Immigration bureau to require foreigners to report personally

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

MANILA – Starting next year, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) will require all foreign nationals to report in person as a requirement for their continued stay in the country.

In the recent memorandum circular signed by Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison, foreign nationals staying in the Philippines are required to appear in person at the Bureau of Immigration offices within the first sixty days of the calendar year.

Mison said that the latest policy is in compliance with Section 10 of Alien Registration Act. He also noted that the Memorandum Circular No. SBM 2013-007 aims to strictly enforce compliance of the immigration law in the interest of national security, public safety and public order.

Foreign nationals are asked to bring their ACR card or paper-based ACR and accomplish an application form that can be downloaded from the bureau’s website ( or personally get a copy from any of the BI offices nationwide.

Travel agencies, law firms and other entities transacting with the Immigration Bureau are prohibited from accomplishing the application form or paying the corresponding application fees on behalf of their clients, except if they fall on the exceptions as stated in the Memorandum Circular SBM 2013-002.

Mison said that foreign nationals who are under 14 years of age or about 65 years old, imbecile, staying in a penal institution or confined in a hospital are not required to appear in person but those who can show sufficient proof of physical incapability to report in person can likewise send a representative to apply.

Meanwhile, those who are outside the country are not required to appear personally for as long as the person pays the application fee within thirty days upon arrival while other applicants whose appearances have been waived by the bureau can just send their representatives.

He added that application forms should be duly notarized before the ACOs or heads of departments and divisions of the bureau.

The Alien Registration Division has been tasked to strictly manage the annual report, particularly the reports submitted weekly by district field offices which are now required to report on a weekly and monthly basis the number of foreign nationals within their jurisdiction. (Sunnex)

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