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No visa, no entry rule for alien spouses of Pinoys.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded foreign spouses of Filipinos intending to travel to the Philippines that they need to secure or possess the appropriate visas to enter the country.

visa passport

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the reminder after learning that several foreigners, allegedly married to Philippine citizens, were recently denied entry at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA.)

The Commissioner reported that since the easing of the travel restrictions, some foreigners who wanted to join their Filipino spouses here, were already turned back at the airport for having no visas.

“We were informed that those excluded, although married to Filipinos, had no visas at all so they were sent back to their port of origin,” the BI Chief said.

The 15 passengers, who included Americans, Europeans, South Koreans, and Africans, presented only marriage certificates and had no visas. Consequently, they were undocumented aliens in the eyes of the Immigration Bureau.

Advised by officials to secure entry visas from their Philippine Consulates abroad so they could return and join their spouses and children in the Philippines.

Despite numerous several public advisories via the press, BI official website and social media accounts, there is still rampant confusion regarding travel restrictions.

Furthermore, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is the chief agency responsible for COVID-19 pandemic guidelines.

(Editor’s Note: Frankly, the IATF seems to make changes to policies they have already announced to the public. Because of this, these last-minute changes don’t always reach the general public.)

“We have already explained that all foreign nationals affected by these IATF-EID resolutions need to obtain valid visas prior arrival to allow entry to the country. Mere possession of a marriage certificate will not suffice,” Morente said.

He also reminded the different airlines to comply with the IATF resolution as it is also their responsibility to inform their foreign passengers about the requirements about the said visa requirement before allowing them to book and board their flights to the Philippines.

Earlier this month, the IATF-EID decided to lift restrictions on the entry of aliens with valid immigrant visas and alien spouses of Filipinos. In addition, included were the latter’s minor foreign children, and foreign parents of Filipino minors and children with special needs, regardless of age. However, they also had to possess the appropriate visas.

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