What is the change? The Bureau of Immigration is in the process of implementing how it will recognize the categories of foreign workers excluded from Alien Employment Permits (AEP), which were announced last month by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

What does the change mean? Until the bureau announces procedures for implementation of the exclusions, employers claiming an exclusion are advised to submit a request for DOLE to certify an exclusion before a foreign employee submits a 9(g) application to the Bureau of Immigration.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Alien Employment Permits.
  • Who is affected: Companies sponsoring foreign workers for AEPs.
  • Impact on processing times: The certification request may lengthen processing times in some circumstances.
  • Business impact: The transition period and ongoing implementation add a level of uncertainty when arranging work authorization for foreign employees claiming an exclusion from AEPs.
  • Next steps: Employers should work with their BAL representative regarding when an exclusion certification is appropriate.

Background: The Philippines implemented new labor rules Sept. 28 for companies employing foreign workers. Certain foreign employees were listed as excluded from the AEPs, including intracompany transferees, service contractors in executive or managerial roles, and foreign board members of Philippine companies who do not participate in day-to-day management or operations of the company.

The Bureau of Immigration and the Philippine Export Zone Authority are still developing their procedures to implement the new regulations. In the meantime, DOLE has begun to issue certifications confirming when the exclusion applies for eligible foreign employees. The certification can be used in connection with the foreign employee’s long-term work visa application. The process for applying for an exclusion certification requires the company to submit a request letter along with its Business Permit, its latest General Information Sheet and the employee’s original passport. DOLE will make a decision in approximately one week.

BAL Analysis: Employers in the Philippines are advised to apply for the certification to prove that their foreign employees qualify for an exclusion. The authorities are still working on the implementation of these new regulation and changes are possible.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network partner in the Philippines. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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