Philippines – Tighter Requirements for Companies Hiring Foreign Nationals Introduced

What has changed

Effective immediately, the Philippines Bureau of Immigration requires companies wishing to sponsor foreign nationals for Pre-Arranged Employment 9 (g) Visas to submit a certification identifying the number of Filipino and foreign workers they employ when filing the visa application. Previously, the certification to apply for a 9(g) Visa was not a requirement.

Additionally, the Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) has introduced a standardized process for Philippines Economic Zone Authority(PEZA) registered companies seeking to acquire category 47(a)(2) visas for foreigners in excess of the 5% quota. The quota applies to supervisory, technical and advisory positions.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Companies wishing to sponsor foreign nationals for a 9(g) Visa and PEZA registered companies seeking to acquire category 47(a)(2) work visas in excess of the 5% quota for supervisory, technical and advisory positions.

Change to Documentary Requirements for Pre-Arranged Employment 9g Visa

Companies wishing to sponsor foreign nationals for Pre-Arranged Employment (9(g)) visas must now submit a certification of the number of Filipino and foreign employees when filing the visa application with the Bureau of Immigration. The information must be provided in a specific format, but does not need to list the foreign employees by name.

The change in relation to the 9(g) visa represents additional work being involved in preparation of supporting documentation for the 9(g) visa which could be problematic if the sponsoring entity does not have the information to hand.

Introduction of Standard Process for PEZA Companies Seeking 47(a)(2) Category Visas Above 5% Quota
If a company registered with PEZA wishes to receive work visas past the 5% quota, they may apply for a  ‘DOLE Notice of No Objection to PEZA Companies’. In order to apply, the following requirements must be met and complied with:

  1. Letter Request addressed to the Regional Director with the following details:
    1. Nature  of business of the company
    2. Number of Filipino employees
    3. Number of foreign employees
    4. Number of foreign nationals, position with job function/description, and nationality
  2. Name of foreign national (if already hired) whom the company intends to hire in      excess of the 5% limit
  3. Justification for hiring foreign nationals
  4. PEZA  Endorsement
  5. List of foreign and local employees with position (foreign nationals in      executive positions must be included in the list of employees)
  6. Proof that the company had tried on various occasions to fill its manpower requirements by seeking qualified Filipinos (e.g. proof of publication of vacancy, engagement of intermediaries, job boards, etc.)
  7. Registration with the online recruitment website, www.phil-job.net , and posting of job vacancies

Note that this procedure is currently being implemented only in the National Capital Region of the Philippines.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Companies applying for 9(g) Visas should plan for the additional work involved in the preparation of supporting documentation
  • Employers looking to hire past the 5% quota may no longer submit only a letter of request, they must prepare all required documents and information.
  • 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.