Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Visa Alert: The Non-Immigrant Special Visa For Employment Generation or the SVEG

By Siesta-friendly

To diminish its reputation for pimping its people for overseas employment, or maybe they just realized its inconceivable that all 80M of us will get up and go, or to get brownie points and divert public attention from its plunderous activities, or for sheer concern (mmm … maybe not), or for whatever reason, the government has suddenly focused its attention on local employment.

And so, to somehow increase local job opportunities, the government has determined that making it easy and less expensive for foreigners to enter and exit the country, would do the trick. That’s right, if there’s one thing that stifles local employment it’s the lack of foreign investors. No word on what government is actually doing to fight corruption. Anyway, a new visa has been concocted and made available for qualified non-immigrants pursuant to Executive Order No. 758, dated November 17, 2008.[1]


Since the visa is meant to help generate employment, below are the minimum requirements of the foreigner. Remember that these are continuing conditions and will likely increase once the Bureau of Immigration comes up with the implementing rules.

  1. he shall actually, directly or exclusively engage in a lawful, viable and sustainable commercial investment/enterprise in the Philippines, exercises/performs management acts or has the authority to hire, promote and dismiss employees;
  2. he evinces a genuine intention to indefinitely remain in the Philippines;
  3. he is not a risk to national security (members of Jemaah Islamiyah need not apply); and
  4. his commercial investment/enterprise must provide actual employment to at least 10 Filipinos in accordance with Philippine labor laws and other applicable special laws. (Section 2)


Qualified foreigners who are granted the SVEG shall be considered special non-immigrants with multiply entry privileges and conditional extended stay, without need of prior departure from the Philippines. The privileges may extend to the qualified foreigner’s spouse and dependent unmarried child/children below 18 years of age whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted. (Section 1)


The procedure will be more detailed once the BI’s implementing rules are released. But for now here’s what Section 3 of EO 758 provides:

1. Upon payment of regulatory fees, the Commissioner of Immigration shall receive and resolve SVEG applications within fifteen (15) days from the date of filing.

Documentary proofs required by the Commissioner of Immigration shall be evaluated and reviewed without strict observance to the technicalities of evidence and procedure.

2. Upon favourable review, the Commissioner of Immigration shall issue a Notice of Approval directing the foreigner-applicant to report for registration and documentation at the BI. An Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) I-Card and an Identification Certification (IC) shall be issued upon payment of appropriate fees.

3. Upon an unfavourable decision, the Commission shall issue a Notice of Disapproval informing the foreigner-applicant of the denial of his application. Within 15 days from receipt of such disapproval, the foreigner-applicant may file a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) for the review of his application. Only 1 such Motion shall be entertained.


Under Section 4 of EO 758, the Commissioner of Immigration shall revoke the SVEG granted if:

  1. the SVEG holder fails to maintain compliance of any of the conditions;
  2. it was obtained through fraud or willful misrepresentation of material facts;
  3. the foreigner is convicted by final judgment for a crime or offense in the Philippines; or
  4. if competent authority makes a final determination that the foreigner poses a risk to national security.

A foreigner whose special non-immigrant status is revoked under a, b or d above shall be deported via summary proceedings. In the case of revocation under c, the foreigner shall be deported after the service of sentence.

So how soon before we hear the airport doors crashing with a deluge of foreign investors you think?

UPDATE: The steps in applying for the SVEG as well as the checklist of requirements may be found here.

[1] “Prescribing Guidelines For The Issuance Of A Special Visa To Non-Immigrant For Employment Generation”.


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