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Thread: New BIR Regs to be applied re airline tickets

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    Default New BIR Regs to be applied re airline tickets

    The Bureau of Immigration (BI) yesterday said it will slap fines on
    airlines bringing foreign tourists to the country without return
    tickets.
    Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. instructed the BI airport
    operations division to impose fine on any airline which allows a
    foreign visitor to board its aircraft without a return ticket before
    flying to the Philippines .
    He said the requirement on return tickets for tourists is an
    international rule that is practice worldwide.
    “This rule is meant to guarantee that a foreign visitor will leave the
    host country at the lapse of his stay,“ the BI chief said.
    David stressed that it should be the responsibility of the airlines to
    see to it that all their passengers who are traveling as tourists have
    procured the necessary return tickets.
    He said those who do not have return tickets will be excluded and sent
    back to their port of origin.
    Lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson and intelligence
    chief, explained that under the immigration law aliens who arrived as
    tourists but do not have valid return or onward tickets shall be
    automatically excluded.
    Mangrobang, however, stressed that balikbayans, who are also considered
    tourists but are admitted for one year, are exempted from the rule as a
    courtesy of being former Filipinos.
    She stressed that although the exclusions have inconvenienced the
    excluded passengers, the bureau has no choice but to implement the law.

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    Well this is not new but it seems that the BOI are hell bent on implementing it. I for one would be interested in seeing what happens when a Balikbayan is refused . This will be the next thing. Ensuring that the Spouse has been away from the PI for the prescribed time, not just a weekend hop to HK to meet the other half, they will want to see the inward bound ticket
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackpeterson View Post
    Ensuring that the Spouse has been away from the PI for the prescribed time, not just a weekend hop to HK to meet the other half, they will want to see the inward bound ticket
    Jack,
    This letter from Commisioner LIBANAN may be an answer on your concern:

    E - BI GRANTS PRIVILEGE TO "BALIKBAYANS"

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007
    Manila Bulletin

    The bureau of Immigration (BI) has eased its rules for returning former Filipinos or "Balikbayans" by granting them the privilege of a one year, visa-free stay in the country "everytime they arrive", instead of only once a year.

    Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said he has instructed immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other ports of entry to strictly observe the standing policy on balikbayans saying the previlege should be extended to returning Filipinos, regardless of their frequency of travel to the Philippines.

    "The law is clear. A balikbayan is entitled to maximum of one-year stay, without a visa everytime he returns to the Philippines and not only once a year", he stressed.

    Libanan explained that the balikbayan privilege is extended to former Philippine citizens, their foreign spouses as well as the foreign minor unmarried children of Filipinos and former Filipinos, provided they are traveling here together with their balikbayan spouse or parent.

    He added that a balikbayan principally refers to a former Philippine citizen who became a naturalized citizen of another country. Libanan issued the directive after the BI was swamped with questions and complaints from returning Filipinos who said they were confused by the practice of some immigration officers (duane) to grant them a 21-day stay, instead of one year on the pretext that they have been to the country more than once over a 12-month period.

    "We will be doing our balikbayans a disservice if such mistakes by some of our immigration officers are not addressed and rectified, especially in light of our goverment's thrust to encourage our countrymen abroad to visit the land of their birth and even do business here", the BI Cchief said.

    Gary Mendoza, BI immigration regulation chief, said such mistakes on the part of some immigration officers have forced the affected Balikbayans to go to the BI main office on Magallanes Drive, Intramurus, Manila, and have the 21-day immigration arrival stamps on their passports corrected or amended to one year.

    Mendoza said that he already informed all immigration officers in the different airports and subports that the "once-a-year" limitations or restrictions applies only to the duty-free privileges of Balikbayans, not their entry privileges.

    "Apperently, some of the immigration officers thought that because the duty-free privileges can be availed of only once a year, the same applies to the entry privilege of Balikbayans, which is wrong", the BI official said.

    Under the rules, a former Filipino shall declare before the Philippine immigration officer at the port of entry that he is availing himself of the Balikbayan privilege and shall present his valid foreign passport in addition to the other supporting documents, such as the passenger's cancelled Philippine passport, birth certificate, naturalization papers to show former Philippine citizenship, or certification from the adopted country.

    On the other hand, the accompanying foreign spouse and foreign minor unmarried children of Filipinos and former Filipino citizens shall declare that they are accompanied by a Filipino or former Filipino spouse or parent and present their passports, their marriage or birth certificates, and adoption papers in the case of adopted children.

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    An almost perfect example of dumb-ass logic (or the lack of it) by the hierarchy of a government empire, with the head of it flexing his muscles to show that he is boss, and working completely at odds with the Tourism Board who want people to visit. It is no surprise that most countries in south-east Asia get continued repeat visitors; Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia all do very well, while the Philippines gets very little. Many come here as a first-time visitor but have no wish to come back when they experience the rip-offs, price gouging, and mindless bureacracy.

    1. The requirement of return or onward tickets is not an international rule and is not a worldwide practice.

    2. The Bureau does have a choice of implementing the law or not, but like most mini empires here is selective on what it enforces and who it enforces it against.

    3. Commissioner Ricardo Davids' own department is the very department that grants visa extensions, up to a maximum of 24 months for tourists, and the fact that someone has an onward ticket is no guarantee that they will actually use it.

    4. If Balikbayans are admitted for one year without an onward ticket, there is also no guarantee that they will leave after 1 year.

    5. Some travellers visit a number of countries on a fixed itinery. Others like the freedom of choice. They may visit one place and if they like it stay longer. They may not have decided which place to visit next, particularly if they are people like gap year students, taking time out to explore the world between leaving high school and starting university. They would also buy the ticket to the next place in this country, and be more likely to use one of the Philippines airlines. More revenue lost because of this idiotic ruling.

    6. The Tourism Board says "we want you to stay". The Immigration Commissioner says "I want you to leave". No joined-up thinking or logic, reason or rationale.

    I smell a rat. Immigration find a reason to deny entry and blame the airline. Threatened with a large official fine and bad publicity, the airline opts to pay a smaller unnoffical fine quietly.

    If this rule is implemented, then I hope that other nations reciprocate this crass stupidity. There will be plane loads of OFWs being returned without ever having had access to their jobs.
    Don't be a slave to your past - be the architect of your future.

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    Default Weekend away.

    Thank You Firefly, so a weekend away could be a cheaper way of doing things, if anyone is using extensions certainly less hassle, This letter applies to former Filipinos, does it have the same effect for ordinary Spouses. to me this is where the BB privilege gets a little hard to understand. I Know of 1/2 filipino wives that go to HK or Singapore to meet the Husband on rentry they claim a BB stamp, is it that no one is fully checking the status, or am I being led up the preverbial garden path?
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    The government does not have the funds to deport you if you do not meet the entry requirements or run a foul of the law, that is the reason for this.. In the old days if you were deported or turned back to your home country your government was responsible to pay the airfares and other expenses involved to repatriate you.. this doesn't happen anymore..Since the early 80's this has been the law so its not new, its just was selectively enforced like most of the laws here. At one time if the airline refused to board you because you didn't have an onward ticket you could ask the manager for a waiver which you signed so if you were refused entry the airline was not responsible.. Cathay Pacific was very strict on this at one time.. I don't know if it still applies..

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