Philippine visa applications can now be submitted at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) newly-opened satellite offices in Rizal, Laguna and Parañaque City where they will be processed, thus bringing the agency’s services nearer to foreigners residing in these areas.
Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said he has issued a memorandum order authorizing the three BI satellite offices in Taytay City, Rizal; Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; and Great Chinatown Mall, Parañaque to receive and process applications for the various types of immigration visas.
Libanan explained that after processing the Philippine visa applications, the satellite offices will then forward the papers to the BI main office for review and approval by the bureau’s board of commissioners.
The BI satellite office in Taytay is located at the city’s old municipal building while the one in Sta. Rosa can be found at the city’s commercial complex.
The Great Chinatown Mall is at the Aseana Business Park along Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, where the Paranaque satellite office is located.
"As a result of this directive, foreigners living near these satellite offices need no longer travel to the BI main office in Intramuros, Manila to file their Philippine visa applications,” Libanan said.
Previously, the satellite offices, which opened last September, were only authorized to process and approve applications for extension of stay of foreign tourists.
Libanan said he decided to expand the authority and functions of the new offices as the principal objective of the bureau’s decentralization program is to bring the bureau’s services closer to its clientele.
“In authorizing our satellite offices to process visa applications, our services can now be easily accessed by foreigners living in Rizal and Laguna as well as those who shop at the Chinatown Mall,” the BI chief added.
BI Associate Commissioner Roy Almoro, however, explained that the Philippine visa applications still require the approval by the bureau’s board of commissioners at the main office.
Almoro said the immigration law mandates that all types of immigrant and non-immigrant visas shall only be issued upon approval by the three-man board.