DFA tightens visa rules on Chinese

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THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Thursday a toughening up of its visa requirements for Chinese applicants, to include requirements such as a social security certificate.

Speaking at a media briefing, DFA Undersecretary Jesus S. Domingo said apart from requiring proof of financial capacity, employment certificate, and bank statements, the DFA will scrutinize Chinese applicants’ bank records more vigilantly.

He said the DFA is also looking at increasing group applications to a minimum of 10 applicants from three.

The move comes after crimes committed by Chinese citizens in the Philippines increased in 2024, especially those involved in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO)-related crimes. 

Mr. Domingo also noted how fraudulently obtained passports and visas from the Chinese side increased, resulting in illegal entry and overstaying. “[These crimes] lead to peace and order and criminality problems with the abuse of the POGO system, terrible instances of human trafficking, murder, kidnapping, and other heinous crimes,” he said.

The DFA is cognizant of the consequence that stricter visa requirements for the Chinese would decrease their contribution to the tourism industry. “There are [three] things we have to balance, business, economics, and national security. So, there will probably be some little challenge for our tour operators to adjust,” Mr. Domingo said. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana