Manila: Foreigners found faking their visa extensions face detention and a ban from entering the country again, the Bureau of Immigration has warned.
Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. issued the warning following the arrest of two foreigners who falsified the visa extensions stamped on their passports.
Last Monday, Chinese national Xin Wenlie was detained at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 after he presented an official receipt for his visa extension which turned out to be fake.
Investigation revealed that both foreign passengers had overstayed their visa for more than two years and had not bothered to extend and update their stay since they arrived in the country.
On January 25, an Indian national, identified as Sodhi Singh, was intercepted at the NAIA 1 terminal for having a fake visa extension stamp on his passport and a spurious emigration clearance certificate.
The immigration officials said he was about to depart aboard a Thai Airlines flight to New Delhi when he was accosted by immigration agents.
David said: “There is a very slim chance that these fake extensions will not be detected,” adding that, apart from being illegal, it deprives the government of much needed revenue.
Lawyer Jose Carlitos Licas, immigrations intelligence assistant chief, said tourists resort to faking their visa extensions if they have overstayed in the country for a very long time.
Licas explained that an overstaying tourist cannot leave unless he has updated his stay and paid the necessary extension fees to the immigrations bureau.
Under the country’s existing rules, non-visa required foreign tourists are admitted for 21 days upon their arrival in a Philippine port of entry while visa-required nationals are granted an initial stay of 59 days.
The visitors may then apply to extend their stay for two months and every two months thereafter until they reached the maximum stay of 16 months.