MANILA—A mobile text messaging scheme for foreigners applying for their alien certificate of registration identity card (ACR I-Card) will soon be implemented by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the new system, which is set to start on March 1, aims to cut red tape and improve the quality of services to their clientele
He explained that starting next month, applicants/representatives for the ACR I-Card does not need to go to BI offices to follow up the status of their application as they will receive text messages on their mobile phone informing them that their cards are ready for pickup at their main office in Intramuros, Manila, where the application was made.
“This scheme is being implemented without any cost on the part of I-Card applicants. It will also relieve them of the inconvenience of having to go to our office to follow up their I-Card application,” Morente said in a statement.
The BI chief noted that once an I-Card application is recorded for release, an electronic text message will automatically be sent to the applicant asking him to claim his card at a designated window at the BI office in Manila.
For those who filed their application in any of the bureau’s field or subport offices, the applicants/representatives will also be informed by text that their cards will be sent via a courier service to the said offices.
Under the alien registration act, all foreigners registered with the BI must obtain their ACR as proof of the legal resident status in the country.
Foreign nationals who have been issued immigrant and non-immigrant visas are required to register with the BI and secure the said card.
Aside from proving an alien’s legal status, the I-Card also serves as the holder’s re-entry and exit permit whenever they enter or leave the country.
In 2004, the BI introduced paperless transactions through the I-Card that replaced the paper-based ACR.