BI gives stranded foreigners in PH more time to renew their visas

Published July 9, 2021, 4:01 PM

by Jun Ramirez

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has given foreign nationals whose visas have expired during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic up to November 30 this year to renew them.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente (Screengrab from INTERPOL TV YouTube video)

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the grace period for renewal covers visas that expired from March 16, 2020 up to July 4, 2021.

Morente stressed that the deadline was non-extendible and that aliens who fail to file their applications on time could be subjected to deportation proceedings for overstaying in the country.

Morente said his directive applies to holders of working, students, and resident visas here in the Philippines, stressing that the grace period does not apply to tourists in the country.

Morente said his humanitarian order was in response to numerous extension requests from foreigners whose visas are expiring or about to expire.

Even the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has also requested the BI to consider the possibility of giving aliens stranded by the pandemic more time to file their application for visa renewal.

At any rate, the BI chief stressed that the privilege can only be availed by aliens who have never left the country since the pandemic began.

“Those whose visas have expired while they are abroad should refile their visa applications if they wish to reacquire the said visas,” Morente said.