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At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Picture for illustration purposes only.

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Dh10k salary to get Filipino affidavit for visitvisa

 

DUBAI – Filipinos applying for Affidavit of Support and Guarantee (ASG) to sponsor their family members on visit visa in the UAE will need a minimum salary of Dh10,000 as part of new requirements amid the coronavirus crisis.

According to the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulate in their respective websites, the new set of requirements for ASG applications went into effect on August 24.

Click here to view new requirements for Affidavit of Support applications

The ASG is a personal guarantee that the sponsoring Overseas Filipino Worker will financially support their family member during their travel and stay in the UAE and ensure that the latter will “not in any manner become public wards or burden in the UAE”.

Under updated requirements, individuals must have a minimum salary of Dh10,000 while married couples applying for Affidavit of Support must show proof of a combined income of Dh14,000. Married couples with children who are already earning income must show proof of a combined income of Dh18,000.

Filipinos must only sponsor their parents, children, spouse, grandparents, siblings, grandchildren, parents-in-law, son-in-law or daughter-in-law on visit visa. A visit visa in the UAE allows a person to stay in the country for 30 days up to 90 days.

Why is an Affidavit of Support and Guarantee needed from OFWs?

Travel agencies in the UAE require Filipino sponsors to get an authenticated Affidavit of Support from the Philippine Embassy or Philippine Consulate as a guarantee before processing visit visa applications for their family members.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) officers at Philippine airports also consider the ASG as an additional supporting document “for those who cannot establish their financial capacity,” a source at BI told Expatmedia.net.

According to guidelines of the Philippine Department of Justice on departure formalities for international-bound passengers, an authenticated ASG is required to indicate the relationship or affinity of the traveler and their sponsoring family member “if the departing passenger is not financially capable to travel”.

“The said guidelines are aimed at providing parameters in the strict enforcement of immigration departure formalities intended for the prevention of trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment and other related offenses”, according to Philippine law.

Philippine missions in the UAE have reported many cases of illegal recruitment after victims sought their help. Most of the illegal recruits reportedly arrived in the UAE on visit visa or tourist visa to work as housemaids.

Filipinos welcome move for stricter requirements

Some Filipinos have expressed worry about the new minimum salary requirement, including Dubai-based expatriate Janice C. (full name withheld) who said the income requirement of Dh10,000 is “too high”.

“My sister-in-law wants my brother, her husband, to visit her here. She’s a nurse but her salary is less than Dh10,000. What will she do now?” Janice told Expatmedia.net.

Many, however, welcomed the move for stricter requirements.

Gemma Sotto, head of United Filipino Global, said the move to impose revised requirements to apply for ASG ensures that Filipinos sponsoring family members during their visit in the UAE are financially capable of funding their stay.

“Tama naman yan (It is right) to protect both parties. In the US it is also like that. It is better if there are pre-conditions for their own protection,” Sotto told Expatmedia.net.

At the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic in the UAE, thousands of Filipinos, many on visit visa, were left stranded in the UAE with not enough funds to sustain their stay. Philippine missions in the UAE were inundated with requests for food or repatriation assistance.

Abu Dhabi-based travel agent Jennifer Pacia Gado voiced the same sentiment, saying she does not object to the increase of the required salary or income of the sponsor to apply for ASG.

“I agree with the government because they just want to make sure that the sponsor can really support their family member in case of unavoidable circumstances,” Gado told Expatmedia.net.

“I learned that due to the pandemic, a lot of Filipinos on visit visa availed of the Philippine government’s repatriation program. The government shouldered the cost of their tickets. The problem is that some Filipinos don’t understand the reason behind the new requirements,” she explained.

Visit visa applications for Filipinos dip

Tourist visa and visit visa applications for Filipinos have dipped in recent months following reduced demand for travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

J.A., a travel agent for a company in Dubai, said the company only processed two visit visa applications in August so far.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi-based travel agent Gado said the company where she works has not had clients for visa processing since March. “We are only processing the renewal of tourist visas for those stuck in the UAE,” she said, adding that people are discouraged to travel due to restrictions in the Philippines.

“Even if I work in the travel sector, I don’t want to encourage Filipinos to come here unless the situation goes back to normal. Especially if the purpose of their visit is to find work. It is risky to travel at this time and it is also difficult to find work. But if they really want to travel and can comply with the requirements, then it’s okay. They just need to make sure they are financially capable,” Gado said. ICA/PIA/Expat Media

Click here to view new requirements for Affidavit of Support applications

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