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Philippines – Lifting of Expanded Travel Bans, Restrictions for Certain Travelers

PH – Lifting of Some Travel Bans, but New Restrictions

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration released revised guidelines in respect of individuals allowed and not allowed to travel to the Philippines effective 1 May 2021. The lifting of the expanded travel ban will once again allow foreign nationals with valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas to return to the Philippines. But there are restrictions imposed on travelers from India, Pakistan, and other countries.

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The Philippines Bureau of Immigration released revised guidelines in respect of individuals allowed and not allowed to travel to the Philippines effective 1 May 2021.  (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2021-090, 22 March 2021.)  There are restrictions imposed on travelers from India, Pakistan, and other countries.

WHY THIS MATTERS

The lifting of the expanded travel ban will once again allow foreign nationals with valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas to return to the Philippines.  

This also means that the Department of Foreign Affairs will resume acceptance of travel ban exemption requests for foreign national employees or business travelers to enter the country.

This development should bring relief to companies that have concerns over possible exposure to double taxation due to remote working and maintaining immigration requirements due to the extended stay of employees outside the Philippines.

Revised Travel Guidelines in the Philippines

The following individuals shall be allowed to enter the Philippines effective 1 May 20211:

1.      Filipino citizens including those with Identification Certificate (IC) as Filipino citizen or as proof of retention/reacquisition of Philippine citizenship;

2.      Foreign nationals holding a valid and existing immigrant and non-immigrant visa at the time of entry;

3.      Foreign nationals allowed entry under the Balikbayan Program provided they are nationals from non-visa-required countries under Executive Order 408;

4.      Former Filipino citizens, together with their foreign national spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them; and

5.      Filipino citizens' spouses and children, regardless of age, who are traveling with them.

6.      Foreign nationals who are holders of a valid and existing Special Resident Retirees Visa (SRRV) or Section 9(a) visas provided they present an entry exemption document issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs upon arrival.

Those foreign nationals allowed to enter under the resolutions shall be subject to the following conditions:

i.          Must have a valid and existing visa at the time of entry, except for those qualified under the Balikbayan Program under Republic Act No. 6768 or the Act Instituting the Balikbayan Program;

ii.          Must have a pre-booked accommodation for at least seven (7) nights in an accredited quarantine hotel/facility;

iii.          COVID-19 testing at the quarantine hotel/facility on the sixth (6th) day from date of arrival; and

iv.          Inclusion in the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

Foreign nationals entering for tourism purposes are not yet allowed.

Restriction for Travelers Coming from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

All passengers coming from India or those with travel history in India within the last fourteen (14) days preceding arrival in the Philippines shall not be allowed entry following IATF Resolution No. 112 Series of 20212.  The restriction will be in place until 14 May 2021.

Travelers from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh shall also not be allowed entry from 7 May until 14 May 20213.

FOOTNOTES

1  See BI Public Advisory posted in the official Facebook page 30 April 2021.

2  See BI Public Advisory posted in the official Facebook page 28 April 2021.

3  See BI Public Advisory posted in the official Facebook page 6 May 2021.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.

 

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in the Philippines.

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© 2021 R.G. Manabat & Co., a Philippine partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

 

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