Home » Across Borders » New Subic-Clark Visa System

LAST January 2009, several government agencies entered into a joint agreement to prescribe a new visa system for the Subic-Clark economic corridor. The new visa and work permit system is scheduled for full implementation on July 1, 2009.

As previously written, we have been working with Subic and Clark officials to simplify and harmonize immigration, customs and quarantine (ICQ) rules and procedures in the Freeport zones. Under the guidance of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC), substantial efforts have been made in the simplification and automation of the various ICQ systems. In the following month, Freeport authorities will be implementing the new visa and work permit systems.

JMO 01-2009

Under Joint Memorandum Order (JMO) No. 01-2009, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and SCADC agreed on the new set of rules and requirements for issuing visas and work permit for foreign nationals working and living in the Freeport zones.

The JMO was specifically issued to, among others:

– Facilitate the conduct of business in the Subic-Clark economic corridor by providing an efficient, simplified and harmonized special visa program for foreign nationals working or employed in the Freeport Zones;
– Provide a more secure and reliable system for monitoring of foreign nationals in the Subic-Clark economic corridor; and
– Simplify the documentary requirements for processing and issuance of the visas and work permits.

Old system vs. New system

Under the old system, the Freeport authorities, with the approval of the immigration authorities, issued visas for investors, workers and dependents. While these visas were validly issued, these were applicable only within the Freeport zones and as such, foreign nationals had to secure tourist visas or other types of visas when going out of the Freeport zones. Under the new system, all types of Subic-Clark visas issued are now valid even outside the Subic Freeport Zone and Clark Freeport Zone. The Subic-Clark visas will be jointly issued by the Freeport and immigration authorities using new and secure printed sticker-type forms.

Documentary Requirements

The new system also now provides for minimal forms and documents to support a visa application. We have listed below the simplified requirements for the various types of Subic-Clark visas being issued:

Subic-Clark Working Visa (SWV)
– Application Form
– PTO for CDC / CRTE for SBMA
– Passport
– Letter of Appointment / Contract of Employment
– NBI or Police Clearance from Country of Origin or equivalent document
– Affidavit of Support and Guarantee from Company
– CAN or Subic-Clark Work Permit (Special or Provisional) issued by DOLE

Subic-Clark Investors Visa (SIV)
– Application Form
– Proof of Investment (at least USD250,000 in capital stocks or band deposit)
– Passport
– NBI Clearance

Subic-Clark Dependent Visa (SDV)
– Application Form
– Passport
– NBI Clearance
– Birth Certificate (children) / Marriage Certificate (spouse) authenticated or notarized by Embassy
– Affidavit of Support

One-Stop-Shop Visa Center

Based on the planned schedule, one-stop shop visa processing centers will be located within the Freeport zones and will be manned by both Freeport and immigration authorities by next month. Visa applications will be submitted and processed in these centers and if all documents are in order, visas should be issued and released within a few days.

The author is an international trade consultant, and a licensed customs broker. He is a lecturer on logistics, indirect tax and customs, and a lecturer of Ateneo and BayanTrade on International Supply Chain Management. Please contact agatonuvero@yahoo.com for your comments.

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