The Bureau of Immigration (BI) recorded a 23.6% increase in its revenues from tourist visa extensions.
BI tourist visa section chief Raymond Remigio reported that the BI recorded a total revenue of PhP 1,426,076,164 for 2023, a major increase from the past year.
Remigio said that this could be attributed to the revived interest in international travel following the pandemic.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that the data reflects the BI’s efforts to make compliance with regulations easier by opening new offices and setting up their online services for the convenience of the transacting public.
“We are one with the Department of Tourism in their campaign to reinvigorate international travel and tourism in the country,” said Tansingco. “Faster and easier immigration service is our contribution to the national government’s efforts,” he added.
In 2022, the BI recorded PhP 1,153,748,535.50 revenues for tourist visa extensions.
Visa-free nationals are given an initial stay of 30 days, which they could extend in any of the BI’s offices nationwide or via the BI’s online platform at e-services.immigration.gov.ph.
BI plans to open more offices in 2024
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that they are planning to open up more new offices in key areas of the Philippines in 2024.
The BI Chief shared that in 2023, BI transferred many of its operations to malls and other areas that are more accessible to the public.
The BI’s offices in Cebu, Surigao, Las Pinas, Olongapo, and Nueva Ecija have transferred to bigger locations, while their Camiguin Field Office started its operations at the Provincial Capitol Building in Pandan Mambajao.
The BI’s physical annual report in Metro Manila has also been transferred from the BI’s head office to the 3rd Level Center Atrium of Robinsons Manila and the Government Service Express (GSE) Unit of SM Mall of Asia from Mondays to Fridays, excluding holidays, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Tansingco said that they are eyeing new offices in Siargao, Pagadian, Sorsogon, Davao del Sur, and other popular tourist destinations as well as the transfer of more offices to better locations.
“We are particularly looking at transferring many of our operations to malls, to make things more convenient for the transacting public,” said Tansingco. “We want to give quality and comfortable public service,” he added.
Apart from opening new offices, the BI shared that many of its services, including visa extensions are now available online.
“We are bringing our services closer to the general public to facilitate compliance with immigration policies,” he stated. “With these developments, there will no more excuse not to comply with immigration requirements,” he said.