Inbound foreign investors entry still limited

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    INBOUND entry of foreigners to Philippine borders remain restricted due to the continued prevalence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said yesterday as he reminded foreign investors that only those who have specific visas will be allowed to enter the country.

    Morente said foreigners holding visas granted pursuant to Executive Order No.226, or the Omnibus Investments Code, as well as those with Special Investor’s Resident Visa (SIRV) issued under EO 226 will be allowed to pass through Philippine borders.

    Morente said SIRV holders issued under EO 63 for tourist-related projects and tourist establishments are still not allowed.

    “Those who will be entering the country under visa types not yet allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force will still be restricted,” Morente said, adding: “Only those issued under EO 226 may be allowed for now, following the IATF ruling.”

    Visas under EO 226 are given to foreigners employed as executives, their spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, of regional or area headquarters of multinational companies.

    The said visas are valid for a period of three years, or equivalent to the foreigner’s employment contract with the headquarters.

    The SIRV, on the other hand, is a program of the government to attract foreign investors. It requires foreigners to invest capital in viable economic activities in the country before they are given their visas.

    The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of the SIRV holder are likewise allowed to secure an extension visa as dependents.

    The BI issued the advisory after several business groups requested for clarification on which type of investors are allowed to enter the country.

    This, Morente said, prompted his office to seek clarification from the Department of Justice which issued the guidance. The BI is one of the agencies attached to the DOJ.