What is the change? The Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Immigration have released joint guidelines that impact special work permit applications.

New guidelines:

  • Special Work Permit list of activities. The following temporary visitors are required to apply for an SWP:
    • Professional athletes, coaches, trainers and assistants.
    • International performers with exceptional abilities.
    • Artists, performers and their staff who perform before an audience for a fee.
    • Service suppliers coming primarily to perform temporary services and who do not receive salary or other remuneration from a Philippines-based company.
    • Treasure hunters who are authorized to search for hidden treasures.
    • Movie and television crew authorized to film in the country.
    • Foreign journalists practicing their profession or covering a specific event in the country.
    • Interns in local and private entities.
    • Trainees assigned in local government, government-owned and -controlled corporations and private entities.
    • Lecturers, researchers, trainers and others pursuing academic work who are assigned in schools, universities, educational and research institutions, government agencies and other entities.
    • Religious missionaries and preachers.
    • Culinary specialists and chefs.
    • Professionals.
    • Consultants or experts.
  • Employment arrangement definition. According to the guidelines, the SWP can only be issued to foreign nationals working outside of an employment arrangement. Due to this change, the Bureau of Immigration will reject the use of employment contracts as a basis for the issuance of the SWP.
  • Provisional Work Permit (PWP) update. The guidelines place a cap on the validity of the PWP, which now cannot exceed six months and is non-renewable. Therefore, if the 9(g) Visa is not issued within six months of the PWP being issued, the foreign national will not be authorized to work. The current processing time for the 9(g) Visa is 3-4 months.

Analysis & Comments: Employers should follow the new guidelines when submitting work permit applications. While the changes are not yet in effect, they will go into effect within 15 days of publication.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.