Foreigners with expired visas get grace period from BI after Naia shutdown
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration on Wednesday said the foreigners with expired visas and Emigration Clearance Certificates (ECC) whose flights were canceled due to a system-wide power outage that shut down the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) could stay in the country until January 12.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the grace period lets foreigners rebook flights without immigration fines.
Tansingco said foreigners simply need their boarding pass or confirmed ticket showing their canceled flight from January 1 or after.
“Considering what happened to many foreign nationals who were unable to leave during their scheduled flights, we issued this advisory to assist them in rescheduling, without having to worry about overstaying,” Tansingco said in a statement.
“This extension is given in the spirit of the hospitality of Filipino people,” he also said. “Those who were affected did not mean to overstay their visas, hence appropriate considerations are given to them.”
On Sunday, hundreds of flights were either delayed, canceled, or diverted to other airports, affecting over 56,000 passengers scheduled to arrive at or depart from Naia.
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Capt. Manuel Tamayo said that it was the power supply of the Air Traffic Management Center Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management that had failed and caused damage to key components.
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