Foreigners wanting to work in PH may apply for permit through local employers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — Foreign nationals who want to work in the country for more than six months can now apply for a permit via their prospective employers based in the Philippines.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) made the announcement on its website Sunday, saying the work visas may be applied for at the Philippine Consulate in the country where the foreigner lives.

"Essential foreign workers, through their Philippines-based employers, may now apply for AEP/COE and 9(g) work visas at their concerned DOLE regional offices before entering the country," said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

AEP is the Alien Employment Permit, while COE stands for Certificate of Exemption/Exclusion, both necessary documents that foreign workers in the Philippines must submit.

"Under the new guidelines, issuance of the work visa may be done at Philippine Consulate General at the foreign national's place of origin and will no longer require an entry stamp from the Department of Foreign Affairs," added Bello.

"The lead time for the issuance of the AEP is five working days upon completion of labor market test or publication in a newspaper of general circulation while three days after receipt of the application for COE," he added further.

Among the documentary requirements asked of applicants are a contract of employment, a photocopy of their passport, as well as a taxpayer identification number. 

After the permit is granted, the employer can apply for an appropriate work visa for the prospective employee with the Bureau of Immigration or other visa-issuing agencies.

Meanwhile, Joint Memorandum Circular No. 001, series of 2019 states foreign nationals who are in the country under temporary visitor's visa must secure pall necessary permits and file an application for a work visa with the Bureau of Immigration.