Under the country’s Alien Registration Act, all foreign nationals registered with the BI must obtain their ACR as proof that they are staying legally in the Philippines. Foreigners who have been granted immigrant and non-immigrant visas are required to register with the BI and secure an ACR. However, the ACR paper that the BI- registered foreigners used to possess, was cancelled last 2004 when the ACR I- Card was launched, as part of their paperless transactions.
Effective March 1st, applicants for the ACR I- Card will now receive the status of their application through a generated text message on their mobile phones. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has put in motion a mobile text messaging scheme for foreigners applying for their Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR I- Card). This move is set to eliminate red tape and improve quality services to foreign nationals.
Commissioner Jaime Morente stated that “this scheme is being implemented without any cost on the part of I- Card applicants”. It was also asserted that through the implemented text messaging scheme, both parties would be relieved of the inconvenience of having to advise foreigners and foreigners having to go to the main office in Manila to follow-up their I- Card application.
In addition to the text message which addresses that the I- Card is ready for pick up, recipients will also be receiving a text message if their I- Cards will be sent via courier service.
Alongside of proving an alien’s legal status, the ACR I-Card also serves as the holder\s re-entry and exit permit whenever they want to leave or enter the country.