Australia extends international travel ban to December 17

Marje Pelayo   •   September 8, 2020   •   1278

The Australian government has extended the implementation of international border restrictions for at least three more months until December 17. 

This was the decision of the country’s Health Protection Principal Committee given the prevailing global health risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

Australia closed its borders in March to prevent the entry of COVID-19 in the country. 

In July, the Australian government allowed the return of around 4,000 of its citizens and permanent residents. 

To date, only those covered by travel exemptions are allowed to leave or enter the country. 

Travel exemptions can be processed online through the Australian Border Force but only qualified individuals will be granted.

These included those working in essential industries and businesses, those needing immediate medical treatment outside Australia, unavoidable personal circumstance, compassionate or humanitarian grounds or anything related to national security. 

Meanwhile, temporary visa holders need not acquire travel exemptions from authorities as they may leave anytime to be able to return to their home country.

They have to make sure, however, that their country of destination will accept them once they leave Australia.

For list of exempted individuals, travelers may check on the official webpage of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. MNP (with inputs from Danny Delleva)

PH now allows foreigners to renew expired re-entry permits at airports

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals with valid Philippine visas are now allowed to renew their expired re-entry permits (RP) and special return certificates (SRC) at the country’s airports, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

The BI said an RP is issued to a holder of an immigrant visa, who is a permanent resident in the Philippines, while the SRC is obtained by a non-immigrant such as holders of working visa and student visa.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the move will facilitate the unhampered entry of foreigners with existing valid visas who were not permitted to enter the Philippines when the coronavirus pandemic struck the world last year.

“Many of these foreign nationals have already expired RPs and SRCs, and the new procedure will allow them to renew this at the airport upon arrival,” Morente said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The bureau said foreigners cannot leave the country unless they have secured their RP or SRC as well as their emigration clearance certificate (ECC).

Official receipts of these payments are to be presented to the immigration officer upon these aliens’ return to the country, it said.

Re-entry permit fees are valid from six months to one year from the date of a foreigner’s departure, it added.

The Philippine government earlier this month eased travel restrictions to allow more foreigners to enter the country by including those with valid visas issued as of March 20, 2020.

PH to implement revised travel restrictions on Feb. 16 – BI

Robie de Guzman   •   February 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it is ready to implement the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) expanding the list of foreigners allowed entry to the Philippines.

The IATF Resolution No. 98 states that beginning February 16, all foreign nationals with visas issued on or prior to March 20, 2020 and are still valid and existing at the time of entry.

These include foreigners with valid working visas, student visas, Special Visa for Employment Generation, Special Investors Residence Visa, Special Resident and Retirees Visa, and Temporary Visitor’s Visa as long as they present an entry exemption document to the Bureau of Immigration upon arrival.

“Starting tomorrow may mga bago po tayong adjustments dito po sa ating travel restrictions nagdagdag po tayo ng mga bagong categories na maaring papasukin sa bansa following po itong resolusyon ng IATF,” said Dana Sandoval, BI spokesperson.

Arriving foreign nationals should have pre-booked accommodation for at least six nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility and be subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth day from date of arrival.

Sandoval said they are closely coordinating with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in the implementation of the revised travel restrictions to ensure that arriving foreigners have authentic booking accommodation.

The bureau warned that those who were cleared for entry but subsequently found to have presented a fake booking for a quarantine facility by the DOT will be referred for deportation proceedings.

“Hindi lang po sa deportation, blacklisting po dito sa bansa for being an undesirable alien meaning hindi na po natin sila papasukin dito sa bansa. So, it will serve po as a warning to foreign nationals who might want to evade being qurantined as required by the government,” Sandoval said.

Despite the expansion of the list of allowable foreigners in the country, the Immigration bureau said it is not expecting a major upsurge since the number of arriving passengers remain controlled.

Arrivals are also subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers set by the National Task Force for Covid-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Philippines to allow entry of more foreigners with valid visas starting Feb. 16 — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The list of foreign nationals allowed entry to the Philippines has been expanded, Malacañang announced on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on Thursday decided to ease restrictions on foreigners with visas issued as of March 20, 2020 and are still valid and existing at the time of entry.

Also allowed to enter the Philippines are holders of valid and existing Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) and Section 9 (A) visas as long as they present an entry exemption document to the Bureau of Immigration upon arrival.

Arriving foreign nationals should have pre-booked accommodation for at least six nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility and be subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth day from date of arrival.

Roque also said that entry of foreign nationals will subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

The updated policy shall take effect on February 16, he added.

“This expanded list, however, is without prejudice to existing immigration laws, rules and regulations,” the Palace official said.

“The Commissioner of Immigration has the exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals allowed to enter the country under relevant IATF resolutions,” he added.

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