Airlines told: Do not board travelers to Philippines without visa

©PhilSTAR Daily, Inc

Airlines told: Do not board travelers to Philippines without visa

(Philstar.com) – November 4, 2020 – 5:49pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration has reminded airlines not to allow foreign nationals intending to go the Philippines to board the aircraft without appropriate visas to enter the country.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morenete on Wednesday said the bureau received reporters of foreign nationals who were turned back at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for not having visas. International airports in Mactan, Cebu and Clark, Pampanga also reported excluding foreign passengers.

Morente stressed that airlines have the responsibility to review if their foreign passenger travelling to the Philippines possesses proper visas because the company would also bear the inconvenience if the traveler will be turned away upon arriving in Philippine airports.

“Apart from shouldering the cost of returning these aliens to their port or origin, it is also the responsibility of the airlines to defray the expenses of their accommodation at the airport while awaiting their return flights,” Morente added.

The BI chief urged airlines to keep themselves updated on latest issuances of the Inter-Agency Task Force on international travel, which are also posted on the bureau’s website and social media pages.

Lawyer Candy Tan, BI Port Operations Division chief, said they have been in close coordination with airlines on the latest policies of the IATF.

Tan said most of the foreign nationals who were turned away are those who have Filipino spouses and children but do not have any visa. She explained: “What they have in their possession are usually their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children.”

The bureau said that the IATF partially lifted restrictions for foreign nationals who are working as executives in multinational companies with visas granted by either the Department of Justice or under special economic zones.

Filipinos, their spouse and minor children, foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs were allowed to enter the country.

But Tan stressed that those allowed to enter the country must still first secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates prior to arrival. This covers those who are eligible to enter the country as tourists.

This also includes accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, foreign airline crewmembers, foreign seafarers with 9(c) visas, and foreigners with long-term visas.

Tan said that arriving passengers will still have to undergo regular immigration inspection and present necessary documents. They will also be required to have a pre-booked quarantine facility before they arrive, she added.