PH reopens doors to foreigners, particularly those with investor visas starting Nov. 1

Published October 23, 2020, 1:32 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has reopened the country’s doors for certain foreigners, particularly those with investor visas, starting November 1, 2020.

(AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the foreigners allowed to enter the country must still abide by certain conditions set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) such as having valid and existing visas as well as a pre-booked quarantine facility.

The latest decision on easing travel restrictions on some foreigners was contained in IATF Resolution No. 80 following a meeting via video conference Thursday.

“Pinapayagan na po ang mas maraming foreign nationals simula a-una ng Nobyembre, 2020. Pero teka muna po, hindi lahat ng foreign nationals ang  pupuwedeng pumasok (More foreign nationals will be allowed entry starting November 1 but not all foreign nationals may enter),” Roque said over state television Friday.

“Ang pupwede lang po ay mga foreign nationals na merong visa na inissue ng Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investment Code as amended by RA 8756 yung mga investors visa na tinatawag po  (Among the foreign nationals allowed are those with visas issued by the Bureau of Immigration pursuant to Executive Order No. 226, the Omnibus Investments Code, as amended, and Republic Act. No. 8756.

These are known as the investor’s visa),” he said.

Also allowed entry to the Philippines are foreigners with the 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice as well as those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, according to Roque.

The task force has also imposed four conditions for the entry of these foreign nationals to the country. 

Roque said the foreigners must have valid and existing visas at the time of entry as well as a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility.

In addition, they must  be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry as well as abide by the country’s immigration laws, rules, and regulations.

The IATF said the Bureau of Immigration shall make the necessary coordination with the airlines for the proper implementation of the latest directive.

Roque clarified that the government has not yet relaxed its entry restrictions on foreign tourists.

“Ang mga ordinaryong tourist visa holders hindi pa rin po pinapayagan at lahat nga po na mga na-isyung mga tourist visa sa mga nakalipas na panahon ay na-revoke na po. Kinakailangan mag apply po ng visa (The ordinary tourist visa holders are not yet allowed to enter. All tourist visas issued in the past have already been revoked. There’s a need to apply for a new visa),” he said.

“Pero sa ngayon po, wala pa pong turistang mga dayuhan na pwedeng makapasok, mga investors lang po (But for now, foreign tourists are not yet allowed to enter, only investors may enter),” he added.

Prior to the latest IATF decision, the government has allowed Filipinos, their foreign spouses, and minor children to enter the country. 

Diplomats and select foreign workers such as airline crew members and seamen are also allowed entry into the country.

Under EO 226 signed in 1987, the government may issue a special investors’ resident visa to a foreigner willing and able to invest at least $75,000 in the country.

The same EO also stated that foreign personnel of regional or area headquarters of multinational companies, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years old, may also be given multiple entry special visas valid for a period of one year.

Foreign nationals employed in export processing zone enterprises may also be issued a multiple entry visa for three years.

 
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