The Balikbayan Program is instituted under the administration of the Department of Tourism to attract and encourage overseas Filipinos to come and visit their motherland. This is in recognition of their contribution to the economy of the country through the foreign exchange inflow and revenues that they generate.
The program allows visa-free entry to the Philippines for a period of one (1) year for foreign passport holders, with the exception of restricted nationals. It also includes a kabuhayan shopping privilege allowing tax-exempt purchase of livelihood tools and providing the opportunity to avail of the necessary training to enable the balikbayan to become economically self-reliant members of society upon their return to the country. The program also intends to showcase competitive and outstanding Filipino-made products.
Who are entitled to avail of the Balikbayan Program?
The term "balikbayan" shall mean 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 term "family" shall mean the spouse and the children of the balikbayan traveling with the latter to the Philippines.
For more information on the benefits and privileges of the Balikbayan Program, please click here.