Traveling to the Philippines | The Manila Times

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Traveling during this pandemic has become a complicated and unpredictable exercise, with requirements and restrictions varying from country to country. For the Philippines, the entry of foreign nationals for non-essential purposes remains suspended. Holders of valid immigrant/non-immigrant visas, meanwhile, are permitted entry subject to the latest health protocols, whether they are from green, yellow or red list countries.

A foreign national may, however, enter the Philippines for business or professional purposes on a case-by-case basis by obtaining Entry Exemption Documents (EEDs) from the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments (DTI-BoI) and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). These agencies can approve travel exemptions from the Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) for foreigners and companies whose activities are considered critical or essential in the manufacturing or export industries. However, DTI-BoI approval does not guarantee DFA approval or entry clearance from the Bureau of Immigration (BI). An EED can only be used once and is valid for 90 days. Once expired, the company can reapply subject to compliance during assessment.

Foreign nationals intending to work in the Philippines may apply for a 9g business visa under IATF Resolution 131-A. This can be initiated by the Philippines-based employer while the foreign employee is still in their home country. Foreign nationals or their applicant company must submit documents for the 9g visa along with a letter of application specifying the foreign service post where the foreign national is located and a copy of the biographical page of the applicant’s passport. Applications must be submitted to BI and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) for issuance of an Alien Employment Permit (AEP).

Once BI grants its approval for the visa application, it will endorse it to the DFA, who will in turn send an authorization to the Philippine Embassy where the foreign national is located. The applicant must report to the appropriate Philippine Embassy for issuance/approved visa stamp in their passport. The foreigner has 90 days to enter the Philippines. After complying with health and quarantine protocols on entry, the foreign national must report to the IB within seven days of exiting the quarantine facility for full 9g visa stamping, biometrics and seizure Datas.

While the documentary requirements for a pre-arranged 9g business visa and the new 9g business visa under IATF 131-A are almost the same, there are different processes and procedures involved. Note that with the current 9g pre-arranged commercial visa, the applicant must be present in the country with a valid 9A visa when submitting the application and for biometrics and data entry at BI. Once visa approval has been granted, the applicant’s passport must be submitted to the IB for execution.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), which is responsible for monitoring, managing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases in the country, issues the latest travel protocols and guidelines at least twice per month. .

The following health and quarantine instructions are in effect from January 16 to 31, 2022:

A. Testing and Quarantine Requirement for Travelers from Green List Countries:

* Fully Vaccinated Passengers – Negative RT-PCR test performed within 48 hours prior to departure from country of origin and seven-day self-monitoring for symptoms (date of arrival being the first day).

* For persons not vaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be validated — Negative RT-PCR test carried out within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin; quarantine in the establishment until the publication of the negative RT-PCR test carried out on the fifth day; and 14 days of symptom self-monitoring (start date being day 1).

B. For travelers from yellow list countries:

* Fully Vaccinated Passengers — Negative RT-PCR test performed within 48 hours prior to departure from country of origin; quarantine in the establishment until the publication of the negative RT-PCR test carried out on the 5th day; and quarantine at home until the 7th day (the date of arrival being the first day)

* For persons not vaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be validated — Negative RT-PCR test carried out within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin; quarantine in the establishment until the publication of the negative RT-PCR test carried out on the 7th day; and quarantine at home until the 14th day (the date of arrival being the first day).

C. Passengers coming from or who were in Red List countries within the last 14 days are now allowed to enter the country under the following conditions:

* Fully Vaccinated Passengers — Negative RT-PCR test performed within 48 hours prior to departure from country of origin; quarantine in the establishment until the publication of the negative RT-PCR test carried out on the 7th day; and quarantine at home until the 14th day (the date of arrival being the first day).

* For people who are not vaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be validated — Negative RT-PCR test carried out within 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin; 10 days of institutional quarantine with negative result of RT-PCR test performed on day 7; and quarantine at home until the 14th day (the date of arrival being the first day).

Additionally, effective February 16, 2022, foreign nationals permitted to enter the country under existing IATF-MEID resolutions will be required to present one of the following proofs of vaccination:

* World Health Organization International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis;

* VaxCertPH; and

*National/State digital certificate from the foreign government that has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal agreement, unless otherwise authorized by the IATF

Covid-19 vaccination certificates from Colombia, Iraq, Monaco, Italy, Tunisia and Vietnam will be accepted for quarantine purposes.

In addition, children under the age of 18, persons medically unable to receive the vaccine as certified by the public health authority of the country/port of origin, and foreign diplomats with their qualified dependents/holders of a 9(e) visa are exempt from vaccination requirements.

Finally, for foreign nationals traveling to the Philippines on an EED or 9g IATF 131-A visa, it is recommended that they only book their tickets after their approved entry visas to the Philippines have been issued.

The author is a senior partner in the Tax and Corporate Services division of Deloitte Philippines (Navarro Amper & Co.), a member of the Deloitte Asia Pacific Network. For comments or questions, email [email protected] Deloitte Asia Pacific Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee and a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. Members of Deloitte Asia Pacific Ltd. and their related entities, each separate and independent legal entities, provide services from more than 100 cities across the region, including Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo and Yangon.

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