BI reminds airline companies’ responsibility on foreigners with deficient visas

Published November 4, 2020, 12:52 PM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) asked airline companies not to board foreigners who do not have appropriate visas to enter the country.


Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente made the appeal following reports of foreigners who were turned back at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for not having visas.

He added that similar reports of exclusion were also received from the international airports in Mactan, Cebu and Clark, Pampanga.

According to Morente, it is the responsibility of the airlines to see to it that foreigners traveling to the Philippines are properly visaed as they themselves would be inconvenienced if their passengers are excluded upon arrival.

“Apart from shouldering the cost of returning these aliens to their port or origin, it is also the responsibility of the airlines to defray the expenses of their accommodation at the airport while awaiting their return flights,” the BI chief said.

Morente thus urged the airlines to keep themselves updated on the latest issuances on international travel from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

He said these issuances are posted on the BI’s website and other social media accounts for the information of the traveling public and the bureau’s stakeholders.

Lawyer Candy Tan, BI port operations chief, said that they have constantly reminded airlines not to board improperly documented aliens.

“We understand that sudden change in policy happens worldwide because of the pandemic. Borders keep on opening and closing, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases,” said Tan.

She said many of those excluded were foreign nationals with Filipino spouses and children in the country but don’t have any visas at all.

“What they have in their possession are usually their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children,” Tan added.