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PHL eases departing foreigners’ visa regulations

Elmer N. Manuel @tribunephl_lmer

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The Bureau of Immigration on Friday announced that foreigners with approved visa applications will be allowed to leave the Philippines even without visas stamped on their passports as travel in and out of the country remained restricted over the coronavirus disease pandemic.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that he has instructed their Port Operations Division (POD) to allow the departure of foreigners with approved but unimplemented visas, provided they meet certain conditions during this critical period.

The BI chief said that this would give foreigners the chance to return to their countries during the lockdown period in Luzon — where key airports are located — despite not fully completing visa application procedures.

Under regular BI procedures, foreigners with approved visa applications are required to submit their passports for the bureau to affix the visa and Morente said that visas can be revalidated and implemented when they return to the Philippines.

BI POD Chief Grifton Medina said in lieu of the visa stamp, foreigners shall present to the immigration officer a valid passport, printout of his name in the agenda when said visa was approved, Department of Justice Indorsement, or Certification from the approving office whichever is applicable; and official receipts of reentry and exit permit fees.

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