FOREIGN investors planning to enter the Philippines must first secure an investor’s visa before they can be allowed entry to the country, the country’s Bureau of Immigration (BI) clarified on Monday, November 16.
Foreign nationals holding visas 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 can enter the country, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
“Those who will be entering the country under visa types not yet allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will still be restricted,” he stressed.
The IATF on October 22 allowed the entry of foreign nationals with visas issued under EO 226 starting Nov. 1. Their entry, however, is subject to conditions, such as having a valid visa and a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility.
Morente said the BI sought clarification from the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) on whether SIRV holders can enter the country, following questions expressed by several business groups.
Visas under EO 226 are given to executives of regional or area headquarters of multinational companies, as well as their spouses and unmarried children below 21 years of age.
These visas are also valid for three years.
The SIRV program was launched by the government to attract foreign investments to the country. It also requires investors to invest capital in “viable” economic activities.
Under the program, the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of the SIRV holder are allowed to secure an SIRV as dependents.
However, Morente said that SIRVs issued under Executive Order No. 63 for tourist-related projects and tourist establishments are still restricted.
“Only those issued under EO 226 may be allowed for now, following the IATF ruling,” he added.