BI Issues New Requirements on Work Permits
Work Permit

BI Issues New Rules on Work Permits to Protect Local Blue-Collar Workers

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) has imposed new rules on the issuance of Special Work Permits (SWP) and Provisional Work Permits (PWP) to foreigners seeking to gain employment in blue-collar jobs in the Philippines.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement that the bureau will now require foreign applicants to disclose more details of their employment status before they are issued an SWP or PWP.

The Commissioner added that no work permit will be issued to foreigners seeking to be employed as construction workers, cashiers, janitors, carpenters, and other blue-collar jobs, as well as professions regulated by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), unless otherwise approved by the PRC.

The BI requires foreign applicants to submit the following for work permit applications:

  • Validity of stay as tourists
  • Address, existence, and nature of business
  • Financial viability of petitioning company
  • SEC and other government licenses to operate

A PWP is issued to foreigners who currently hold an Alien Employment Permit (AEP) and have a pending work visa application, while an SWP is issued to foreigners holding tourist visas but intend to stay in the Philippines to work for short-term contracts or for 6 months or less.

The BI’s new guidelines were issued to protect the interests of local workers and discourage the increase of foreigners working in construction sites, retail establishments, and other technical jobs that can be filled by Filipino workers.

Under the law, work permits can only be issued to foreigners if no Filipinos are able and willing to perform a certain job position.  

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