3,000 Chinese ordered to leave PH for visa violations
Almost 3,000 Chinese nationals, who arrived during the first 10 months of the year, were ordered to leave the country by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for violating the conditions of their visa.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, from January to October, a total of 2,736 Chinese nationals were given orders to leave after they were granted visas upon arrival (VUA) but failed to leave on their scheduled departure date.
Under the rules, VUA grantees are not allowed to extend their stay beyond 30 days.
Morente said more than half of those who were ordered to leave were blacklisted or will be prevented from reentering the country.
“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,” Morente said in a statement.
The VUA program, which was a joint project of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), was launched three years ago to attract Chinese tourists and tour groups, allow them to travel to the Philippines and stay here for not more than 30 days, without the need to apply for visas at Philippine consulates in their places of origin.
VUA grantees instead apply for it through tour operators accredited by the DOT, BI said.
But Morente explained that VUA arrivals account for only around 5 percent of total Chinese arrivals in the country. She added that most of those who arrived already secured their entry visas from foreign posts abroad.
The BI has suspended the implementation of the VUA in January, before the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, in an effort to slow down the arrival of Chinese tour groups.
The program remains suspended as the government continues to implement restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists due to COVID-19.
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