Nearly 3,000 Chinese nationals ordered to leave PH for violating visa
MANILA, Philippines — Close to 3,000 Chinese nationals were ordered to leave the Philippines for violating the conditions of their visa, the Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said 2,736 Chinese nationals, who were granted visas upon arrival (VUA) from January to October, failed to leave the country on their scheduled departure date, thus, they were ordered to leave.
Under the rules, VUA guarantees are not allowed to extend their stay beyond 30 days.
“More than half of those who were ordered to leave were blacklisted from our country,” Morente said in a statement.
“While some were unable to leave due to circumstance, following the cancellation of many flights due to the pandemic, those who stayed without sufficient basis were included in our blacklist,” he added.
The VUA program, a joint project of the Department of Tourism and the Department of Justice, was launched in 2017 to attract Chinese tourists and tour groups.
BI said it allows Chinese nationals to travel to the Philippines and stay for not more than 30 days, without the need to apply for visas at Philippine consulates.
VUA grantees apply for it through tour operators accredited by the DOT.
“VUA arrivals account for only around 5% of total Chinese arrivals in the country. Most of those who arrived already secured their entry visas from our foreign posts abroad,” Morente said.
The BI has suspended the implementation of the VUA program in January, which was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
It remains suspended as the government continues to implement restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists in the country due to the pandemic.
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