The Bureau of Immigration on Monday urged all foreign residents in the country who plan to spend Chinese New Year abroad to process their reentry fees in any of the Bureau’s offices before proceeding to the airport.
BI Port Operations Division Chief Grifton Medina issued the appeal following the expected annual surge in volume of travelers lining up to pay their reentry fees to immigration cashiers at the departure areas of the three NAIA terminals.
“We are expecting a surge of Chinese residents in the Philippines who wish to spend the Chinese New Year abroad. It may result to heavy congestion of our airports, which could be avoided if they process and pay their fees before heading to the airport,” he said.
The Philippines is host to tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants and non-immigrants.
In 2018 alone, a total of 1.3-million Chinese citizens were recorded to have entered the country.
Medina said they expect a 10 to 15- percent increase in departures during the Chinese New Year, adding “last year we saw a 14-percent increase in departures, this year the increase might be more or less the same.”
Immigration policies require foreign nationals who are registered holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas to pay exit and reentry permits every time they leave the country.
Said 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.
“We expect that the surge could congest our immigration cashiers, hence, we are appealing to registered aliens to pre-pay their fees to avoid the congestion,” he stated.
Reentry fees can be paid at the BI main office in Manila and in immigration field, satellite and extension offices nationwide.
“The BI has almost 60 offices nationwide that may cater to this need.
It’s a very quick process, which will only take a few minutes. We also have offices located in malls and other convenient locations,” he said.
“Coming to the airport with the receipt at hand makes processing faster, allowing departing aliens to avoid the rush and relax before their flight,” he added.
It has been customary practice for many Chinese nationals living abroad to visit their homeland for the Chinese New Year which will be celebrated on Jan. 25.