IATF expands list of foreign nationals allowed to enter PH

Bureau of Immigration Facebook page

STARTING February 16, foreigners with certain visas can enter the Philippines, according to new guidelines released by the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Foreign nationals who have visas issued as of March 20, 2020, as well as those who have valid and existing visas at the time of entry, are permitted to enter the country.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force on Thursday, February 4, 2021, allowed the entry to the Philippines of foreign nationals with visas issued as of March 20, 2020, and still valid and existing at the time of entry, and who were not permitted to enter the country under previous IATF resolutions,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement on Friday, February 5.

Likewise, foreign travelers with “valid and existing” Special Resident and Retirees Visa (SRRV) and Section 9 (a) or temporary visa can also enter the country, provided that they present an entry exemption document to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) upon arrival.

“This shall take effect on February 16, 2021 and shall be subject to [certain] conditions,” said Roque.

Foreigners who want to enter the Philippines must have pre-booked accommodations for at least six nights in an accredited quarantine hotel or facility. They must also undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test six days after their arrival.
Foreigners are also subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

Meanwhile, tourists are still prohibited to enter the country “unless with exemption.”
According to Roque, the exemptions should have “endorsement from individual departments” of the government.

“Case-to-case but [with] endorsement from individual departments i.e. DOE (Department of Energy) for energy-related concerns, etc.,” he told reporters through Viber.

Roque stressed that the Commissioner of Immigration still has the “exclusive” prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for all foreign nationals allowed to enter the country under relevant IATF resolutions.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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