|BI Launches Long-Stay Visa|
14 June 2013
Foreigners intending to stay longer in the country may now avail of a six-month, long-stay tourist visa that will be launched next week by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
BI Commissioner Ricardo A. David, Jr. also announced the introduction of a new visa sticker that will replace the wet stamp used by the Bureau in implementing extensions of stay in the passports of foreign tourists.
David said the Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE) project was launched to spur tourist arrivals in the country by giving foreigners the privilege to prolong their stay here without the need to frequent the BI office.
Presently, the BI grants foreign tourists a maximum stay of two months each time they apply for visa extensions.“Through this long stay visa, we expect lesser crowding in our offices due to the decreased volume of visa extension applicants,” David said.
As for the new visa sticker, the BI chief said it will prevent the proliferation of fake visa extension stamps that has victimized many foreigners.
He disclosed that the sticker has security and tracking features that cannot be copied.
“It will also speed up transaction in our visa section, allow more efficient tracking of records and faster detection of forged and tampered stamps,” The BI chief added.
According to David, the projects were initiated after meetings were meetings between the BI and Department of Tourism and Department of Foreign Affairs were held on what policy reforms can be initiated to further attract more foreign visitors to the country.
The tourist department had said it is aiming to increase volume of tourist arrival to 10 million by 2016.###