Q: Where will I live?

A: IRRI manages houses and apartments in 4 different areas around Los Banos and offers available units to those expats moving here to work for IRRI, however, some families have chosen to live closer to Manila and travel to IRRI each day. There are many options to choose from, whether here in Los Banos, or in surrounding towns. The family Liaison officer can consult with you on what you feel might work best for you.

Q: How will I arrange my visa?

A: IRRI works with an agency that is hired to work through the visa process for those exapts moving here as those who need to travel for work. The family Liaison officer or someone in HR can help you connect with someone in the agency who will get this done for you.

Q: What is the health cover / health care like?

A: IRRI uses CIGNA for healthcare. Hospitals and physicians in the Philippines usually work on a cash pay system. CIGNA will then reimburse you for the costs they cover. CIGNA’s website may be able to answer some of your questions. Your HR representative can help answer other questions.

Q: What should I bring/ship? and how do I ship it?

A: Some expats prefer to leave their valuables in their home country as the humidity here in the Philippines causes mold to grow quickly on wood, leather, books and it will also tarnish silver and fine metals. Some items are easy to find here and the prices are comparable with your home country. Other items such as Kitchen Aids and other small kitchen appliances are usually pricier and best to bring with you. However, the Philippines runs on a 220 Voltage so an adapter may be required. Plug adapters to fit your plug into the configuration here in the Philippines are easy to come by here.

IRRI will support you with any questions you have in regards to shipping. Our shipping department will also ensure that taxes are not applied when items are imported. Once you have accepted the position offered to you, a list of shippers used by IRRI expats previously, will be sent to you along with other shipping information you may need to know. If you have a pet, shipping him/her to the Philippines is not a hard process, just mostly paperwork! If you are shipping a pet, please inquire about the procedure from your Family Liaison contact.

Q: Can I Drive in the Philippines?

A: Foreigners are allowed to drive in the Philippines using their national driver's license for 90 days. After that, they should refrain from driving or have a new official entry into the country to be able to have another 90 days of driving. The new rule for GRS in applying for a Philippine driver's license is that an endorsement will have to come from Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) first. It is quite a long process. To help with this, IRRI suggests you obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your country of origin. IDP is valid for 1 year. However, this is preferably only as it can take a few months to get the Philippines Driver's License though it is not mandatory.