MANILA — Only foreigners with permanent or existing immigrant visas can enter the country starting Aug. 1, the Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday.
"For the information of the public, the entry of foreign tourists, non-immigrant visa holders, and other categories of aliens are still prohibited. They will be turned back if they land in any of our ports of entry," BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
"If you are not a permanent resident here, do not attempt to travel to the Philippines because you will be excluded and denied entry by our immigration officers," he added.
Only those who fall under the following 4 categories will be allowed entry starting next month, said BI Port Operations Division Acting Chief Grifton Medina:
- Those who were issued immigrant visas under Section 13 of the Immigration act;
- Those who acquired resident status under Republic Act 7919 or Alien Social Integration Act;
- Those who availed of Executive Order 324 or Alien Legalization Program; and
- Native-born foreign nationals.
Diplomats and foreigners married to Filipinos and their dependents can also come to the Philippines, he said.
Some 15,000 immigrant visa holders were stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Medina.
The Philippines in mid-March started to deny entry to foreign nationals from all countries with confirmed local transmissions of COVID-19.