Baguio City – Katrina, a foreign national desires to work in the Philippines for a longer period and has been offered a job in one of the companies operating in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). She is a holder of a Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV).

Katrina being a holder of a SIRV is not exempted from the Alien Employment Permit (AEP) requirement. All foreign nationals who intend to work in the Philippines is required by the government to secure an AEP from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This permit authorizes a foreign national to engage in gainful activities provided that no domestic manpower is available for the particular designation.

Holders of other functional visas such as Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders (9D) Visa, or Special Non-Immigrant Visa (47A2) are also subject to an AEP.

Those who are exempted from the AEP requirement are members of the diplomatic services; officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippines is a member, as well as their legitimate spouses desiring to work; foreign nationals with board seats in Philippine corporations; those exempt by special law; owners or representatives of foreign companies accredited with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) that recruit Filipinos for work abroad; teaching or research stints or exchanges under reciprocal agreements between universities or governments; and resident foreign nationals or temporary/probationary resident visa holders.

A 9(g) is a working visa for foreigners entering the Philippines to engage in a lawful occupation. In general, it must be shown that the services of the foreign national are indispensable to the management, operation, administration, or control of local or locally-based firms. The companies must petition their employees to obtain this visa. If the duration of the employment is less than six months, a Special Work Permit application may be submitted to the authorities. If the employment is for more than six months, the foreigner shall apply for an AEP.

An application for a separate AEP is required as an accompaniment to the principal work visa application. A Philippine Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR I-Card biometrics registration) may be required as an accompaniment to the employee and dependent’s applications. This is a mandatory requirement for travel outside of the Philippines. The  AEP is normally applied in tandem with a 9(g) pre-arranged employment visa and applies to foreign nationals seeking employment in the Philippines, foreign professionals allowed to practice their profession in the Philippines, and Holders of SIRV, SRRV, Treaty Trader visa 9(d), Special Non-immigrant Visa for executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical positions. An employee must be petitioned by his/her company and it must generally be shown that no person found in the Philippines is willing or competent to perform the service for which the foreign national is hired. In addition to the AEP, foreign nationals must obtain a provisional permit to work pending the approval of the 9(g) visa. This permit is issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and is normally valid for a period of 3 months from issuance. The BI will not issue a 9(g) working visa unless and until the AEP from the DOLE is obtained.

The revised rules include Ocular Inspection of Establishments. Under the Order, the DOLE may conduct ocular inspection of establishments employing foreign nationals to verify the legitimacy of the foreign nationals’ employment and ensure that the foreigners are doing the job for which their AEPs were issued.  The grounds for Denial of AEP applications are as follows: misrepresentation of facts in the application; The submission of falsified documents; the foreign national has a derogatory records, or availability of a Filipino who is competent, able, and willing to do the job intended for the foreign national.

Today, foreign nationals who are excluded from obtaining an AEP are required to secure a Certificate of Exclusion from the Regional Office of the DOLE which has jurisdiction over their intended place of work.

The certificate of exclusion shall be subject to a PHP500 application fee and shall be issued by the DOLE Regional Office within two working days after receipt of complete documentary requirements and fees.

Likewise, excluded from securing an AEP are: intra corporate transferee who is a manager, executive, or specialist; employee of Foreign Service supplier with at least one year continuous employment prior to deployment to a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or representative office in the Philippines; contractual service supplier who is a manager, executive, or specialist and an employee of a foreign service supplier which has no commercial presence in the Philippines; and representative of the Foreign Principal/Employer assigned in the Office of Licensed Manning Agency (OLMA) in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Foreigners requesting for the issuance of a certificate of exclusion are required to submit a letter request addressed to the DOLE Regional Director having jurisdiction over the intended place of work; valid business/Mayor’s permit of the Philippine-based company or enterprise; and photocopy of passport with valid visa.

Additional documents shall be required for specific categories of foreign nationals applying for a certificate of exclusion. For President, Treasurer, and Members of Governing Boards (excluding those listed in the Foreign Investment Negative List), they shall submit a certified true copy of the updated General Information Sheet showing the name and position of the foreign national; a certification that the requesting foreign national is a member of the governing board with voting rights only, will not in any manner intervene in the management and operation of an enterprise, and with no intention to obtain gainful employment; and Board Secretary’s Certificate of Election. For intra-corporate transferees, they shall submit a contract of employment from the originating company, including proof of salary, and second agreement

For more information about the Alien Employment Permit visit us @ www.dole.gov.ph or visit www.immigration.gov.ph for Philippine Immigration programs and services.

END/Patrick T Rillorta