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PHILIPPINES – Visa on Arrival for Chinese Nationals Announced

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BI) will issue visas upon arrival (VUA) to qualifying nationals of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in a bid to attract more tourists and investors.

Who Qualifies?

Under DOJ Circular No. 41, dated 15 August 2017, temporary visitors’ visas upon arrival with an initial authorized stay of 30 days may be issued to PRC nationals who are:

  • Foreign investors and businessmen endorsed by Board of Investments, Philippine Retirement Authority, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, local business councils, or local as well as foreign chambers of commerce and industry;
  • Athletes and delegates to sports competitions, conventions, or exhibitions;
  • Delegates, participants, speakers, organizers and sponsors of international conventions or conferences;
  • Members of tour groups organized by Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited tour operators.

What is the Visa Upon Arrival?

The temporary visitors’ visa upon arrival for Chinese nationals is an expedited entry process with a maximum authorised stay of six months. VUA holders may not change status to another non-immigrant visa status without first departing from the Philippines.

Applications for VUA should be submitted to the Bureau of Immigration at least ten working days before arrival. A fee will be payable of USD25 per traveller (USD15 for members of a tour group of 20 people or more), plus a legal research fee of PHP10 (about USD0.2).

Further details of the application procedure and confirmation of the implementation of this process are expected to be published by the Bureau of Immigration in the near future.

Action Items

  • Employers sending Chinese nationals to Philippines for business should consult an immigration specialist for the latest on the implementation of this option.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Follosco, Morallos & Herce.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.