MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration said Tuesday that it ordered more than 2,700 Chinese nationals to leave the Philippines for violating conditions of their visa.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said from January to October, a total of 2,736 Chinese nationals who were granted visas upon arrival (VUA) were instructed to leave the Philippines after they failed to follow their scheduled departure date.
“More than half of those who were ordered to leave were blacklisted from our country,” Morente said in a statement.
“While some were unable to leave due to circumstance, following the cancellation of many flights due to the pandemic, those who stayed without sufficient basis were included in our blacklist,” he said.
The VUA program allowed Chinese tourists to travel to the Philippines and stay in the country for not more than 30 days without applying for visas at Philippine consulates in their places of origin.
Under the rules, VUA grantees are not allowed to extend their stay beyond 30 days.
The government suspended the program in January to limit the number of foreigners entering the country and curb the spread of the new coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The program remains suspended as the government continues to restrict the entry of foreign tourists due to the pandemic, the BI said.
Lawmakers earlier flagged a program allowing the entry of 35-year-old Chinese nationals as retirees and employment in construction work.