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B.I. Issues Implementing Rules for New Investor's Visa?

Foreign businessmen intending to do business in the country may now apply for their visa with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) as the latter came out yesterday with its implementing rules and regulations for its “pro-investment visa upon arrival” program.

BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan issued Memorandum Order MCL-07-015 which provides for the procedures and requirements that foreign businessmen should comply to avail themselves of the new investor’s visa. Among others, the memorandum provides that senior executives of Philippine-based multinational corporations who avail of the program shall upon their arrival be granted to a three-month initial stay which they may later extend for a series of six-months so long as the total period does not exceed three years.

The multinational executives are also entitled to multiple entry privileges, meaning they can enter and leave the country while their visas are still valid.

A request for the issuance of the visa to a multinational executive should be filed with the BI at least two days before his scheduled arrival.

As for foreign businessmen who are not employed by multinational firms, they shall be entitled to single entry privilege and upon their arrival be granted an authorized stay of 30 days as a temporary visitor.

Within the said 30-day period, the applicant must apply for a change of his status from tourist to any of the other visa categories appropriate to his chosen field of endeavor such as a working visa, a retiree’s visa, an immigrant quota visa, or a special investor’s resident visa.

The applicant’s authorized representative should file a request for the visa with the BI at least five days before the applicant’s intended date of arrival.

 Applicants from multinational firms availing of the multiple entry privilege shall be charged a visa fee of US$100 and P10 legal research fee, while other foreigners applying for the single entry privilege shall be charged a fee of US$25 and P10 legal research fee.

Libanan earlier said the BI launched the program to bolster government’s efforts to attract foreign business and build up investor’s confidence in the country.

“Through this program, foreign executives of multinational firms operating here are assured of a fast, hassle-free and more convenient immigration service every time they visit or leave our country,” he said.

He added that a special window which shall receive and process applications for the investment visa shall be designated and established at the BI commissioner’s office.

Aside from multinational executives, others who may avail of the program are foreigners endorsed by the Board of Investments (BOI), Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), local business councils, and the different foreign chambers in the country

(Source: BI News, http://immigration.gov.ph 08.22.07)