SAN FRANCISCO CA- On August 8, 2020, the Bureau of Immigration issued a press release stating that “foreigners (non-Filipinos) who have Filipino spouses and dependents can only enter the Philippines if they have the appropriate visas. This rule is embodied in a July 31, 2020 Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 60.
This is a blunt departure from the prior IATF Resolutions 14 & 56 issued on March 20, 2020 and July 21, 2020 that permitted spouses and minor children of Filipinos to enter by showing proof of their relationships.
Commissioner Jaime Morente of the Bureau of Immigration emphasized in their press release that prior to the issuance of said IATF-EID resolution, non-visa required foreign nationals married to Filipinos were indeed allowed to enter the country upon presentation of their marriage certificates and other proof of their matrimonial relationship. “But that is no longer the case with the issuance of this latest IATF-EID resolution . Foreign spouses of Filipinos must now secure entry visas from our Consulates abroad before traveling to the Philippines. Otherwise, they will be denied entry by our immigration officers and sent back to their ports of origin,” Morente warned.
Naturalized U.S. citizens who are dual citizens should make sure that they are aware of these travel restrictions if they have U.S. citizen children and spouses traveling with them to the Philippines. The only way that their immediate family who are not Philippine citizens may travel with them is if they obtain appropriate Philippine visas.
Obtaining Philippine visas for non-Filipino spouses and children may be done through Philippines embassies or consulates. On August 9, 2020, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs released a travel advisory stating that “foreign spouses, minor children including with special needs regardless of age, and foreign parents of minor Filipino nationals, including of children with special needs regardless of age, are exempted from the temporary suspension of visa issuance to all foreign nationals.” This means that non-Filipino citizens may now be able to get Philippine visas for purposes of an impending travel to the Philippines. For more information, please contact your nearest Philippine Consulate for information on how to obtain Philippine visas.
(Atty. Lourdes S. Tancinco is an immigrant advocate and legal counsel based in San Francisco CA. She is the Managing Partner and co-founder of Tancinco Law, P.C. and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tancinco.com, facebook.com/tancincolaw, or at 1-888-930-0808)