DFA warns vs website facilitating PH e-visas

August 7, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 317 views

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday warned the public against spurious websites claiming to facilitate Philippine e-Visas.

This, after the DFA received reports that an active website containing misinformation on the e-Visa and other regulations is being circulated.

The Department clarified that information on the e-Visa will only be published through its official channels.

Earlier, the DFA announced that the Philippine e-Visa system will be soft-launched in Philippine Foreign Service Posts in China on 24 August 2023.

Issuing e-Visas initially to Chinese and later on to foreign visitors from other countries is expected to boost tourist arrivals in the Philippines.

The Philippine e-Visa will allow foreigners entering the country for tourism or business purposes to apply for temporary visitors’ visas remotely through their personal computers, laptops and mobile devices.

The Philippine e-Visa system is currently being developed and refined in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

This project is part of the DFA’s strategic goal of optimizing ICT for its consular services, and is affirmed by the policy directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to reinvigorate the tourism industry.

On July 11, 2023, the DFA conducted a pilot testing of the prototype e-Visa system with DICT representatives and Consuls General, Visa Officers and Visa Assistants of Philippine Foreign Service Posts in China.

The features of the e-Visa system are currently being refined and enhanced based on the results of the pilot testing.

The e-Visa system is one of the deliverables of the DFA and DICT in their Memorandum of Understanding in collaboration on a well-coordinated and synchronized ICT system for consular services signed on April 17, 2023.

This marks the transition of the DFA’s primordial mandate of issuing Philippine visas for foreigners entering the country in a secure digital environment.

The service is expected to contribute to the Philippine government’s thrust to promote tourism and business mobility.