if how much the ECC cost for the 9 months old baby bcoz i was trying to let my half sister and my mom to get him a phil.passport but the DFA say that they cant as in his live birth im still single…and our marriage certificate wasnt recognized there in the phil.bcoz my husband,the father of my son dnt want that we will report our marriage there in the phil.embassy here in US.thank for answering my question and have a nice day and God bless

    1. admin

      I would estimate up to about 30,000 pesos to cover all Visa costs and penalties to date, including the eventual ECC.

      The BoI will confirm exact figures. It would be interesting if you could let us know after you get this done.

  12. Ron

    Hello and good day, does a balikbayan holder (visa) needed to obtain a Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) prior to leaving the Philippines after staying in the country for 6 months or more? Thank you.

    1. admin

      I have read in quite a few places that a balikbayan does not need an ECC if they leave within the validity of the balikbayan stamp.

      Also, reading the rules on who needs one, at http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/emigration-clearance-certificate-ecc, it would appear that a person in the Philippines on a balikbayan is not included in that list.

  13. hazelyn baldado

    good day,……if I have student visa, it is that no need for me to get Photocopy AND Original of the Receipt for payment of last visa extension fees?
    I’m confused if I have student visa I will show that when filling foe ECC. which is which?
    please,help me.

  14. hazelyn baldado

    if I have student visa, it is that no need for me to get Photocopy AND Original of the Receipt for payment of last visa extension fees?
    I’m confused if I have student visa I will show that when filling foe ECC. which is which?
    please,help me.

  15. David Nathan

    I want to ask. Im already working here about 3 years. My last holiday at March 2014, after that never going out from phillipines for 2,5 years (but while working im holding AEC).
    Now im already resign, and want get out from phillipines. May i know do i have charge for the penatly? If yes, for how much?

    1. admin

      David. You haven’t mentioned if you hold a visa, which one, if and when it expired etc.

  16. Marwan

    Hello Admin I’m here overstay for 6 months now and I want to travel out of the country what should i do and how much it will cost btw i live in metro manila and my flight July 1st 2016 so what should I do and how much it will cost please reply asap, Thanks

    1. admin

      You need to pay for the 6 months of visas that you haven’t paid for before, plus the penalties. You will also need to get the ACR-i card and then finally the ECC, once all other Visa aspects are up to date.
      An ‘idea’ of overstay costs is given at: http://www.in-philippines.com/how-much-are-the-penalties-for-overstaying-as-a-tourist-in-the-philippines/

      As you are leaving soon, you need to get to a BoI office ASAP, and get exact costs from them. We can only give an indication.
      It will take you a few days to get this sorted, so go to them now, so it is finalised before your flight.

  17. Santiago

    I just want to share my recent experience of applying for ECC at the Main office, Intramuros, Manila, this June 9, 2016. As for the Main office they now ask that you apply for your ECC AT LEAST FIFTEEN DAYS (yes, 15 days) prior to your departure. They also have a notice that even you have a plane ticket it will not ensure it to be done faster. This information is NOT found at the BI website, this is just posted on printed/xeroxes at the ECC windows and nowhere else inside the service sections of the building. This is quite a far cry from the message of the website that says that departing travellers should secure the ECC at least 72 hours before departure. Also, regularly now, they will NOT give you the ECC the same day you apply. They need THREE working days to finish it, so you will be asked to come back in a few days to pick same up. Added to this they have added an additional REQUIREMENT. You must fill up an ARP (Alien Registration Program) form to apply for the ECC. The form ask you the same information that they ask in the ECC form and that they already know about you. Oddly,the ARP is free of charge. Obviously the ECC is now low priority for BI. Having been on and off to Philippines for the last 11 years I have always found it annoying and aged. Why not make a simple and FAST procedure where they just check the records of you, get the fingerprints digitally and have an authorized signing officer there to have it signed properly and then – done. Should not take more than 1 hour max. Add an express fee if you like and then have it all at a flat rate 0f 1000 pesos. Make things convinient for all. Not easy here, I know. My two cents anyway.

    1. Mev

      Hey there Santiago. Are you holding an immigrant or non immigrant visa or just tourist visa?

      1. Santiago

        Hi Mev, its just a tourist visa. Maybe faster if once has a non-immigrant or 13A?

    2. Marwan

      How much all cost you till you get your ECC

    3. admin

      Having been on and off to Philippines for the last 11 years I have always found it annoying and aged. Why not make a simple and FAST procedure where they just check the records of you, get the fingerprints digitally and have an authorized signing officer there to have it signed properly and then – done. Should not take more than 1 hour max. Add an express fee if you like and then have it all at a flat rate 0f 1000 pesos. Make things convinient for all. Not easy here, I know. My two cents anyway.

      I can’t agree more 🙂

      However, I am sure the purpose of these things is to create employment for Filipinos, therefore the more complex they can make it, the more people they need to employ…

    4. admin

      You must fill up an ARP (Alien Registration Program) form to apply for the ECC. The form ask you the same information that they ask in the ECC form and that they already know about you. Oddly,the ARP is free of charge.

      That ARP is odd. This was brought in on 21 Oct 2014, and it was stated to be voluntary, and was only for a year. “Registration of foreigners is being conducted Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2015 at the Bureau’s regional offices.
      Who is affected: All foreign nationals staying 60 days or more.
      Foreign nationals exempt from registration include those with valid ACRI-Cards (other than tourist ACR I-Card)

      After registration we were given an SSRN (special security registration number.)
      I recall needing to have that on one occasion, not sure what it was now, but maybe it was for the ECC.

      The new ACR cards incorporate this Special Security Registration Number (SSRN) – a unique number assigned to every registered foreign national

      I see they may be doing it again, having read this:

      Registered Aliens Annual Report (AR) 2016:
      To implement the AR 2016, all registered aliens shall, within the first sixty (60) days of every academic year, report in person in person to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Main office at Intramuros, Manila, or to the nearest participating BI offices. The Annual Report 2016 shall be held from 04 January to 03 March 2016.

  18. luke

    Hi, on your site it says you need a valid ACR-i card. Mine has just run out. it ran out after did my last visa renewal..

    I asked the lady at the immigration desk and she said it would be ok.. have you heard anything on this topic? as even if i tried to get a new one as im leaving in under 3 weeks and don’t live on Luzon I wouldn’t get it on time?

    1. admin

      My ACR card ran out at one time and i asked if i could renew it. The BoI told me not to bother till my next visa renewal.
      However, I then decided to leave before my visa expired.
      On applying for the ECC I was told i needed the ACR card to get it.
      And i could only get the ACR card with a Visa Renewal.

      So. I had to renew/extend a currently valid visa to get the ACR card, so I could get the ECC, so i could leave the country. …. Frustrating and costly.

      That was last year. I did it in two days. The receipt for the ACR card was sufficient even though I never got the actual card.
      The immigration officers words were “as long as you have paid for it, it will be OK”

      If I was you I would double check, especially re the ECC requirement.

  19. Tero

    how about this: i have a daughter in philipines and she have a fphilipine passport, and soon have european union passport. if she is leaving with philipine passport to hong kong (hong kong traveling is ok without visa with philipine passport) and use european union passport from hong kong to europe. she dont need to pay trvel tax or doesnt need ecc clearance, right? then coming back to philippines with philipine passport and then she have entrance stamp ? right?

    1. admin

      That should work very well. Its a good option for many in that situation to avoid various difficulties with Visas and ECC’s.

  20. Claude QUERTINMONT

    My Son in law is overstaying for more than a year , we will go to pay in Manila immigration this month, we will also request an ECC, since it need 72 hours minimum to proceed do we have to wait on site or can it be sent back to our address in Negros ? because his fly will departure from Cebu airport

    1. admin

      I have always had to pick mine up. Not sure they deliver it.
      But if you use a travel agent to assist you, they may be able to collect and courier it on your behalf.

      I normally got my ECC the next day.

  21. tess

    Good day,Sir/Madam,
    I have 2 children leaving in the Phils next month to join their father in the US. They have both Phil passport and US passport. They are require to get ECC ?

    1. admin

      According to everything I have seen and heard, they need EITHER a US Visa in a Philippine Passport OR an ECC with a US passport when they reach passport control/Immigration at the Philippine Airport. Otherwise they don’t leave.

      The only exception to the ECC is if they have en entry stamp, coming into the Philippines, within the last 6 months before they leave again.

  22. karen l.nguyen

    i just want to make sure if i still need the ECC as we immigate in the US.my daughter has a dual citizenship and she already has ameriacan and philippine passport,do i still need an ECC for her?

    1. admin

      If she was born in the Philippines and travels on a US, or other foreign passport, then it appears that an ECC is required.

      It is a ridiculous situation,and I hope they see the sense in changing the rules eventually.

  23. Belle

    Hi, i just want to know if need airticket to get a ECC

    1. admin

      I got my last ECC on 3rd November 2014, and bought my ticket on the 6th November 2014.

      So, I got the ECC BEFORE getting my airticket.

  24. Beth

    What is the purpose of ECC? I do not see any benefit of this. Its only a hassle and money making business. If people want to exit the country let them be. Arrival is the priority here. Arriving passengers at airports are more scrutinised.How come rich, politicians csn escape the country after a crime? While a tourist needs ECC. For God’s sake these tourist has spent money in your country and helped your economy. Why can you not make life easier for them once.

    1. admin

      They said the reason was security, to check criminal records, but when it also applies to a baby, something tells me it is just for the money. OR, it has been set up wrong and someone did not know how to make the rules correctly.

    2. Manni

      I have been living in the Philppines now for one year and have it up to the gills in the way they treat foreigners, potential foreign investors, tourists etc.
      I just can’t wait to get back to civilisation.
      But I now need an ECC to get out of here.
      This effectively means that I have to travel 8 hours on the bus to get to the nearest city to have this processed.
      It also means an overnight stay.
      It’s all money, money and more money here.
      Totally disorganised and opportunist does not even describe this lot.
      And they say it is more fun in the Philippines…Goodbye Rip-Off Republic.

  25. Eva Aromin

    Thank you so much for the quick reply.

  26. Eva Aromin

    Good Day! My son has dual citizenship. He’s staying with me here in the Philippines since 2009. We are leaving for US next month since my petition has been approved. Do I have to get him an exit clearance?

    1. admin

      An interesting one. I would think NOT required, as a Filipino Citizen who has been outside the country before.

      By showing both passports at immigration, the Filipino passport, showing an entry stamp, exempts him from the ECC. As far as I am aware it would only be required in this case if he had been born here, and had never left the Philippines before, and was travelling on a US passport.

      I worry that an Immigration Officer might get confused when the US passport is used to clear the Visa issue of travelling to the US.

      But, if his entry stamp is in a Filipino passport, and he leaves on a Filipino passport paying the Filipino travel tax, then I feel an ECC would not apply.
      Immigration should be OK with that, as the Travel tax costs more than an ECC anyway 😉

  27. admin

    For the return ticket, you need to check with the airline that you are flying back with.
    They are the only ones who can really answer that part.

    If you do need one, then many people buy one from Manila to Kota Kinabalu, as it is often the cheapest outward ticket. It then gets thrown away. I got a cheap one to Japan once though (then threw it away), so it varies.

    The rules do say: “Confirmed tickets for return or onward journey to the next port of destination” are needed when applying for a visa, although I have never been asked for one at immigration.

    1. Charlie Robert

      Alright, thanks so much for your concern and reply.
      Much appreciate…

  28. Charlie Robert

    Dear Sir/Ma’am,

    Currently im working in Philippines and have work permit, i want to bring my 6yo son out of the country for two days which that my son has been staying in here for almost a year with tourist visa. My questions are, what ECC that he has to apply? A or B? And does he need return ticket when he return to Philippines after two days out? Thank you very much and look forward for your reply.

    1. admin

      Tourist Visa = ECC A. The one you need to apply for a few days before you leave from a Boi office.
      His tourist visa is still current ?

      Return ticket will depend on the airline. I hear that some US airlines don’t need them, but many other countries do.

      1. Charlie Robert

        Yes, tourist visa for current visa (extended).

        Im from Indonesia, as i have work permit i dont need return ticket if i go out to other country and back to Philippines.

        What im afraid is, my son will need return ticket as he’s only holding tourist visa. But, if his return ticket need guardian as well and those ticket will be wasted.

        Thanks so much for your quick reply.

  29. admin

    Almost any foreigner travelling overseas, who has been here for over 6 months will need an ECC. There are exemptions for Retirement Visa holders though.

    Even a child born in the Philippines who travels on a foreign passport needs that ECC, no matter what age. I was told this personally at Manila Immigration during an interview when trying to leave without an ECC. The Immigration Officers do not like the rigidity of these rules, but must now enforce them.

    It doesn’t cost much, and getting one will, I feel, be a requirement for you.

    For more reading and comments, see this http://www.abcdiamond.com/philippines-and-the-exit-clearance-certificate-ecc/

  30. vince

    Good day Sir/Madam I am a US Citizen naturally born Filipino, Living here in the Philippines for more than 30yrs. I acquired my citizenship through my father who is a US Army during World War II. I am paying my ACR (paper-based) every year and updated my passport. My last visit in the US was last 1985. I decided to get back in the States this month. Do I need ECC? Thank You Very Much.

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