ECC and ACR I-Card Waiver

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has temporarily allowed holders of tourist or 9(a) visa to pay and secure Emigration Clearance Certificates (ECCs) at the international airport prior to leaving the Philippines. Foreign nationals with approved and implemented immigrant and non-immigrant visas but pending release of the ACR I-Card shall be allowed to leave the country.

Who will be affected?

  • Foreign nationals who are departing the Philippines on a tourist visa and who’s stay is less than one (1) year.
  • Foreign nationals with approved and implemented immigrant and non-immigrant visas but pending release of the ACR I-Card.


Background:

Due the implementation of the Enhance Community Quarantine, all government agencies are directed to strictly follow the guidelines provided to prevent the spread the COVID-19. To comply with physical distancing, Commissioner Jaime H. Morente has suspended data capturing and issuance of Special Security Registration Number (SSRN) which are part of the requirements for the ECC application.  In addition, it was decided to allow foreign nationals to secure the ECCs at the international airport.

Further recommendations during this period of Enhanced Community Quarantine are as follows:

  1. Departing passengers with approved and implemented visas but pending release of the ACR I-Card will no longer be required to secure an ACR I-Card Waiver Order. In lieu of the said Waiver Order, the departing passenger shall present the following to the immigration authorities at the airport:
    a. Original passport with implemented visa; and
    b. Official receipts (original or photocopy) of the ACR I-Card waiver application fee and ECC/RP (Return Permit) or ECC/SRC fee (Special Resident Certificate), whichever is applicable.
  2. Upon arrival, the Foreign national shall present the official receipts of the ACR I-Card waiver application fee and ECC/RP or ECC/SRC fee.


Impact:

  1. Foreign nationals on a 9a visa and who have stayed in the Philippines for less than 1 year shall be allowed to secure an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) at the airport during departure.  Note that the foreign national must allot additional time of at least 1 hour to secure the said Certificate as there may be a massive influx of foreign nationals who will be leaving the Philippines. In addition, the BI authorities at the airport will still conduct derogatory records check for departing passengers to ensure the foreign nationals have no pending obligations with the Philippine government.
  2. Foreign nationals with approved and implemented immigrant and non-immigrant visas but with pending ACR shall be allowed to leave the country provided that they present the receipts of the following: (a) ACR I-Card Waiver application fee and (b) ECC/RP (Returning Permit) or ECC/SRC (Special Resident Certificate), whichever is applicable.
  3. Foreign nationals with approved and implemented immigrant and non-immigrant visas who are allowed to depart the country shall, upon their return, present the original or photocopy of the receipts of the ACR I-Card Waiver application fee and ECC/RP or ECC/SRC fees and they shall be admitted under the visa category implemented on their passports.


Implementation:

ECC for tourist visa holders: Effective 26 March 2020.

ACR I-Card Waiver: Effective 27 March 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

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.

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.

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