Immigration bureau suspends online appointment system during MECQ period
This undated photo shows the Bureau of Immigration main office in Intramuros, Manila.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, file

Immigration bureau suspends online appointment system during MECQ period

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - August 4, 2020 - 10:41am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration suspended temporarily its online appointment scheme as it reduced operations at its main office, under the modified enhanced community quarantine status of the Philippine capital.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said Tuesday that those with confirmed appointments to the bureau from August 3 to 18 may reapply for a new schedule once the modified enhanced community quarantine imposed on Metro Manila is lifted.

BI’s main office is located in Intramuros, Manila.

With stricter quarantine protocols in place, the bureau reverted to maintaining a skeleton force to run its main office.

The BI said following transactions are currently suspended:

  • Applications for conversion to or renewal of immigrant visa
  • Petition for recognition as Philippine citizens, including Republic Act 9225 or the dual citizenship law
  • Downgrading of visa status
  • Tourist visa extension
  • Special work permits and provisional permit to work
  • Renewal of alien certificate of registration (ACR I-Cards)
  • Implementation of applications for visa conversion and extension by the bureau’s Board of Commissioners

Services for departing foreign nationals continue

Morente said the online appointment system, however, will remain open for foreigners who are “scheduled and are intending to leave the Philippines during the MECQ period.”

The bureau’s online system will continue to accommodate foreigners who need to secure their Emigration Clearance Certificate, re-entry permit and update their extension fees. Morente said they should present their confirmed flight booking or plane ticket before they enter the bureau’s premises.

Meanwhile, foreign nationals with tourist visa, who overstayed in the country for not more than six months, are told to pay their visa extension fees at the airport.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region and its nearby provinces under MECQ for a two-week period as COVID-19 cases surge in the country and overwhelm our healthcare system.

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