THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the lifting of some temporary suspension and exemptions given to aliens that were put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said Metro Manila and other provinces remain under Alert Level 1 and this allows for less stringent movement of individuals.

He added that government services are moving back to normal operations.

Morente said the bureau will resume biometrics capturing and fingerprinting of foreign nationals under the Alien Registration Program (ARP) and issuance of Special Security Registration Number (SSRN) as requirements for processing of foreign nationals.

The BI temporarily suspended biometrics capturing in a bid to lessen physical contact during document processing.

BI Alien Registration Division (ARD) Chief Jose Carlitos Licas Jr. said biometric capturing remained to ensure alien records remain complete and accurate.

Licas added that the ARD will resume issuing emigration clearance certificate (ECCs), a document required by law for aliens who have stayed in the country for more than six months.

“The issuance of ECCs, which also requires biometric capturing, must be secured from any authorized BI office at least 72 hours prior to the foreign national’s departure from the country,” he stated.

Licas also said that the lifting of the suspension meant that biometrics capturing and fingerprinting for all foreign nationals required for visa renewal as well as other immigration transactions shall resume.

Morente renewed his appeal for continuous observance of public health protocols under the new normal.

“The virus is still a threat, but this time we are now armed with the knowledge on how to protect ourselves from it. As we transition to the new normal, we urge the public to continue following health protocols so we may continue to keep each other safe from this virus,” he added.