|BI adopts stricter rules for RP-born aliens|
JUNE 03, 2012
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has adopted stricter rules in registering and issuing visas to dependent-children of resident foreign nationals in the country.
A memorandum circular issued by BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. last May 24 prescribes new guidelines for registering dependents of foreigners who are holders of immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
The circular, approved by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, provides for the cancellation of the visas of non-immigrant alien dependents who were improvidently registered as native-born foreigners even if they are not qualified under the immigration law.
It stressed that dependents of non-immigrants, aged 18 years and below, are entitled only to the visas granted to their parents whose stay in the country is only temporary.
The memorandum states that after Dec. 31 this year, the registration of foreign depedents who were erroneously granted native-born status shall be cancelled.
David gave the BI alien registration division to submit within 30 days an inventory or list of the said “native-born” dependents and instruct the concerned aliens to apply for the appropriate visa with the bureau.
Lawyer Ronaldo Ledesma, BI acting alien registration chief, said the new rules were issued after his office stumbled upon the records of hundreds of alien dependents who were mistakenly registered as native-born foreigners just because they were born in the Philippines.
According to Ledesma, the mistakes arose from confusion and misinterpretation of the law which he blamed on the lack of clear and definite guidelines for categorizing and registering alien dependents.
“These new guidelines provides uniform rules for registering these dependents, thus avoiding confusion in determining the status or visa that should be granted an alien born in the Philippines,” he added.
Ledesma, author of several books on Philippine immigration laws and procedures, explained that except in some cases, the general rule is that “the visa status of immigrant and non-immigrant dependents shall always be co-terminous with that of their parents.”###