MANILA, Philippines – Foreign parents of Filipino citizens who have valid visas and are traveling with their children may now enter the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Monday.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that the new rules are pursuant to the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
He, however, stressed that foreign parents of Filipino children cannot travel alone to the country even if they are carrying valid visas.
“If they are traveling alone, they will not be allowed entry even if they hold valid visas as the rules provide that they must be traveling with their Philippine spouse or children,” Morente said in a statement.
Earlier, only foreign spouses and children of Filipinos who are traveling with them and who hold valid visas are exempted from the travel ban which the government had imposed on all foreign nationals from March 22 to April 20, 2021.
Meanwhile, Morente also clarified that foreign seafarers arriving via the seaports are not prohibited from entering the country so long as they, too, possess the required seaman’s visa or crew list visa.
“We welcome the exemption of foreign seafarers from the travel ban as the Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that has opened a ‘green lane’ for these sailors,” he said.
According to BI Bay Service Section chief Alnazib Decampong, the green lane project was launched by the government to promote the Philippines as a hub for crew change of international maritime vessels and facilitate the free movement of sailors in the region during the pandemic.
He said these crew change hubs are located in the ports of Manila, Bataan, Batangas, Subic, Cebu, and Davao.