DFA defends mandate to issue PH visas to foreign nationals; integral to national gatekeeping mechanism
DFA defends mandate to issue PH visas to foreign nationals; integral to national gatekeeping mechanism
DFA defends mandate to issue PH visas to foreign nationals; integral to national gatekeeping mechanism
by Karen Ow-Yong23 November 2023
Courtesy of DFA

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is defending its mandate to issue Philippine visas to foreign nationals through its Foreign Service Posts and is “anchored on international and domestic laws such as the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the 1987 Administrative Code and the Codified Visa Rules & Regulations of the Philippines of 2002.”

In a statement from the DFA, it says that the function authorizes the DFA to conduct vetting procedures to ascertain the status of visa applicants as legitimate visitors and their travel purpose to the Philippines.

Earlier, Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla called for stricter visa processing for Chinese citizens who want to enter the country, adding that this task should be taken away from the DFA and should be handled by a third-party provider.

In his message to the media, Remulla said that they are reviewing the visa issuing system and will recommend to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to remove the visa processing and issuance from the DFA.


“We are currently reviewing the visa issuing system and we will recommend to the President that the DFA should no longer handle the visa processing but rather the VFS since the latter has the capability to check the veracity of the data submitted by those applying for a visa,” he said.

The DFA signed a deal with VFS Global on the Outsourcing of the Non-Sensitive, Non-Discretionary and Non-Complex Elements of Passport Renewal covering jurisdiction of Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates last May 2021.

According to the DFA, its mandate to issue Philippine visas is integral to the current national gatekeeping mechanism of admitting foreign nationals into the Philippines. Over the years, the Philippines' two-tiered national defense gatekeeping system ensures that the country's national security is protected, the statement said.

The DFA provides the first tier of defense gatekeeping while abroad with the development of a stringent admissions criteria for foreign nationals. This system ensures that only legitimate tourists, travellers and investors will be allowed inside the country”, added the DFA.


The DFA also said that through its Philippine Foreign Services Posts abroad, conduct thorough assessment of documentary requirements and personal interviews of foreign nationals, obtain the mandatory security clearances or derogatory records check from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) and the Bureau of Immigration (Bl) and the necessary authorization from the DFA-Office of Consular Affairs in the case of restricted or visa-required nationals.

The DFA added that the stringent visa issuance process is complemented by BI as it provides the second tier of defense gatekeeping at the country's port of entry under the Philippine Immigration Act through the admission of aliens based on its security database and conduct of interviews upon arrival.

listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Most Read