The Bureau of Immigration has advised Chinese residents in the country who plan to spend Chinese New Year abroad to pay their reentry fees in any of the Bureau’s field and satellite offices instead of the airport to avoid inconvenience and delays.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina issued the directive following the expected annual surge in volume of travelers lining up to pay their reentry fees to the immigration cashiers at the departure areas at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Many of them are Chinese residents in the Philippines who wish to spend the Chinese New Year in their homeland. It usually results in heavy congestion of passengers at the airport which may be avoided if pre-paid their fees before going to the airport,” he said.
The Philippines is host to tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants and non-immigrants. In 2018 alone, a total of 1,309,289 Chinese citizens were recorded to have left the country.
Under immigration rules, foreign nationals who are registered with the BI for being holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas are required to pay exit and reentry permits every time they leave the country.
Thus, immigration officers in the ports of exit require these foreign nationals to present official receipts of their reentry permit fees before they are cleared for departure, otherwise, they are directed to first pay their fees to BI cashiers at the airport.
“Due to the upcoming Chinese New Year, our cashier’s counters are always congested and this hampers our ability to effect faster and efficient immigration processing of departing travelers,” Medina observed.
He said that reentry fees can be paid at the BI main office in Manila and in the immigration field, satellite and extension offices nationwide.
“We have many offices nationwide that can cater to this need. Coming to the airport with the reentry receipt at hand makes processing much faster, giving passengers more time to relax before their flight,” he added.
It has been customary practice for many Chinese nationals living abroad to visit their homeland for the Chinese New Year which will be celebrated on Feb. 5.