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BI recommends non-extendable 30-day visas upon arrival

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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has recommended to the Department of Justice (DOJ) a non-extendable 30-day validity for visas issued to foreign nationals upon their arrival in the Philippines.

Bureau spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the BI has submitted its position to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra after its operations team reviewed "possible weak points" of the visa upon arrival (VUA) policy.

"The management recommended to the DOJ that recipients be given a maximum of 30 days, with no extensions, as well as base allowed stay on itinerary presented," Sandoval said in a message.

Deputy spokesman Melvin Mabulac said the BI submitted its recommendation to the DOJ last week.

In the current policy, VUA recipients may stay in the country for 30 days and are allowed to apply for an extension of up to six months, Mabulac said.

Asked for comment, Justice Undersecretary and department spokesman Markk Perete said the DOJ sees the shortening of the visa's validity period as a measure to prevent possible abuse, adding that it was a proposal that had been raised by the DOJ.

"What we are interested in are the other measures proposed by the BI intended to further prevent any abuse of the VUA," Perete said. "We will review and evaluate the recommendation ASAP."

The bureau started its review of the policy even before Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. raised a need to end the policy amid concerns on the influx of Chinese nationals into the country, Perete said earlier this month.

He said "the entire mechanism and processes" behind the policy.

For Chinese nationals, the visa upon arrival privilege was issued by former Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II in 2017, prompting the BI to issue "landing visas," which allow a traveler to receive their visa at the airport of destination.

The BI program was reportedly opened to Chinese nationals who are members of tour groups organized by tour operators accredited by the tourism department, businessmen endorsed by local and foreign chambers of commerce and other government agencies, and athletes and delegates to conventions and exhibitions. — RSJ, GMA News

 

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/705806/bi-recommends-non-extendable-30-day-visas-upon-arrival/story/?just_in&fbclid=IwAR19PzDNl41mwOQdP8bo3ivNdOjXcPsoW8Km4l59y1guH_FtrsE3-NkFbYw

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