ALL departing foreigners who were issued visas by the Department of Justice (DoJ), the Board of Investments (BoI), the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and economic zones are now required to present a travel pass upon departure, starting March 1, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
“Foreign nationals issued visas by these agencies will need to present the travel pass to the immigration officer upon departure,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said on Tuesday.
He added that the only exceptions were those holding emigration clearance certificates (ECCs) from the BI because they were leaving for good.
Morente also announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has removed the reckoning date of March 20, 2020 for aliens now allowed to enter the country.
“In effect, those with valid and existing 9(g), 9(f), special visa for employment generation (SVEG) and special investor’s resident visa (SIRV) under EO 63 visas shall be allowed entry, without the need to present an entry exemption document,” he said.
Morente, however, clarified that requirements set during the pandemic are added to regular immigration requirements as safeguard against the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The BI, in a separate advisory, also reminded that foreigners with valid and existing visas who are now allowed to enter the country should possess and present unexpired reentry permits upon their arrival or they will be turned back at the airport.
The Philippine immigration act requires all foreigners registered with the bureau and who were issued alien certificates of registration (ACR I-Card) to present valid reentry permits (RPs) or special return certificates (SRC) when returning to the Philippines.
“Failure to present these RP/SRCs shall constitute a ground for exclusion and the alien passenger shall be denied entry and boarded on the first available flight to his or her port of origin,” Morente warned.
He said that the RP and SRC, which is valid for one year, are issued to aliens who are holders of immigrant and non-immigrant visas, respectively, and these are secured and paid prior to their departure from the Philippines.
Thus, departing immigrants and non-immigrants should keep a copy of the official receipt of their paid reentry fees which they will have to present to immigration officers at the airport upon their return to the Philippines.
Morente said aliens with expired RP and SRC who intend to return to the Philippines may still regain their privilege to reenter the country by asking their authorized representative to renew their permits at the BI main office and its satellite and extension offices in Manila.
The BI chief issued the statement after scores of foreigners were denied entry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in the past several days for having expired reentry permits.
On Thursday alone, the BI port operations division reported that eight Chinese were excluded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA 1) due to expired SRCs.
It was learned that the alien passengers all left the country in January 2020, thus they have been out of the country for more than a year and their reentry permits are no longer valid.