Foreign spouses of Filipino citizens and their dependents need to secure entry visas from their respective Philippine consulates abroad prior to entering the country, the Bureau of Immigration said on Saturday.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement: “It is clear from the latest updates from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Resolution 60 that foreigners, including spouses of Philippine citizens, allowed to enter country must have the proper visas prior their arrival in the country.”

Visas are also required of “children of Philippine citizens and children with special needs, regardless of age, as well as to foreign parents of Filipino and children with special needs, also regardless of age.”

Prior to the issuance of Resolution 60, foreigners married to Filipinos were permitted to enter the country after presentation of the marriage certificate and other documents proving their relationship.

Port Operations Acting Chief Grifton Medina said Foreign Service Circular 36-2020 issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Aug. 3, 2020 exempts these foreigners from the suspension of visa issuance by Philippine consulates offices abroad.

However, this visa requirement applies to foreign spouses, dependents and parents of Filipinos with no existing visas.

“Those aliens who already hold valid permanent and temporary resident visas which they acquired by reason of marriage to Filipinos under Section 13(a) of the Philippine Immigration Act can enter the country anytime,” Medina said.

He explained that this category of foreigners need not apply for new entry visas. As immigrants and holders of long-term visas, they already fall under the categories of foreigners allowed to enter the country since Aug. 1, 2020, Medina said. Jojo Mangahis