Not so fast: BI orders strict screening of aliens with visitor’s visas

Published March 5, 2021, 4:22 PM

by Jun Ramirez

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers detailed at international airports have been ordered to thoroughly screen arriving foreigners despite having temporary visitor’s visas and entry exemption documents to make sure that they have legitimate purposes in visiting the country.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) (MANILA BULLETIN)

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the directive following the interception of 17 Chinese nationals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last week.

The travellers possessed entry visas and entry exemption documents, but misrepresented the purpose of their trip to BI agents.

Morente clarified that entry exemption documents do not spare arriving passengers from regular immigration scrutiny.

“The entry exemption document is not a free pass to enter the country, but a requirement set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases for aliens arriving under a temporary visitor’s visas,” Morente said, adding “their entry is still subject to immigration inspection.”