A new type of residency

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House justice committee passes bill granting legal residency status to foreign nationals
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Published January 29, 2019, 8:13 AM
By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The House Committee on Justice passed yesterday a substitute bill which seeks to grant legal residency status to certain foreign nationals in the country under certain conditions.

On a vote of 261 to 18, the Senate and the House of Representatives decide to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017 in a joint, special session at the Batasang Pambansa yesterday. Inset photo shows Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (left) and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez presiding over the session that lasted more than seven hours. (Jansen Romero, Alvin Kasiban)
House of the Representatives (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

The panel, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon passed the proposed Alien Social Integration Act, which is consolidation of House Bills 6653 and 7624, authored by Deputy Speaker and Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Maximo Rodriguez.

“These bills intend to control and regulate the admission and integration of foreign nationals in the Philippines. These measures could address problems encountered by our immigration bureau on aliens without proper documentation or are overstaying in the country,” he said in his opening remarks at yesterday’s hearing.

The authors of the bill noted that under the bill, “qualified aliens with unlawful residence shall be integrated into the mainstream of Philippine society with due regard to national security and internationally recognized human rights.”

The substitute bill provides that all aliens whose stay in the Philippines is otherwise illegal under existing laws and who have entered the country prior to June 30, 2016 are hereby granted legal residence status upon compliance with the provisions of the proposed Act and shall not be prosecuted for offenses which are inherent to illegal residence, such as the absence of valid travel documents or visa.

“The legal residence status granted to aliens who availed of the benefits of Executive Order No. 324 s. 1988 and Republic Act No. 7919, as amended, otherwise known as “the Alien Social Integration Act of 1995,” are hereby affirmed and given full faith and credit,” the bill said.

The measure requires applicants to file registration forms with the following agencies: Civil Register of the alien’s place of residence; Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR); Bureau of Immigration (BI); National Bureau of Investigation (NBI); and the commercial or universal bank where the alien shall pay the integration fee as provided in the proposed Act.


 
The filing of registration forms may be done in five sets with a commercial or universal bank certified by the BIR as authorized collectors for income tax, the bill said.

The registration form shall contain: the applicant’s full name and aliases by which he may be known; proof of the applicant’s identity, financial capacity and good moral conduct through affidavits of at least two Filipino citizens of good reputation in the applicant’s place of residence; history of stay in the Philippines; residential address for immediate past five years; four passport-sized pictures taken within the last three months; most recent dental records submitted to the NBI and a complete fingerprint card for each of the agencies.

Under the bill, the applicants shall pay integration fees to any duly licenses commercial or universal bank accredited by the BIR.

The principal applicant shall pay P250,000 upon the filing of the registration forms with the bank; and P100,000 for the applicant’s spouse and P50,000 for each legitimate child below 18 years of age.

The applicant is also required to submit medical certificates stating that he or she is not a user of prohibited drugs or a drug dependent and is not afflicted with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or any highly infectious disease; and stating that he or she is mentally and psychologically healthy.

The bill provides that the legal residence granted under the proposed Act shall commence from the date the Bureau of Immigration (BI) issues the Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR).

Aliens granted legal residence under the proposed Act shall be eligible to apply for naturalization after five years from the approval of the application, it said.

To me this seems expensive and i believe it to be just a money maker.

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Interesting, but as I suppose most overstaying here are doing so because of lack of funds switching status for p250,000 isn't gonna change much. Might be a blessing for those with limited mobility though.

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At first glance I had my tin foil hat on and saw it as a scheme to flush out illegals, but then I saw the cost...

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4 minutes ago, BrettGC said:

then I saw the cost...

:89: I will stay on my 310 peso per year :whistling:

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As Jack stated, doing it the way he does - I'm assuming Balikbayan - is obviously cheaper.  Well even tourist visa extensions are cheaper short to mid-term, but I'm just wondering if there's any advantage to citizenship/dual for those countries that do allow it?  

I for one, would much rather be looked after by an Australian or European consulate (I'm dual Aussie/Irish - where there's no Irish representation EU consular officials treat all EU members as their own) if something untoward occurred outside the Philippines.

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They don’t follow standard rules but will trot on down to the government with 250K and sign up. Got it.

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I suppose I can understand the government's position - better to know who you are dealing with but, the problem is not with those who wish to legitimise their residency rather those who wish to remain under the radar -  The new Bill won't help with that.

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5 hours ago, RubberChicken said:

They don’t follow standard rules but will trot on down to the government with 250K and sign up. Got it.

That's the point I guess, those that are covered by this new legislation probably can't afford it.. Yes, I see your point.. That's what make me wonder why it's in place to begin with <firmly puts his tin foil hat on> 

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