|A Brief History|
|Vision and Mandate|
|BI - Subport Offices|
|List of BOC acted applications|
|Updated List of Released I-Cards|
|Lifted Watchlist and Hold Departure Issued by the DOJ|
|Approved List of BI Accredited Entities-2013|
|List of Approved Quota Visa Applications|
|A Brief History|
The Bureau of Immigration evolved from a mere division of the Bureau of Customs in 1899, in the early years of the American regime in the Philippines. This was pursuant to Act No. 702 of the Philippine Commission. It seems that the government then, attached more importance on the entry of goods than on monitoring of aliens coming into the country. The government was more interested in customs duties that they may generate from these incoming goods, than in the control and regulation of the arrival and stay of foreigners. The functions of immigration remained under the said bureau until 1937, when it was transferred again as a division under the Bureau of Labor. This was mainly to respond to the arrival of Chinese nationals who owned and operated trade houses, stores, and restaurants in the country.
On 22 January 1940, the Second National Assembly of the Philippine Commonwealth enacted the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 (Commonwealth Act No. 613). It was signed into law by the President of the United States of America on September 3, 1940, creating the Bureau of Immigration under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President. A year or so later, it became an attached agency of the Department of Justice. Later, its administrative control was returned to the Office of the President.
When the Pacific war broke out in December 1941, the Bureau, then under the Department of Justice, moved to the Bilibid Prison in Azcarraga Street (now Claro M. Recto Avenue) which the Japanese Imperial Army declared “off limits” to anyone during the occupation. Immediately after the war, the Bureau was transferred to the Bacharach Building at Gate 1 of the South Harbor in Manila, then eventually was moved again to Building No. 5 at the Customs Bureau at Gate 4. In 1945, in line with the reorganization plan of the government, the Bureau was put under the supervision and control of the Department of Labor. This was at the time when there was an influx of foreign labor and the government deemed it appropriate to do so. In August 1948, the administrative control of the Bureau was returned to the Department of Justice where it remains up to this time.
In 1951, the Bureau relocated to the Court of Appeal’s Building at Adriatico St., in Ermita Manila, before finally transferring to Intramuros where it presently stands.
COMMISSIONERS OF THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION (1940 up to present)
• RONALDO P. LEDESMA (Officer in Charge) July 28, 2010 - March 14, 2011
• RICARDO A. DAVID JR. March 2011 - present