Immigration bureau cancels working visas of 528 foreigners due to fraud

Bureau of Immigration office in Manila. Photo: Jonathan Cellona/ABS-CBN News
Bureau of Immigration office in Manila. Photo: Jonathan Cellona/ABS-CBN News

More than 500 foreigners working across six unidentified companies have had their working visas canceled for allegedly submitting fraudulent documents, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced today.

In a statement posted to the BI’s Facebook page, the agency said they discovered the fraudulent paperwork after performing two audits. In the first, 469 foreigners working at four companies had their visas canceled. In the second, 59 foreigners working at two other businesses joined the ignominious club.

The workers allegedly submitted fake Alien Employment Permits (AEP), a document issued by the Department of Labor and Employment that is required by the BI when applying for a working visa.

The foreign nationals involved were found to have violated Section 37 of the Philippine Immigration Act, which prohibits misrepresentation or fraud.

Among those with their visas canceled were 259 Indians, 230 Chinese, 14 South Koreans, 11 Japanese, five Taiwanese, three Vietnamese, a German, a Burmese, a Nigerian, a Nepalese, a Sudanese, and a Yemeni.

The 528 foreigners will be deported from the country and blacklisted from returning, while the permits of the BI-accredited agents who processed will also be revoked.

Aside from canceling the visas in question, the BI will bring a case against the six companies involved for allowing the fake AEPs, though it was not immediately clear what sort of fine or other sanctions they face.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente did not identify the six companies, but said they were based in Manila, Parañaque, and Caloocan, and are in the consultancy, real estate, education, and information technology industries.

Morente asked the public to help the BI by reporting aliens who are working illegally in the Philippines.

“We need everybody’s help. Filipinos, as well as legally staying aliens, must report illegal foreigners in their area, and you can be assured that we will act on your reports,” said Morente.

Morente said the public should expect the revocation of more working permits, part of a nationwide crackdown on foreigners working here illegally, in the next few months.

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