The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said foreigners with valid visas and whose reentry permits have expired may now re-enter the Philippines upon payment of the required fees at the airport.
In a memorandum issued on Thursday, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the new rules apply to foreigners who have been issued immigrant and non-immigrant visas and who are returning to the Philippines after being stranded abroad due to the pandemic.
Morente said the new rules were adopted on orders of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra who instructed the BI to allow the reentry of aliens with expired reentry permits (RPs) and special return certificates (SRCs) instead of sending them back to their port of origin.
An RP is issued to a holder of an immigrant visa, who is a permanent resident here, while the SRC is obtained by a non-immigrant such as holders of 9(g) working visa and 9(f) student visa.
Said aliens cannot leave the country unless they have secured their RP or SRC as well as their emigration clearance certificate (ECC).
Aliens with expired re-entry permits may now renew at airport
The BI chief said that the move it will facilitate the unhampered entry of foreigners with existing valid visas who were not permitted to enter the Philippines when the coronavirus 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,” said Morente.
Official receipts of these payments are to be presented to the immigration officer upon these aliens’ return to the country. Reentry permit fees are valid from six months to one year from the date of a foreigner’s departure.
Meanwhile, Morente thanked the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) for their assistance in improving the quality of their service.
“We are in the process of re-engineering our processes to streamline them in response to the call of the President,” said Morente. “We have actually streamlined it already in 2019, but given the unique environment that the pandemic has set, we feel the need to readjust our procedures to better serve the public in these trying times,” he added.