Immigration offers visa upon arrival to Chinese tourists, investors

MANILA-- The Bureau of Immigration (BI), in a move to attract more Chinese investors and tourists into the country, will grant Chinese nationals visas upon arrival (VUA) in the Philippines.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente noted that the granting of VUA to Chinese travelers was approved by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre through Department Circular 041.

"Through this scheme we aim to facilitate the expeditious entry and admission of Chinese nationals into the country and thus attract more tourists and investors from China, he said in a statement.

The program is open to Chinese nationals who are members of tour groups organized by tour operators accredited by the tourism department; businessmen endorsed by local and foreign chambers of commerce and other government agencies; and athletes and delegates to conventions and exhibitions.

It will be implemented at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and in eight other international airports (Clark, Mactan, and Kalibo) and seaports (Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic, Laoag, and Caticlan) throughout the country.

Interested travelers may, through their tour operator, apply for their landed visas at the BI for an initial authorized stay of 30 days and they may apply for extension up to a maximum period of six months.

Applicants should be holders of valid passports and return tickets and they should not be in the BI's blacklist or subject of an Interpol red notice.

The BI will be charging a visa fee of USD25 and PHP10 legal research fee.

Morente reminded that applications for VUA should be filed at least 10 working days before applicants' arrival into the country.

The BI commissioner will issue an order approving the VUA to qualified applicants, and the same shall be presented by the Chinese passengers to immigration officers upon their arrival into the country.

Source: Philippine News Agency