MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday advised Chinese nationals in the Philippines who will spend the Lunar New Year holiday outside the country to pay their reentry fees in any of the bureau's field and satellite offices nationwide.
In an advisory, BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina said this is to reduce the volume of payees at the immigration cashiers at the departure areas of the three NAIA terminals.
“Many of them are Chinese residents in the Philippines who wish to spend the Chinese New Year in their homeland. It usually results to heavy congestion of passengers at the airport which may be avoided if pre-paid their fees before going to the airport,” Medina said.
Under immigration rules, foreign nationals who are registered with the BI for being holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas are required to pay exit and re-entry permits every time they leave the country.
Immigration officers in the ports of exit require these foreign nationals to present official receipts of their reentry permit fees before they are cleared for departure, otherwise they are directed to first pay their fees to BI cashiers at the airport.
“Due to the upcoming Chinese New Year our cashier’s counters are always congested and this hampers our ability to effect faster and efficient immigration processing of departing travelers,” Medina said.
The BI official noted that foreigners who have already settled their fees would be beneficial to both the passenger and the bureau since it would make the processing faster at the Immigration counter.
“Coming to the airport with the reentry receipt at hand makes processing much faster, giving passengers more time to relax before their flight,” he added.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said a foreigner has to pay a total of PHP2,880 for his/her first departure of the year and PHP2,170 and PHP2,130 for the subsequent departures of adult and minor, respectively.
It has been customary practice for many Chinese nationals living abroad to visit their homeland for the Lunar New Year which will be celebrated on February 5.
A total of 1,309,289 Chinese citizens were recorded to have left the country last year. (PNA)