Recent Developments

In light of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) over Luzon, effective 22 March 2020, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is (a) suspending the issuance of 9(a) entry visas through the Foreign Service Posts and through the Visa Waiver Program (visa-on-arrival); and (b) cancelling 9(a) visas previously issued, subject to the following exceptions:

  • Foreign government and international organization officials accredited to the Philippines (holders of diplomatic visas and passports); and

  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals.

The relevant DFA Circular may be accessed here. A Public Advisory issued by the DFA is likewise available here.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has also released a Memorandum imposing a temporary travel ban for arriving foreign nationals, effective 22 March 2020. Under the BI Memorandum, foreign nationals shall temporarily not be allowed to enter the country, including those holding the following visa categories:

  • Those under Visa Waiver Agreements (AJACS, AJACSSUK, FSC, MCL);

  • Those with Special Visas (SRRV, SIRV, ABTC, and economic zone visas, etc.);

  • Those who fall under Executive Order No. 408, s 1960 (EO408);

  • Those holders of Hong Kong-SAR, Macau-SAR, Macau-Portuguese, and British National Overseas Passports; and

  • hose Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Holders (i.e. 13, 9(d), 9(f), 9(g), 47(a)(2), etc).

By way of exception, the following may be allowed entry into the Philippines during ECQ:

  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals, regardless of nationality, travelling with the Filipino national;

  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals, regardless of nationality, who are not travelling with the Filipino national, provided they show proof of filiation or marriage;

  • Visas issued to foreign government and international organization officials accredited to the Philippines (diplomatic visas); and

  • Foreign crew members

A copy of the BI Memorandum may be found here.

Actions to Consider / Conclusions

Subject to the exceptions provided above, foreign nationals will temporarily be prohibited from entering the Philippines. Foreign nationals who are not covered by the exceptions should postpone travel to the Philippines.

The foregoing guidelines have no impact / effect on foreign nationals who are presently in the country. Work visas and other types of visas remain valid. However, visa holders who are outside the Philippines shall not be allowed to enter until the ECQ or the restriction is lifted.

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