On Friday (February 19), the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed long-term Philippine visa holders to enter the country, a move to further ease restrictions on foreign travellers.
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Previously, the IATF only allowed those foreign nationals with visas valid until March 20, 2020.
Long-Term Visa Holders Now Allowed to Enter PH – IATF
In an interview with the state-run Philippine Television Network, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said: “Lahat po ng long-term visas na na-issue natin pupuwede na pong pumasok. Antayin na lang po natin kailan papayagan ang mga turista.”
(All foreigners with long-term visas that we have issued can now enter. Let’s just wait for now when tourists will be allowed.)
“Sa ngayon po, ang pinapayagan lang e lahat ng mga visas ng mga namumuhunan, mga nagtratrabaho, mga kamag-anak ng Pilipino, mga may asawa na Pilipino, mga anak. Halos lahat ng dayuhan, except ang mga turista,” he clarified.
(Right now, we’re only allowing investors, workers, foreigners with Filipino spouses and their children. Almost all foreigners, except tourists.)
On Thursday, the Tourism Department expressed its hopes of welcoming foreign nationals in the country this year, hoping to revive the tourism sector which was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In line with this, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat shared that there’s no definitive timeline yet.
“It’s hard to give a timeline,” Puyat stressed during a press briefer.
Despite the circumstances, Puyat expressed optimism, pointing out: “We’re hoping slowly. We’re hoping sana this year we will be able to open up to other countries not only confined to balikbayans.”
Earlier this month, the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai has issued the guidelines to those who are planning to enter the Philippines.
As per the guidelines released, the following will be allowed to enter the Philippines subject to testing and quarantine protocols against COVID-19:
- Diplomats and members of international organizations and their dependents
- Foreign seafarers provided that they have 9(c) visa upon entry
- Holders of 13 series visa under the Immigration Act
- Holders of Republic Act No.7919 visas
- Holders of Executive Order 324 visas
- Foreign spouses of Filipino nationals provided that the Filipino spouse is in the Philippines
- Foreign minor children, and foreign children with special needs regardless of age of Filipino nationals
- Foreign parents of minor Filipino children and of Filipino children with special needs regardless of children
- Holders of special visas issued by Immigration Bureau under Republic Act 8756
- Holders of 47(a-2) visas issued by the DOJ
- Holders of 9(d) visas issued by the BI
- Holders of visas issued by economic zones
- Holders of Special Investors Visas
- Dual Filipino citizens carrying foreign passports
- Filipino citizen’s foreign spouses and children regardless of age from non-visa required entries
- Holders of 9(g) visas who departed from the Philippines on or after December 17, 2020.
Meanwhile, those who are allowed to enter the Philippines must secure pre-booked accommodation for seven nights in a DOT-accredited quarantine facility. They will also undergo RT-PCR tests on the sixth day.
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