The Bureau of Immigration canceled the working visas of 528 foreign nationals which were all discovered to be fraudulent.
In a statement, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente announced that after conducting a post-audit of visa applications of six target companies, it was discovered that their foreign employees submitted fake Alien Employment Permits.
The AEP is a permit issued by the Department of Labor and Employment and is a prerequisite in applying for a work visa with the BI.
“I have directed the intelligence division to conduct a case build-up against said companies after receiving information that they have petitioned foreign nationals by submitting fake documents,” said Morente.
According to him, BI’s Intel submitted their report and recommendation to cancel the visas after confirming that the grantees of the visas submitted fake AEPs.
Morente refused to name the companies, saying investigations were still under way involving their sister companies and other affiliates.
He said the companies were from Manila, Parañaque, and Caloocan, and were involved in consultancy, residential sales, tutorial, and information technology.
“I am appalled to learn of big companies that blatantly disregard our laws and submit fake documents,” said Morente.
“These companies knowingly hire illegal foreign workers that take away jobs from Filipinos and law-abiding foreigners. Our Intel has been working nonstop to catch foreigners who make a mockery of our laws and procedures,” he stated.
He revealed that the Intelligence Division conducted two separate post-audit reports. The first report yielded the visa cancellation of 469 aliens in four companies while the second report led to the visa cancellation of 59 aliens from two other companies.
A total 528 foreign nationals petitioned by these six companies were subjected to immediate cancellation of their visas due to misrepresentation and fraud.
Those with canceled visa comprised 259 Indians, 230 Chinese, 14 Koreans, 11 Japanese, 5 Taiwanese, 3 Vietnamese, and a German, Burmese, Nigerian, Nepalese, Sudanese, and a Yemeni.
“These are just six companies, we expect to uncover more in the next few months,” said Morente.
He also encouraged citizens to report illegal aliens to the Bureau.
“We need everybody’s help. Filipinos as well as legally staying aliens must report illegal foreigners in their area, and you can be assured that we will act on your reports,” he added.
Morente stated the 528 were in “clear violation of Section 37 of the Philippine Immigration Act for obvious misrepresentation and fraud”.
Morente warned erring foreigners that there would be further screenings and cleanups following their intensified drive to monitor aliens in the country.
“The BI, through the Intelligence Division, is revitalizing its campaign of eradicating illegal foreign workers in the country,” said Morente.
“It will be a campaign that will be felt nationwide, and you can expect more arrests and cancellations in the next few months,” he added.