Registration with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration’s new Alien Registration Program (ARP) currently remains voluntary, but will eventually become mandatory for certain categories of foreign nationals. The time at which registration becomes required has yet to be determined. The program requires foreign nationals working in the Philippines to attend a biometric appointment and obtain an identity card with a unique security number. Although foreign nationals have had to register for and maintain a valid Alien Certificate of Registration identity card (ACR I-Card) for quite some time now, the program seeks to increase the number of registered foreign nationals.
Currently, departing foreign nationals who are required to obtain an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) are already required to register for the ARP prior to being able to leave the Philippines. (Click here for more information.) Foreign nationals that will be required to register include temporary visitors (9(a) visa holders) who are staying for more than 59 days, and holders of certain long-term visas (such as 9(g) Pre-arranged Employment, 9(d) Treaty Trader, and Section 13 Immigrant Visas) whose ACR I-Cards have since expired. These individuals will be required to register by September 30, 2015.
ARP registration will remain voluntary for holders of Regional Operating Headquarters, 47(a)(2) Special Non-Immigrant Work, and Dependent Visa Holders. The program will also remain voluntary for those who already hold valid ACR I-Cards. However, it is suggested that holders of cards that do not contain a Social Security Registration Number (SSRN) replace the card with a new one in order to simplify any future transactions with the Bureau of Immigration.
Any foreign nationals interested in registering must do so by September 30, 2015. This can be done via appearing at a participating Bureau office with a completed application form and valid identification. At the office, biometrics will be captured and an ACR I-Card with the SSRN will be obtained.
Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.