June 20, 2024

Labor and Employment Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III has issued Department Order 221, s. 2021 or the “Revised rules and regulations for the issuance of employment permits to foreign nationals.”
DOLE DO 221-2021 seeks to ensure that local jobs are protected and to regulate the employment of foreign nationals to safeguard the interest of Filipino workers; that the employment of foreign nationals in the Philippines shall be subject to the determination of non-availability of a Filipino citizen who is competent, able, and willing to perform the services for which the foreign national is desired; and to establish and maintain a registration and/or work permit system for foreign nationals intending to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines and afford them same protection as to Filipino labor regardless of sex, race, or creed and regulate the relations between workers and employers.
The Alien Employment Permit (AEP) is one of the requirements in the issuance of a work visa (9g) to legally engage in gainful employment in the country and it is not an exclusive authority for a foreigner to work in the Philippines. If in case the employment is practice of profession, the foreign national must obtain the special temporary permit (STP) from the Professional Regulation Commission and an authority to employ an alien from the Department of Justice where the employment is in a nationalized or partially nationalized industry and the Department of Environment and Natural Resourcesin case of mining.
All foreign nationals who intend to engage in gainful employment in the Philippines have to apply for an AEP and should have an employer-employee relationship. Further, holders of Special Investors Resident Visa (SIRV), Special Retirees Resident Visa (SRRV), Treaty Traders Visa (9d), or Special Non-Immigrant Visa 47(a)2 who occupy any executive, advisory, supervisory, or technical position in any establishment are required to secure the AEP from DOLE.
The only foreign nationals exempted from acquiring an AEP are members of the diplomatic service and foreign government officials accredited by and under reciprocity arrangement with the Philippine government; officers and staff of international organizations of which the Philippine government is a member, and their legitimate spouses desiring to work in the Philippines; owners and representatives of foreign principals whose companies are accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration who come to the Philippines for a limited period solely to conduct interview Filipino applicants for employment abroad; those who come to the Philippines to teach, present, and/or conduct research studies in universities and colleges as visiting, exchange, or adjunct professors under formal agreements between the universities or colleges in the Philippines and foreign universities or colleges; or between the Philippine government and foreign government, provided that the exemption is on a reciprocal basis; and permanent resident foreign nationals and probationary or temporary resident visa holders under Section 13 of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.
Foreign nationals excluded from securing an AEP are members of the governing board with voting rights only and do not intervene in the management of the corporation or in the day to day operation of the enterprise; corporate officers as provided under the Corporation Code, articles of incorporation, and by-laws of the corporation such as president, secretary and treasurer; those providing consultancy services who do not have employers in the Philippines; intra corporate transferee who is a manager, executive or specialist in accordance with trade agreements and an employee of the foreign service supplier for at least one year prior to deployment to a branch, subsidiary, affiliate or representative office in the Philippines; contractual service supplier who is a manager, executive or specialist and an employee of a foreign service supplier which has no commercial presence in the Philippines. All other intra-corporate transferees not within these categories are required to secure an AEP prior to their employment.
The AEP application of a foreign national can be denied on grounds of misrepresentation of facts in the application; submission of falsified documents; the foreign national has been convicted of a criminal offense or a fugitive from justice in the country or abroad; grave misconduct in dealing with or ill treatment of workers; or availability of a Filipino who is competent, able, and willing to do the job intended for or being performed by the foreign national.
Finally, the regional director may, motu proprio or upon petition, cancel or revoke an AEP, after due process, based on any of the following grounds: non-compliance with any of the requirements or conditions for which the AEP was issued, misrepresentation of facts in the application, submission of falsified or tampered documents, meritorious objection or information against the employment of the foreign national, foreign national has been convicted of a criminal offense or a fugitive from justice, employer terminated the employment of foreign national, grave misconduct in dealing with or ill treatment of workers, or disapproval of the application for an authority to employ alien or an STP.
For more information on the Revised Rules for the Issuance of Employment Permits for Foreign Nationals, visit www.dole.gov.ph, www.car.dole.gov.ph,or www.ble.dole.gov.