New Immigration policy when acquiring alien certification registration
by FFE PH News Staff
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced a new policy yesterday that foreign nationals residing in the Philippines are now required to personally appear before the Bureau when they file for their alien certificate registration.
The new system that also includes notarization and finger printing is a necessary process in anticipation to the eventual full automation of the immigration process that has been out-of-date for 20 years, Immigration Commissioner Siegfried Mison said.
Mison asked for the cooperation and understanding of foreign nationals affected by the stricter rule and added that the new procedure will result to improved services from the bureau. According to the bureau’s record, there are more than 200,000 foreign nationals staying in the Philippines but hundreds of them have insufficient records.
The new rule, which also include the submission of annual form and paying fees, is “very advantageous” since it will also prevent foreigners from getting victimized by fixers, said Mison.
There are mixed reactions from affected foreign nationals who have experienced the new policy however. Here are some comments from the Facebook page of the BI:
“My personal experience in Cebu – excellent. Efficient & well organised. In & out in 30 minutes. Well done all & salamat,” said one Keith Hughes.
“Our friends who live on Siquijor went to Dumaguette and were told they have to go to Cebu now to pay their fee for retirement every year??? Crazy. We always do our extension in Dumaguette and have found them great and efficient and do it within a couple of hours,” Eve Van Eyk said.
“A lot of people miss their planes because of the process of ecc (exit clearence certificate) in the BI office instead of process in the airport like before. People have already booked their plane tickets and then they cant get the ecc in time. They have to buy a new ticket and of course its much more expensive than if you book several months in advance,” said Michael White.
The Alien Registration Act requires foreign nationals residing in the country to report to the BI within the first 60 days of every year.