BI Issues New Guidelines in Acquiring Work Permits for Foreigners

Following the surge of Chinese workers in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued a new set of guidelines for the issuance of Special Work Permit (SWP) and Provisional Work Permit (PWP).

Operations Order No. JHM-2019-002 requires foreign nationals who intends to work in the country to submit additional documents before they can secure an SWP or PWP.

The new guidelines

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said that the move was meant to discourage and minimize the number of foreign nationals working in the Philippines.

a welder working

Furthermore, the BI issued the said new guidelines in line with the increasing number of complaints from various labor groups claiming that a volume number of foreign workers are working in several construction sites in the country or taking on technical jobs that can be taken by a Filipino worker.

Foreign workers who want to get an SWP/PWP has to submit a certification under oath stating that it is time the first time that the applicant is requesting for such permit or it is an extension of SWP application, and that the applicant will only work for the position applied for and for the company that he declared in his application form.

construction workers

The requirements

The said documents are on top of the following requirements:

  • At least 20 days’ validity of the Temporary Visitor Visa;
  • The existence of the capability of the petitioning company;
  • Address of the company and applicant (residence);
  • Nature of business of the petitioning company, as reflected in its SEC Certificate; and
  • Whether the company has a valid appropriate government-issued license to operate.

The BI’s Alien Control Officer, Acting Alien Control Officer, or duly authorized personnel shall assess the abovementioned pre-requisites and then resolve whether the application for an SWP or PWP shall be granted.

However, under the new guidelines, the BI will no longer approve SWP or PWP for applications which involve manual or non-technical labor, such as but not limited to, construction worker, cashier, waiter, janitor, household help, carpenters, garbage collector, security guard, warehouse caretaker, and other analogous jobs.

SWPs or PWPs will not be issued, as well, to positions or professions classified as regulated professional by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), unless it is accompanied by a Special Temporary Permit issued by the PRC, authorizing the applicant-foreign national to practice the said regulated profession.

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