PH expands list of foreign nationals allowed in PH; tourists still not allowed

Published February 5, 2021, 11:06 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

The government’s pandemic task force has allowed the entry of foreign nationals with certain visas issued as of March 20, 2020, but tourists are still not allowed inside the Philippines.


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has set the following conditions on foreign nationals who will be allowed to enter the country starting February 16, 2021:

  • Foreign nationals with pre-booked accommodation for at least six nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility
  • Foreign nationals subject to COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth day from the date of arrival
  • Foreign nationals subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

Tourists not allowed

According to Roque, tourists are still not allowed to enter the country “unless with exemption.”

“Case-to-case but [with] endorsement from individual departments i.e. DOE (Department of Energy) for energy-related concerns, etc.,” he said in a Viber message to reporters.

Who are allowed to enter?

The following are allowed to enter the country:

  • 9(E) visa holders – diplomats accredited to the Philippines including foreign embassies and Foreign Government and International Organization Officials
  • Foreign Airline Crew
  • 9(C) visa holders – Foreign Seafarer visa
  • 9(D) visa holders – Treaty trader visa (US, Japan, and German)
  • Section 13 series of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended (13 quota, 13A, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13E, and 13G visas)
  • RA7919 visa holders – granted to qualified foreign nationals who have entered the country prior to June 30, 1992
  • EO324 visa holders – Legal residence granted under EO 324 for qualified foreign nationals who entered the Philippines before January 1, 1984
  • Native Born visa holders – Foreign children born to foreigners with permanent resident status in the Philippines
  • Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) holders (based on MO ADD-01-038/ADD-02-015 [Indians]
  • MCL-07-021 Permanent Resident Visa holders – Chinese nationals married to Filipino citizens
  • Foreign nationals in possession of Recognition Certificate or Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003 under RA9225 Certificate
  • EO226 visa holders (to include SIRV visa holders issued under EO226 but not issued under EO63
  • RA8756 visa holders – Regional Office Headquarters (ROHQ) visa, intended for executive positions for multinational companies
  • 47(a)(2) visa holders issued by the Department of Justice – granted to foreign employees working for Regional Headquarters, Regional Operating Headquarters, or employees of PEZA and/or BOI-registered companies

The following shall be allowed to enter the Philippines provided they have a valid (new or existing) visa and the principal Philippine national is in the country:

  • Foreign spouses of Filipino nationals
  • Foreign minor children, and foreign children with special needs regardless of age, of Filipino nationals
  • Foreign parents of minor Filipino children and of Filipino children with special needs regardless of age

Foreign nationals with visas issued by the following are also allowed:

  • Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority
  • Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
  • Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan
  • Cagayan Economic Zone Authority
  • Clark Development Corporation

The following shall be allowed entry under the Balikbayan Privilege (only nationals from non-visa required countries under EO 408):

  • Filipino citizens’ foreign spouses and children who are traveling with them
  • Former Filipino citizens, together with their foreign spouses and children who are traveling with them

Holders of 9(G) visas or those who departed the country on December 17, 2020, or later are also allowed to enter the country but they must present a valid ACRI-Card and ECC-SRC (Special return Certificate) upon arrival.

According to Roque, the Commissioner of Immigration still has the exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals allowed to enter the country under relevant IATF resolutions.