Foreigners who downgraded 47(a)(2) visas now exempt from burdensome rule

3 Sep 14

PHILIPPINES

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) has exempted some foreigners from a rule that requires a police clearance for all foreigners under an order to leave the country.

What does the change mean? Foreigners who held Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) 47(a)(2) visas and are under an order to leave are now exempt from the rule.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: PEZA 47(a)(2) visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreigners under an order to leave pursuant to the downgrading of their 47(a)(2) visas to 9(g) visitor’s visas.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: The exemption removes an administrative burden.

Background: In July, the BI issued an order requiring all foreigners under an order to leave to submit a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) before departing the country.

On Aug. 12, upon recommendation by the PEZA extension office, the BI decided to exempt foreign nationals issued PEZA 47(a)(2) visas who were under an automatic order to leave because they downgraded to 9(a) visitors’ visas. The BI found that the rule was overly burdensome on those foreigners and recognized that there is a substantial difference between foreigners automatically under an order to leave because of a downgrading of their visas and foreigners who are ordered to leave because they have overstayed their visas for a long period of time.

BAL Analysis: Other foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas are still subject to the requirement that they obtain an NBI clearance before leaving the country.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Philippines. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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