Tourists flock at the a Surfing Tower in Siargao Province, the Philippines, Sept. 29, 2016. (Xinhua file/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese tourists and investors can soon avail of visa upon arrival (VUA) in the Philippines, thePhilippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) said on Thursday.
In a bid to lure more Chinese tourists and investors to the Philippines, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the BI will soon issue landing visas to Chinese nationals who wish to visit the Philippines.
Morente said the new service is open to Chinese nationals who wish to join tour groups organized by tour operators accredited by the Department of Tourism, businessmen endorsed by local and foreign chambers of commerce and other government agencies, athletes and delegates to conventions and exhibitions.
"Through this scheme we aim to facilitate the expeditious entry and admission of Chinese nationals into the country, and thus attract more tourists and investors from China," Morente said.
He said the new policy will be implemented at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and eight other international airports, including Clark in Pampanga, Mactan in Cebu and Kalibo in Aklan, and seaports in Manila, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Subic in Zambales, Laoag in Locos Norte and Caticlan in the central Philippines.
Under the new rules, he said interested Chinese national may, through their operator, apply for their landing visas at the BI for an initial authorized stay of 30 days. Chinese nationals can apply for an extension up to a maximum period of six months, he said.
He said applicants should be holders of valid passports and return tickets and they should not be on the BI's blacklist or subject of an International Police Organization or Interpol red notice. Each applicant will have to pay a visa fee of 25 U.S. dollars and 10 pesos (0.195 U.S. dollars) legal research fee.
Chinese nationals who wish to avail of the privilege should file their applications at least 10 working days before their arrival.
"If the applicants are qualified, the BI commissioner shall issue an order approving the VUA and the same shall be presented by the Chinese passengers to immigration officers upon their arrival in the country," Morente said.
When asked when they will implement this new policy, BI said there is no exact time as more details need studying.