Philippines – ACR I-Card Holders Must Complete Annual Report by 1 March 2015

What has changed

Further to our eAlert from February, 2014, clients are reminded that all holders of Alien Certificate of Registration I-Cards (ACR I-Cards), including holders of 9(g) Pre-Arranged Employment, 9(d) Treaty Trader and Section 13 immigrant visas, are required to complete an annual report to authorities by 1 March 2015. This report is compulsory to remain compliant with current law in the Philippines.

Emigra Worldwide is able to support clients with the annual report in circumstances where exemption from personal appearance is possible. Details of these changes are provided below.

Who is affected?
What to expect

  • Whereas personal appearances were required in 2014, individuals that appeared in person during 2014 may now be represented by a third party to complete their annual report.
  • Exemptions from annual reporting and personal appearance may apply for some immigration categories and individual circumstances. See below for additional details.

While the requirement to report annually remains unchanged, the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines has provided exemptions for the reporting process.

Previously, third party representatives were prohibited from submitting annual reports on behalf of foreign visa holders in the Philippines.  Now, third party representatives, if authorized by Power of Attorney, may submit annual reports on behalf of foreign nationals as long as a personal appearance was completed by the ACR I-Card holder during 2014. Individuals taking advantage of this provision will be subject to a higher government fee and must be fully compliant with the Philippine Immigration Act. Parents or legal guardians must report on behalf of children under 14 years old.

It is worth noting that holders of Multiple Entry Special visas, 9(a) Tourist visas, and Special Non-Immigrant 47(a)(2) visas are exempt from holding an ACR I-Card. However, if Special Non-Immigrant 47(a)(2) visa holders voluntarily elect to acquire an ACR I-Card, they must report to the Bureau of Immigration as well.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Employers in the Philippines should ensure that foreign national employees holding ACR I-Cards complete the annual reporting process with their respective offices of the Bureau of Immigration.
  • Eligible foreign nationals should engage with immigration counsel to prepare the appropriate documents, including Power of Attorney, required to arrange for third party submission of the annual report documentation on their behalf.
  • 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.