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First E-Visa holders, Chinese mother and daughter, welcomed by BI

Chinese E-Visa holders
BI commissioner Norman Tansingco welcomes first e- visa holders. (JERRY S. TAN)

A Chinese mother-daughter tandem who arrived from China was welcomed by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Saturday as the first holders of Philippine electronic visa (e-visa) to arrive in the country.

It can be recalled that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) launched last month an e-visa system that allows foreign tourists to apply for their temporary visitors’ visa online. The e-visa system is an initiative of the national government to attract more foreign visitors to the country post-pandemic.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the DFA earlier announced that the soft launch of the system was conducted in Shanghai, China thus, the first e-visa holders are a mother and daughter who arrived on board a China Eastern flight from Shanghai, China.

Sandoval said that the DFA had a series of meetings with the bureau who ensured that the e-visa is integrated in the BI’s e-travel system, as part of the BI’s efforts to streamline its procedures and expedite the process through less paper-based documents.

The BI said that they are expecting an increase in the number of passengers during the ‘ber’ months, following the reopening of the country’s borders and the massive promotional campaigns of the Department of Tourism.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco and DFA Office of the Consular Affairs (OCA) Assistant Secretary Henry Bensurto Jr. personally welcomed the arrival of the first e-visa holders. Also in attendance were DFA Deputy Assistant Secretary Christian de Jesus, Director Leilani Feliciano, and Assistant Director Antonio Emmanuel Miranda together with officials of the BI.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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