PH Immigration launches online appointment system for clients at main office

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2020   •   294

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it is launching an online appointment system for clients in its main office in Intramuros as Metro Manila and other areas in the country transition to general community quarantine (GCQ).

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the bureau adapted the online appointment system as part of its ‘new normal’ protocols designed to observe social distancing and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The BI earlier said it will be transitioning to digitized arrival cards and paperless travel systems to minimize contact between passengers and immigration officers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the system, only clients with appointment code will be served during the specified date and time of the appointment, and clients will have to present government-issued or valid identification cards before they could enter the bureau’s premises, Morente said.

But the BI chief said that other clients may still avail of the services of the bureau-accredited travel agencies and law offices “if they wish so that the latter may secure the online appointment and transact business on their behalf.”

The complete set of instructions and requirements needed for every BI transaction can be accessed thru the bureau’s website at www.immigration.gov.ph.

Those who have inquiries or complaints are advised to course their concerns through the BI’s online social media platforms and telephone hotlines. The details of which can also be found in the said website.

​Meanwhile, BI OIC Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac clarified that foreigners who are holders of Permanent Resident Visas are not allowed to enter the country under existing travel restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infections Diseases (IATF).

Foreign crew members of airlines, as well as from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), foreign spouses, and dependents of Filipino citizens, and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.

PH Immigration deports 10 more illegal aliens

Robie de Guzman   •   June 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it has deported 10 more illegal aliens detained at its warden facility in Taguig City.

In a statement, the BI said the 10 foreigners include eight Chinese nationals and two Mongolians.

They departed from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via separate flights bound for China last June 19, 24 and 25.

“All of them have been placed on the immigration blacklist of undesirable aliens upon orders of our board of commissioners. Thus, they are now banned from re-entering the Philippines,” BI port operations chief Grifton Medina said.

It was learned that five of the Chinese deportees are wanted in their country for economic crimes due to their involvement in illegal online gaming operations and telecom fraud.

The three other Chinese nationals were deported for overstaying and committing fraud and misrepresentation, while the two Mongolians are alleged female sex workers caught in one of the raids of prostitution dens in Metro Manila last year.

According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the deportation was carried out as part of the bureau’s efforts to decongest and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at its detention facility located in Camp Bagong Diwa.

“We will continue to send home these foreign inmates once they have been issued deportation orders and provided they have no pending criminal cases in court,” Morente said.

“We are doing this to safeguard the health not only of the foreign detainees but also that of our personnel assigned to our warden facility,” he added.

The BI earlier reported it had deported seven Chinese nationals who are facing charges for economic crimes and illegal black sand mining.

BI: 16,000 foreign, Filipino seafarers cleared at Manila port

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – More than 16,000 Filipino and foreign seafarers from cruise ships that arrived and anchored at the Manila Bay have been processed and cleared during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Friday.

In a statement, the BI said a total of 16,287 sailors were cleared by boarding inspectors – 11,189 of which are Filipinos while 5,098 are foreign nationals.

The bureau said they disembarked from 42 vessels between April 16 to June 15 after undergoing quarantine and getting tested aboard their ships.

The BI added that around 2,300 seafarers remain quarantined aboard their vessels.

Repatriated Filipino seafarers are immediately transported to their places of residence through the help of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

Foreign seafarers, on the other hand, are only allowed to disembark upon presentation of a confirmed outbound plane ticket to their country of origin. Immigration personnel will escort them to the airport on the date and time of their scheduled departure, the agency said.

Foreign sailors with Filipino spouses are also allowed to disembark and join their families, provided that they submit a letter-request, marriage certificate, photocopy of passport of Filipino spouse, negative COVID-19 swab test result, and endorsement from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the bureau added.

The BI also shared that last June 11, a group of 122 Sri Lankan seafarers were repatriated to their homeland at the request of their embassy in Manila.

BI blacklists 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 24, 2020

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has blacklisted 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying without valid justification.

The 21 Chinese nationals arrived in the country on separate dates last December and January and availed of the government’s Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the blacklist after the Bureau directed the aliens to immediately leave the country after they have updated their stay and paid the required fees, fines and penalties.

“As a consequence of their being placed in our blacklist, these Chinese nationals are now barred from re-entering the Philippines for violating the conditions of their stay,” he said.

The VUA program is a landed visa scheme that the government launched three years ago to attract more Chinese tourists into the country. It was previously suspending by the BI last January due to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and other places in China. AAC

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