IATF allows foreigners to re-enter PH

Photo: ABS-CBN News

THE Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the re-entry of foreigners who left the Philippines on December 17 and onwards, Malacañang announced Friday, December 18.

“The IATF, in its 89th meeting, also allowed the re-entry to the Philippines of foreign nationals with valid and existing visas under Section 9(e) and 9(g) of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, who are already in the country and will be leaving the country starting December 17, 2020,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Under Section 9 (g) of the Commonwealth Act 613 or the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, it says that foreign visa holders are those “lawfully admitted into the Philippines for permanent residence, who is returning from a temporary visit abroad to an unrelinquished residence in the Philippines.”

Foreigners are allowed reentry provided that they have valid and existing visas on the date of arrival, a pre-booked quarantine facility, and pre-booked COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport.

They must also be subjected to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

“The foregoing is without prejudice to immigration laws, rules and regulations,” the IATF said.

“The Commissioner of Immigration shall have the exclusive prerogative to decide on waiver or recall of exclusion orders for the above foreign nationals, including other foreign nationals who have entered the Philippines by virtue of Inter-Agency Task Force resolutions,” it added.

The IATF has directed the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) to issue the guidelines to implement the IATF resolution on foreign nationals.

On November 1, the BI allowed the entry of foreign nationals with visas issued under Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code, and those with a Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) issued pursuant to EO 226.

The bureau on Nov. 27 also allowed foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens to enter the country as long as the Filipino citizen or balikbayan is traveling with them.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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