As Philippine passport holders, there are only a number of countries where we can go to without a visa. We can go to all the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) namely: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Of course, we can visit Hong Kong and Macau without a visa. Other countries are listed on this site.
The reason why I am writing this is because my husband is now in Ireland for a business trip. He was informed Wednesday afternoon last week that he was going to Ireland. He went to apply for a visa last Thursday morning. He was told that visa processing for Filipinos takes 4 weeks. He was scheduled to leave Tuesday, so there were only 2 working days for the visa processing. Aside from the anxiety of whether or not he will be granted the visa, there’s always the perennial question “why do you need a visa?”. The question can be embarassing at times. Koreans do not need a visa so they have no care about the business trip schedules.
Obviously, he was granted the visa after being told “after a long discussion, we decided to give you multiple entry”. Heaved a sigh of relief!
This wasn’t the first time my husband was granted a visa sooner than the embassy policy would allow. On a business trip to New Zealand, he was given a visa after two weeks where the embassy policy processes visa applications for Filipinos in two months. He went to the New Zealand embassy and “volunteered” to be interviewed.
I know how this visa requirement for us Filipinos create a lot of anxiety especially to those who have legitimate reasons for travelling. We can’t just give up citizenship for convenience:-)
Anyway, from hubby’s experience we learned that embassies can bend some rules. We lose nothing if we allow ourselves to be subjected to procedures beyond the normal processes especially if we have a legitimate purpose. It also helps in uplifting the Pinoy “image”.