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PHILIPPINES – All Foreign Nationals with ACRs to Report to Immigration in Person Before 1 March 2014

1 March 2014 is the deadline for foreign nationals in the Philippines to report in person to the immigration authorities, to avoid being noted down as undocumented aliens.

According to Memorandum Circular No. SBM 2013-007 issued last December by the Philippines Bureau of Immigration, it is no longer acceptable for an agent/representative to submit or pay for the annual report on behalf of a foreign national, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Who Needs To Report?

All foreign nationals holding an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card or paper-based ACR are required to report within the first 60 days of the year. Some examples are:

  • 9(g) Pre-arranged employees
  • 9(d) Treaty traders
  • Special Work Permit holders
  • 13(A) Permanent residence immigrant visa holders

Foreign nationals in the Philippines in an ACR I-Card exempt category are not required to report. Some examples are:

  • Special Non-immigrant 47(a)(2) Visa holders
  • Retirees
  • Multiple-Entry Special Visa holders

Note that children aged below 14 or adults aged 65 or over, as well as those deemed unable to attend, with proof from a doctor, hospital or prison, are not required to attend the office in person.

Applicants who are outside the country are also exempt from attending in person, provided they pay the fee within 30 days of arrival in the country.

How To Report

Foreign nationals who are required to report in person should attend either the main office in Intramuros, Manila, or a regional office in their area of residence, taking with them their ACR I-Card and/or paper-based ACR.

The foreign national must submit a duly notarised and completed application form and pay a fee of PhP310.

A third-party representative may still accompany the applicant to certain areas of the Bureau of Immigration office to facilitate the processing of the annual report.

Penalties for Failure to Report

Failure to comply with the provisions of the Alien Registration Act of 1950 is subject to administrative fine and/or imprisonment, at the option of the Commissioner of Immigration.

Action Items

  • Ensure that your foreign national employees or assignees in the Philippines are aware of the requirement to report in person (unless exempt from holding the ACR I-Card or paper-based ACR) by 1 March 2014.
  • If your foreign national employees or assignees are unable to attend in person, ensure that they have the correct proof of their incapacity and that their annual report is submitted through a representative before the deadline.

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.