On 14 February 2021, the Bureau of Immigration released advisory and updated guidelines on the travel restrictions for arriving foreign passengers pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) Resolution Nos. 97 and 98.

Who will be affected?

a. Foreign passengers who are holders of the following valid visas which are issued on or prior to 20 March 2020 and were restricted entry to the Philippines pursuant to previous IATF-MEID issuances:

+ Those with valid pre-arranged employment or 9(g) visa issued on or prior to 20 March 2020
+ Those with valid student or 9(f) visa, Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG) and Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) under EO 63 issued on or prior to 20 March 2020
+ Those with valid Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Endorsement
+ Those with valid 9(a) visa issued by the Philippine Foreign Posts with DFA Endorsement

Background:

On 4 February 2021, the IATF-MEID issued a Resolution No. 98 series of 2021 approving the entry of foreign nationals to the Philippines starting 16 February 2021 with the following visa categories:
1. Those with valid visas issued as of 20 March 2020;
2. Holders of valid SRRV with DFA endorsement; and
3. Holders of valid 9(a) visa issued by the Philippine Foreign Posts with DFA endorsement.
However, specific visa categories to be included in the list were not mentioned under the said resolution. Hence, on 14 February 2021, the Bureau of Immigration issued revised guidelines on the visa categories that will be allowed entry to the Philippines starting 16 February 2021.

Impact:

1. Foreign nationals with valid 9(g) visa and who departed the country before 17 December 2020 will be allowed to enter the Philippines provided that the visa is issued on or before 20 March 2020.

2. Foreign nationals with valid 9(a) visa, 9(f) visa, SVEG and SIRV will be allowed to enter the Philippines provided that the visa is issued on or before 20 March 2020.

3. Foreign nationals with valid SRRV and 9(a) visa have to secure a DFA endorsement first prior to arrival to the Philippines for them to be allowed entry. Those who will fail to present an endorsement will be excluded from entering the Philippines and will be directed to board the next available flight out of the country.

4. Foreign nationals with valid 9(a) visa and DFA endorsement are allowed to enter the Philippines provided that they establish the purpose of their travel to the Philippines during assessment. Otherwise, they will not be allowed entry.

5. Foreign nationals with valid visas but were issued after 20 March 2020 will not be allowed entry unless they have secured a DFA endorsement.

6. Immigrant visa holders (e.g. Section 13 series visa of the Commonwealth Act, Permanent Resident Visa) will have to present a valid Re-entry permit or extended Re-entry permit upon arrival. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter the Philippines even if the visa is still valid at the time of arrival.

7. Non-immigrant visa holders (e.g. Temporary Resident Visa, 9(d) Visa, 9(e) visa, 9(f) Visa, 9(g) Visa) will have to present a valid Special Return Certificate (SRC) upon arrival. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter the Philippines even if the visa is still valid at the time of arrival.

8. All arriving foreign passengers under the exempted categories (except 9(e) visa holders) and with DFA endorsement are required to comply with the following requirements and conditions:

+ With valid visas at the time of arrival
+ With pre-booked accommodation for at least six (6) nights) to any of the accredited quarantine hotel or facility

9. Those who fail to present a pre-booked accommodation will be denied entry (regardless of the visa categories) and will be boarded to the next available flight back to the country of origin. Note that it will be the Department of Tourism that will conduct the final validation of the pre-booked accommodation.

10. Foreign passengers’ entry to the Philippines is still subject to evaluation and immigration protocols. Hence, presentation of valid visa, requirements and DFA endorsement will not guarantee the entry of the passengers seeking admission to the Philippines.

    Implementation:

    Effective 16 February 2021.

    Santa Fe Analysis

    We are monitoring any new updates closely and will provide additional information once available.

      Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

      Ma. Emmariza Ola
      Immigration Manager
      Santa Fe Relocation
      Philippines
      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

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