Holders of temporary visitors visa may get ECCs at int’l airports —BI
Robie de Guzman • March 28, 2020 • 1059
MANILA, Philippines – Holders of temporary visitors visa who have stayed in the country for less than a year may temporarily get their Emigration Clearance Certificates (ECC) at any international airports in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the measure follows the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
An ECC is issued to temporary visitors who have stayed in the country for more than six months, and to holders of residence, work, or students visas who wish to leave the country for good.
Morente said the bureau has also suspended biometrics capturing and fingerprinting, and the issuance of Special Registration Numbers (SSRN) as requirements for the processing of ECCs to ensure compliance with physical distancing directives.
“The Bureau complied with the directive from Malacañang by continuing to operate with a skeletal workforce,” he said in a statement.
“We have put this temporary measure in place to prevent the influx of foreign nationals leaving the country who will be applying to process their ECCs, essentially minimizing physical contact with the traveling public,” he added.
Morente said they will still counter match the applications with their derogatory database to ensure that no foreigner with a pending case will be able to leave the country.
“We will still conduct derogatory records checking before giving clearance to ensure that any foreign national who wishes to leave the country has no pending obligation with the government,” he said.
The bureau earlier issued an advisory suspending several transactions in Luzon, including tourist visa extensions except for foreign nationals intending to depart the country.
In the said directive, aliens whose visas will expire during the enhanced community quarantine may file for extension after the quarantine period without penalty.
MANILA, Philippines – Starting August 1, foreign spouses, children and parents of Filipino citizens who are traveling to the Philippines as tourists to visit their kin will no longer be required to present an entry exemption document (EED).
This new policy is in compliance with the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) which eased the entry travel requirements for foreigners related by marriage or filiation to Filipinos.
Under the new IATF resolution, foreign spouses, children and parents of Filipinos will only be required to present 9(a) tourist visas beginning on Saturday.
However, the IATF instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to include in the visa of said aliens the notation: “EED not required per IATF Resolution No. 128 (s.2021).”
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, foreigners whose Filipino spouses and children are currently in the Philippines will be able to easily visit and reunite with their loved ones.
Previously, these aliens were allowed entry into the Philippines only if they have valid 9(a) tourist visas as well as an EED issued by the DFA through its various embassies or consulates abroad.
Those who fail to secure and present either one of the two documents are excluded and turned back upon arrival at the ports of entry.
The BI chief stressed that the new travel guidelines apply only to foreigners who are not accompanied by their Filipino spouses or Filipino parents when going to the Philippines.
“Foreigners who are traveling with their Filipino spouses or parents are eligible for the Balikbayan program and they may be admitted visa-free for a one-year stay,” Morente said.
He explained that those who are not traveling with their Filipino principal must apply for a 9(A) tourist visa from a Philippine consulate abroad, which they would use for entry to the Philippines.
MANILA, Philippines — After Malacañang’s directive, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced expanding the entry ban of passengers which will include those coming from Malaysia and Thailand starting July 25 until July 31.
The two countries are now added to the eight countries that are temporarily banned entry to the Philippines to prevent the further spread and community transmission of emerging COVID-19 variants.
The other countries covered by the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Indonesia.
“Foreigners arriving from said countries or with a travel history there within the last 14 days will be denied entry and will immediately be sent back to their port of origin,” according to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
However, the BI official said that Filipinos arriving from these countries as part of repatriation efforts will be allowed entry but will be subjected to set protocols by other government agencies.
He also clarified that those who are already in transit and will be arriving before July 25 will be allowed entry, but will be required to undergo a strict 14-day facility-based quarantine. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has warned the public against a circulating document from a Philippine-based company that is allegedly charging money to its employees, who are foreign nationals, for extra services that provide immigration assistance.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said he was able to obtain a copy of the said document which shows a breakdown of fees in exchange for immigration airport assistance.
Morente said based on the document, the company allegedly charged the following services with a hefty amount: P5,000 for Airport Assistance Fee P5,000 for processing fee P20,000 for a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Invitation Letter
“It seems that this company is using the name of government agencies to be able to charge such high rates to its employees,” he added.
The BI chief reiterated that the agency does not collect any ‘immigration assistance’ fees from foreign nationals.
The Immigration Bureau earlier released several advisories warning the public about individuals pretending to be BI employees involved in such fraudulent activities.
“Be wary of falling prey to these scammers. Immediately report to the authorities if you encounter such a modus,” Morente said, adding that they are now studying possible legal actions against said company.
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