On 24 February 2021, the Bureau of Immigration released updated guidelines on travel restrictions and protocols for inbound and outbound foreign passengers pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution Nos. 99-A and 100.

Who will be affected?

a. Foreign nationals who depart the Philippines and are holders of valid visas issued by the following government agencies:

+ Bureau of Immigration
+ Department of Justice (47(a)(2) Visa)
+ Philippine Retirement Authority (Special Resident Retiree’s Visa)
+ Philippine Economic Zone Authority (47(a)(2) visa)
+ Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA working and dependent visas)
+ Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (Subic-Clark Working and Dependent Visas, Subic-Clark Investor’s Visa)
+ Clark Development Corporation (Subic-Clark Working and Dependent Visas)
+ Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB Investor’s Visa, FAB Working Visa)
+ Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Special Investor’s Resident Visa, Special Resident Visa, Working Visa, Dependent Visa)

b. Foreign nationals who will travel to the Philippines and holders of the following valid visas:
+ Pre-Arranged Employment or 9(g) Visa
+ Student or 9(f) Visa
+ Special Investor’s Resident Visa
+ Special Visa for Employment Generation

Background

On 11 February 2021, the IATF issued a Resolution No. 99-A series of 2021 approving the recommendation to require departing foreign nationals with valid visas issued by the following government agencies to secure a travel pass prior to departure:

+ Bureau of Immigration
+ Department of Justice (47(a)(2) Visa)
+ Board of Investment (Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) and 47(a)(2) Visa)
+ Philippine Retirement Authority (Special Resident Retiree’s Visa)
+ Philippine Economic Zone Authority (47(a)(2) visa)
+ Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA working and dependent visas)
+ Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (Subic-Clark Working and Dependent Visas, Subic-Clark Investor’s Visa)
+ Clark Development Corporation (Subic-Clark Working and Dependent Visas)
+ Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB Investor’s Visa, FAB Working Visa)
++ Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Special Investor’s Resident Visa, Special Resident Visa, Working Visa, Dependent Visa)

Also, the IATF issued a Resolution No. 100 series of 2021 on 18 February 2021 deleting the provision on the Resolution No. 98 on the reckoning period of 20 March 2020 on the visa issuance condition for entry of foreign nationals to the Philippines with valid visas.

The Department of Foreign Affairs also recently issued DFA endorsements with validity of 90 days from the date of issuance.

In addition, policies on foreign nationals with valid visas allowed to enter to the Philippines by virtue of previous IATF resolutions and Bureau of Immigration advisories remain valid and enforceable.

Impact

1. Foreign nationals who are holders of valid visas issued by the following government agencies and will depart the Philippines effective 1 March 2021 are required to secure a travel pass from the issuing government agency

+ Department of Justice (47(a)(2) Visa)
+ Philippine Retirement Authority (Special Resident Retiree’s Visa)
+ Philippine Economic Zone Authority (47(a)(2) visa)
+ Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA working and dependent visas)
+ Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (Subic-Clark Working and Dependent Visas, Subic-Clark Investor’s Visa)
+ Clark Development Corporation (Subic-Clark Working and Dependent Visas)
+ Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB Investor’s Visa, FAB Working Visa)
+ Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (Special Investor’s Resident Visa, Special Resident Visa, Working Visa, Dependent Visa)

2. Those who are holding a valid Emigration Clearance Certificate are exempted from the presentation of a travel pass during departure.
3. The foreign nationals should notify the concerned government agency and request for a travel pass at least 2 weeks prior to their departure date.
4. Foreign nationals, due to urgent and exceptional reason who may not be able to secure a travel pass, may be exempted in presenting this requirement upon departure. But the immigration authorities at the airport will conduct verification with the issuing government agency to check whether a travel pass has been issued or not and the agency has been notified of the urgent travel. Hence, departing foreign passengers who will fall under this requirement shall at least notify the agency should they need to urgently travel out of the country.
5. Returning foreign nationals who are required to secure a travel pass during departure shall notify the issuing government agency of their arrival to the Philippines within 3 days from the date of entry.
6. Foreign nationals with valid visas such as 9(g) visa, 9(f) visa, SVEG, SIRV under EO 63 regardless on when the visa was issued and when they have departed the Philippines will be allowed to enter the country effective immediately without the need of a DFA endorsement.
7. Foreign nationals with valid immigrant visas are required to present a valid Re-entry permit upon arrival. Otherwise, they will be excluded from entering the country and will be directed to board the next available flight out of the country.
8. Foreign nationals with valid non-immigrant visas are required to present a valid Special Return Certificate (SRC) upon arrival. Otherwise, they will be excluded from entering the country and will be directed to board the next available flight out of the country.
9. Those foreign nationals whose Re-entry permit and SRC have expired while out of the country can seek assistance from their authorized representative to renew the permits at the BI main office or any of its satellite offices prior to arrival to the Philippines.
10. Foreign nationals who have been issued a DFA endorsement with a validity of 90 days from date of issuance are required to enter the Philippines on or before its expiry. Otherwise, they will need to secure another DFA endorsement prior to arrival to the Philippines.

Implementation

Travel pass requirement will be effective 1 March 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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