What is the change? The Philippines will exempt certain foreign nationals from appearing in person to file mandatory Annual Report forms within the first 60 days of the new year.

What does the change mean? A Bureau of Immigration order allows foreign nationals who meet four criteria to submit Annual Report forms via their legal representatives.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1 to March 1, 2015.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals and ACR-I Card holders in the Philippines, including holders of 9(g) Pre-arranged Employment, 9(d) Treaty Trader, Section 13 Immigrant visas and others. Temporary Visitor visa holders are not affected.
  • Business impact: The exemptions will relieve some foreign nationals from an administrative burden and allow them to resume the former practice of submitting Annual Reports via their legal representatives.
  • Next steps: Foreign nationals who do not meet all exemption criteria should prepare to appear at the appropriate Bureau of Immigration office, depending on their residence.

Background: Foreign nationals are generally required to make an Annual Report filing within the first 60 days of a calendar year. Last year, authorities disallowed filing of Annual Reports by third parties, requiring foreign nationals to appear in person.

In 2015, the Bureau of Immigration will resume third-party filing as long as a foreign national filed an Annual Report in person in 2014, submits a special power of attorney with a valid government-issued ID of their legal representative, pays 500 Philippine pesos (about US$10) for nonappearance, and is in compliance with all immigration and alien registration laws under the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 as amended and the Alien Registration Act of 1950.

Foreign nationals who do not meet the exemption criteria must appear in person either at the Bureau of Immigration’s main office if they live in metropolitan Manila, or at a branch office having jurisdiction over their place of residence. Parents or legal guardians must report on behalf of children under 14 years old.

Those who failed to submit their Annual Report forms in 2014 must appear in person in 2015 and present their original Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) and a printed confirmation number with other details issued through the Annual Report 2015 online system .

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals are reminded to submit their Annual Report by the end of February 2015. The exemptions represent a loosening of strict in-person filing requirements imposed last year.

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

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