More than 130,000 foreign nationals appeared before the different offices of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) nationwide to file their annual report (AR) for 2021 as required by law for aliens residing in the country.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said a total of 130,148 foreign nationals took part in this year’s annual report in compliance with the alien registration act which directs all foreigners registered with the BI to report in person to the bureau within the first 60 days of a calendar year.
Morente also said that due to the pandemic, the number of this year’s reportees was significantly lower—down 25-percent—as compared to the 169,890 aliens who filed their AR in 2020.
“This is not surprising as many of these registered aliens were stranded abroad as a result of worldwide Covid-19 travel restrictions,” the BI chief said.
He however stressed that aliens who failed to file their AR because they are abroad may still make their report within 30 days upon their return to the Philippines.
BI Alien Registration Division Chief Jose Carlitos Licas bared that Chinese nationals topped the reportees, followed by Indians, Americans, Taiwanese, and South Koreans.
Also in the list of top reportees are Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Malaysians, and Germans.
BI’s 2021 annual report drew 130,000 foreign nationals
Under the 1950 alien registration act, foreign nationals who are holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas issued by the BI, and were issued alien certificate of registration (ACR), are required to make the AR.
Earlier, the BI warned aliens who do not comply with reportorial requirement would be meted sanctions, including fines, visa cancellation, deportation, and even imprisonment.
Meanwhile, BI officers in the different international airports have been ordered to thoroughly screen arriving foreigners despite having 9(a) temporary visitor’s visas and entry exemption documents to make sure that they have valid and legitimate purposes in visiting the country.
A memorandum order issued recently by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente reminded immigration inspectors manning the ports to conduct strict arrival formalities on arriving passengers despite having the required documents.
The memorandum was addressed to the heads Bureau’s Port Operations Division (POD), which supervises primary inspectors assigned at the airports’ immigration counters, and the intelligence division and Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU), which handles the secondary inspection of arriving aliens.