BI resumes ARP for aliens

May 17, 2022 Jun I. Legaspi 124 views

AFTER two years of operating with restrictive measures, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the lifting of some of the temporary suspensions and exemptions given to aliens that were put in place to curb the coronavirus or COVID-19.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said given that Metro Manila and other provinces remain under Alert Level 1, which allows for less stringent movement of individuals, government services are moving back to normal operations.

In a memorandum, Morente said that the bureau will resume biometrics capturing and fingerprinting of foreign nationals under the Alien Registration Program (ARP) and issuance of Special Security Registration Number (SSRN) as requirements for the processing of foreign nationals.

During the pandemic, the BI temporarily suspended biometrics capturing to lessen physical contact during document processing.

However, according to BI Alien Registration Division (ARD) Chief Atty. Jose Carlitos Licas, Jr., biometric capturing remains necessary to ensure alien records remain complete and accurate.

Licas said that the ARD will also resume issuing emigration clearance certificates (ECCs), a document required by law for aliens who have stayed in the country for more than 6 months.

“The issuance of ECCs, which also requires biometric capturing, must be secured from any authorized BI office at least 72 hours prior to the foreign national’s departure from the country,” he stated.

Licas also said that the lifting of the suspension meant that biometrics capturing and fingerprinting for all foreign nationals required for visa renewal and other immigration transactions should resume.

Morente further renewed his call to continuously follow public health protocols and remain cautious under the new normal.

“The virus is still a threat, but this time we are now armed with the knowledge on how to protect ourselves from it. As we transition to the new normal, we urge the public to continue following health protocols so we may continue to keep each other safe from this virus,” he added. By Jun I. Legaspi