BI clarifies foreign investors need visa before entry

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) clarified Monday that foreign investors to enter the Philippines must already have the required investors’ before they may be allowed.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said foreign nationals holding visas granted under Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8756, as well as those with the Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) issued under EO 226, may be allowed to enter if they have their valid and existing visas.

“Those who will be entering the country under types not yet allowed by the IATF will still be restricted,” he said.

The advisory came after several groups requested clarification on which investors are allowed to enter the country.

The BI chief explained that the agency that sought clarification from the Department of Justice (DOJ) on whether SIRV holders are included by inbound travel restrictions following numerous queries and concerns raised by various quarters on the issue.

BI clarifies foreign investors need a visa before entry

The said that according to the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), SIRV holders are exempt from inbound travel restrictions imposed on foreigners, as their visas were also issued according to EO No. 226.

Visas under EO 226 as amended by RA 8756 are given to foreign personnel employed as executives, their spouses, and unmarried children under twenty-one years of age, regional or area headquarters of multinational companies. Said visas are often valid for a period of three years or equivalent to the alien’s employment contract with the headquarters.

“The SIRV, on the other hand, is a program of the government attracting foreign investments to the country. The SIRV program requires investors to invest capital in viable economic activities. The spouse and unmarried children under twenty-one years of age of the SIRV holder are likewise allowed to secure a SIRV as dependents,” BI said in a statement posted on Facebook.

However, Morente clarified that not all SIRVs might be allowed to enter. “SIRVs issued under Executive Order No. 63 in tourism-related projects and tourist establishments are still restricted. Only those issued under EO 226 may be allowed for now, following the IATF ruling,” he stated.