PHILIPPINES – New Employment Permit Rules
Effective 1 December 2017, the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) has issued revised rules for the issuance of employment permits to foreign nationals.
What has changed?
The following additional documents are now required in support of an application for an Alien Employment Permit (AEP):
Business Name Registration and Application Form with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Registration and General Information Sheet (GIS); If the position title of the foreign national is included in the list of regulated professions, a Special Temporary Permit (STP) from the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC); If the employer is covered by the Anti-Dummy Law, an Authority to Employ Foreign National (ATEFN) from the Department of Justice (DOJ) or from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Applications for AEP renewal should be submitted not more than 60 days before expiry, unless the foreign national needs to leave the country or in other similar circumstances. Renewal of an expired AEP will be treated like a new application, subject to the payment of required fees and penalties; In the case of officers whose appointment or election takes place before the expiration of AEP, the application must be filed not later than fifteen working days after appointment, or before its expiration, whichever comes later. In case the appointment or election will take place after the expiration of the AEP, the application for renewal must be filed before the expiration of the AEP which can be renewed for one year. Within fifteen working days after the date of appointment or election, the foreign national shall submit to the issuing Regional Office the Board Secretary’s Certification. The Regional Director shall revoke the AEP after one month from its issuance, if no certification is submitted.
Denial of AEP Application
Two new grounds for denial of an application for an AEP have been added:
Working without a valid AEP for more than one year; Applying for renewal with an expired visa or with a temporary visitor’s visa.
A foreign national whose AEP has been denied on the grounds of grave misconduct in the treatment of workers or a criminal conviction is disqualified from reapplying within ten years.
A foreign national whose AEP has been denied due to the misrepresentation of facts is disqualified from reapplying within five years.
Employers, representatives or agents acting on behalf of an applicant found to have submitted fraudulent AEP applications three times will be barred from submitting applications for a period of five years after due process. Employers failing to pay the PHP 10,000 penalty for employing a foreign national without an AEP will be disallowed from employing any foreign national.
Exclusions and Exemptions
The Secretary has been removed in the list of Corporate Officers who are “excluded” (exempted) from securing an employment permit. Furthermore, the President and Treasurer must be part-owners of the company to be granted the said exclusion. The representative of the Foreign Principal or Employer assigned in the office of a POEA-licensed manning agency has been added to the list of categories of foreign nationals “excluded” (exempted) from securing an employment permit. Refugees are added to the list of categories of foreign nationals exempt from securing an employment permit. A processing fee of PHP 500 has been added for the processing and issuance of Certificate of Exclusion applications.
Employers of foreign nationals in the Philippines should ensure compliance with the new regulations to avoid penalties.