PEZA investors to get 2 year-visa, shorter processing time

Published November 19, 2021, 1:31 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Foreign investors and expatriates will be granted a two-year working visa at reduced processing time as part of the ease of doing business initiatives of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for its registered enterprises.

This developed following the signing on Thursday, Nov. 187, of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza and Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente. Both parties also signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the PEZA-Visa.

Philippine Economic Zone Authority-Bureau of Immigration MOA Signing

The MOA seeks to implement faster and smoother issuance of PEZA-Visas (PVs) for qualified applicants. This is in adherence to Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

Through the signing of the said MOA and its IRR, the PEZA Chief said, “This [will now] allow PEZA to issue working visas to our foreign investors, non-resident foreign employees of PEZA-registered ecozone enterprises, and their respective qualified dependents.”

Starting December 1, 2021, PEZA and the Bureau of Immigration will reduce the processing of visa facilitation and approval from one month to ten days.

Both agencies will also establish a one-stop shop at the PEZA Head office in Double Dragon Plaza, Pasay City with corresponding personnel to expedite the processing, approval, and issuance of PVs.

The PEZA-Visas shall be valid within and outside our registered economic zones with two years of validity. Qualified dependent/s of foreign national employees working in any of our ecozones can also avail our PVs and is co-terminus with the validity of the PV of the principal foreign investor or employee.

PEZA-registered enterprises can submit their foreign employees’ PV applications with their complete requirements to the PEZA Zone Administrator or Manager of the ecozone where their enterprise is located.

Meanwhile, IT-BPO companies in Metro Manila, tourism, and medical-tourism ecozone enterprises can submit their PV applications in PEZA Head Office.

Foreign nationals employed in any PEZA-registered enterprises must submit documentary requirements such as a notarized application form, notarized company’s letter request addressed to the PEZA Director General, checklist of application for PV extension or change of admission, certified true copy of PEZA Certificate of Registration, and photocopy of the foreign applicant’s passport, among others.

Dependents of foreign employees must also submit a notarized application form, photocopy of their passport, Philippine embassy/consulate or PSA-issued birth and marriage certificates, and notarized Affidavit of Support/Guarantee which is executed by the PEZA-registered company’s President or Vice President.

Once approved and issued, the visa will no longer be called the 47 (a)2 visa, but it will be known as the PEZA-Visa with two years validity for qualified international employees and their dependents.

On the part of the Bureau of Immigration, Morente said, “The signing of this MOA and IRR is a major step forward as we expand our services through collaborations with like-minded institutions such as PEZA.”

“The PEZA-Visas will serve not only to facilitate the conduct of businesses in PEZA-registered ecozones, but also highlight the many measures that have been taken by the national government to ensure the ease of doing business (EODB) throughout the country.”

Streamlining visa procedures is pursuant to the “Project Repeal” of the government. It is a government-wide regulatory reform initiative to repeal outdated rules, reduce the cost of doing business, and improve the country’s investment growth.