Temporary Suspension on Entry of Foreign Nationals and Returning Filipinos to the Philippines

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19) has issued a Memorandum Circular No. 5, s. 2021 suspending the entry of foreign nationals and Returning Filipinos to the Philippines.

Who will be affected?
+ Foreign nationals regardless of the visa categories
+ Returning Overseas Filipinos

Background:
On 16 March 2021, the NTF COVID-19 released a Memorandum Circular No. 5, s. 2021 temporarily suspending the entry of foreign nationals and Returning Overseas Filipinos who are non-OFWs starting 12:00 midnight of 20 March 2021 until 19 April 2021 due to the increase in confirmed cases of COVID 19 and the additional cases of new variants (UK variant, South Africa variant, and Brazil variant) in the country.
In addition, in the same memorandum, concerned government agencies were directed to limit the arrivals of international passengers to 1,500 passengers per day.
This was later amended to all Foreign nationals, except those who are on the exempted categories indicated in the Memorandum Circular No. 6, s. 2021, will be restricted to enter the Philippines beginning 12:00 midnight of 22 March 2021 until 11:59 PM of 21 April 2021.

Impact:

  1. The arrival of foreign nationals who are holders of valid visas will be restricted beginning 12:00 midnight of 22 March 2021 until 11:59 PM of 21 April 2021.
  2. Arriving Filipino citizens whether Returning Overseas Filipinos or Overseas Filipino Workers will be allowed to return to the Philippines.
  3. Foreign nationals who were allowed to enter the Philippines by virtue of the previous Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) resolutions and Bureau of Immigration (BI) advisories will be restricted to enter the country.
  4. Foreign nationals who have been issued a DFA endorsement are also restricted to enter the Philippines during the duration of the temporary suspension.
  5. All arriving passengers who are restricted to enter the Philippines will be offloaded and directed to board the next available flight going to their country of origin. Also, failure to comply with the travel restrictions policy may result in the inclusion of the foreign national’s name in the BI’s derogatory list.
  6. Foreign nationals whose visa and DFA endorsement will expire within the duration of the temporary suspension on inbound travels will not be allowed entry once the suspension has been lifted.  Hence, they will have to secure a new DFA endorsement and valid 9(a) entry visa prior to the planned travel to the Philippines.
  7. Only the following categories are exempted in the temporary suspension:

+ Diplomats and members of international organizations including their dependents provided that they hold a valid 9(e) visa or 47(a)(2) visa
+ Foreign seafarers under the “Green Lanes” program for crew change provided that they are holders of a valid Seafarer or 9(c) visa
+ Foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens provided that they hold a valid visa and travelling with the Filipino at the time of entry
+ Those arriving foreign passengers on emergency, humanitarian and other exceptional cases but should be authorized by the NTF COVID-19. Also, they are required to present a valid visa at the time of entry

    Arrivals of international passengers are subject to the arrival quota set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).  Hence, passengers will have to coordinate with their airlines and check if they are included in the quota on the scheduled arrival date to the Philippines.

          Implementation:
          12:00 midnight of 22 March 2021 until 11:59 PM of 21 April 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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