Updates on visa processing during the enhanced community quarantine

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued an advisory on the temporary suspension of selected transactions with the BI main office and other satellite offices in Luzon. In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a Department Circular outlining the guidelines on processing of Special Non-Immigrant or 47(a)(2) Visa applications during the enhanced community quarantine.

Who will be affected?

Foreign nationals who are currently in the Philippines applying for the following applications:

  1. Conversion and Renewal of Non-Immigrant or Immigrant Visa including hearing and data capturing
  2. Filipino citizenship under RA 9225
  3. Downgrading of visa status
  4. Tourist or 9(a) visa extension
  5. Special Work Permit and Provisional Work Permit
  6. Renewal of ACR I-Card
  7. Implementation of approved visa applications


On 16th March 2020, Pursuant to Proclamation Nos. 929 and 922 series of 2020, the Office of the President through the Executive Secretary has issued a memorandum directing the different government agencies including the BI and DOJ to adopt the guidelines on the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine over the entire Luzon.


  1. The BI has temporarily suspended the transactions for the above mentioned applications except for those outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines during the effectivity of the Enhance Community Quarantine.
  2. All foreign nationals whose visas will expire during the duration of the quarantine shall be allowed to file their applications for renewal/extension within 30 days from lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
  3. Skeletal workforce arrangement is still maintained to serve outbound passengers.  Passengers shall be required to present an outbound ticket prior to entry at BI offices.
  4. The DOJ will temporarily operate on a skeletal workforce arrangement to ensure that the 47(a)(2) visa issuance and renewal applications filed as of 13th March 2020 will be processed.
  5. The DOJ has suspended the submission of 47(a)(2) visa applications during the quarantine period. Hence, completion and/or approval of the said visa will be delayed.
  6. Foreign nationals have been requested to defer the submission of their visa applications until the quarantine has been lifted.
  7. Applicants with 47(a)(2) visas that will expire during the quarantine period are advised to immediately file their renewal applications once the quarantine has been lifted.
  8. Recognition of Refugee status and Statelessness with the DOJ is also suspended during the quarantine period.


12:00 midnight of 17th March 2020 until 12:00 midnight of 13th April 2020.

Santa Fe Analysis

Santa Fe Relocation is monitoring the situation closely and will provide updated information once available.

Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Ma. Emmariza Ola
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation

Tel.: +63 917 848 6830
Email: Emmariza.Ola@santaferelo.com

Robert Day
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation

D: +44 7990 021125
Email: Robert.day@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here.

About our Immigration Services

Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

About us

Santa Fe Relocation is a Global Mobility company specialising in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services worldwide. Our core competence is providing services that help corporations and their employees as well as individuals and their families to relocate and settle in new places. These services are delivered to a consistently high standard, locally and globally, and managed through our own operations around the world. For more information, visit us at santaferelo.com.

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