Foreigners’ unused entry exemptions docs considered expired starting June 1 – BI

Marje Pelayo   •   May 24, 2021   •   497

MANILA, Philippines — Starting June 1, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said that foreign nationals with entry exemption documents (EEDs) issued before February 8 this year will no longer be allowed entry.

In an advisory, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the BI will implement the said travel guidelines pursuant to a communication received from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“We were informed by the DFA that entry exemption documents now have a validity of 90 days from the date of issuance,” said Morente.

“As an effect, we were informed that all issued before February 8 are deemed expired by June 1,” he added.

Thus, aliens who are still holding said EEDs that remain unused must enter the country on or before May 31.

Meanwhile, entry exemptions issued by the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) during the travel ban from March 22 to April 30 may still be used until May 31.

BI Port Operations Division Chief Atty. Carlos Capulong said this was allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in a resolution passed earlier this month which ruled that entry exemptions issued by the NTF shall be recognized as valid until May 31.

Capulong added that in compliance with the IATF-MEID resolution, all 9(A) visa holders, as well Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV) holders, are required to secure entry exemptions from the DFA to be allowed entry into the Philippines.

Immigration Bureau bars entry of passengers from 10 countries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — After Malacañang’s directive, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced expanding the entry ban of passengers which will include those coming from Malaysia and Thailand starting July 25 until July 31.

The two countries are now added to the eight countries that are temporarily banned entry to the Philippines to prevent the further spread and community transmission of emerging COVID-19 variants.

The other countries covered by the travel ban are India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Indonesia.

“Foreigners arriving from said countries or with a travel history there within the last 14 days will be denied entry and will immediately be sent back to their port of origin,” according to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.

However, the BI official said that Filipinos arriving from these countries as part of repatriation efforts will be allowed entry but will be subjected to set protocols by other government agencies.

He also clarified that those who are already in transit and will be arriving before July 25 will be allowed entry, but will be required to undergo a strict 14-day facility-based quarantine. AAC

BI warns foreign nationals against fake immigration services

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has warned the public against a circulating document from a Philippine-based company that is allegedly charging money to its employees, who are foreign nationals, for extra services that provide immigration assistance.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said he was able to obtain a copy of the said document which shows a breakdown of fees in exchange for immigration airport assistance.

Morente said based on the document, the company allegedly charged the following services with a hefty amount:
P5,000 for Airport Assistance Fee
P5,000 for processing fee
P20,000 for a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Invitation Letter

“It seems that this company is using the name of government agencies to be able to charge such high rates to its employees,” he added.

The BI chief reiterated that the agency does not collect any ‘immigration assistance’ fees from foreign nationals.

The Immigration Bureau earlier released several advisories warning the public about individuals pretending to be BI employees involved in such fraudulent activities.

“Be wary of falling prey to these scammers. Immediately report to the authorities if you encounter such a modus,” Morente said, adding that they are now studying possible legal actions against said company.

Vaccinated passengers from 57 ‘green’ countries only need 7-day quarantine booking – BI

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Thursday (July 1) that fully vaccinated passengers from 57 countries and jurisdictions considered low risk by health authorities are only required a 7-day quarantine period upon their arrival in the country.

These countries are Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Benin, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Ivory Coast, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hongkong, Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Singapore, Saint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said passengers fully vaccinated abroad who stayed exclusively in any of these “green” countries within the past 14 days immediately preceding their arrival shall undergo a seven-day facility-based quarantine.

They would only need to present a seven-day booking in a government-accredited quarantine hotel or facility during primary immigration inspection when they arrive in the country.

Meanwhile, Morente also stressed that arriving passengers who were fully vaccinated in the Philippines are entitled to the same shorter quarantine privilege.

They would also need to present a seven-day quarantine booking upon arrival to immigration authorities.

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