How to Get an Alien Employment Permit (AEP)


If you are an alien seeking work in the Philippines or an employer (domestic or foreign) wanting to hire an alien to work, you need to obtain an employment permit from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

What is an AEP?

The Alien Employment Permit or AEP is a permit issued by DOLE to a nonresident alien or foreign national seeking admission to the Philippines for employment purposes.

Why do you need an AEP?

If you are a nonresident alien seeking work in the Philippines or an employer seeking to hire an alien employee, you need to apply for an AEP with the DOLE. Moreover, the AEP is a prerequisite document for a foreigner to apply for a working visa.

When is an AEP issued to a foreign national?

An AEP is issued only after a determination of the non-availability of Filipino citizen who is competent, able and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the alien is desired. This means that for a foreigner to work in the country, the work must be one that no local is able or willing to do.

So, who should get an AEP?

In general, all foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines and any domestic or foreign employer who desires to engage an alien for employment in the Philippines.

Additionally, the following persons are also required to get an AEP:

  • Foreign professionals who are allowed to practice their profession in the Philippines under reciprocity and other international agreements and in consultancy services pursuant to Section 7(j) of the PRC Modernization Act of 2000
  • Holders of Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders Visa (9d) or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47(a)2) for as long as they occupy any executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment

Who are exempted from getting an AEP?

The following categories of foreign nationals are exempt from securing AEP:

  • Members of the diplomatic services and foreign government officials accredited by the Philippine government;
  • Officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a cooperating member, and their legitimate spouses desiring work in the Philippines;
  • Foreign nationals elected as members of the Governing Board who do not occupy any other position, but have only voting rights in the corporation;
  • Foreign nationals elected as President or Treasurer who are part-owners of the company;
  • Foreign nationals who are providing consultancy services and have no employers in the Philippines;
  • Intra-corporate transferee who is a manager, executive or specialist;
  • Employee of Foreign Service supplier with at least one (1) year continuous employment prior to deployment to a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or representative office in the Philippines;
  • Contractual service supplier who is a manager, executive, or specialist and an employee of a foreign service supplier which has no commercial presence in the Philippines;
  • All foreign nationals granted exemption by special laws and all other laws that may be promulgated by Congress;
  • 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;
  • 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 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
  • Resident foreign nationals and temporary or probationary resident visa holders employed or seeking employment in the Philippines.

As an exempt foreign national, how can you get a certificate of exclusion?

Foreigners requesting for the issuance of a certificate of exclusion are required to submit a letter request addressed to the DOLE Regional Director having jurisdiction over the intended place of work; valid business / Mayor’s Permit of the Philippine-based company or enterprise; and photocopy of passport with valid visa. Additional documents may be required for specific categories of foreign nationals applying for exclusion.

What are the documentary requirements for new applicants of AEP?

The following documents are needed for a new application of AEP:

  • Duly accomplished application form.
  • Photocopy of passport of Foreign National with valid visa and present original Certificate of Recognition for refugees or stateless persons
  • Original copy of Notarized Contract of Employment / Appoint or Board Secretary’s Certificate of Election enumerating the duties and responsibilities, annual salary and other benefits of FN
  • Photocopy of valid Mayor’s Permit including CEZA registered companies

*PEZA registered companies need to submit photocopy of their PEZA registration or Ecozone Authority. Construction companies need to submit photocopy of PCAB license or DO 174 Registration.

  • (5) Two (2) pieces 2×2 ID picture with white background
  • (6) Proof of Taxpayer’s Identification Number (TIN)
  • (7) If in negative list per EO 184, authority to employ STP from DOJ or PRC or DTI or DENR, whichever is applicable
  • (8) If retailer or in the negative list, updated General Information Sheet (GIS)
  • (9) Authorization letter from the company or foreign national and photocopy of their IDs

*NOTE: Original documents should be presented upon filing.

What are the documentary requirements for renewal of AEP?

If you have previously been issued AEP and wish to renew it, you still need to comply with all the requirements of a new application and in addition, submit your AEP Card or photocopy of current AEP.

Apart from submission of the above documents, what other requirements must an AEP applicant comply with?

In case there is an additional or change in position of the foreign national in the same company or subsequent assignment in related companies during the validity or renewal of the AEP, publication of the application is required.

Where shall an application for AEP be filed?

DOLE Regional Office or Field Office having jurisdiction over the intended place of work. If the foreign national is assigned in subsidiaries, branch office and joint ventures or headquarters with oversight functions, he or she may file his/her application in any of the DOLE Regional or Field Offices nearest their place of work.

Who should file the AEP application?

The AEP applicant may personally file the application together with its documentary requirements. The employer of the foreign national may also file the application with DOLE.

Is personal appearance of the foreign national required?

No. The applicant may authorize a representative to process the application. Likewise, the employer may process the application in behalf of the applicant. However, whenever there is an objection or information filed with the DOLE Regional Office regarding the application for AEP published, the Regional Director may require the appearance of either or both foreign national and the parties providing the information or objection. If the objection is meritorious, the Regional Director may deny the application or cancel the AEP if it has been issued. Otherwise, the application will be granted, provided the requirements are complete.

How long is an AEP effective?

It is valid for a period of one (1) year from issuance or co-terminus with the duration of employment, consultancy services or other modes of employment or term of office which in no case shall exceed five (5) years. The AEP is valid only for the position/s and company for which it was issued.

After submission of the documentary requirements, including publication whenever applicable, and payment of fees, what action will be taken by the DOLE Regional Office?

The application will be evaluated. If upon evaluation, a foreign national is found to have worked without or with expired AEP prior to application, a penalty of PHP 10,000.00 shall be imposed for working without an AEP for one (1) year or fraction thereof. However, if the applicant is newly hired, elected or appointed, he is allowed to file application for new AEP without penalty within 15 working days after signing of contract, election or appointment. Provided, that if the contract, election or appointment is to take effect more than 15 working days from the date of singing, the application may be filed before the date of effectivity of the contract or term of office.

Within 24 hours from filing of application or publication, the Regional Office will either issue or deny AEP. If the application is filed at the Field Office, issuance or denial of AEP shall be within 5 working days from date of application.

What are the grounds for denying your application for AEP?

The application for AEP may be denied on the following grounds:

  • Misrepresentation of facts in the application
  • Submission of falsified documents
  • The foreign national has a derogatory record
  • Availability of a Filipino who is competent, able and willing to do the job intended for the foreign national

If an AEP is issued, may it be subsequently suspended?

Yes. The AEP may be suspended after due process based on the following grounds:

  • The continued stay of the foreign national may result in damage to the interest of the industry or the country
  • The employment of the foreign national is suspended by the employer or by order of the Court

What are the grounds for revocation or cancellation of AEP?

Any of the following is a ground for revocation or cancellation of AEP:

  • Non-compliance with any of the requirements or conditions for which the AEP was issued
  • Misrepresentation of facts in the application
  • Submission of falsified or tampered documents
  • Meritorious objection or information against the employment of the foreign national as determined by the Regional Director
  • Foreign national has a derogatory record
  • Employer terminated the employment of the foreign national

What should you do if your AEP application is denied or AEP is cancelled/ suspended/ revoked?

You may appeal the denial/ cancellation / suspension / revocation with the Secretary of Labor and Employment within 10 days from receipt of the Order of denial / cancellation / suspension / revocation.

What should you do if the Secretary of Labor and Employment affirms the denial / cancellation / suspension / revocation?

File a motion for reconsideration within 10 days from receipt of the decision of the Secretary. If the motion for reconsideration is denied, no second motion for reconsideration shall be entertained.

When is the proper time to renew your AEP?

AEP should be renewed before its expiration. For elective or appointive positions, renewal should be filed within 15 working days after election / appointment.

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