The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reiterated in a press release that foreigners with Filipino spouses but do not have appropriate visas would not be allowed to enter the Philippines.
Below is the full press release statement of BI:
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded foreign spouses of Filipinos intending to travel to the Philippines that they need to secure or possess the appropriate visas to enter the country.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the reminder after learning that several foreigners, allegedly married to Philippine citizens, were recently denied entry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Citing a report from the Bureau’s Port Operations Division (POD), Morente said that since the easing of the travel restrictions, some foreigners who wanted to join their Filipino spouses here, were already turned back at the airport for having no visas.
“We were informed that those excluded, although married to Filipinos, had no visas at all so they were sent back to their port of origin,” the BI Chief said.
BI POD Acting Chief Grifton Medina reported that since 19 August 2020, no less than 15 aliens purportedly married to Filipinos, were already turned back at the NAIA for failure to obtain visas prior arrival.
Medina said the passengers, who included Americans, Europeans, South Koreans, and Africans, presented only marriage certificates and had no visas, so they were excluded for being improperly documented aliens.
“They were advised to secure entry visas from our Philippine Consulates abroad so they can return and join their spouses and children here,” Medina added.
The BI deplored that despite several public advisories via the press, BI official website and social media accounts, there are still some people who misunderstand or are confused about recent changes to travel restrictions made by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“We have already explained that all foreign nationals affected by these IATF-EID resolutions need to obtain valid visas prior arrival to allow entry to the country. Mere possession of a marriage certificate will not suffice,” Morente said.
He also reminded the different airlines to comply with the IATF resolution as it is also their responsibility to inform their foreign passengers about the requirements about the said visa requirement before allowing them to book and board their flights to the Philippines.
It can be recalled that starting this month, the IATF-EID decided to lift restrictions on the entry of aliens with valid immigrant visas and alien spouses of Filipinos, including the latter’s minor foreign children, and foreign parents of Filipino minors and children with special needs, regardless of age, provided that they also possess the appropriate visas and proof of filiation.