Are you a Foreigner in the Philippines? There is a new requirement

May 27, 2015
Philippine Passport

The number of arrivals in the Philippines has increased once again in 2014. 2014 Tourist Arrivals Philippines was up to 4.8 Million, an increase of 3,35% when compared to 2013.

Travelers, business or retired people are coming to the Philippines in a large number. This forced the National Bureau of Immigration to implement more strict and severe policies, and also background checks on its visitors. To deter illegal immigration, complex visa requirements were also put in place – but they have failed to address the issue since there are more than Illegal Aliens Philippines illegal aliens living in the country.

The Philippines immigration considers that for as long as a person is working for a company based in the Philippines, or is a shareholder of a registered company, is required to secure a working permit in the country. If a foreigner fails to secure this document, will be declared as illegal and can be highly penalized financially . In the worst case scenario, can become blacklisted in the country.

Additionally, tourists who were not able to extend their tourist visa before a period of 6 months are now required to file a “Request for reconsideration on the updating and extension of authorized stay”. In this document, an explanation for the failure must be presented and justified with supporting documents.

This is a problematic issue for foreigners who are working under a tourist visa only or even worst without a valid tourist visa. This illegal situation might result on the denial of their tourist visa extension and potentially result in blacklisting.

Finally, the Bureau of Immigration recently published a press release reminding some foreign nationals to secure an Emigration Clearance Certificate before leaving the country, otherwise their departure might be denied. Last year, 33% of travelers had their departure denied for failing to present their ECC!

The following foreign nationals are required to secure regular ECC’s at any of the 17 BI offices and present the same upon departure:

• Holders of Temporary Visitor Visa (tourist visa) who have stayed in the Philippines for six months or more;
• Holders of expired or downgraded immigrant or non-immigrant visas;
• Holders of valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas who are leaving for good;
• Philippine-born foreign nationals who will depart from the Philippines for the first time;
• Holders of tourist visa with Order to Leave;
• Seafarers who have stayed in the Philippines for 30 days or more.

Understanding which kind of visa you should apply for and is the most suitable one, it’s definitely not an easy task in the Philippines. For immigration consultation and to and avail the opinion of our immigration accredited specialists, contact Triple i Consulting.

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