Immigration Bureau exceeds one billion peso mark in tourist visa fees

MANILA, Dec. 20 -- Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred Mison announced on Monday that the BI has exceeded the one billion peso mark in its income for tourist visa extension fees—a milestone reached for the first time this month.

As of yesterday, the total income of the tourist visa section amounted to P1,051,458,049.00, an increase of 7.4% from its 2014 income.

“While the BI is not mainly an income-generating agency, we commend our tourist visa section chief, Jonathan Jezreel Diaz, for this remarkable accomplishment. This affirms our commitment to contribute to national development.” said Mison.

Tourist visas, or temporary visitor’s visas, as technically termed by the Philippine Immigration Act, are issued to foreign nationals who are staying in the country for pleasure, business, or health. Holders of such visas are not allowed to work or study.

This year, the BI processed 142,336 applications for tourist visa extension, 35% of which are made up of Chinese, followed by Koreans, with 25,296 applications, and Americans, with 12,099 applications.

Income on tourist visas account for one-third of the total income of the BI, the remaining two-thirds are comprised of income from other types of visas and a small portion for processing of certifications.

In 2014, the tourist visa section collected P971 million in visa extension fees, or 32% of the total BI income of P3.022 billion.

“We are positive that we will reach our target income of P3.26 billion at the end of the year, our highest income on record,” said Mison with enthusiasm. (BI)

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