DOJ adopts stricter visa upon arrival

The Department of Justice will soon issue a department circular imposing stricter regulation for so-called “Visa Upon Arrival” (VUA) to regulate, among others, the entry of Chinese nationals, especially those who are overstaying or are seeking employment in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators establishments.

The new policy, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete, would now require arriving Chinese nationals to present a round trip ticket. Those granted with visitor’s visa would also be disallowed from seeking employment, particularly through POGOs, or overstay in the country.

Perete explained that this circular covers Chinese visitors, businessmen who would be staying for short durations in the Philippines, athletes, and delegates to international conferences.

Once published, the amended VUA circular would take effect immediately and not 15 days after publication, the DOJ official said.

“Technically what is required by law is a reasonable period to notify the public after the publication. But in this case, this (VUA) is a privilege being granted to foreign individuals. So in essence, the publication requirement is enough notice, and the effectivity put in the department circular is immediate upon publication,” he said.

“This will make sure that no one would overstay,” Perete added.

Foreigners with VUA are only allowed to stay in the country for a non-extendible period of 30 days.

Perete said Chinese businessmen issued with VUA are allowed to stay in the country for only 15 days.

Tourists are likewise asked to reveal their itinerary while they are in the country and to show proof that they have booked accommodations such as presenting hotel’s billing receipts.

“Aside from the round-trip ticket, if they are coming in as tourists they must have booked accommodations for every stop in their itinerary. The tour operator must be, of course, accredited. The tour operator must provide all the details where they will be staying, proof of accommodations,” he said.

Besides Chinese nationals, the DOJ official also said they are also studying the possibility of including other nationalities who would only be shortly staying in the country under the stricter VUA regulations.

Topics: Department of Justice , DOJ , Visa Upon Arrival , VUA , Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators , POGOs
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