Category Archive News

COVID-19 Advisory: Extension of Community Quarantine in NCR, Other Regions to 16 July 2020

1 July 2020

Metro Manila among other regions in the Philippines remains under GCQ until 15 July June 2020 due to the rising cases.

The rest of the country are other on GCQ / MGCQ while Cebu City remains under ECQ (strictest level of community quarantine / lockdown) also within the same period.

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory (Release 7.2) – NCR Remains on GCQ, Transition in Other Regions

16 June 2020

Metro Manila among other regions in the Philippines remains on GCQ until the end of this month (30 June 2020) due to the rising cases.

The rest of the country are other on GCQ / MGCQ while Cebu City have reverted to ECQ (strictest level of community quarantine / lockdown). 

Refer to Release 7.0 for the conditions and guidelines under GCQ.

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory (Release 7.1)

Erratum / Clarification on Release 7.0:

2 June 2020

Immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders (13, 9(d), 9(f), 9(g), 47(a)(2) EO 226 visas) returning to the Philippines to work (Inbound) who have decided to leave the country in the wake of this lockdown shall not be allowed to enter until the current restriction (GCQ) has been lifted.

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory (Release 7.0) – MECQ Eases to GCQ in Metro Manila and Other Regions

01 June 2020

Metropolitan Manila (NCR) and several other regions in the Philippines have transitioned to GCQ (General Community Quarantine) starting today, 01 June 2020.

Under General Community Quarantine (GCQ):

  • More establishments are allowed to re-open. Operation of select industry sectors between 50% – 100% workforce;
  • Government offices remain on work from home or alternative work arrangement. Appointment-system will be in place to prevent crowding and maintain social distancing measures in the respective offices;
  • Quarantine passes are no longer required but travel must be limited for essential needs;
  • Select mass transportation are allowed to operate at limited capacity observing social distancing measures, while private employers are required to provide shuttle services for their employees reporting on skeletal work force. International and domestic flights remain restricted. 
  • Suspension of school classes remain until further notice.

Where are we now?

Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

IMMIGRATION & CONSULAR

Government offices will continue to operate on a lean workforce (skeletal, work from home, or rotational deployment). However, to comply with health standards and social distancing measures, offices such as the following are employing online / email appointment system:

  • Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Bureau of Immigration
  • Department of Labor and Employment

Impact to our Assignees:

Outbound Travel

Foreign nationals who decide to return to their home country may leave. However, outbound international flights will be reduced to weekly flights.

Inbound Travel

  • Inbound flights will remain restricted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) until 10 June 2020 accommodating 400 passengers a day. Commercial flights will be allowed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Fridays through Sundays, upon receipt of approval from CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) 48 hours before the scheduled departure from the airport of origin.

Exempted from the restrictions: enroute flights experiencing an emergency, cargo flights, air ambulance, military flights, weather mitigation flights, maintenance flights.  

Immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders (13, 9(d), 9(f), 9(g), 47(a)(2) EO 226 visas) returning to the Philippines to work (Inbound) who have decided to leave the country in the wake of this lockdown shall not be allowed to enter until the GCQ has been lifted.

Foreign nationals under the visa waiver agreements, those permitted visa-free entry for periods ranging from 14 to 59 days, as well as those with temporary 9A visas issued by Philippine Foreign Service Posts will still not be allowed entry into the country.

OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) / returning Filipinos including their foreign spouse and children will be allowed to return to the country.

Foreign nationals should postpone travel to the Philippines until the lockdown has been lifted.

Upon arrival in the Philippines

Inbound foreign nationals and Filipinos are subject to strict immigration and quarantine protocols.

  • Arriving  passengers will undergo a SWAB test by a trained personnel from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). While awaiting results, passengers will be required to stay in a government-designated stringent quarantine facility or in a BOQ-approved hotel.
  • Foreign-nationals will pay for the cost of their accommodation and may choose from among the approved quarantine facilities and hotels.
  • Travelers who tested positive will be transferred to a designated hospital for further medical management, while those who tested negative will be allowed to move out and undergo a 14-day quarantine at home or at an appropriate monitoring facility.
  • Digitized arrival cards (new paperless travel control systems and procedures aimed to lessen person-to-person contact between officers and passengers and help facilitate contact tracing) will be implemented for passenger monitoring due to COVID-19.

Face to face appointments will be conducted only after the required 14-days quarantine.

Enforced strict social distancing, use of facial mask, and frequent disinfection is required.

NOTE:  The information we receive is constantly changing or being updated.  Updates will be relayed to you accordingly. 

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory (Release 6.0) – Modified ECQ until 31 May 2020

14 May 2020

The whole of Metropolitan Manila (NCR), Cebu City, and the province of Laguna are considered high risk for CoVid-19 and remains to be on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until 31 May 2020 but in “modified” form, while the rest of the regions in the Philippines have transitioned to GCQ (General Community Quarantine). Businesses engaged in essential services will be allowed to partially operate, subject to strict quarantine measures. MECQ is effective from 16 to 31 May 2020.

Under the Modified ECQ:

  • Limited movement within containment zone for obtaining essential services and work;
  • Operation of selected manufacturing and processing plants up to maximum of 50% workforce;
  • Limited transporting services for essential goods and services ((i.e. trucks, shuttle buses);
  • Suspension of physical classes.

Modified ECQ at a Glance

Industry sectors and government agencies will operate on either a
50% capacity, work from home, or alternative work arrangement.
Select services remain suspended(i.e. home viewing, property inspection and
hand-over, new and extension visa applications, as well as apostille
and legalization services) while on MECQ.

Image 1:  Phased transition from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to Modified ECQ which is applicable to Metro Manila (NCR), Cebu City, and the province of Laguna.  | Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

Mass public transportation will remain unavailable
to the general public, while public and private (company) shuttle services
will be provided to workers in industries allowed to operate
while on MECQ (essential services / frontliners).

Image 2:  Transportation options available for workers in sectors that are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. |
Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

Impact to our Assignees:

Outbound Travel

Foreign nationals who decide to return to their home country may leave. However, outbound international flights will be reduced to weekly flights.

Inbound Travel

  1. Inbound flights will remain restricted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) until 10 June 2020 accommodating 400 passengers a day. Commercial flights will be allowed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Fridays through Sundays, upon receipt of approval from CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines) 48 hours before the scheduled departure from the airport of origin.
  2. Exempted from the restrictions:enroute flights experiencing an emergency, cargo flights, air ambulance, military flights, weather mitigation flights, maintenance flights.
  3. Immigrant and non-immigrant visa holders (13, 9(d), 9(f), 9(g), 47(a)(2) EO 226 visas) returning to the Philippines to work (Inbound) who have decided to leave the country in the wake of this lockdown shall not be allowed to enter until the MECQ has been lifted.
  4. Foreign nationals under the visa waiver agreements, those permitted visa-free entry for periods ranging from 14 to 59 days, as well as those with temporary 9A visas issued by Philippine Foreign Service Posts will still not be allowed entry into the country.
  5. OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) / returning Filipinos including their foreign spouse and children will be allowed to return to the country.
  6. Foreign nationals should postpone travel to the Philippines until the lockdown has been lifted.

Upon Arrival in the Philippines

  1. Inbound foreign nationals and Filipinos are subject to strict immigration and quarantine protocols.
  2. Face to face appointments will be conducted only after the required 14-days quarantine.
  3. Enforced strict social distancing, use of facial mask, and frequent disinfection is required.

Commitment to Service Continuity and in Compliance to Public Health and Safety:

With other industry sectors and government agencies operating on a 50% capacity, work from home, or alternative work arrangement as well as mass public transportation still unavailable to the general public, Annexus International will continue to support our international assignees remotely by email, phone, WhatsApp and other service platform. The security of the data transfer is guaranteed and in compliance to GDPR protocols.

All accompanied services will resume once the restrictions have been lifted.

NOTE:  The information we receive is constantly changing or being updated.  Updates will be relayed to you accordingly. 

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory (Release 5.0) – Extension of ECQ in High Risk Areas until 15 May 2020

24 April 2020

President  R. Duterte  has approved the further extension of the  enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) / lockdown  in  Metropolitan Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other high-risk areas in Luzon (Pangasinan, Benguet, Albay, Catanduanes, and the Mindoro provinces) until 15 May 2020.

During this time, the travel ban as communicated last 22 March 2020 remains to be in effect (see note appended below)

Further to this, our office can still provide the following services remotely:

Destination Relocation Services: 

  1. Conduct needs assessment calls;
  2. Share housing market information;
  3. Share sample properties on-line;
  4. Conduct lease contract reviews and negotiation;
  5. Coordinate and assist in utilities set-up such as internet and cable.
  6. Provide school information
  7. Coordinate temporary housing bookings.
  8. Provide information on bank accounts opening requirements.
  9. Provide information on local registration requirements.

Immigration & Consular Services

Some government offices remain operational but are on skeletal force therefore presenting limited activity, thus the following services of the Bureau of Immigration have suspended the following until the ECQ has been lifted:

  1. Filing of applications of extension of/conversion to non-immigration/immigration visa including hearing/interview;
  2. Filing for downgrading of visa status;
  3. Filing for extension of tourist visa;
  4. Filing of applications of Special Work Permits / Provisional Work Permits;
  5. Filing for the renewal of ACR I-cars; and
  6. Implementation of BOC – approved visa applications for extension of / conversion to non-immigrant/immigration visas.

Foreign nationals whose visas will expire during the duration of the ECQ shall be allowed to file their applications for extension within 30 days from the lifting of the ECQ.

Lastly, Apostille and Legalization services with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the respective embassies are suspended until further notice.

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory (Release 4.0): Extension of Enhanced Community Quarantine

07 April 2020

Pursuant to the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, President  R. Duterte  has approved the extension of the  lockdown  in  Metropolitan Manila     until  30th  April 2020.

During this time, the travel ban as communicated last 22 March 2020 remains to be in effect (see note appended below)

Further to this, our office can still provide the following services remotely:

  • Destination Relocation Services: 
  1. Conduct needs assessment calls;
  2. Share housing market information;
  3. Share sample properties on-line;
  4. Conduct lease contract reviews and negotiation;
  5. Coordinate and assist in utilities set-up such as internet and cable;
  6. Provide school information;
  7. Coordinate temporary housing bookings;
  8. Provide information on bank accounts opening requirements;
  9. Provide information on local registration requirements.
  • Immigration & Consular Services

Some government offices remain operational but are on skeletal force therefore presenting limited activity, thus the following services of the Bureau of Immigration have suspended the following until the ECQ has been lifted:

  1. Filing of applications fo extension of/conversion to non-immigration/immigration visa including hearing/interview;
  2. Filing for downgrading of visa status;
  3. Filing for extension of tourist visa;
  4. Filing of applications of Special Work Permits / Provisional Work Permits;
  5. Filing for the renewal of ACR I-cars; and
  6. Implementation of BOC – approved visa applications for extension of / conversion to non-immigrant/immigration visas.

Foreign nationals whose visas will expire during the duration of the ECQ shall be allowed to file their applications for extension within 30 days from the lifting of the ECQ.

Lastly, Apostille and Legalization services with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the respective embassies are suspended until further notice.

COVID-19 Philippine Advisory: New Travel Restrictions (Release 3)

22 March 2020

ALL foreign nationals with the following visa will be temporarily banned from entering the Philippines (highlighted our most impacted population): 

  • Those under Visa Waiver Agreements (AJACS, AJACSSUK, FSC, MCL);
  • Those with Special Visas (SRRV, SIRV, ABTC, and economic zone visas, etc.);
  • Those who fall under Executive Order No. 408, s 1960 (EO408);
  • Those holders of Hong Kong-SAR, Macau-SAR, Macau-Portuguese, and British National Overseas Passports; and
  • Those Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Holders (i.e. 13, 9(d), 9(f), 9(g), 47(a)(2) EO 226, etc.)

Exceptions:

  • Holders of visas granted under MCL-07-021 (Chinese nationals married to Philippine citizens) and MCL-08-003 (South Korean nationals married to Philippine citizens);
  • Holders of 9(e), Temporary Resident Visas, and 13(a) visas;
  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals;
  • Foreign government and international organization officials accredited to the Philippines (diplomatic visas); and
  • Foreign crew members

Impact on foreign nationals:

  • Unless their visa falls under the exceptions, foreign nationals are advised to please refrain from travelling outside the Philippines.
  • Otherwise, there is a risk of not being allowed to return during the effectivity of the ban.
  • The restriction have no impact on foreign nationals who are currently in the country. This means that their existing work visas (and other types of visas) remain valid.
  • Visa holders who decided to leave the country in the wake of this lockdown shall not be allowed to enter until the enhanced community quarantine has been lifted.

Department of Labor and Employment – Advisory No. 19-06 for AEP Applications

  • As per DOLE new compliance effective since 02 September 2019, petitioning Company should provide a signed and notarized Board Resolution;
  • Board Resolution must authorize or designate a authorized local signatory relating to the application of the AEP (Alien Employment Permit) and work visas/permits;
  • Authorized local signatory should be at least a managerial position and must be in the list of Board or Director in the Company’s General Information Sheet;
  • Visa applications will NOT be accepted without submission of accepted Board Resolution;

For inquiries, please send out email to immigrationteam@annexusinternational.com and clientservices@annexusinternational.com

Bureau of Immigration – Annual Report 2020

  1. ALL foreign assignees holding an Alien Certificate Registration (ACR) I-Card are required to comply with Annual Report;
  2. Annual Report should be completed every first sixty (60) days of the year;
  3. Process period for: 01 January 2020 until 01 March 2020;
  4. Late compliance shall be penalized with a fine of PHP200.00 monthly and/or Immigration will not be accepting renewal and cancellation of ACR I-card without completing the Annual Report;

  • For inquiries, please send out email to immigrationteam@annexusinternational.com and clientservices@annexusinternational.com