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Foreign traders to stay in RP

December 31, 2008 05:31 PM Wednesday [ ]

PHILIPPINE visa policy for foreign investors has been relaxed and foreign investors can now indefinitely stay in the Philippines provided they will employ at least 10 Filipinos in the company they intend to establish in the country.

This, after President Gloria Arroyo recently signed Executive Order (EO) No. 758 allowing foreigners to stay indefinitely in the Philippines provided they will employ 10 Filipinos.

The move is considered very timely to help mitigate that negative impact of the current global economic meltdown that could also affect the Philippines.

EO No. 758, which has the effect of a law, prescribes guidelines for the issuance of a special visa to non-immigrants for employment generation.

“It would be easier now for foreigners to do business in the country as EO No. 758 waives the requirements for visa applications and encourages them to bring their investment into the Philippines,” commented Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan.

“A foreigner who employs 10 Filipinos must invest at least P200 million (around GBP 1.8 mn) because one job creation costs P10 million. This would be an active investment because foreign investors pay monthly compensation to their employees, thus it revolves the economy,” he added.

Under the guidelines, the Bureau of Immigration shall issue Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG) to a foreigner engaged in viable and sustainable commercial enterprise, trade or industry that has in its employ at least 10 Filipinos.

Foreigners who acquire the visa are considered special non-immigrants with multiple entry privileges and conditional extended stay, without need of prior departure from the Philippines.

The same visa may be extended to the visa applicant’s spouse and dependents under 18 years of age, whether legitimate, illegitimate, or adopted.

The guidelines also provide that aside from investing in a particular business, the visa applicant must have a genuine intention to remain in the Philippines and that he or she must not be a risk to national security.


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