Immigration clarifies travel restrictions for arriving foreign investors
In this photo from the Bureau of Immigration Facebook page, an Immigration officer inspects a traveler's passport.
Bureau of Immigration FB Page

Immigration clarifies travel restrictions for arriving foreign investors

(Philstar.com) - November 16, 2020 - 5:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration on Monday clarified that foreign investors intending to come to the Philippines must first secure a specific type of visa before they can enter the country.

In a statement on Monday, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente explained that foreign nationals holding visas issued under Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code and those with Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) issued under the said EO can enter the country.

Late in October, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases issued a resolution that eased travel restrictions for foreign investors with visas issued under EO 226.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said then that the entry of these foreign nationals is subject to certain conditions, such as having a valid visa and a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility.

Morente said the bureau sought clarification from the Department of Justice whether SIRV holders can enter the country, following questions from several groups.

BI said that the DOJ opined that SIRV holders can enter the country since their visas were also issued under EO 226.

The bureau explained that visas issued under EO 226 are given to foreign nationals employed as executives of regional or area headquarters of multinational companies. Their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are also covered by the EO.

This visa is often valid for three years, BI added.

The SIRV meanwhile is a government program aimed to attract foreign investments to the country. “The SIRV program requires investors to invest capital in viable economic activities,” BI added.

The spouse and children under 21 years old of an SIRV holder may also secure the same visa as dependents.

Morente however said that SIRV holders with tourist-related projects and tourist establishments are still barred from entering the country. — Kristine Joy Patag

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