February 3, 2015
Most foreign nationals have been subject to paying immigration fees upon each departure from the Philippines by way of having to obtain an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) and Special Return Certificate (SRC). Up to November 2014 holders of 47(a)(2) visas were one of the only groups of foreigners that were exempt from this requirement. However, on November 4, 2014 a new Operations Order was issued by the Bureau of Immigration, which has removed this category wide exemption and replaced it with the possibility of an individual exemption.
Only visa holders whose visa clearly contains the text “Exempted from ECC/SRC” and whose Endorsement Letter contains the text “free from payment of visa and immigration fees” continue to be exempt from paying immigration fees upon each departure from the country. Non-exempt visa holders will find the text “To secure ECC/SRC upon departure” on their visa. The decision of exactly who will be exempt from paying these immigration fees lies solely with the Department of Justice on a discretionary basis and will often be dependent on the employee’s sponsoring company.
The departure immigration fees are currently set at Php 2,880.00 for both ECC and SRC fee for the first departure from the Philippines and at Php 2,170.00 for all subsequent departures. These payments can be paid in cash (Philippine peso) at the airport and receipts will be issued upon payment. Children under 14 years of age pay at least Php 2,130.00 for the initial travel and Php 1,670 for all subsequent departures. Note that the fees for the ECC and SRC may be changed by the Bureau of Immigration without prior notice.