Foreigners Can Now Process Their 9(g) and 47(a)(2) PH Visas While Abroad and Without an EED

With the IATF Resolution No 131-A, effective August 16, 2021, aliens who are applying for a 9(g) and 47(a)(2) visas no longer need to be physically present in the Philippines nor does he need to obtain an Entry Exemption Document (EED). This means, the alien or foreign national and his employment may process the said 9G work visas while the alien is abroad.

I. 9(g) visas

A 9(g) commercial work visa is obtained by an alien with long-term employment (more than six months) with a Philippine-based employer.

IATF Resolution No 131-A provides that 9(g) commercial work visa can now be processed by the Philippine-based employer of an alien even if the latter is still abroad. It covers not only the alien applicant (as principal), but includes his dependents as well, such as the applicant’s spouse, and unmarried children (less than 21 years of age). Note that 9(g) visas pursuant to Resolution No 131-A can only be processed in the Main Office of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The process for 9(g) application are as follows:

(1) AEP/COE from DOLE: an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) or the Certificate of Exemption/Exclusion (COE) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must be obtained by the alien.

  • The Alien Employment Permit is issued after completing the Labor Market Test (LMT). The LMT determines whether there are no available Filipino citizens who can perform the services for which the alien is hired.
  • Certificates of Exemption are issued to aliens who are exempted from getting an AEP.
  • Certificates of Exclusion are issued to aliens who are excluded from getting an AEP. Those are aliens with employers located abroad or those without an employer-employee relationship with a Philippine-based employer.
  • For more information, see: Department Order No. 221-21

(2) Application by the PH-based employer: After getting the AEP/COE, the Philippine-based employer, as the petitioner, must submit the necessary requirements for application for a 9(g) visa at the main office of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

(3) Approval by the Board of Commissioners: Upon submission of complete requirements, the BI will decide on the application. If approved by the Board of Commissioners, the BI will forward the applications to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – Office of Consular Affairs. The DFA will transmit the approved visa application to the Foreign Service Posts (FSPs).

(4) Issuance of the 9(g) visa by the FSP: The FSP shall issue the 9(g) visa, which is valid within 90 days from the date of issuance. It has the notation “for entry purposes only, subject to BI implementation”.

(5) Visa implementation: Once the 9(g) visa has been issued, the alien needs to go to the Philippines in order to register and implement the 9(g) visa at the Bureau of Immigration upon his arrival. The alien no longer needs to present an EED upon entry to the Philippines. The alien needs to comply with the COVID-19 quarantine or isolation rules. Within seven days from release from quarantine or isolation; or from issuance of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) stamp, the alien needs to report to the BI for registration and re-stamping of the validity of 9(g) visa on their passport. The registration (photo and biometric capturing) and implementation of the visa may be done at any authorized District or Field Offices.

  • Non-implementation of the visa may subject the alien to deportation.
  • Failure to report within 7 working days (from release from quarantine) but not more than 60 days shall cause the non-implementation of the visa and/or registration. The applicant in this case may file for a reconsideration stating meritorious grounds.

II. 47(a)(2) visa e.g. PEZA Visa

A special non-immigrant visa under Section 47(a)(2) of the Philippine Immigration Act, as amended, is obtained by an alien with an employment with a Philippine-based employer in foreign-funded government projects (i.e. transportation and infrastructure) or those with employment with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

The process for 47(a)(2) application are as follows:

(1) Application by the PH-based employer: The Philippine-based employer must apply for issuance of 47(a)(2) visa with the Department of Justice (DOJ), through its Legal Staff. The application, with its supporting documents, must be submitted at least 2 months before the arrival of the alien applicant in the Philippines.

  • This application must be addressed to the Department of Justice, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila (Attn: Legal Staff/Office of the Chief State Counsel)
  • The legal fees must be paid so the applications can be processed.
  • If the application is sent via email, the hard copies of the application and the documentary requirements must be submitted as soon as they are available, but not later than the 7th day from the release from quarantine or isolation of the alien applicant.
  • The documents that are not in English must be translated into the English language, and must be duly authenticated or apostilled abroad.
  • For more information, see: Department Circular No. 024 which governs the processing of applications for 47(a)(2) visas.

(2) Grant of application: The application will be granted within seven working days from the date of complete submission of the application. Such an application must have a sufficient endorsement from a government agency that is involved in a foreign-funded project where the alien applicant is hired.

(3) Issuance of the 47(a)(2) visa by the FSP: The DOJ will forward the approved applications to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – Office of Consular Affairs. The DFA will transmit the approved visa application to the Foreign Service Posts (FSPs). The FSP shall issue the 9(g) visa, with validity based on the DOJ approval.

(4) Arrival of the alien applicant: The alien issued with 47(a)(2) visas no longer needs to present an EED upon entry to the Philippines. The alien needs to comply with the COVID-19 quarantine or isolation rules. Within seven days from release from quarantine or isolation, the endorsing government agency (a) must give a report to the DOJ that the alien applicant has arrived for monitoring purposes; and (b) must provide the necessary advisory to the PH-based employer involved in the foreign-funded government project. The PH-based employers shall promptly notify DOJ within 3 days from the date of termination of employment of the foreign national.

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