DFA suspends Philippiens e-visa system in China
MANILA, Philippines — The operations of the Philippine e-Visa System in China are suspended until further notice, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.
For further inquiries, visa applicants in China are advised to contact the nearest Philippine embassy or consulate by visiting the directory at https://dfa.gov.ph/about/dfa-directory/our-foreign-service-posts-dfa.
The DFA did not mention in its advisory the reason for the suspension of Philippine e-Visa operations in China.
In July, the DFA announced it would soft-launch the Philippine e-Visa system in Philippine foreign service posts in China on Aug. 24, allowing foreign nationals to apply for temporary visitors’ visas remotely.
The e-Visa is part of efforts to further improve consular services.
It allows foreign nationals entering the country for tourism or business to apply for temporary visitors’ visas remotely through their personal computers, laptops and mobile devices.
The e-Visa system was developed in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) since December 2022.
This project is part of the DFA’s strategic goal of optimizing ICT for its consular services, and is affirmed by the policy directive of President Marcos to reinvigorate the tourism industry.
Pilot testing of the prototype e-Visa system was conducted by the DFA on July 11, 2023 with DICT representatives and consuls general, visa officers and visa assistants of Philippine foreign service posts in China.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla called for stricter visa processing for Chinese nationals who want to enter the country, as he disclosed a plan to have third-party service provider VFS Global to handle the issuance of visas instead of the DFA.
The DFA defended its mandate to issue Philippine visas to foreign nationals, saying its foreign service posts conduct thorough assessment of visa applications.
DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said the “DFA’s visa-issuing mandate is integral to the current national gatekeeping mechanism of admitting foreign nationals into the Philippines.”
The DFA’s mandate to issue Philippine visas to foreign nationals through its foreign service posts,