Investor Visa Formally Launched in the Philippines

Investor visa allows multiple entry privileges and extended stay for a foreigner who employs 10 Filipinos and invests at least P200 million ; referred to as the Special Visa for Employment Generation (SVEG).

The Philippine president signed an executive order that would allow foreigners to stay in the Philippines indefinitely provided they will employ at least 10 Filipinos.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan thanked the President for signing EO No. 758, said the President's action is timely because the launching of the job-generation visa would mitigate the negative impact of the current economic meltdown on the Philippine Economy.

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

Libanan said in an interview after the signing of the executive order that 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 country.

He said a foreigner who employs 10 Filipinos must invest at least P200 million because one job creation costs P10 million. This would be an active investment because the foreign investors pay monthly compensation to their employees, "thus it revolves the economy, and promotes active investments."

Under the guidelines, the BI 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 investor visa are considered special non-immigrants with multiple entry privileges and conditional extended stay, without need of prior departure from the Philippines.

Also, 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 also have a genuine intention to remain in the Philippines and he or she must not be a risk to national security.

President Arroyo directed the BI to continuously monitor the continued compliance by the investor visa holders of the SVEG, and authorized the BI commissioner to revoke the visa of a foreigner found to have violated the conditions of his visa.

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