MANILA, July 26 (Mabuhay) — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) will no longer require foreign spouses, children, and parents of Filipino citizens who are traveling to the Philippines to present an entry exemption document (EED) beginning August 1.

Previously, these foreigners were allowed entry into the Philippines only if they have valid 9(a) tourist visas as well as an EED issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through its various embassies or consulates abroad.

In a statement on Monday, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the new travel rule approved by the government’s COVID-19 task force would apply only to foreigners who are not accompanied by their Filipino spouses or parents when going to the Philippines.

“We welcome this latest ruling of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) as it will now be easier and convenient for foreigners whose Filipino spouses and children are currently in the Philippines to visit and reunite with their loved ones,” he said.

Those who are not traveling with their Filipino relatives must apply for a 9(a) tourist visa from a Philippine consulate abroad, which they would use for entry into the Philippines, Morente said.

Foreigners who are traveling with their Filipino spouses or parents, meanwhile, are eligible for the Balikbayan program and they may be admitted visa-free for a one-year stay, according to the bureau. (MNS)

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