Chinese tourists appeal for visa extension to avoid nCoV

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Two Chinese tourists who were visiting Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental asked the local Bureau of Immigration (BI) for visa extension to avoid the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in their home country.

The two individuals identified as Chen Bei and Zou Qin arrived in Dumaguete City on Jan 10, 2020. They were issued Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) which was supposed to expire on February 6.

Both Bei and Qin said in a radio interview that they were supposed to fly to Vietnam after completing their visit to Dumaguete City, but due to the ongoing outbreak, they now fear that immigration officials in Vietnam will not allow their entry and would send them back to China.

They asked the local BI office to allow the extension of their visas and let them stay in the country amid the ongoing nCoV threat.

The BI has suspended the issuance of VUA to Chinese nationals early this week.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the move followed the temporary lockdown of several cities in China, as well as the temporary shutdown of transport services in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Under the bureau’s department circular, VUAs are issued to Chinese nationals allowing them to stay in the country for 30 days. The foreigners are also allowed to apply for an extension of up to six months.