Immigrants with expired ACR I-Card can still enter Philippines–BI official

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THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday announced that it would still allow the entry into the country of foreigners with permanent resident visas although their alien certificate of registration identity cards (ACR I-Card) have expired provided that they could present valid reentry permits (RPs).

BI acting port operations chief lawyer Carlos Capulong said he has issued a memorandum to implement the directive of BI Commissioner Jaime Morente to allow the entry of alien immigrants with expired ACR I-Cards after receiving numerous queries on the matter.

“We are still being besieged with queries as to whether these aliens who are permanent residents and immigrants with expired I-Cards can go back to the Philippines.  They can do so as long as they can present their valid RPs,” Capulong said.

Morente issued the directive upon recommendation of the bureau’s alien registration division (ARD), which held that arriving immigrants with expired ACR I-Cards should not be turned back but be advised only to renew their cards at the bureau.

It clarified that ACR I-Cards cannot be used as basis to admit an alien immigrant as it merely serves as proof that the latter is registered with the BI.

For aliens who are holders of non-immigrant visas, Capulong said, they will be required to present valid ACR I-Cards to be allowed entry.

However, aliens whose reentry permits and special return certificates have expired, they may renew the same upon arriving at the airport before immigration clearance, Capulong said.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra instructed the BI to allow foreigners with expired reentry permits and SRCs to extend and pay their fees at the airport.

The justice secretary acknowledged most of these alien visa holders failed to extend their RPs and SRCs because they were stranded abroad due to various restrictions and quarantine protocols being implemented by some countries in response to the current worldwide health crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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