PRESS RELEASES

23 July 2013

 

BI EXTENDS VISA-FREE ENTRY PRIVILEGE OF ALIENS FROM 151 COUNTRIES TO 30 DAYS

 

Starting next month, nationals from 151 countries may now enter the country without a visa and stay here for 30 days, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced today.

 

BI OIC Commissioner Siegfred Mison declared that the visa-free entry privilege of the said nationals was extended from 21 days to 30 days as part of government efforts to spur foreign tourist arrivals in the country.

 

Mison said the new visa policy was adopted pursuant to a circular from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) issued last July 1.

 

He added that pursuant to existing bilateral agreements, nationals from Israel and Brazil shall continue to be admitted for an initial stay of 59 days.

 

The BI chief, however, stressed that foreigners can only avail of the visa-free privilege if their passports are valid for at least six months beyond their contemplated period of stay.

 

“They should also present return ticket to their country of origin or onward tickets to their next country of destination,” he said.

 

It was gathered that the bureau has finished updating its computerized travel control systems in the different ports of entry to implement the new visa scheme.

 

Earlier, the government announced that it was extending the visa-free entry privileges of foreign visitors to spur tourist arrival in the country.

 

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it aims to attract at least 10 million foreign tourists by 2016.

 

DOT officials also foresee the tourism sector to generate up to seven million jobs for Filipinos if the said target is achieved.

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