More Filipino families will be reunited this Christmas season as ‘balikbayans’ will be allowed to enter the Philippines even without a visa starting December 7, 2020.
This was announced by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) following the issuance of Resolution No. 85 of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the visa-free privilege of the ‘balikbayans’ is valid for a year and is extended to their foreign spouse and children.
The IATF resolution directs the Bureau of Immigration to formulate the necessary guidelines to ensure its smooth operation.
“Following the latest resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), we have devised guidelines to guarantee the smooth implementation of the policy,” Morante said.
On the other hand, the Department of Tourism (DOT) will issue the necessary guidelines for the provision of sufficient accommodation for the ‘balikbayans’ and their families while awaiting medical clearance.
The entry of former Filipino citizens, their foreign spouses, and children are subject to the following conditions is subject to the provisions of Executive Order No. 408, series of 1960. They should also have a pre-booked quarantine facility and COVID-19 testing at a laboratory operating at the airport.
Their entry is also subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.
Commissioner Morante reminded the ‘balikbayans’ and their family travelling with them who will take advantage of the said privilege that they should present their old Philippine passports or a copy of their birth certificate to the Immigration officer, upon their arrival. Meanwhile, their spouses and children should be able to present marriage and birth certificates to be allowed entry.
Launched in 1989, the government’s ‘Balikbayan’ program intended to attract and encourage Filipinos overseas to visit the country.