MANILA, Apr 9 (Mabuhay) – Foreign nationals leaving the Philippines should first secure an emigration clearance certificate (ECC) to avoid being denied departure.
The Bureau of Immigration issued this reminder after noting about a third of foreign travelers were denied departure because they failed to present ECCs.
“It is unfortunate that we have to deny the travel of our foreign friends, but we have to implement the law,” BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said.
Citing airport statistics, she said foreign nationals who failed to present their ECCs comprised 33 percent of travelers denied departure.
Under Section 22-A of the Philippine Immigration Act, a foreign national about to leave the Philippines temporarily or permanently should seek clearance from the BI Commissioner.
This seeks to ensure the foreign national has no pending obligation with the Philippine government.
On the other hand, Tan warned against fixers.
“We likewise warn our foreign friends against fixers who issue fake and fraudulent ECCs to unsuspecting victims. We encourage them to file the ECCs by themselves or through accredited agents listed in our website www.immigration.gov.ph,” she said.
The BI said foreign nationals required to secure regular ECCs include:
– holders of temporary visitor visa (tourist visa) who have stayed in the Philippines for six months or more
– holders of expired or downgraded immigrant or non-immigrant visas
holders of valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas who are leaving for good
– Philippine-born foreign nationals who will depart from the Philippines for the first time
holders of tourist visa with Order to Leave
– seafarers who have stayed in the Philippines for 30 days or more
The BI said those with valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas who intend to return to the Philippines may secure the ECC at the airport. They should pay a fee of P1,210.
But Tan said additional fees may be charged if the foreign national is found to have arrears.
Meanwhile, the BI said applications for regular ECCs shall be filed three days before departure and shall be valid for one month upon issuance.
– application form photocopy of passport (bio page, visa pages, latest arrival)
– original and photocopy of ACR I-Card
– photocopy of receipt of latest visa extension
– photocopy of order of downgrading (if applicable)
– five 2×2 photos
Regular ECCs may be secured at the BI main office in Intramuros and in its offices in Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Clark, Legazpi, Tacloban, Tuguegarao, Davao, SM North Edsa, and Sta. Rosa. (MNS)