Visa Applications from Philippines Surpassed Pre-Pandemic Level in 2023, Rising 35% Over 2019

Visa application volume from the Philippines in 2023 grew by 48% against 2022.
by | February 06, 2024

Visa application volumes from the Philippines surpassed the pre-pandemic levels in 2023 with the restoration of travelers’ confidence to explore global destinations and the easing of travel restrictions. According to VFS Global, the visa application volume across all visa categories from the Philippines in 2023 crossed the 2019 pre-pandemic levels by 35%. Compared with 2022, visa application volume from the Philippines grew by 48% in 2023.

Popular destinations preferred by travelers from the Philippines in 2023 were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland (in alphabetical order).

Kaushik Ghosh, Head – Australasia, VFS Global, said, “This healthy rise in visa applications from the Philippines last year indicates that travelers’ confidence has been restored and people are ready to explore their favorite global destinations again. We are confident that this positive travel momentum will be sustained in 2024 as well, and we will surpass the pre-pandemic visa application volumes this year. We urge applicants planning to travel overseas from the Philippines to apply for their visas in advance to avoid the last-minute rush.”

Strong demand for personalized services continued to be a defining trend in the 2023 visa application patterns. VFS Global recorded a strong uptick in customized services such as the Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) service that empowers applicants to complete their entire visa application submission process from the comfort of their homes or any other location of their choice. Through this premium service, customers can submit their applications, enroll for biometrics, and get their passports couriered back to their location of choice. VAYD bookings in 2023 registered over a two-fold increase when compared to 2019. VFS Global offers VAYD services for 11 countries in the Philippines – Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Switzerland, and the UK.

VFS Global also offers its highly flexible Mobile Visa Application Centre (MVAC) facility for visa applicants from 11 countries – Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Switzerland, and the UK – providing enhanced customer convenience, security features, and expanded network reach.

Similarly, the demand for Premium Lounge, an optional service that provides end-to-end personalized assistance with visa application submission from the comfort of a lounge, is rising with the rise in application volumes. Another service named Prime Time, which allows visa application submission outside of working hours and even on weekends, has seen a healthy adoption since the pandemic.

(Note that all these premium services are optional and have no bearing on expediting the applicant’s visa process or favorable decision-making.)

“We continue to see a healthy adoption of contactless and personalized services such as VAYD and Premium Lounge by discerning travelers during the pandemic due to health considerations. These services enhance the overall visa application experience for applicants by avoiding needing to stand in a queue. We foresee higher demand for such premium services prioritizing safe travel this year as well,” added Ghosh.

VFS Global caters to 29 sovereign governments in the Philippines, namely Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, UAE (Dubai), Finland, Italy, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine, and the USA.

VFS Global’s role in the visa application process is limited to front-end administrative tasks only, which include collecting visa application forms, required documentation as per the checklist, and enrol biometrics, if applicable. VFS Global has no role in the decision-making process of granting or refusing a visa.

For more information, please visit


Peak Season Travel Guide


It is recommended to apply for visas as early as booking flights and stay. Most countries accept visa applications up to 90 days (3 months) before your date of travel. According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, effective 09th February 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa up to 6 months before your date of travel. Particularly this year, with higher demand and limited appointment slots available, it’s recommended that applicants apply for their visa as early as possible.



Visa applicants are advised to beware of fraudulent entities who charge fees from customers for scheduling appointments or providing any other services using VFS Global’s name or independently. VFS Global does not charge any fee for booking appointments on, the official website catering to visa applications. However, some governments require pre-payment of the service fee at the time of booking the appointment. This payment will be reimbursed or deducted during the application process. This step ensures that only genuine travelers use appointment booking and the system is kept safe from misuse by fraudulent entities. For any assistance, feel free to reach out to one of VFS Global’s staff and report any instances of fraud. Visit


Enjoy our optional value-added services for a seamless visa experience, such as:
  • Visa At Your Doorstep: Apply for your visa and enroll biometrics from the location of your choice.
  • Premium Lounge: Get an end-to-end personalized visa submission experience from the comfort of a lounge.
  • Prime Time: Apply for your visa beyond normal working hours or weekends.
  • Form-filling assistance: Allow our expert staff to assist you in completing your visa application on phone or at a visa application centre
  • Courier Service: We deliver your passport and documents. It’s quick, safe, and convenient.
  • Travel Medical Insurance: Get your mandatory Travel Medical Insurance, including Covid-19 coverage from global insurers.
  • SMS Alerts: Stay updated on the progress of your visa application.

For more information, click here.


This article is a press release. Minor edits have been made by the editorial team. 

When she’s not writing, Ina’s busy curating playlists that will save her when words don’t work, reading, annoying her cat, or thinking of her next meal.

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