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Philippines Suspends Foreign Visa Issuance amid COVID-19

Philippine Government to suspend the issuance of foreign visa effective today, March 19, 2020.

Philippine Government has decided to temporarily stop issuing foreign visas. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin announced, “Starting today, all our Embassies and Consulates will temporarily suspend all foreign nationals as well as the visa-free privileges of al foreign nationals.” In line with the visa suspension, all existing foreign visas will also be canceled.

“Moreover, all previously issued Philippines visa to foreign nationals are deemed cancelled. Visas already issued to foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals remain valid,” Teodoro added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) first announced the halting of visa-free to foreigners, except for those who are traveling in the ASEAN region. Previously, Secretary Teodoro tweeted, “DFA is considering suspension of visa-free privilege except for ASEAN. Also stopping visa issuance worldwide during period of lockdown. AND NO MORE VISA UPON ARRIVAL EVEN IF WE STAMP PASSPORTS WITH DFA STAMP SHOWING MOST OF CHINA SEA & PACIFIC UP TO GUAM AS PH TERRITORY.” (Posted March 18, 2020, Wednesday)

With the enhanced community quarantine enforced in Luzon, several flights, even land transportation have already been canceled. Earlier in January, the Philippine government have already banned the issuance of visa on arrivals for Chinese Citizens due to the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19). As of March 14, travel control was ordered in China. To prevent the spread of the virus, the government is imposing some travel precautionary measures.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 217 COVID-19 infections, including 17 deaths and 8 recoveries.