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BI blacklists 21 overstaying Chinese nationals

/ 03:53 PM June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration has blacklisted 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying in the country after availing themselves of the government’s Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Chinese nationals violated the terms and conditions of their visa after they overstayed “without valid justification.”

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The Chinese nationals are ordered to immediately leave the country once they have updated their stay and paid the required fees, fines, and penalties, BI said.

“As a consequence of their being placed in our blacklist, these Chinese nationals are now barred from re-entering the Philippines for violating the conditions of their stay,” Morente said in a statement.

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BI said the Chinese nationals arrived in the country separately in December 2019 and January this year.

The VUA program is a landed visa scheme that the government launched three years ago to attract more Chinese tourists into the country.

Under the scheme, a VUA grantee is allowed to enter and stay in the country for 30 days without the need to obtain an entry visa from a Philippine consulate in his port of origin.

A Department of Justice (DOJ) circular issued in January prohibits VUA grantees from extending their stay in the country beyond 30 days “unless by reason of force majeure or medical emergency.”

VUA’s implementation has been suspended since January as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. This was also during the height of cases in Wuhan and other places in China.

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TAGS: China, Immigration, visa-upon-arrival
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