e-gate bureau of immigration Philippines
A passenger using an e-gate upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. To boost passenger throughput at airports, the Philippines's Bureau of Immigration (BI) is integrating airline data with the e-gate system, thus cutting the steps required for passengers, thus improving arrival experience.. Image Credit: Bureau of Immigration PH

Manila: From Monday next week (April 1, 2024), the issuance of arrival stickers to Filipino passengers who use the e-gates in the country’s airports will be discontinued, the Philippines’s Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced in a statement.

“Consistent with the Bureau’s mandate to deliver effective and efficient immigration service, all are hereby informed of the discontinuance of arrival stickers for Filipino passengers processed through E-GATES at all international ports of entry effective 01 April 2024,” the immigration advisory reads.

What changes with e-gate system

The bureau added that Filipino passengers will receive their arrival confirmation through the email address in its eTravel system.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco told local media that the e-gates are being reconfigured to be "label free", adopting best practices from other countries. "Instead of printing a sticker to be attached on the passport, passengers will receive an email acknowledging their arrival," he said.

To boost passenger throughput, the bureau is integrating airline data with the e-gate system, thus cutting the steps required for passengers.

Tansingco also said that boarding pass scans will also be scrubbed for e-gate users, thus reducing processing time for inbound travellers.

The agency has increased the number of e-gates as it seeks to replace 25 per cent of its manual operations at the country's major gateways and ease passenger arrival experience, amid the soaring arrival numbers.

Philippine tourist arrivals hit 1.23 million from January to March 5, 2024 the latest for which data is available from the Department of Tourism.

This is 22.86 percent higher than the 999,390 arrivals in the country in the same period last year.

Foreign tourist arrivals account for 1.160 – or 94.49 percent.

Overseas Filipinos (OFs) numbered 67,686 – or 5.51 per cent – over the same period.

Automated border controls

The move to scrub arrival stickers for inbound Filipino travellers forms part of the agency’s wider roll out of digitisation, in keeping with the global trend towards automated border controls.

However, e-gate users are still given the option to get an arrival border stamp on their passport – upon request.

“Notwithstanding, the Bureau of immigration Arrival Border Stamp may be affixed onto the Philippine Passport by the Immigration Officer (IO) assigned at E-Gates upon request,” the agency said.

How it works

The Philippines’s Bureau of Immigration advised passengers to register in the eTravel system at least 72 hours before they travel.

“For speedy processing, passengers are enjoined to register at or update their information in the eTravel System at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the intended travel,” the BI stated.

For eTravel registration, download the eGov PH App,


Log in to the official website https://etravel.gov.ph

Both Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Mactan-Cebu International Airport have both achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification for their arrival and departure formalities for primary inspection of foreign nationals.

This certification affirms the immigration bureau's commitment to internationally-recognised organisational practices, ensuring that its services are globally competitive.