BI orders stricter screening of aliens with temporary visitor’s visas
MANILA, Philippines — Immigration officers stationed in the country’s different international airports have been ordered to thoroughly screen arriving foreigners with temporary visitor’s visas and entry exemption documents to make sure that they have valid and legitimate purposes for visiting the Philippines.
In a memorandum issued by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, immigration inspectors manning the ports are ordered to conduct strict arrival formalities on arriving passengers despite having the required documents.
Morente said entry exemption documents do not exempt arriving passengers from regular immigration scrutiny.
“The entry exemption document is not a free pass to enter the country,” Morente said in a statement.
“It’s a documentary requirement set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases for aliens arriving under a temporary visitor’s visas, but their entry is still subject to immigration inspection,” he added.
Morente’s order came after the interception of several Chinese nationals who arrived in the country with entry visas and entry exemption documents but later turned out to have misrepresented their purpose in entering the Philippines.
“Aside from giving inconsistent answers during the interview, the passengers were also not able to establish their connection to companies that invited them to visit the Philippines,” Fortunato Manahan Jr., chief of the BI intelligence division which supervises the travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU), said.
Manahan explained that arriving alien tourists, despite having entry exemption documents, may still be required to present additional proof of purpose and assessed to determine the legitimacy of their travel to the country.
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