BI prevents Cebu entry of 2 South Koreans with ‘fake’ documents
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) advised all ports of entry in the country to be on alert for foreigners claiming to have Filipino spouses and relatives.
Commissioner Jaime Morente issued his directive after immigration officers stationed at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) barred on August 17 two South Korean nationals from entering Cebu after they were found to have fake marriage certificates.
In a press release dated August 23, 2020, BI said that the foreigners claimed they were married to Filipinas.
“(They presented) scanned copies of their marriage certificates that turned out to be fraudulent… The duo was excluded after BI officers found that one of them has not been to the Philippines, while his companion was actually out of the country on the date of his supposed marriage to a Filipina,” the agency stated.
While the country’s borders remained close for non-essential travels, it has allowed entry for foreign tourists who have Filipino spouses or have minor Filipino children or children with special needs, regardless of age.
But the immigration bureau said aliens could be taking advantage of this policy by presenting fraudulent documents such as marriage certificates.
“I have ordered our frontline officers at the ports to be doubly strict in screening foreigners alleging that they are married to Filipinos or have Filipino children here. It is not enough that they have entry visas, marriage and birth certificates in their possession,” Morente said.
In the same press release, Grifton Medina, acting chief of BI Port Operations Division, was also quoted saying that they have instructed all immigration officers nationwide to “exercise extra vigilance in screening alien spouses and parents of Filipinos.”
“It is not enough that these passengers have an entry visa, marriage, and birth certificates in their possession. If they notice inconsistencies in a passenger’s answer to their questions, the latter should be referred for secondary inspection, either to the immigration supervisor or personnel from our Travel Control and Enforcement Unit (TCEU),” said Medina.
BI also urged the public to report to authorities any foreigners suspected of involvement in sham marriages. / dcb
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