PH immigration eases entry rules for foreign kin of Filipino citizens

FOREIGN spouses, children, and parents of Filipino citizens traveling to the Philippines as tourists no longer need to present entry exemption documents (EED) to enter the country starting August 1.

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration made the announcement on Monday, July 26, in compliance with the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) which eased the entry travel requirements for foreigners related by marriage or filiation to Filipinos.

Under the new IATF resolution, foreign spouses, children and parents of Filipinos will only be required to present 9(a) tourist visas beginning Saturday.

It also directed the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to include in the visa of said foreign nationals the notation: “EED not required per IATF Resolution No. 128 (s.2021).”

Previously, these foreign nationals could only enter the country if they had valid 9(a) tourist visas as well as an EED issued by the DFA through its various embassies or consulates abroad.

For his part, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente pointed out that the new guidelines are only for foreign nationals who are not accompanied by the Filipino spouse or parents in going to the Philippines.

“Foreigners who are traveling with their Filipino spouses or parents are eligible for the Balikbayan program and they may be admitted visa-free for a one-year stay,” he said.

Those who are not traveling with their Filipino principal must apply for a 9(a) tourist visa from a Philippine consulate abroad, which they would use for entry to the country.

Meanwhile, BI Port Operation Division Chief Carlos Capulong stressed that while requirements for foreign nationals with Filipino families have been relaxed, the travel ban on 10 countries due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 remains in place.

Those coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are still not allowed to enter the Philippines.

“This includes those who have a travel history to said countries within the last 14 days from their date of arrival,” said Capulong.

He added that the travel ban will last until July 31, unless extended or expanded by the IATF. n

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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