International travel restrictions and online appointment for immigration-related transactions
On 29 May 2020, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on its press release reiterated that international flight travel restrictions at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and travel ban for arriving foreign nationals are still in place during the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in the entire National Capital Region (NCR).
Who will be affected?
1. International Travel Restrictions
- Arriving Foreign nationals not married to a Filipino (not allowed entry)
- Filipino nationals who have permanent residents, student visa holder abroad and Overseas Filipino Workers (exempted)
- Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals (exempted)
- Officials of Foreign Government and International Organizational accredited to the Philippines with valid visa (exempted)
- Foreign crew members (exempted)
2. Online Appointment
- Foreign nationals who will work in the Philippines on a short or long-term assignment/employment and will apply for an appropriate working permit and/or visa sponsored by their company.
- All Foreign nationals who are currently in the Philippines applying for the following application:
- Conversion and Renewal of Non-Immigrant or Immigrant Visa including hearing and data capturing
- Philippine citizenship under RA 9225
- Downgrading of visa status
- Tourist or 9(a) visa extension
- Special work Permit and Provisional Work Permit
- Renewal of ACR I-Card
- Implementation of approved visa application
- Other immigration-related applications (e.g. BI Clearance, NTSP Certificate, ACR I-Card waiver, etc.)
On 5 February 2020, the Philippine government issued travel restrictions for foreign nationals coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). However, the government later banned all arriving foreign nationals, regardless of the country of origin, to enter the Philippines until the ban was lifted.
Starting 1 June 2020, the BI main office will strictly enforce the online appointment system for all their transactions to implement social distancing measures.
International Travel Restrictions:
- Under existing guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force Against Infectious Diseases (IATF) on travel restrictions, arriving foreign nationals are still not allowed to enter the Philippines even after 31 May 2020. Only OFWs, Foreign nationals married to Philippine citizens including their dependent children and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.
- All Foreign nationals who intend to depart the country can leave anytime. However, they may have challenges in booking a flight as most of the international flights remain suspended.
Online Appointment System:
- Foreign nationals shall secure their online appointment schedule in the BI website prior to the submission of any immigration-related applications that will be filed at the BI main office.
- Only foreign nationals and BI-accredited agencies with Appointment Code will be allowed to enter the BI main office on the scheduled time and date of their appointment.
- Foreign nationals who do not have an appointment will not be accommodated.
Effective 1 June 2020
Santa Fe Analysis
For visa and/or work permit applications and other transactions endorsed to Santa Fe Relocation, we will be the one to book the appointment online once the portal has been set up in the BI website.
We are monitoring any new updates closely and will provide updated information once available.
Should you have any questions, please contact the following:
Ma. Emmariza Ola
Santa Fe Relocation
Tel.: +63 917 848 6830
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +44 7990 021125
To read more immigration updates, click here.
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