Friday, May 24, 2024

BI discarding departure cards, shifts to eTravel platform starting May 1

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has announced that it will be discontinuing the use of paper-based departure cards starting May 1.

Photo from Bureau of Immigration

In an advisory, BI commissioner Norman Tansingco said that they are expanding the eTravel online system to lessen the requirements of departing passengers.

The online platform, which was initially launched in December, harmonizes and consolidates data collection processes at ports of arrival.

“The eTravel platform will soon be used for both arriving and departing passengers,” said Tansingco. 

“Travelers no longer have to fill out departure cards, and instead may log in the online portal prior to their flight,” he added.

The system is an initiative of a sub-technical working group of the IATF, chaired by the BI. It is a joint project of the agency with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC).

According to eTravel Technical Working Group chairperson Dennis Javier, starting April 15, departing passengers may log in to the platform not later than 72 hours to not later than 3 hours from the scheduled time of their flight.

The online portal replaces the paper-based departure card, which passengers were required to fill out prior to departure.

“This is a major step in streamlining documents presented by departing travelers, allowing for faster and more efficient immigration processing,” said Tansingco.

The eTravel website may be accessed at etravel.gov.ph and is free of charge.

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