The Philippines has implemented changes to departure procedures for foreign nationals leaving the country.

Key Points:

  • Departing holders of approved and implemented visas who have not yet received their ACR I-Card are no longer required to obtain an ACR I-Card Waiver Order. They will instead present the following when clearing immigration at the airport:
    • Original passport with implemented visa
    • Official receipt (original or photocopy) of the ACR I-Card waiver application fee
    • Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC)/Return Permit (RP) or ECC/Special Resident Certificate (SRC) fee, whichever is applicable
  • Foreign nationals with approved but unimplemented visas can depart the country without submitting their passports for visa stamping, as is normally the case. They will instead present the following when clearing immigration at the airport:
    • Original passport
    • Printout of their name on the agenda list when the visa was approved
    • Department of Justice endorsement or certification from the approving office, whichever is applicable
    • Official receipts of ECC/RP or ECC/SRC fee payment, whichever is applicable
  • Departing Temporary Visitor Visa holders who have stayed in the country for less than one year may obtain their ECC at the airport.
  • The Bureau of Immigration is also suspending biometrics and fingerprinting requirements, as well as the issuance of Special Security Registration Numbers, normally required for ECC processing.

Additional information: Foreign nationals with approved visas who departed in line with the procedures described above must present the applicable receipts to re-enter the Philippines and obtain their visa stamp/ACR I-Card.

Analysis & Comments: The changes to departure procedures are good news for employers, as these will ease the departure and return processes for their foreign national employees. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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