Navigating changes in annual report compliance

TOP OF MIND - Gizel Ann Rabajante - The Philippine Star

To support our country’s tourism industry and make immigration services accessible to foreign nationals, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) launched the e-Services website in 2023.

The website, part of the bureau’s modernization projects, allows a foreign national to access quick services such as tourist visa extensions, visa waiver requests and emigration clearance certificate applications.

The newest addition to the services available on the website is the virtual Annual Report process.

If you are in human resources or global mobility and work with expatriates, you may have heard of the Annual Report. The Annual Report is a requirement for foreign nationals as part of compliance with Philippine immigration laws. This serves as a measure for the government to maintain accurate records of foreign nationals and their activities in the country.

Pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) 562, also known as the Alien Registration Act of 1950, all registered foreign nationals shall report in person to the Bureau of Immigration or any of its offices within the first sixty days of every calendar year.

The Annual Report for 2024 must be completed on or before March 1, 2024. The Annual Report covers all registered foreign nationals who are holders of the Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) and paper-based Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) with a valid visa, except those who are holders of a temporary visitor’s visa or tourist visa.

While most foreign nationals need to personally appear in the BI offices, some are exempted such as those below 14 years old, those 60 years old and above, those who are mentally or physically incapacitated, pregnant, or have medical conditions.

For these cases, reporting can be made through an authorized representative.

The requirements for the Annual Report include online registration and scheduling an appointment through the BI portal which is accessible on the BI’s e-Services website. A reference number will be issued and the foreign national can proceed to visit an immigration office and present all the necessary documents, including the ACR I-Card, a valid visa and passport, and payment for the Annual Report fee.

For 2024 Annual Report compliance, the bureau has introduced a virtual Annual Report procedure.

The virtual option is one of the agency’s initiatives to modernize its regulations and procedures, aiming to provide convenience and promote compliance. This is the first time that the immigration authority is conducting a virtual Annual Report through an interview via a video conferencing platform.

The virtual Annual Report shall be available to registered foreign nationals present in the Philippines during the Annual Report period who are holders of valid visas, except for those with paper-based ACR. This includes permanent resident visa holders, non-immigrant visa holders, including those who are voluntary registrants, and special non-immigrant visa holders such as Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) visa holders.

The importance of the Annual Report extends beyond the avoidance of monetary fines, visa cancellations, or deportations.

By abiding with these protocols, foreign nationals can help keep an orderly community in the country.

Gizel Ann Rabajante is a Tax Senior Analyst from the Global Mobility Services team under the Tax Group of KPMG in the Philippines (R.G. Manabat & Co.), a Philippine partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. The firm has been recognized as a Tier 1 in Transfer Pricing Practice and in General Corporate Tax Practice by the International Tax Review. For more information, you may reach out to Gizel Ann Rabajante or Jozette Issel G. Dizon through [email protected], social media or visit www.home.kpmg/ph.

This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice to a specific issue or entity. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent KPMG International or KPMG in the Philippines.

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