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How to get a job as an expat in The Philippines

Many aspiring expats are choosing the Philippines as their ideal destination to live and work abroad, and for several great reasons. First off, the economy has been growing, and is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. And foreign investors have been taking an interest in the area when they want to set themselves up for success in Asia.

To help you get started on your journey towards becoming an expat living in the Philippines, we’ve compiled some helpful information on:

What kinds of jobs are available in the Philippines?

Whether you’re searching for a job in the field of education, you want to work in the business world, or you want to work for an NGO, the right search can yield some fantastic results, especially in cities like Manila.

Some categories that you could consider looking for employment in include:

  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • HR
  • Management
  • Finance
  • IT
  • Advertising
  • Engineering

Just be aware that it might be challenging to get hired as an expat in the Philippines, as employers might give precedence to locals and only hire foreigners if they can’t find a local to fill a role.

Temple in the Philippines

How to find work as an expat in the Philippines

When it comes to finding employment in the Philippines, you can use the same strategies that you would use to find a good job in other countries abroad.

Here are a few tactics that you can try implementing to find your dream job in the Philippines:

Ask your current employer

If you are currently working for an employer who has offices around the world, including in the Philippines, you can talk to your boss about what steps you would need to take in order to successfully transfer to a position that would have you working abroad.

Career guidance services

Browse the Public Employment Service Office (PESO), which provides helpful services like referral and placement, career counseling, employment coaching, and labor market information for job seekers.


Networking can be a smart way to meet the right professionals who can help you find the ideal place of employment in the Philippines. Never underestimate the value of the connections that you can make. And the best part is that you can start right away, thanks to online resources like LinkedIn, which also doubles as a source of job openings.

Job boards

Another option would be to search for employment specifically with businesses that have offices in the Philippines. You can search for jobs online using resources and job boards like:

  • Jora
  • Indeed
  • JobStreet
  • Monster
  • Learn4Good

Aerial shot of a bay and green mountains

What are the requirements to work in the Philippines?

There are a few documents that you will need to obtain in order to be able to work as an expat in the Philippines.

If you have already found an employer, they might be able to help you with all of the applications and required documents that you need to submit.

Work Visa
  • Before you can start working in the Philippines as an expat, you need to get your work visa, which will be referred to as the 9(G) visa.
  • Your employer might be able to petition for you to get the visa that you need. They might also need to provide proof that no one already living in the Philippines can fill that job opening.
  • Planning on working in the Philippines for longer than six months? You might be able to apply for your visa at a Philippines consulate or in the Philippines.
  • If, on the other hand, you’re planning on working there for less than six months, you might be able to submit a Special Work Permit application to the authorities.
Alien Employment Permit
  • In addition to submitting an application for your work visa, you’ll also need to submit an application for a Philippines Alien Employment Permit (AEP).
  • The Philippines Department of Labour and Employment will issue this document.
  • This permit will typically be valid for a year, but its validity might also depend on your employment contract.
Provisional Permit to Work
  • As a foreign national, you also need to get a provisional permit to work, which is issued by the Bureau of Immigration, pending approval of your visa.
  • The Bureau of Immigration will issue this permit.
  • This is typically valid for three months.

High-rise buildings lit up at night on a harbor shore

How to send earnings abroad when working in the Philippines

While working in the Philippines, you’ll be able to determine what your monthly budget needs to be in order to make ends meet and have some money to set aside in a savings account. At that point, you might decide that you want to send some money back home, or you might be comfortable enough to make international purchases. In these cases, you’ll need to transfer your money in a safe and secure way, and that’s where OFX can come in handy.

With the help of OFX, you can send money abroad while saving money that you’d otherwise spend on excessive bank margins and fees. Plus, OFX provides a range of helpful resources, such as personalized market rate alerts that are sent to you via email, as well as currency charts that will give you insight into the Philippine peso and your home currency.

The Philippines: an exciting place to consider for expats

With a tropical climate, a thriving economy, and a unique culture, it’s no wonder that the Philippines has become a top spot for expats. When you aren’t working, there will be plenty of fun things that you can do, along with beautiful natural places to explore throughout the many islands that are a part of this extraordinary country.

Sending money from the US to the Philippines?

When you use OFX to make a global money transfer, you could save on our competitive Philippine peso (PHP) exchange rates.
IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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