The Bureau of Immigration (BI), pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolution No. 95, has issued revised guidelines on the travel restrictions for inbound passengers until 31 January 2021.
Who will be affected?
• Travelers coming from or transiting through the countries listed below within 14 days prior to arrival to the Philippines:
1. United Kingdom
7. The Netherlands
8. People’s Republic of China, including Hong Kong SAR
18. South Korea
19. South Africa
33. United Arab of Emirates (UAE)
• Accredited foreign diplomats and personnel of accredited international organizations such as the World Health Organization and United Nations.
• Foreign nationals with medical and emergency cases, including medical escorts, if needed
• Spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens travelling with them
• Travellers coming from or transiting through the restricted countries listed above
• Filipino citizens
On 15 January 2021, the Philippine government extended the travel restrictions for arriving foreign passengers from countries with confirmed COVID-19 B117 strain until 31 January. Total of 34 countries including Hong Kong SAR are included in the restricted countries. All foreign nationals coming from or transiting through the restricted countries regardless of whether they are on the exempted categories based on the previous issuances of the Philippine government will not be allowed entry.
However, on 21 January 2021, pursuant to the IATF Resolution No. 95, the following foreign nationals with valid visas coming from or transiting through the restricted countries will be allowed entry:
• Accredited foreign diplomats and personnel of accredited international organizations such as the World Health Organization and United Nations;
• Foreign dignitaries;
• Foreign nationals who have medical or emergency cases, including their medical escort, if needed; and
• Foreign spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens travelling with them (with valid and existing visas).
Pursuant to the IATF resolutions and existing immigration policies, the following guidelines will be implemented until 31 January 2021 or until further notice:
For Arriving Filipino Citizens:
- Filipino citizens coming from (left the airport or were cleared for entry) the countries covered by the travel restrictions will not be restricted from entering the Philippines. However, they are required to undergo the quarantine protocols regardless of a negative COVID-19 test result.
- All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens coming from the countries included in the travel restrictions should not be allowed to board the aircraft from the country of origin, except if such minors are returning through a repatriation program of the Philippine government.
- All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens coming from the restricted countries who are allowed to board an aircraft will be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) officer. The airline that allowed the unaccompanied minor to board the aircraft will be subjected to penalty and fines imposed by the Department of Transportation.
- All unaccompanied minor Filipino citizens coming from countries not included in this travel restrictions will be allowed entry subject to RT-PCR test, quarantine and immigration protocols.
Filipino citizens who transited or who have a mere lay-over (without an immigration clearance for entry to the restricted countries) will be allowed entry subject to COVI-19 test, quarantine and isolation protocols.
Arriving Filipino citizens are required to present any of the following documents upon arrival to the Philippines:
- Valid Philippine passport
- Identification Certificate (IC) issued by the Bureau of Immigration
- Certificate of Re-acquisition/ Retention of Philippine Citizenship (CRPC)
- Failure to present these documents, the arriving passengers will be treated as foreign nationals and will be subject to existing policies on the travel restrictions.
For Arriving Foreign Nationals:
1. Foreign travellers merely transiting through any of the countries (without immigration clearance to enter the restricted country) covered by the restrictions may be allowed entry provided that:
• They are holders of visas allowed to enter the Philippines pursuant to the relevant IATF-MEID resolutions and BI’s advisories
• They have stayed at the airport the whole time and were not cleared to enter the restricted country by its immigration authorities prior to arrival to the Philippines
• Comply with the existing quarantine and immigration protocols and regulations set by the Philippine government for arriving passengers
• They have secured an approval from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the travel ban exemption and holders of a valid visa issued by any of the Philippine Embassy or Consulate
2. Those coming from or who have been to countries included in the restrictions within 14 days prior to arrival to the Philippines will not be allowed to enter the country. This restriction will apply to all visa categories, special privileges such as the Balikbayan program under RA 6768, and previously issued endorsement or exemption from the DFA during the duration of the travel restrictions.
3. Pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 95, the following categories are exempted from the travel restrictions:
• Accredited foreign diplomats including those under international organizations such as the World Health Organization and United Nations, provided that they are holders of valid 9(e) visa or diplomatic/official/regular passport with valid 9(a) visa and authorization from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
• Foreign dignitaries with DFA authorization
• Those who have medical or emergency cases, including their medical escorts, provided that they have been authorized by the DFA to enter the Philippines
• Foreign spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens travelling with them (with valid and existing visa)
4. Issuance of Travel Ban Exemption to those applicants coming from or transiting through the countries included in the restrictions may be suspended subject to the discretion of the Department of Affairs.
5. Employment and/or assignment of foreign nationals to the Philippines shall be postponed indefinitely until there is a concrete decision to totally lift all the travel restrictions in place.
List of Exempted Categories:
In compliance with the directives from Malacañang as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease, the following shall be allowed to enter the Philippines:
1. Passengers who will be allowed to enter the Philippines while the travel restrictions are in place:
• Foreign vessel crew members
• Accredited foreign diplomats and personnel of accredited international organization
• Foreign dignitaries
• Those for medical and emergency cases including medical escorts, if needed
• Spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens (with valid and existing visas)
2. Passengers who will be allowed to enter the Philippines except for those coming from 34 travel-restricted countries including Hong Kong SAR due to the COVID-19 B117 strain:
• Children with special needs (regardless of age) of Filipino citizens
• Foreign parent of minor Filipinos
• Foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs (regardless of age)
3. Passengers may be allowed visa-free entry privileges to the Philippines under the Republic Act No. 6768 otherwise known as an “Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program:”
• Filipino citizens’ foreign spouses and children, regardless of age
• Former Filipino citizens, including their spouses and children, regardless of age
The following qualifications must be met to avail of the visa-free entry privileges:
• Not coming from the 34 travel-restricted countries including Hong Kong SAR due to the new COVID-19 strain
• Nationals from visa-free countries under Executive Order No. 408 series of 1960
• Travelling with the Filipino/former Filipino spouse or parent
• Compliant with the IATF conditions
4. Passengers who will be allowed to enter the Philippines except for those coming from the 34 travel-restricted countries including Hong Kong SAR:
• Section 13 series visa of the Commonwealth Act (CA) No. 613, as amended (13 quota visa, 13(a) visa, 13(b) visa, 13(c) visa, 13(d) visa, 13(e) visa and 13(g) visa)
• Foreign nationals granted a legal residence status under The Alien Social Integration Act of 1995 or RA 7919
• EO 324 visa
• Native-born visa
• Temporary resident visa relative to Section 13 of the CA 613 (based on Memorandum Order No. ADD-01-038/ADD-02-015)
• Permanent Resident Visa based on Section 13(a) of CA 613 under MO No. MCL-07-021
• EO 226 Visa issued by the Bureau of Immigration
• 47(a)(2) visa issued by the Department of Justice
• Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) under EO226 (SIRV under EO 63 will not be allowed to enter the Philippines)
• 9(g) visa holders with valid ACR I-Card and ECC/SRC (only those who departed the Philippines on 17 December 2020 or later)
• 9(e) visa holders (only those who departed the Philippines on 17 December 2020 or later, diplomats accredited to the Philippines including foreign embassies and international organizations)
• APECO Visa issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority
• Subic-Clark Working Visa and Subic-Clark Investor’s Visa issued by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
• Visas issued by the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and Clark Development Corporation
Abovementioned categories, except for Filipinos and Foreign crew members, shall comply with the following conditions and requirements to be allowed entry to the Philippines:
1. Visas must be valid and existing at time of arrival;
2. With pre-booked accredited quarantine facility;
3. With pre-booked COVID-19 testing provider; and
4. Subject to maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port of entry
5. Proof of affiliation to the Filipino (i.e. marriage certificate, birth certificate)
6. Proof of Philippine citizenship of either the spouse or minor child(ren)
Effective immediately until 31 January 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
Santa Fe Relocation
Tel.: +63 917 848 6830
Group Head of Immigration Operations
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +44 7990 021125
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