PRIMER ON PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION LAW

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					          PRIMER ON PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION LAW

                                                  Non-immigrant Visa

Section 9 of the Philippine Immigration Act provides for the admission of aliens as non-immigrants
under the following categories:

     A. Temporary Visitor’s Visa [9(a) Visa]- A temporary visitor coming for business or for
        pleasure or for reasons of health;

     B. Transient’s Visa [9(b) Visa]- A person in transit to a destination outside the Philippines;

     C. Seaman’s Visa [9(c) Visa]- A seaman serving as such on a vessel arriving at a port of the
        Philippines and seeking to enter temporarily and solely in the pursuit of his calling as a
        seaman;

     D. Treaty Trader/Investor Visa [9(d) Visa]- An alien entitled to enter the Philippines under
        and in pursuant of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation (1) solely to carry
        on substantial trade principally between the Philippines and the foreign state of which he is a
        national or (2) solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which, in
        accordance with the Constitution and the laws of the Philippines, he has invested or of an
        enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital;
        and his wife, and his unmarried children under twenty-one years of age, if accompanying or
        following to join him, subject to the condition that citizens of the Philippines are accorded like
        privileges in the foreign state of which such alien is a national;

     E. Diplomatic Visa [9(e) Visa]- An accredited official of a foreign government recognized by
        the Government of the Philippines, his family, attendants, servants, and employees;

     F. Student Visa [9(f) Visa]- A student, having means sufficient for his education and support
        in the Philippines, who is at least fifteen years of age and who seeks to enter the Philippines
        temporarily and solely for the purpose of taking up a course of study higher than high school
        at a university, seminary, academy, college or school approved for such alien students by
        the Commissioner of Immigration; and

     G. Pre-arranged Employment Visa - An alien coming to pre-arranged employment, for whom
        the issuance of a visa has been authorized in accordance with section twenty of this Act,
        and his wife and his unmarried children under twenty-one years of age, if accompanying him
        or if following to join him within a period of six months from the date of his admission into the
        Philippines as a non-immigrant under this paragraph.

                           Special Non-immigrant Visa under Section 47(a)(2)

The Special Non-immigrant Visa is granted under Section 47(a)(2) of the Philippine Immigration
Act, which allows the President, when public interest warrants, to issue such visa subject to
conditions he may prescribe.

The President, acting through the appropriate government agencies, has exercised this authority to

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allow the entry of foreign personnel in the following areas:

     A. Oil drilling companies

     B. Philippine Economic Zone Authority Registered Enterprises

     C. Board of Investment Registered Enterprises

                                             Multiple Entry Special Visa

The most convenient of the employment visas is the multiple entry special visa which may be
issued to the following:

     A. Foreign Personnel of Offshore Banking Units under Presidential Decree 1034, Section
        7 - Foreign personnel of Offshore Banking Units of foreign banks duly licensed by the
        Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) to operate as such may be
        issued a multiple entry special visa. Likewise, their respective spouses and minor
        dependents under twenty-one (21) years of age, who are coming or following to join them
        after their admission, shall be issued a multiple entry special visa. A multiple entry special
        visa is valid for one year and which may be extended upon legal and meritorious grounds.

     B. Foreign Personnel of Regional or Area Headquarters of Multinational Companies
        under Executive Order 226, Book III, Article 59 - Foreign personnel of regional or area
        headquarters of multinational companies, their respective spouses and unmarried minor
        children under twenty-one (21) years of age, if accompanying or following to join them after
        their admission into the country as non-immigrant shall be issued a multiple entry special
        visa. Such visa shall be valid for one year unless extended upon legal and meritorious
        grounds by the Commissioner of Immigration.

The holder of this special visa is exempt from immigration registration and fees, and from securing
clearances from any agency of the government except a tax clearance, prior to final departure.

                                                 Special Resident Visa

There are five (5) instances when a Special Resident Visa maybe issued, as provided under the
following laws:

     A. Special Investors Resident Visa under Executive Order 226 or the Omnibus
        Investment Code of 1987 -

          Any alien, except nationals coming from North Korea and Cambodia and such other
          countries as may be classified as "Restricted" in the future, who meets the following
          requirements may be issued the Special Investors Resident Visa:

               a.   The alien must not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
               b.   He must not be afflicted with any loathsome, dangerous or contagious disease;
               c.   He must not have been institutionalized for any mental disorder or disability;
               d.   He is willing and able to invest the amount of at least US$75,000.00 in the
                    Philippines. For purposes of compliance with this particular condition, he should
                    prove that he has remitted such amount in acceptable foreign currency to the
                    Philippines.


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     B. Special Investors Resident Visa in Tourist-Related Projects and Tourist
        Establishments under Executive Order 63 -

          Any alien who invests the amount of US$50,000.00 in a tourist-related project or in any
          tourist establishment shall be entitled to the benefits and incentives granted under Executive
          Order 63. As a benefit or incentive to the investor, he may apply for a Special Investors
          Resident Visa.

          Foreign nationals and/or dependents classified as "Restricted" by the Department of Foreign
          Affairs and the Bureau of Immigration are excluded from the coverage of Executive Order
          63.

     C. Special Investor Retiree Visa under Executive Order 1037 or the Philippine Retirement
        Authority - The Special Resident Retiree’s Visa entitles the holder to multiple-entry
        privileges with the right to permanent residence in the Philippines. The Special Resident
        Retiree’s Visa is issued by the Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines under the
        Retirement Program of the Philippine Retirement Authority for foreigners and
        expatriate/overseas-based Filipinos. The Special Resident Retiree’s Visa entitles the holder
        to multiple-entry privileges with the right to permanent residence in the Philippines. The
        Special Resident Retiree’s Visa is issued by the Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines
        under the Retirement Program of the Philippine Retirement Authority for foreigners and
        expatriate/overseas-based Filipinos.

     D. Subic Special Investor’s Visa under Republic Act 7227 or the Bases Conversion and
        Development Act of 1992 -

          The Subic Special Investors Visa entitles a qualified investor, as well as his spouse and
          dependent children under 21 years of age, to a resident status which allows him an
          indefinite stay in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and multiple entry into the Philippine without
          need of obtaining the appropriate Re-entry Visa, Special Return Certificate, and Emigration
          Clearance Certificate from the Bureau of Immigration.

          An Investor is qualified for the Subic Special Investors Visa when he has made and
          continues to maintain an investment of not less than US$250,000.00 within the Subic Bay
          Freeport Zone. Investors may allocate equivalent units for their investments to the foreign
          nationals assigned to work for their companies. The investments may be in the form of:

               a. A Subic Bay Freeport enterprise or other direct investment, within the Subic Bay
                  Freeport Zone;
               b. A cash grant or interest-free loan to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority or to a
                  Subic Bay Freeport Enterprise for the purpose of making the capital improvements
                  by the recipient in the Subic Bay Freeport;
               c. A purchase or real estate in the Subic Bay Freeport or of a Subic Bay Freeport
                  Enterprise for the purpose of renovation, construction, or expansion of buildings,
                  equipment, structures, or appurtenances for capital improvement purposes; or
               d. A donation in kind to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority or a Subic Bay Freeport
                  Enterprise of equipment or material for capital improvement purposes;

     E. Subic Special Retiree’s Visa under Republic Act 7227 or the Bases Conversion and
        Development Act of 1992 -

          The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority may issue permanent residency visas to any foreign
          national that is a retired person and his or her spouse and dependent children under 21

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          years of age, for residence in Subic Bay Freeport.

          The applicant must comply with the following requirements:

               a. He must be at least 60 years of age who can demonstrate to the satisfaction of Subic
                  Bay Metropolitan Authority that he or she is of good moral character;
               b. Has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;
               c. No longer employed or self employed; and
               d. Who receives a pension or passive income that is payable in Subic Bay Freeport and
                  exceeds US$50,000.00 per year.

          The permanent residency visa of the retiree automatically terminates upon the taking of
          residence by the retiree outside the Subic Bay Freeport, or the acceptance by the retired
          person or his or her spouse of work for compensation within Subic Bay Freeport or
          anywhere within the Philippines without the approval of the Subic Bay Freeport.

          The residency visa of the spouse of the retiree automatically terminates upon the death of
          the person to whom the residency visa was granted, or upon their divorce, unless he or she
          makes application for and receives a residency visa from the Subic Bay Metropolitan
          Authority. The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority may summarily or after hearing revoke the
          residency visa of any retiree, his/her spouse or child for violation by these persons of any
          Philippine law or regulation or the terms and conditions for the issuance of the visa.

                                      Other Non-immigrant Visas/Permits

     A. Subic Special Working Visa under Republic Act 7227 or the Bases Conversion and
        Development Act of 1992

     B. Temporary Work Permit under Republic Act 7227 or the Bases Conversion and
        Development Act of 1992

     C. Special Work Permit under Law Instruction 27

                                         Immigrant Visa under Section 13

     1. Quota Immigrant
     2. Non-Quota Immigrant

     A.   Wife or Husband or Unmarried Minor
     B.   Children of Philippine Citizens IV - 6
     C.   Child of Alien Parents Born During Temporary Visit Abroad of Permanent Resident Mother
     D.   Child Born Subsequent to Issuance of Immigration Visa to Parents
     E.   Filipino Woman who Lost her Philippine Citizenship By Marriage
     F.   Returning Resident
     G.   Wife or Husband or Unmarried Minor Children of Permanent Residents
     H.   Returning Natural Born Filipinos who were Naturalized as Citizens of Foreign Countries

                                                   Other Registrations

     A. Alien Certificate of Registration -

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          Under Administrative Order 01-93, Alien Certificates of Registration, E Series, are issued to
          foreign nationals who apply for initial registration, fingerprinting, and issuance of an Alien
          Certificate of Registration, as required under the Alien Registration Act of 1950.

               1. The following aliens are required to register and be finger-printed:

                    a. Any native (Philippine)-born alien who is 14 years or more and will remain in the
                       Philippines for 30 days or longer;
                    b. Any alien who is 14 years or more and who is admitted into the Philippines other
                       that as temporary visitor (9(a)) or transient (9(b)) and who remains therein for 30
                       days or longer;
                    c. Any alien who is 14 years or more and who is admitted into the Philippines other
                       than as temporary visitor (9(a)) or transient (9(b)) and who remains in the
                       Philippines for more than six (6) months;
                    d. Any alien bona fide seaman entering the Philippines who has been discharged
                       with the consent of the Immigration Officer in charge of the port where the
                       discharge occurred and who will remain in the Philippines for 30 days or longer;
                       and
                    e. Any alien under orders of deportation.

               2. The parent or legal guardian of any alien child who is below 14 years and who falls
                  under any of the categories mentioned in paragraphs 1 (a) to (d) above, is required
                  to register the child, (without need of fingerprinting) within 30 days after birth if
                  Philippine-born, or immediately upon the child’s entry. Within 15 days after attaining
                  14 years of age, the alien child must apply in person for registration and
                  fingerprinting.

               3. Any alien admitted into the Philippines as temporary visitor under 9(a) or transient
                  under 9(b) and who remains for over 59 days but not more than six (6) months and
                  who has no derogatory information about him; and does not belong to the category
                  of restricted nationals shall only be required to pay the registration fees due without
                  undergoing any other formality such as filling in an application form, picture taking
                  and/or fingerprinting.

               4. Accredited officials of a foreign government recognized by the Republic of the
                  Philippines or members of their official staff and families are exempt from registration
                  and fingerprinting. (Alien Registration Act of 1950 (Republic Act 562) as amended,
                  and the implementing regulations).

               5. In addition, the following are likewise required to obtain an Alien Certificate of
                  Registration:

                        a.   International Treaty Trader/Investor under Section 9(d);
                        b.   Student under Section 9(f);
                        c.   Pre-arranged Employee under Section 9(g);
                        d.   Quota or non-quota immigrants under Section 13;
                        e.   Special Non-immigrant under Section 47(a)(2); and
                        f.   Special Resident Visa holders.

     B. Certificate of Residence -

          Immigrants


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          The following immigrants are required to secure an Immigrants Certificate of Residence:

               a. An alien who has his lawful and permanent residence in the Philippines, and an alien
                  who may hereafter be lawfully admitted in the Philippines for permanent residence;
               b. An alien coming from abroad and admitted either as a quota or non-quota immigrant
                  under the Philippine Immigrant Act; and
               c. An alien admitted under a different immigration category and whose status has been
                  changed to either quota or non-quota immigration under the Philippine Immigration
                  Act.

          Non-immigrant

          Non-immigrants, on the other hand, are issued any of the following:

                a.   Certificate of Residence of Pre-arranged Employee;
                b.   Certificate of Residence of Temporary Visitor;
                c.   Certificate of Residence of Treaty Trader; or
                d.   Certificate of Temporary Residence of Student.

     C. Emigration Clearance Certificate -An Emigration Clearance Certificate is issued to aliens
        permanently or temporarily residing in the Philippines, who are departing for temporary
        sojourn abroad and intend to return to the Philippines.

     D. Re-entry Permit -

     E. Special Return Certificate -

          The Special Return Certificate is issued to an alien non-immigrant admitted to temporary
          residence in the Philippines who is about to depart temporarily from the Philippines. This
          document allows the holder to return to the Philippines with the same admission status as
          when he departed. A Special Return Certificate shall be valid for an initial period of six (6)
          months, but on good cause shown, it may be issued with a validity period of one (1) year,
          provided that in no case shall its validity exceed the holder’s authorized stay.

          The Special Return Certificate shall be valid for a single entry unless it is expressly stated
          that it shall be valid for multiple entries. A Special Return Certificate fee is assessed on
          every issuance and/or extension for a six (6)-month period but with respect to the multiple
          Special Return Certificate, the fee is assessed for every departure.

          An application for the Special Return Certificate is accompanied by an application for the
          Emigration Clearance Certificate.

                                    Department of Labor and Employment

     A. Alien Employment Permit -

          Foreign nationals who are in the Philippines for purposes of employment must obtain an
          Alien Employment Permit from the Department of Labor and Employment.

          Executives of regional headquarters and offshore banking units as well as Treaty Trader
          Visa holders are exempt from the Alien Employment Permit requirement.


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          The principal criterion that the Department of Labor and Employment applies in evaluating
          Alien Employment Permit applications is the availability or non-availability of a person in the
          Philippines who is competent and willing to do the job for which the services of the applicant
          are required.

          The application is made by filing the requirements with the Department of Labor and
          Employment. In certain cases, an interview with the foreign national and the Filipino
          understudies may be required.

     B. Alien Employment Registration Certificate -




BOI International Marketing Department/EMEA Division                                       Page 7
Source: Law Firm of Follosco, Morallos & Herce (www.fmh.ph)                           As of Feb 2004