|July 8, 2014|
Previously published on June 27, 2014
Work visa applicants are now permitted to submit a signed Letter of Undertaking (LOU) in lieu of supporting documents that require authentication abroad, such as legalization or notarization. Employees who have submitted a LOU with a visa application will then have 60 days in which to submit the required documents. The new filing allowance is a consequence of a new Philippine Bureau of Immigration Operations Order that took effect immediately.
Depending on the case, authenticated police clearances, birth certificates, marriage contracts, family registers or other documents may be required. A Philippine police clearance issued by the National Bureau of Investigation may also be required.
Failure to submit the authenticated documents within the 60-day period will result in any approved visas being canceled.
The LOU option only applies to visa applications that are processed by the Bureau of Immigration. It does not apply to visas processed by other agencies, such as 47(a)(2) visa applications that are submitted to the Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and approved by the Department of Justice.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
The new policy should benefit foreign nationals by allowing them to file the visa applications while required supporting documents are being authenticated. The new procedure means the Bureau of Immigration will begin adjudicating applications while the applicant is obtaining the authenticated documents, rather than afterward.