MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it is launching an online appointment system for clients in its main office in Intramuros as Metro Manila and other areas in the country transition to general community quarantine (GCQ).
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the bureau adapted the online appointment system as part of its ‘new normal’ protocols designed to observe social distancing and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The BI earlier said it will be transitioning to digitized arrival cards and paperless travel systems to minimize contact between passengers and immigration officers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the system, only clients with appointment code will be served during the specified date and time of the appointment, and clients will have to present government-issued or valid identification cards before they could enter the bureau’s premises, Morente said.
But the BI chief said that other clients may still avail of the services of the bureau-accredited travel agencies and law offices “if they wish so that the latter may secure the online appointment and transact business on their behalf.”
The complete set of instructions and requirements needed for every BI transaction can be accessed thru the bureau’s website at www.immigration.gov.ph.
Those who have inquiries or complaints are advised to course their concerns through the BI’s online social media platforms and telephone hotlines. The details of which can also be found in the said website.
Meanwhile, BI OIC Spokesperson Melvin Mabulac clarified that foreigners who are holders of Permanent Resident Visas are not allowed to enter the country under existing travel restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infections Diseases (IATF).
Foreign crew members of airlines, as well as from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), foreign spouses, and dependents of Filipino citizens, and foreign diplomats are allowed to enter the country.
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