Immigration bureau suspends online appointment system for foreigners during MECQ

Published August 4, 2020, 9:01 AM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has temporarily suspended starting August 4 its online appointment system for foreign clients at its main office in Intramuros, Manila due to the reimposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila.


BI Commissioner Jaime Morente advised clients with confirmed appointments to just  reapply for new schedules after the lifting of the MECQ.

Morente explained that suspending the online scheme was necessary because the BI will revert to maintaining a skeleton workforce at its main office while the MECQ is in effect.

He said the online appointment system will remain open to foreigners who are scheduled or are intending to leave the Philippines during the MECQ period.

The system will continue to reserve slots for departing aliens who need to secure their emigration clearance certificate (ECC), reentry permit, and pay their updating or extension fees.

Outbound foreigners should present their confirmed flight bookings or plane tickets prior to entering the bureau’s premises.

According to Morente, the following transactions at the main office are suspended: applications for conversion to or renewal of immigrant visa; petition for recognition as Philippine citizens, including Republic Act 9225 or the dual citizenship law; downgrading of visa status; tourist visa extension; special work permits (SWP) and provisional permit to work (PPW); renewal of alien certificate of registration (ACR I-Cards); and the implementation of applications for visa conversion or extension approved by the bureau’s board of commissioners (BOC).

The BI advised departing aliens who overstayed in the country for not more than six months to just pay their updating extension fees at the airport.