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PH to impose “more stringent” measures on visa requirements for Chinese tourists amidst rising fraudulent applications – DFA
PH to impose “more stringent” measures on visa requirements for Chinese tourists amidst rising fraudulent applications – DFA
PH to impose “more stringent” measures on visa requirements for Chinese tourists amidst rising fraudulent applications – DFA
by Karen Ow-Yong10 May 2024
Photo shows Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco personally welcoming the batch of visitors arriving onboard Xiamen Airlines flight MF819, together with China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Cesar Chiong, Xiamen Air General Manager of Manila Office Yan Tan, in time for the celebration of the Lunar New Year earlier this year. (Photo and caption courtesy of DOT)

MANILA – The Philippine government will start imposing more stringent measures on visa requirements for Chinese tourists who wish to enter the country amidst rising cases of fraudulent applications received by its embassy and consulates in China.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the measures are expected to help curb Chinese nationals entering the Philippines as tourists, but once in the country, will be working illegally in offshore gambling offices or known as Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

In a media briefing, DFA Undersecretary Jesus Domingo said that the stricter visa requirements aim to “weed out” the “illegitimate and unsavory” tourists from the legitimate ones.

"We are putting things in motion starting this week," Domingo said.


Domingo also mentioned that despite China being one of the top sources of foreign tourists in the country, this step is a balancing act, stressing that “there should be a balance between economic benefits from tourism and national security”.

He clarifies though that the measure is not related to any issues concerning the West Philippine Sea and the repeated assaults and harassment of China against Philippine Coast Guard vessels and supply boats undergoing resupply missions in the waters near Scarborough Shoal.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism is looking at 2 million tourist arrivals from China at the very least annually.

According to Domingo, Chinese tourist visa applicants – whether individual or part of a tour group – are required to submit a social insurance certificate as proof of identity.


Other requirements are proof of financial capability, such as bank statements; a notarized letter of support from host in the Philippines, if applying for an individual visa; and hotel and airfare bookings.

Personal interview is also required for individual applicants, Domingo added.

Domingo also noted that only accredited Chinese tour operators can organize trips to the Philippines; with tour groups from China having a minimum of 10 participants to a maximum of 50.

"We have security systems in place for tour operators. Those traveling on a group tour would have to arrive and depart at the same time," Domingo explained.


Domingo lamented that over the years, some visa loopholes have allowed Chinese nationals to illegally work and overstay in the country carrying falsified documents.

The DFA has also discovered incidents of attempted bribery of visa officers from Philippine diplomatic posts, Domingo stated.

The DFA believes that “quality tourism” and the decrease of POGO-related crimes is achievable through stricter visa measures, and as well as to allay the fears of legitimate Chinese tourists visiting the country.

In the long run, Domingo concluded, that all these measures are being done to “help boost Chinese arrivals and attract more visitors” to the country.

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