Philippines – Changes to Fee Exemptions for Certain Holders of 47a2 Visas (UPDATE)

What has changed

As a follow up to our eAlert from January 22, 2015, further changes have been made by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) regarding which holders of 47(a)(2) Visas are required to pay immigration fees upon each departure from the Philippines. Employees whose Philippines visas are sponsored by a Philippines Economic Zone Authority(PEZA) entity were originally not exempt, but the BI has issued a new order reversing this.

Foreigners who hold PEZA-endorsed Special Non-Immigrant Visas, as well as their spouses and dependents, are now exempt from obtaining alien certificates and all types of Bureau of Immigration clearances including the payment of Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) and Special Return Certificate (SRC) fees.

Who is affected?
What to expect

Foreigners who hold PEZA-endorsed Special Non-Immigrant Visas and their dependents.

Holders of Special Non-Immigrant 47(a)(2) visas endorsed by a PEZA entity are exempt from ECC and SRC fees at the point of departure. It should be noted that not all Special Non-Immigrant 47(a)(2) visas are PEZA-endorsed and therefore some visa holders will not qualify for exempt status. Foreign employees who do NOT hold a 47(a)(2) visa are NOT affected by this change and will continue to be required to pay exit fees if required by the visa type they hold.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

As changes have been frequent in this area there is potential for some confusion on the part of immigration officers at Philippines borders. Emigra Worldwide can provide a copy of the Operations Order for clients in doubt.
Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your clients.


 

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.