Mother and daughter from China first visitors to PH using e-visa system

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said a 38-year-old woman and her three-year-old daughter from China became the “first foreigners” to enter the Philippines under the country’s very first electronic visa (e-visa) system.

The DFA, through the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Shanghai on Tuesday, said the unidentified mother-daughter duo, who obtained their e-visas last August 26, flew out of China from Pudong Airport.

The PCG in Shanghai is the “first and currently only Philippine foreign service mission issuing e-visas,” the DFA said in a statement.

The Philippine e-visa, co-developed by DFA and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, was launched last August 24 in Manila.

On August 25, the PCG in Shanghai began limited trials of e-visa processing and opened it to the first group of e-visa applicants. The first three e-Visa arrivals all hailed from this batch, the DFA said.

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The unidentified mother-daughter duo arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on September 2, where they passed through immigration “smoothly using their e-visas,” the DFA said.

Another Chinese national, a male, who was not also identified, became the Philippines’ third e-visa arrival. He cleared immigration procedures at NAIA Terminal 3 on September 2.

DFA officials led by Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Henry Bensurto, Jr., and Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco welcomed them.

The e-visa allows foreign nationals to lodge their visa applications and supporting documents online, the DFA said. Holders will no longer need a visa sticker on their passports, and need only to present a digital (mobile) image or print-out of their e-visa.

The e-visa is already fully integrated with and verifiable using the Philippines e-travel registration system, the DFA said.

“The e-visa stands to be a gamechanger in the Philippines’ effort to lure in more Chinese travelers and in the ability of Philippine consular offices in China to ramp up visa issuance,” said Josel Ignacio, PCG Shanghai consul general.

“Our Consulate General in Shanghai is privileged to be part of this historic milestone in the digitization of visa services,” Ignacio added.

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