Traveling outside the Philippines for the first time? You might be very excited but I bet you’re a little anxious, too! There might be a lot of questions brewing in your head right now so here’s a little something to shed light on some of the things you need to know before your trip. (These tips are for Filipino travelers only.)

Every country has its own Immigration rules. Some require visas from Filipino visitors, others don’t. Some have stricter rules, others don’t. It is important that you know these rules and requirements before your flight.

But here are some frequently asked questions that I thought I could answer. Again, I’m only relying on personal experience and some knowledge that I gained in my years of working in the airline industry. Some of these might already be outdated but I’ll try my best to keep them current.

What are the processes at the airport?

The usual process is this:

  1. Pay the Travel Tax. IDEALLY, the travel tax and departure fee are already included when you book your ticket, so please check your ticket. But there are times when it isn’t the case. If not sure, check-in first. The check-in agent will tell you if you still need to settle the tax. At NAIA Terminal 3, the travel tax counters should be on your far right when you’re facing the check-in counters. It’s P1,620 per person.
  2. Check in! Present the Departure Card together with the Travel Tax receipt, printed ticket and passport to the check-in agent. The Agent will give you your boarding pass.
  3. Fill out a copy of Immigration Form (aka Departure Card). You will get it at the Check-in Counter. Note that you will need to indicate your address abroad (address of the hotel or the friend you’re visiting).
  4. Proceed to the Immigration Booths. They will be asking questions like: How long will you be staying abroad? What are you going to do there? What’s your occupation? Where will you stay? The key is to convince them that you’re going there to tour and not to find work. When they’re satisfied, they will put a stamp on your passport.
  5. Final security check. Remove all gadgets and metal items (including belts and coins) from your body. Remove your shoes only when instructed.

That’s about it. It’s a long process and it involves a lot of queueing so make sure you’re at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.


How early should I be at the airport?

At least 2 hours before your scheduled departure.

I personally like showing up at the airport 3-4 hours earlier just in case something untoward happens. I once lost my old passport and visa at the airport on two different occasions (yeah, I was careless, haha), but good thing I had enough time to search. Also, I like staying at airports. Hehe.

Update: In peak season like the weeks before and after Christmas, it’s best to arrive at least 4 hours before your flight.


What are the things that I should bring to the airport?

I always have a checklist of items I MUST NOT forget.

Here are the most important items.

  • Passport – Duh.
  • Visa – When applicable
  • Return Flight Ticket – Make sure you print out the tickets. When I fly domestic, I usually just show the check-in agent the tickets on my phone. They accept it. But for international flights, you will be showing your tickets too many times (check-in counter, travel tax counter, departure fee counter, immigration, etc) that it would be impractical and ridiculously annoying to whip out your phone every step of the way. A printed ticket will make it a lot easier for you and the people who will check it. Besides, a piece of paper does not need to be charged.
  • Company ID – Immigration Officers sometimes ask for a company ID as a proof that you would return to the Philippines and would not seek employment opportunities in your destination country.
  • Address and contact number abroad – If you’re traveling as a tourist, get the hotel’s exact address and contact number. If you’re visiting a friend or relative and you’re staying with them, get their exact address and contact number. You will need it when filling out immigration forms.
  • DSWD Clearance – Only when traveling with a minor who is not your child and the parents are not joining the trip.

Here are other things that you can bring for good measure.

  • Hotel reservation – If you’re traveling as a tourist.
  • Invitation letter – If you’re visiting a friend or relative and staying with them.
  • Money – Of course! Make sure you have enough. My usual budget for a 3-day or 4-day trip abroad is US$600 but I usually just spend less than USD400. Having not enough cash is a common reason why travelers are denied entry even when they are already at the airport.
  • Credit card – Some airports require a copy of the credit card used when the tickets are booked online. You might also need it as a safety net in case you run short of cash. Some hotels also ask for credit card for deposit.
  • Photocopy of the Passport and Visa – Just in case you lose your documents, it would be easier for you to get a replacement if you have a copy. When you’re already in your destination and you’re going out, leave the photocopy in the hotel room if you’re bringing the original with you.
  • Travel Itinerary – Make a clear plan of what you want to do and write them down. In case the Immigration Officers pick you for a random check, a printed itinerary will help convince them that you will really go to your destination to tour and nothing else.
  • Address and contact number of the Philippine Embassy in your destination country – Just in case something happens.
  • A Pen – Yes, the humble pen is important. You will be accomplishing forms.

I usually carry an envelope where I put all these together (except the photocopies and money).

In addition, I have a paper where I write the hotel address, contact number, my passport number, passport expiry date, and flight number. This way, when I’m accomplishing forms, I don’t need to fish out my passport and other documents. I just have one reference page.


What are the usual questions that the Immigration Officers ask?

The questions vary from officer to officer. If you’re lucky, the officer will just throw a couple of questions at you and you’re through. But often, here are the questions:

  • Where are you going?
  • When will you return to the Philippines?
  • What will you do there?
  • Whom are you traveling with?
  • What is your occupation here in the Philippines?

The key is to answer confidently, consistently, and truthfully.

Sometimes, they will ask follow up questions. Sometimes, you will be subjected to a secondary inspection, which I will explain below.


What is offloading?

Offloading is the act of pulling a passenger who is already boarded out of an aircraft.

Technically speaking, the Bureau of Immigration does not have an offloading policy. They do not get a boarded passenger out of a plane on a regular basis. What they do is they screen passengers and decide if they will allow them to board the plane or not. This process happens before boarding, not after, so this is not really offloading.

However, here in the Philippines, “offloading” has been used as an umbrella term for blocking someone from leaving the country, even if the passenger has not yet boarded. If an Immigration Officer rejects you at the inspection, many Filipinos refer to it as “offloading.” Hence, for the purpose of this article, let’s just use that Filipinized definition of the term.


What can I do to make sure I won’t be offloaded by the Immigration?

The Bureau of Immigration has been implementing stricter rules lately. According to the bureau, every day around 40 people are offloaded at NAIA Terminal 1 alone. Three to four in every 50 of these offloaded passengers actually have legitimate reasons to go abroad. You don’t want to be one of them.

If you want to make sure you won’t be offloaded, you need to follow the guidelines released to Immigration Officers by the bureau. A 2012 memorandum enumerates what the officers must require from departing passengers:

  1. Passport
  2. Visa (if applicable)
  3. Filled out departure card
  4. Roundtrip ticket

They usually also ask for your company ID. Then, if they deem necessary, you will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. Age
  2. Educational attainment
  3. Financial capability to travel

What does the last item mean? Well, in a nutshell, tourists with no steady source of income in the Philippines and no benefactors who appear to have a different reason for traveling other than for leisure are more likely to be offloaded. So if in case you are subjected to a secondary inspection, you would want to have the following with you:

  • If you’re an employee, Certificate of Employment (best if it indicates your salary and how long you have been with the company)
  • If you’re self-employed, a copy of your Business Registration Certificate
  • If you’re a freelancer, you should still have an ITR. If your clients pay it for you, you may ask for a copy from the client. You may also ask your client to produce a document that would certify that they have hired you and the details of the project/contract.
  • If you’re tax-exempt, you should still have an ITR. Since 2018, workers earning below P250,000 a year (P21,000 a month) are exempted from paying income taxes. But that doesn’t mean it exempts you from having an ITR. If you’re an employee, you can still get a copy of your ITR from your employer even if you’re tax-exempt.

I always have a copy of both my ITR and a “Certificate of Employment” from my clients to be safe.

For more info about this, check out: How to Avoid Getting Offloaded


Should I present all these documents at the Immigration booth?

No. Again, most of the time, the Officer will only ask for the following:

  • Passport (with visa, if applicable)
  • Accomplished departure card
  • Round-trip ticket
  • Company ID

Don’t present other documents when they don’t ask for them. All the other documents are more like safety nets IN CASE you need to prove you’re employed.

Just answer their questions confidently.


Do I need to have a hotel reservation before my flight?

It is BEST to always book accommodations first before your flight. You will be required to indicate the address of your hotel on your departure and arrival cards, and Immigration officers on both sides sometimes ask for hotel documents. Even when I’m backpacking across more than one country, I usually make sure I have booked accommodations on at least my first night in the next country I’m visiting. Again, you could go there without prior reservations but if you want to avoid the hassle of getting asked too many questions and the stress that comes with it, better book in advance.



I’m invited by a relative or a friend, do I need an invitation letter?

In theory, yes, so if you could produce one, go ahead. The Immigration Officers DON’T ALWAYS ask for this, so many invited travelers are still able to make it through without it. However, they might just ask for it if they deem necessary. 

The safest thing to do is to produce an Affidavit of Support or Guarantee, notarized at the Philippine Embassy. When officers ask for “invitation letter,” this is actually the document they refer to because it’s formal, legal, binding, and hard to fake.

Anyway, you will be asked to indicate your “address abroad” when filling out forms so make sure you have that. To be on the safe side, be sure you have your friend’s contact number, too.


Is there a show money? How much do I need to have for them to let me through?

I have never been asked to show money, but I know people who have been. I have been asked many times how much money I have with me, though, but never to show it.

My pocket money depends on the destination country. Some are more expensive than others. For example, the cost of living in Singapore is definitely higher than in Thailand. In countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, I usually bring USD400 for a 4-day trip, USD500 for a week-long trip. But that’s way more than I actually spend. In cheaper countries like Cambodia and Thailand, I allot USD50 per day. Again, that has a big allowance.

I also bring a credit card, just in case.


Where should I exchange currencies? Is it best to exchange in the Philippines before the trip?

It depends on the country I’m visiting. In countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, where the PH peso is not widely accepted in banks/money changers, I usually exchange my pesos with US dollars here in the Philippines before the trip.

In countries like Singapore and Hong Kong where the PHP is widely accepted, I exchange directly when I’m already there. At the airport, I usually exchange a small amount, just enough to get me to my hotel. But when the airport rate isn’t that bad or the difference is very little, I exchange more. Sometimes, what you lose in the conversion might even be smaller than the money you’re gonna spend to get to a better money changer.

Based on experience, however, the best way to acquire foreign currencies is still through ATM withdrawal. Some banks collect transaction fees, some don’t. So if you’re setting up a travel account, choose your bank wisely.

Further reading: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Traveling


Should I bring an ID?

Your passport is a valid ID. But Immigration Officers in the Philippines have started to ask for company ID to validate the occupation you indicated on your departure card.


I’m a freelancer so I don’t have a company ID. What is a good alternative?

When I was a freelancer, I didn’t have a company ID either. I would usually tell them that I was a consultant. I always had a copy of an Employment Certificate (which I got from my clients) and a copy of my ITR handy. I never had any problems with it ever.

If you’re a registered professional or sole proprietor, bring a copy of business registration documents to be safe.

Here’s the format I followed when I asked my clients to provide some sort of certification that I was working for them.

Sample Certificate Employment PDF

I’m a fresh graduate but I’m currently unemployed. What can I do?

Find a sponsor who is an a family member. Prepare an authenticated Affidavit of Support and Guarantee indicating the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents.

According to a friend who is an Immigration Officer, in addition, you must also provide proof that the sponsor can support the trip. This may be the sponsor’s ITR or bank documents.

You’re most likely going to be asked by the Immigration Officer why you’re traveling. If it is a graduation treat, you can say so. If you have a document to prove you just graduated, that can help too.

However, note that having the above papers does not guarantee anything but it can help.


I’m unemployed and I don’t have funds. What are the requirements?

Prove that you have a sponsor, preferably an immediate family member.

People who can’t financially support the trip themselves must have the following documents with them upon going through Immigration:

  1. Authenticated affidavit of support indicating the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents.
  2. An affidavit of undertaking/ guaranty

In addition, you will also be asked to provide proof that your sponsor can financially support this trip. This may be ITR or bank statements.

However, having these documents does not guarantee you’ll be allowed to leave. They will still assess based on many other factors like purpose of travel, companion, and probability of returning. But the above documents can help build your case.


I’m traveling with my foreigner boyfriend / girlfriend / friend. What are the requirements?

According to the same memorandum, travelers without financial capacity to travel escorted or accompanied by a foreigner who is not related will be subject to secondary inspection.

There is a qualifier there: without financial capacity to travel. I’m guessing if you can prove you’re employed and you have the funds, you will still be allowed to exit the country. Hence, company ID, ITR, and Certificate of Employment or Business Registration documents can be a big help.

But if you don’t have those, there’s a chance they will be stricter on you.


My trip is sponsored by my foreigner boyfriend / girlfriend / friend. What are the requirements?

This is one of the most usual questions we get: What are the requirements if I’m going to meet a foreign boyfriend or girlfriend abroad?

If you’re paying for your trip, it’s easier. Many choose to just declare they’re visiting a friend or just traveling as a tourist. (Not that I approve of it.) You can present proof of employment like company ID, ITR, COE or business registration documents.

If your trip is sponsored by a foreigner, it becomes tricky because it shows you don’t have the financial capacity to afford this trip and you are very vulnerable to risky situations like human trafficking. In this case, you’re most likely to undergo secondary inspection. They’re just trying to protect you.

According to a friend who is an Immigration Officer, an Affidavit of Support/Guarantee/Undertaking can help. IDEALLY, the party supporting the traveler must be a RELATIVE within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. But he said that SOMETIMES, they accept an Affidavit of Support from non-relative if everything else looks good. The keyword there is SOMETIMES. Not always. It’s on a case-by-case basis, so don’t count on it.

In addition, it is best that the traveler show proof of relationship with the foreign sponsor. This can be photos together. You might also be asked how long you have known each other and how you met.

If you plan on getting married abroad, make sure you have the necessary docs. According to the memorandum, partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet and/or marry their fiance without the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate are subject to secondary inspection. You might also want to look at other requirements which may vary per destination country. I’m not familiar with the process so contact the proper agency for this.


I’m meeting my boyfriend / girlfriend abroad for the first time. What are the requirements?

If you’re a first-time traveler, you have no physical proof of relationship AND you’re meeting the foreign sponsor for the first time, you are most certainly going to be offloaded. If you’ve met the sponsor online, they will have a hard time trusting that you’ll be fine abroad. You must have a strong existing relationship with your sponsor for them to let you through. In their eyes, online communication, no matter how long it has been going on, is just not a strong enough proof of relationship.


What is the weight limit for carry-on baggage (hand-carry)?

Depends on the airline so it’s best to call them. Most low cost carriers place it at 7kg. Lately, many have been really strict about it. JetStar and AirAsia, for example, would insist that you don’t exceed it, so make sure you stay below the limit.

Most legacy airlines don’t count laptops and cameras in their 7kg allowance. Most low cost carriers do.


Where should I store my power bank (mobile charger)?

Bring it with you onboard. NEVER store it in your checked in baggage. I made that mistake once in Tokyo, and I was asked to remove it minutes before the flight.


What should I wear?

Depends on your destination. Consider the weather both in your origin and destination. If it’s sunny in Manila and you’re flying to Korea in January, you might want to also bring a jacket onboard. Actually, I always bring a jacket onboard. I just find airplane cabins way too cold. Haha.

But in general, here are some tips:

  • Wear shoes that are easy to remove because you might be removing them during the final security check. Slip-ons are great.
  • Don’t wear a belt during check in, you’ll be asked to remove it too. Place it in your bag and just put it on once you’re through.
  • Don’t wear a watch during check in. Just put it on after the final security check.

Well, that’s all I can think of now. I’ll be adding more to this when I encounter other questions so keep them coming. Again, these are just my personal preferences based on experience. For more accurate and detailed answers, always check with your carrier for airline-related concerns and the embassy of the country you’re visiting for immigration requirements and policies.



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Yoshke Dimen
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Serafin Tubles

You’re blog is really a must read for travelers locally or going abroad. Keep it up you’re providing great service to us , god bless

The Poor Traveler

Thanks Serafin! I’ll continue writing tips and guides! :)

Tina

Hi The Poor Traveler! i searched a lot of information about this.You’re blog is the best one that i read! thank you so much!

Rodena Saludes

Hi,

Ask ko lang if I stay more than 30 days in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia do I need tourist visa. Its not my first time to travel but my fisrt and second someone sponsor me in my travel to HK and Thailand. Do you any idea what else I need to present in my case

Venus

Hi. Yosh.wer planning for vietnam this aug.2018 as a group of 8 relatives..ano po ang required? Na d kami ma offload.thnk u

Maya

Hello po! It’s my first time travelling abroad and they told me to bring my Student ID and School Registration Form. I am a student but the problem is I’m not currently enrolled this semester. What are the requirements that I need to bring with me?

Jenny Tomboc

Hello you help me. Im planning to travel in Thailand with my bf foreigner this coming September and he Will for everything. im unemployed now so im worried to get offloaded because im not gonna pay my travel. This is my first time to travel abroad.

Grace

Hello Jenny tomboc.
Naka punta ka ba sa Thailand? Is the io let you pass in Thailand. What the io question at you.

jers

hi mam planning to go to thailand but last month kaka exit ko lang ng dubai? working here din sa pinas hindi po kaya ako ma oofload?

Kate

Hi po, I am an insurance agent and I have my company ID and certificate of registration. Does it consider me as self employed? Other than that, will I be asked for other supporting documents coming from the company?

Kez

Hi, are you both Filipinos?

Bazil

How can i convince immigration offices , to bring my fiancee wirh me to my country ? Give an advise what i can do.

Tweettums Garcia

Hi po good day. Kailangan papo ba i present ang BC ng momy ko at BC ko sa immigration, kung visitor po ako ng tita ko sa japan?

Vi

Hi there! Thanks for this very informative post. I’d like to ask of it’s necessary to have medical exam certificates if you’re going out as a tourist? And also, how much money should I bring for a two-week trip around South East Asia? I’m looking at $600 since Im not a big spender and all hotels have been booked already. Do you think it’s enough? Thanks in advance :)

The Poor Traveler

Hi Vi! Yes, I think that’s enough. Just don’t drink too much, haha. Beer is not as cheap as what we have here in PH.

If you’re SEAsia-bound, there’s no need for medical certificates. :)

Vi

Thank you! I don’t drink anyways. hehe

Jigz

yup same question here, me and my cousin are going to travel to Thailand by october and we want to start at Clark airport.. are the Immigration Officers there are strict? and is there a chance for us to offload? It’s gonna infuriating if it happen,, please tell Thanks .me what to say and do at the Immigration..

The Poor Traveler

Hi Jigz, there’s always that chance since most airlines today overbook. You might want to check in early or use web check-in to secure seats. As for the immigration, just follow the tips above and you’ll be fine as long as you’re not doing anything illegal.

Esse

Hello po, my trip is near na this aug 21 which I availed as piso fair promo last year bound for vietnam but will also cross boarders thru cambodia and thailand. Sept. 5 po yund date ng return ticket. Currently my source of income is my online job with a net salary of 23k/month. Allowable po ba yun as employment proof? I booked the ticket nung nagwowork pa ako as a guidance counselor (but only one semester).

My documents are:

Passport
Complete tickets
Hotel bookings
Bank Statement (can provide for individual (70k), and joint accounts with my name and my grandmother’s name(six figures)
Paypal Statements
Can also ask for previous employment certificate
I have 3 debit cards, but will bring only 1.

kung kayo po yung IO okay na ba sa inyo? I’m really nervous po. :< thanks in advance!

dd

very informative.. thank you.

what are the other fees in NAIA 4 going to Kuala lumpur? flying via zest air..

if they need a hardcopy of hotel booking, is it ok for me to print the invoice from the hostel and the paypal receipt?

The Poor Traveler

The hotel invoice will do.

No other fees except the Travel Tax and Departure Fee

Sierra

Question! First time kaming magttravel ng mama ko abroad (Korea), and question ko is dun sa immigration. Since 2 kami, anu yun iinterviewhin kaming dalawa? or individual interview?

The Poor Traveler

Hi! Sa Philippine Immigration, most likely sabay na kayo kasi family kayo. But I have no idea sa Korea. :D

Leah

Hi po, ask ko lang po..i am working as a personal assistant in a private dental clinic so i dont have any ID. Im planning to tour abroad by this coming april 30 maybe in Malaysia or Indonesia. So is it acceptable if im going to show my time card to the immigration officer just a proof that i am employee or i have a job here in philippines? Please i need ur answer. Thank you

Grace

Hi! You might want to add that in Brunei, they collect tax at the airport when you get out of the country. We had the unfortunate experience of having no Brunei dollars anymore when we were about to go home (and there were seven of us!). Good thing was that I had a friend who saw us off and lent us the Brunei dollars. I forgot how much it was, but it’s a good thing to keep a few dollars on hand. ;)

So far, that’s the only country I’ve been to where you have to pay something at the airport as you go home. :)

I also have a little (dirty) secret. One time, I got a lot of those departure forms at the airport and brought them home, so that whenever I have to go out of the country, I fill them up at home and I don’t have to stand at the airport, filling out these forms. Sneaky…ha ha ha!

Thanks for this very informative blog, by the way! Will go around more when I have the time. :)

Grace
kumarenggrace.wordpress.com

Mary D.

Hi! I just want to thank you. Your blog helped a lot in my travel to Cambodia last Sept. :)

Jr

Hi magtravel kami ng bf ko sa SG sa monday.. Do i need to bring b our family business permits? Kasi firstt ime namin baka maoffload kami thanks

Finne

A tip to those travelling abroad, who dread the immigration officers: Dress like you have money and be assertive.

disqus_UNubETLDE4

Let me just add that government employees even those with GOCC’s need to have a letter of authority from their superiors if they are travelling abroad. Our travel companion before who happens to be a rank and file employee was asked by the Immigration officer to produce such letter. Being a first time traveler abroad he did not know then that such a ruling exists. Good thing was that our supposed flight was during office hours and he phoned in his superior to send in a fax indicating such letter of authority.

yoshke

Hi! Thanks for sharing this crucial bit! Will add your input soon! :)

Nicolai Rivera

OMG!!! ETO YUNG MATAGAL KO NANG HINAHANAP NA SAGOT SA KATANUNGAN KOOO. WEW.. Thank youuuu. Kahit mejo late na tong reply ko. Haha

Lyn

Hi reSpect po Sa tanong…nag tourist ako sa korea at nag overstayed Nung 2011 ..may record ba nun ang ph imigration?

jeralyn malazarte

pwede ba na authorization letter lang signed by the department head/ director at hindi ng agency head?? Late ko na kasi nalaman na needed at matagal iprocees ang travel authority kaya baka di lumabas bago ang flight ko.. Iaaccept kaya nila ung authorization letter?? Supported naman sya ng leave form approved din ng director namin??

Jolo Garcia

Dipende yan sa Gov’t Agency. Pero sa Executive Branch, kadalasan mga Department Secretaries and naga-approve. Yung mga higher ranking officials naman Malacanang ang naga-approve, as in si Presidente.

Jolo Garcia

http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/travel-req
Kindly check this website na rin

Shar

What if job order/contractual po na nagwowork sa government? Hindi po kasi inissuehan ng travel authority.can we just show ung copy ng approved leave at ung contract nmin?

Ms. K

I’m a Public School teacher is this require during holiday trip?

Genevieve Patron

Hello po I am planning to go in Vietnam and other Asian countries na visa free. Ang problema ko po unemployed pa po ako ksi kakagraduate ko lang po. Sponsor ko po sa pagtravel ko ang boyfriend ko since these travels would be a big help pra sa visa application ko sa UK sa lugar ng boyfriend ko. Wla po akong maiprepreseny na Company ID or any ITR/COE sa IO if incase. Ano po ba ang dpat gawin.? Pahelp nman po. Thank you

Zia

Hi! My best friend and I are planning a trip to Thailand she’s based in gold coast so we’ll just meet there and she’ll be the one to book our hotel accommodation. If immigration asks for printed receipts for our hotel booking will it be okay if it’s under her name? or do I need to book at least 2 days of hotel accommodation under my name as well?

yoshke

Based on my experience (again, just my experience), it doesn’t have to be under your name. Also, keep the phone number of your friend handy in case they want to confirm.

sam

I was browsing the internet looking for requirements to travel abroad and came across your blog. Eventhough I’m a frequent traveler, I have fears that immigration will decide not to let me depart to my location. Especially now that I heard that they stricter.

Luckily, I haven’t experienced an IO asking for requirements other than Passport and the departure card at NAIA. They usually just look at you and stamp the passport. Sometimes they ask when you are coming back.

nyje

hi . ask ko lang .. kasi i have 2 ticket na to SG ung isa para sa bf ko ung isa ay sa akin the problem is.. ung bf ko .di na makaksama kasi ung passport nya di pa namen makuha within the time of our departure .. kasi this april 22 na dfa advised him na sa april 29 pa makukuha ang passport… may hotel booking na din kasi kame.. so my boyfriend decided na ipagamit nalang sa bestfriend ko ung ticket nya.. so magchange name nalng hndi na kame super mapapamahal.. but my bestfriend and i are 21 years old.. we will go to sg for 2 nights and 3 days do you think the immigration will allow us to leave? anong documents ang need ko ipakita sa kanila?

yoshke

Hi Nyje! Are you and your bestfriend employed? If so, just bring your Company ID, roundtrip tickets, and hotel reservation. More info at: https://www.thepoortraveler.net/2014/03/offloaded-philippine-immigration-rules-requirements-airport/

maureen

hello there…
were going to clark airport by 26May via hkg and we are traveling by a group / composed of 15 pax including my sons aged 15 & 17; unfortunately my eldest son’s passport is still under my maiden name since i am not married by then — we just applied a deed of legitimacy however DFA did not honor that; school records, school ID, baptismal cert and student permit license is under my husband’s last name…if immigration authorities will ask for another ID like school ID for minors? or if the passport is valid then? thank you…

yoshke

Hi Maureen! I wish I could answer your question, but I have no idea either. Have you tried asking DFA regarding this? They will give you a definitive answer for sure. :)

meilyn

I actually bought a ticket for Cebu to Singapore and going back, but aside from a valid passport I didn’t know that they would ask for more documents. I am going there for a 3 days and 2 nights vacation with my 3 years japanese boyfriend ( he is not living in SG we will go there for a vacation) but he will arrived in Singapore the day before me since he is in japan right now, which means I will travel alone and more to that I am a first time traveler. As of the moment I don’t have a job and a credit card as well. My boyfriend will be covering the expenses for the hotel and food. Right now I’m scared to be off loaded… I hope someone can give me advice on what I should do.

carrisse

Hi, I plan to go to sg also to be wit my bf, I wonder if I need to have cfo. . Nakalusot kb sa in?

Grace

Hello meilyn.
Nakapunta ka ba sa Singapore?
What exactly ask the io at you and what is your answers. Can you help me meilyn.
I’m going to Malaysia next year and I was only sub-teacher. I’m going there with tourist. I’m not regularly teach. Please can you advice me. Thanks ahead. I wait your response.

carrise

Hi, I’m a first time flyer and plan to go to sg, I’m afraid if the is will let me pass if I tell them the truth that il stay at my bf ‘ s house in Singapore. . Il go to sg to meet my bf’ s family. . Do I need a cfo? My bf is a singaporean national..what documents I need to pass through io?

Patrick

Wow this is very informative

Anyways i would like to share with you my “flawless” experience with the IO

I travelled to Bangkok last week and and was my first time traveling and alone outside the PH. Beforehand i do research on how’s the Immigration process here and i would say it was really quite frightening since there are legit travelers who have been offloaded on the airport

To cut the long story short, i was looking on all the IOs on the floor and have a look on whom i think was easiest i could pass. I queue on this middle aged lady because her face is somewhat kind. :)

And yeah i am right she just asked me few questions like:

First time mo?
Bakit ikaw lang mag isa?
San ka nagwowork at ano work mo?
Kelan balik mo dito?

I even insisted on handing her my return ticket and accomodation but told me my answers are enough then stamped my passport and let me in

Oh diba naka chamba lang ako mg mabait na IO since yung katabi nyang IO eh mukhang maldita, though pretty since lahing koreana pero di sya yung pinuntahan ko kasi meron syang ni reject

jc

hi! is this also possible when you are going to hk? i am a solo traveller as well. i am really afraid to io since i read dreadful things about them.

Roselle Espiritu Rebelala

may work ka po ba nung nagtravel ka.]
San ka nagwowork at ano work mo?
ano po sagot nyo jan

reneboy lamata

hi flight ko po this coming feb 1 going to hong kong, i am a boutique manager po and i already have my company i.d need ko pa po ba mag present nang ITR or hindi na po?

thanks

Jean Mendoza Santos

Hi sir! Very informative blog :) Sir do you have any idea what documents are needed to show to the IO if you’re working in the local government unit as an employee? thank you and God bless!

monic

Hi, this blog is very helpful. I just wanna ask your oppinions, i am going to tour for five days this holly week to SG, my british bf is waitingfor me there, he fixed everything i need. For now i have my passport, roundtrip eticket, hotel reservation,company id(i am a minimum and contractual employee), i also have a copy of his passport and the credit card he used.

Is this enough for the immigration officer? What are the possible questions they may ask? Thank you!

ilmgp

How was it Moniq? Any advice? Thanks

Clark Johnson

why is it that very few people follow up and respond to what happened for them? is this a good sign or not?

Ace

kinakabahan ako kasi for the first time pupunta akong abroad at the age of 20 para mag tour, student pa lang po ako and currently taking BSBA, tips naman po para sa mga young traveller para sa pagharap sa IO

Lee

My bf is working in macau right now and I’m planning to go there to visit him just only me coz we already have 2 kids and they’re too young to go there and his the only source of our income so what should I present to the IO sakaling matuloy ako

Janice Madamba

hi lee! nasa macau rin common-law husband ko, roundtrip ticket and invitation letter will do. :)

Samantha

Hi. mag travel po kami ng bf this aug sa hk. the problem is yung bf ko po works for their family business wala po siyang ma poprovide na company i.d sa immigration. Ano po kaya pwede namin gawin or ipresent nalang sa IOs. Thank you. :)

arceli

Hi ask ko lng po ,plan po naming mag vacation sa thailand with my foreigner boyfriend for 30 days , ano po ba ang dapat kung dalhin na requarmints

Gamerabii

After reading the article and doing some research, my fear for the IO increased. It will be my first time travelling abroad and the last thing I want is to be offloaded. I just hope for a smooth departure.

ilmgp

Hi Gamerabii :) What happened to your trip? Any tips? Questions asked?

lizab

hi, ask ko lang po if 2nd time mo ng mgtravel abroad hindi naba ganon kahigpit ang IO, they will let me pass na ba even i dont have an invitation letter. thanks

Marvie Fernandez

hello .. what if for student like me . what questions are they asking . thanks :))

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[…] FIRST TIME ABROAD: Tips and Frequently Asked Questions […]

Remy Buenaobra

Some information in your blog is wrong. Airport taxes are now incorporated in the ticket prices for most airlines. OFWs can get a refund.

No need to pay taxes at the airport any longer; unless this was not inluded in the airfare.

Other countries do not collect airport taxes because they may also be already incorporated into the airfare. Take note that in Indonesia they still collect taxes at the airport.

Ma. Jessica Taleon

Thank for this informative blog!

Racquel Caballa

Hi everyone….I’m upcoming student modular class ,class start on August….my question are what I gonna write at immigration departure form (occupation /work).I don’t have work.should I write student but I don’t have I’d…I only have enrolment cert.anyone pls tnx

yoshke

Student. Show your enrolment certificate if they ask for it. :)

Pau

Hi! What if the student just recently graduated and doesn’t have work but is going to travel to SG for leisure? What to bring?

JV.

Hi, Pau. What happened to your trip? Natuloy ba? If yes, any tips?

John Mark Grancapal

Please help. I’m a freelancer, me and my wife are first timers going to Singapore. I don’t have ITR. But she have a business, so she can bring Business Registration Certificate. Is that enough for both of us?

Tina Carpio

hi what if I have a sister in Japan who invited me to go there and she will be the one who will provide all the expenses and i have a japanesse guarantor, what are the papers should i give to the immigration?

yoshke
Miriam

Hi! Thank you for your informative blog. Just like to ask, me and my boyfriend will be celebrating our anniversary in hongkong. I have no problem on my side because I have work and it is not my first time to travel. However my problem is with my boyfriend. His last day of work is this month, December 2016, and he will be jobless at the time we will be leaving the country, also, this is his first time to travel. We will be staying with her sister in hongkong. What are the documents that we need to provide and what should we say for them to allow us to leave the country?

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sam

Hello, i just want ask what to do with my scenario or if someone already experience this please let me know what to do, my half brother is currently working in the middle east and he will be the one to provide me with the letter of sponsorship, I’ve got my tourist visa already the only problem is that the spelling of the first name of our mother that appears in the birth certificate of my brother and mine we’re different. On my brother’s birth cert it shows GLY and on my birth cert it shows GLE, can someone please tell me what supporting document should I need to present when ask by the IOs? Thanks.

My Babes

Uhmm my friends and I were traveling to HKG this July, we have Booked thru travel agency , we had prepared our passports and stuff, but Financial capability to travel or Certificate of Employment the agency did not informed us. we will stay there for 3d2n. Is there a chance that we will be offloaded? it’s our first time going abroad.

Katrina

Hello ask ko Lang po if mahigpit po ba IO sa first time traveler, kasi first time ko po mag travel,..my BF family invited me to travel their country for 3 mos only in Bolivia South America,.and they already pay my round trip ticket..free visa din kasi bolivia,me ron na po ako round trip ticket, passport, invitation letter and yellow fever vaccine..ma offload po ba ako? First time ko kasi, I need some advice lang po.

Hans

Hi Katrina, how was your trip? inask ba sayo ang yellow vaccine?

yayo lim

Hi Yoshke and Vins! I am getting anxious about my travel next month to the US for the first time, I just recently resigned from my previous job (about a month ago) and now I’m worried on how to get pass both the IO here and in abroad. Would I be asked for any documentation to present to them given my current situation of being unemployed? and what could that be? I know the timing is off to travel with no job but I badly need to use my visa due to its expiry date and for renewal purposes. I will be traveling with my dad as my benefactor. Please help! :(

lyka santiago

Hi, My flight is on June 28. I will be staying in Phuket, Thailand and I will stay there until July 1. I was just wondering how much pocket money will I bring? By the way, Im from the Philippines. Thanks in advance.

phil

how do we send off my brother at the naia T3 airport?
can we enter the terminal with him, or is there another entrance for
the send-off group?

Melissa Althea

I am planning to travel on November for a 6 day vacation to Malaysia-Singapore. I will be staying at my friend’s house. This would be my first time to travel international, ALONE, usually when I travel, my travel buddy will make all the necessary steps before and after boarding. I regret the time not knowing the entire process. Hindi ko tuloy alam kung saan saan pupunta kapag nasa terminal na. Nerbyosa pa man din ako. Lalo pag arrival na hindi ko alam saan una pupunta ;D
Natrauma din kasi ako the last time I went to Hongkong po, yung immigration sa Clark ang tatapang, mataas kasi yung cubicle glass nila, hindi ko marinig yung mga tinatanong, nagalit bigla. hindi daw ako nakkikinig. How much money do I need to bring po kung ililibre lang naman ako nung Friend ko like pag pupunta ng Lego Land, Universal Studios?

Pam

Hello. First time ko po mag-travel in the age of 19. Meron na po akong book na hotel and syempre roundtrip ticket . Student pala po kaya I dont hve any accounts. What should I do?

JV

Hi, Pam. Natuloy ba yung trip mo? How was it? Any tips?

vijender

sir,i come delhi to bangkok on oct.2015.then i fill immigration form address bangkok my friend sister.but anyone not recieve me on airport.so i go to pattaya and stay. i did not know that it change address information gave immigration office.please tell me my next vist which problem face to me.

Angeline Hintay

Hi, I’m going to japan this sunday and its my first time.. Just wanna ask if you know the process in osaka kansai airport? My brother explained it to me but I’m stil confused.. Hope you know the answer.. Thanks! ☺

em

Hi im a financer. most likely lending. i dont have Id as well. But I earn a lot. How will i be able to pass in immigration?

Dhin

Hi, just want to share my experienced first time travelling abroad. before that, i was so nervous thinking about for travelling abroad, because i am not working/ and have no job, ….My only job, was that, i just taking care of my elderly/sickly mother. and i was confused what to fill up the form in my departure card, since i have no occupation..actually i travelled with my bf for 5 years ,going to vietnam recently, and he shouldered all the expenses, plane tickets and accommodations…be sure that you have a return ticket..and i was confused what to fill up the departure card..i Put “NONE” in the occupation space. when the IO asked my passport and the departure card. she looked at me and asked some personal question like ,who is my travel companion and i said that my bf. she asked me if we have kids ,i said. we don’t have kids. and she said that, you have to proceed there.. she pointed out the other side and thats for secondary inspection probably and there was an officer who gives me a form to fill up..and when i started to fill up and almost half had finish, the officer asked me a question, like who is travelling with me, and is it my first time travelling abroad, and where we gonna go, and whats my purpose for travel..and i answered him straightforward, honest and confident. .and then he said that, ok..give me the form and i said that, im not done yet with my form to fill up. and he said it is Ok..and then he brings me to the Lady officer (IO) to stamp my passport..and that was it..and when we arrived in HCMC airport , i thought that we need to fill up the arrival form when we arrived there..but its not. instead we went directly to the immigration, and i’ll give my passport and he looked at it and scan and asked what is my flight..and i answered my flight number and he stamped my passport and thats it..everything was fine..

Cris

Hi, I just wanted to seek for your opinion, Currently I am working in Dubai UAE and I will have my vacation in the Philippines on August 2018 and I will return in Dubai on October 2018. I planned to have 4days vacation in Taiwan on September 16-19 since its free visa and also to visit my sister working there. I have book for tour package with a travelling agency including my ticket,hotel and tours. My concern is that I only applied for visit visa in Dubai before and apply for job there, Does immigration will question about it? And will it be a factor for possible offloading?

Uaenne Clarine

Hi Cris.. I know it’s 2019 already but would you mind if I ask you what happened to your trip stated above? Because I am planning to travel to Singapore as well and seems like we have the same issue :) I had worked in Dubai for almost 3 yrs and decided to go back home last year. Now, me and my mom plans to travel to Singapore. Did they question you about your dubai travel history? I will really appreciate your response Cris.. Will surely help me a lot.. Thank you so so much! God bless…

Lyn

HI update po nakalabas ba kayo

Janine Mae Alvior

Hi! We don’t have a company ID po. Pano po paghinanap nila ano po alternative na pwedeng ipakita?

stef luis

Hi Yoshke, for those who are employed in the government like DTI buit contract of service. kelangan pa po ba ng travel authority un? thanks

stef luis

ok thank you po.

Jhay

Hi stef, i know 1 year na po ung comment mo pero curious lang po ako. I’ll be travelling din po kasi and government employed ako but contract of service (municipal level po). Kailangan po ba ng travel authority? Or my iba pang requirement? Thanks!

Sherry Lynn Barquin

Pwede po mag tanong yung ticket ko po wrong spelling I mean pinagdugtong yng 2 names ko at kulang ng 1 letter. Pina book kc ng friend namin yun. Pwede po ba yun o dapat mapalitan po

jhaz

Hello poh , tanong ko lng po first time po ako magtravel sa australia anu po kailangan kong dalin or ipakita sa IO and boyfriend ko po nag sponsor skin sya rin po nagbook ng ticket ko and stay po aq sa bahay nia , shoulder po nya lahat ng gastusin pagpunta ko po dun, since wala po akong trabaho but i have a small bussiness nman dito sa pinas at stay po aq dun for 3 months , kailangan pa po ba ng show money .please help po sa mag need to bring to show sa IO .
Thanks

Charry

Hi jhaz!!! Kelan flight mo? pa share naman ng experience mo kung nakaalis ka na.. Like you first time ko rin mag travel sa Australia next month, Medyo anxious ako kasi baby ko lang ang kasama kong magtravel..

Carmina Zipagan

Hi jhaz. Pashare naman po ng experience niyo. first time to travel din kase on december. Same scenario po kasi tayo. Salamat po