The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has resumed granting Philippine special visas to foreign businessmen who put up businesses that employ at least 10 Filipinos. Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said the special visa for employment generation (SVEG) would allow the foreigners to remain in the country indefinitely along with their wives and children under 18.
The visas were resumed two weeks ago after the BI issued the SVEG’s revised implementing rules and regulations that were approved by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. The SVEG was first introduced in November 2008 pursuant to Executive Order No. 758 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to attract more foreign investors and create more jobs for Filipinos.
But the BI suspended the program last July pending revision of its rules to make it more responsive and relevant to the purpose of the law. The visa is still subject to restrictions imposed by the Constitution and existing laws on foreign investments. SVEG applications may be filed at the BI main office or any field office. A P10,000 application fee, P1,000 clearance fee, P20 legal research fee and P1,000 express lane fee shall be charged each applicant. Cris Villalobos, head of the BI-SVEG one-stop facility, said the new rules provide for the outright issuance of an indefinite visa to a qualified foreign applicant, instead of the initial probationary one-year visa provided in the old rules.