BI supports harmonizing rules for foreign workers

MANILA The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said foreign workers will have an option to apply for their working visas abroad before arriving in the Philippines.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the option is given to foreigners to apply for their work visas abroad, prior to coming to the country, after the signing of the joint memorandum circular (JWC) on the Rules and Procedures Governing Foreign Nationals Intending to Work in the Philippines.

In the past, foreign nationals may secure work visas by applying for the conversion of their visa from tourist to working, he said in a statement.

Following this circular, the inter-agency team will soon craft the implementing rules and regulations that would allow foreigners the option to apply first for a working visa before flying in, the BI chief added.

Morente noted that the BI, as a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Employment of Foreign Nationals, is looking to harmonize the rules of different government agencies and regulate the activities of foreign workers.

Through these new rules, we are harmonizing the policies of all government agencies to ensure that all are able to enforce their laws, and at the same time make it easier for foreign workers to comply, he added.

He said the inter-agency effort is mainly aimed at easing transactions for aliens while also harmonizing the policy guidelines on the issuance of documents to prospective workers in the country. It will also ensure that foreign workers are paying the proper taxes.

We are giving foreigners options and clearer rules. They have no more excuse. Any violation of immigration laws will merit immediate deportation, he added.

In the new rules, a special joint inspection team, composed of BI, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, was created to inspect establishments employing foreigners to guarantee compliance with the labor, immigration, and tax laws.

On Thursday, heads of government agencies from the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Health, among others, signed the JMC. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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