PHILIPPINES (May 9, 2017) – Immigration office hours curtailed, delays expected

Changes announced last week took immediate effect

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Bureau of Immigration has reduced operating hours. Bureau offices, including the main office and field, extension and satellite offices, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., rather than 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

What does the change mean? Anyone in need of bureau services should expect delays.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas, permits and other Bureau of Immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals in need of bureau services.
  • Impact on processing times: The reduced hours are expected to delay processing times, though it is not clear how significant delays will be.
  • Business impact: Employers may need to adjust timelines and start dates if employees are affected by the slowdown in processing times.

Background: The changes were announced last week and took immediate effect. The reduced hours were implemented because of budget constraints, according to news reports, and will continue unless the bureau reverses itself. Officials said offices would remain open through the lunch hour to make up for the shorter hours, but delays are nonetheless expected.

BAL Analysis: Those in need of immigration services in the Philippines should submit applications as early as possible and be prepared for delays. Given the reduced hours, it is especially important for employers to work with their BAL professional to strategize how best to obtain immigration services from Bureau of Immigration offices.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Philippines. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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