BI to launch 6-month tourist visa next week

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Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign visitors who want to extend their vacation in the Philippines may now do so without the usual hassles.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Tuesday that foreigners who would like to stay longer in the country, could avail of a six-month, long-stay tourist visa from the agency. The program is set to be formally launched next week, according to the BI.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner also announced that the bureau would introduce the new visa sticker to replace the wet stamp it was using to implement extensions of stay on the passports of foreign tourists.

The Long Stay Visitor Visa Extension (LSVVE) project was launched to draw more international travelers into the country by giving them the privilege to prolong their stay in the country without the need to frequently visit the BI office to process their documents.

Currently, the bureau allows foreign tourists a maximum stay of two months in the country each time they apply for visa extensions.

“Through this long-stay visa, we [also] expect lesser crowding in our offices due to the decreased volume of visa extension applicants,” stated David.

On the other hand, the new visa sticker will help the bureau prevent the proliferation of fake visa extension stamps, which have victimized many foreigners, added the BI chief, who noted that the new sticker would have security and tracking features that could not be duplicated.

“It will also speed up transactions in our visa section, allow more efficient tracking records and faster detection of forged and tampered stamps,” said David.

He disclosed that new measures being implemented by the bureau were initiated following meetings with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Foreign Affairs on policy reforms that could help the government draw more international tourists to the country.

For this year, the DOT is aiming to increase the volume of tourist arrivals to 5.5 million and double this figure by the end of the Aquino administration in 2016.

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  • boybakal

    This guy reminds me of Lupito.

  • themask celestial

    They making the foreigners stays in Philippines heaven, but still making the life of OFW and ordinary pinoy tourist hell

    • kanoy

      DO YOU MEAN THE HASSLES? I THOUGHT THOSE RIP OFF PLACEMENT AGENCIES WHERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT MESS—BUT ITS THE BI NOT THE AGENCIES?

    • AmericanBana

      Maybe this will make it easier for them now!

  • Ncarreonjr

    What took you so long to come up with the idea when most countries are already doing it.

    • kanoy

      did you notice what is missing in that article? COST!

  • phantomofhope

    BI people are 95% corrupt!

    • kanoy

      that is great!! considering the world is 99.9% corrupt

  • jseesus

    6 MONTHS STAY DAW, EH ISANG LINGGO PA LANG GUSTO KO NANG LUMAYAS SA IMPIERNO NA LUGAR NA YAN….

  • joboni96

    more illegal intsik switiks

  • AmericanBana

    Fantastic! about time they catch up with the rest of the world, only one question though! AT WHAT COST????

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