What are the changes? The Philippine Bureau of Immigration is now strictly enforcing the requirement that foreign nationals personally appear to file their annual report.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals living in the Philippines can generally no longer have third-party representatives submit their annual reports.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Alien Certificate of Registration (ACRI) card.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals who hold an ACRI card.
  • Impact on processing times: No direct impact.
  • Business impact: Foreign assignees can no longer delegate annual reporting to third parties and must appear in person.
  • Next steps: Foreign nationals should schedule an appointment to appear at the Bureau of Immigration before the end of February.

Background: Philippine regulations require that all foreign nationals who hold an ACRI card submit an annual report during the first 60 days of each calendar year. Previously, common practice at the Bureau of Immigration allowed third-party representatives to submit the annual report on a foreign national’s behalf. However, the Bureau of Immigration released Memorandum Circular No. SBM No. 2013-002 in mid-December, stating that all 2014 annual reports must be submitted in person. Foreign nationals younger than 14 and older than 65 are exempt from personal appearances. Otherwise, exceptions can only be requested in very limited circumstances, such as the foreign national’s long-term hospitalization.

Foreign nationals who are travelling outside the Philippines during the first 60 days of the year must submit their annual report within 30 days of returning to the Philippines. Immigration experts are still allowed to assist with the preparation and notarization of the annual report and to provide guidance for scheduling appointments with the Bureau of Immigration.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals should take note of the enforcement of the personal appearance requirement and schedule an appointment to appear at their local Bureau of Immigration office to submit their annual report and fees before the end of February. Frequent travelers should allow themselves time to fulfill this reporting requirement.

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

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