PRESS RELEASE – Bureau of Immigration
30 August 2020
BI eases requirements for departing aliens to prevent crowding in immigration offices
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced it is again, easing its rules and requirements, for departing foreign nationals due to the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente issued a directive allowing foreigners with visas approved by the BI to leave the country before they could be issued their alien certificate of registration identity card (ACR I-Card).
According to Morente, the Bureau will also no longer require departing aliens with approved and implemented visas to secure an ACR I-Card waiver order.
He disclosed that the policy would be implemented until end of this year and that its effectivity may be extended or revoked earlier depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“By allowing these aliens to leave pending release of their I-Cards, the number of people going to our offices will be lessened and physical distancing will be achieved, thus preventing the further spread of the virus among our frontline personnel and clients,” Morente said.
BI Port Operations Acting Chief Grifton Medina disclosed that in compliance with the BI Chief’s directive, immigration officers at the airports will no longer require departing aliens with BI-approved visas but who do not have their I-Cards yet, to present an I-Card waiver order from the Bureau.
Medina said that in lieu of the I-Card waiver order, the passengers will be asked to present their passport with visa implementation stamp and official receipts of payment for their ACR I-Card waiver application fee, Emigration Clearance Certificate/Reentry Permit (ECC/RP) or Special Return Certificate (SRC).
“The passenger will also be advised to safekeep the copies of his official receipts as the same should be presented to our immigration officer upon his return to the Philippines,” Medina added.
It will be recalled that the BI previously allowed aliens with BI-approved visas to leave without I-Cards last March when Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ which prompted the Bureau to suspend services or scale down operations in most of its offices.
The BI resumed issuing ACR I-Cards and I-Card waiver orders in June after the Bureau launched its online appointment system for clients after Metro Manila was placed under less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ).
However, the BI recently bared that despite the implementation of stricter health protocols, more than 70 of its employees have been infected with the virus.
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