THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that foreign minors traveling to the Philippines who are unaccompanied by their parents may now pay their fees online.
In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the application and payment for “waiver of exclusion ground” (WEG) for foreign minors can now be accessed in the BI’s online payment portal.
“This project is part of our continuing efforts to institutionalize paperless transactions in the bureau, reduce red tape, and deliver more efficient and faster services to the public,” Tansingco said.
Under Section 29(a)(12) of the Philippine Immigration Act, “children below 15 years of age who are unaccompanied by a parent or not coming to a parent in the Philippines, can be excluded entry to the Philippines.”
Thus, such minors may only be allowed entry, even if unaccompanied, if the BI has issued them a WEG and has paid a fee of P3,120 to the government.
According to a BI operations circular signed by Tansingco last May 25, applicants shall file their WEG application within 72 hours from the minor’s scheduled arrival by logging into the BI’s online portal at e-services.immigration.gov.ph.
They shall completely fill out the WEG application e-form and upload clear digital or scanned copies of the documentary requirements, such as an affidavit of support and guarantee, the parent’s and minor’s passport information, travel consent, return ticket, and valid entry visa, if applicable.
The prescribed fees shall then be paid online using a debit or credit card, after which electronic receipts shall be issued through the applicant’s registered e-mail address.
The BI shall then process and evaluate the application and issue its approval via the traveler’s e-mail address within 24 hours from receipt of the application.
Applications with incomplete documentary requirements or those left unpaid within 72 hours shall be automatically deleted from the system, the circular stated.