by: Robelyn M. Yambao
Hola Mi Amigo/Amiga!
How are you guys today? I hope you are all doing fine. I am going to share my thoughts on how to avoid being offloaded in the Philippine airport. This is concerning about the Filipinos who wanna travel abroad to have holiday vacation, tour or meeting foreign boyfriend for the first time abroad. Whatever you want to do out of the country, it is hard to pass through the Philippine immigration at the airport. The officers are so strict in letting Filipinos to board the plane when they see that you are not capable to do so or you are suspiciously a victim of illegal activity.
Why Is This Happening?
The Bureau of Immigration Officials are doing their best to protect the Filipino citizens from any illegal activity to avoid being a victim of foreign criminal activities such as human trafficking, drug carriers, and other related illegal works. The officers at the terminal will conduct initial interview for the passengers to prove the legality of the trip and to know that the said trip is genuine. Many Filipinos are victims of these illegal work that they ended up to prison in a foreign land and worst got life imprisonment or death sentence, for these reasons the government issued policy to be applied at the airport for travelers to follow in order to avoid this not to happen. On the other hand, a lot of Filipino citizens are trying their luck to work abroad because the offered salary is higher and they always try the tourist route first to find a job abroad but unknowingly they are just putting themselves in trouble because of improper documentation. The immigration is trying to block this situation not to happen so the Filipino citizens won't be a victim of some abusive employers or won't have a problem in the said country. They are encouraging Filipinos to apply for work properly by going to POEA or to check some legal agencies around Metro Manila to work abroad.
The Immigration at the airport offloads thousands of Filipinos because of lack of documentation and proof of the said holiday trip. Many travelers are telling lies about the purpose of their travel that's why they got offloaded.
Be Prepared With The Documents
There are initial documents that the officers will ask from you. These are the following:
* Valid Passport
Your passport should be valid for 6 months from the time of your travel. They will count the pages of your passport. It shouldn't be damaged or tampered. It is good for you to renew it 6 months - 1 year before the expiration date. Always take with you your old or expired passports especially if you have previous trips with stamps or visa in it. Show the visa if the destination country needs a visa.
* Valid IDs
You should have a valid private/government IDs like GSIS/SSS ID, PRC ID, TIN card, School ID, Company ID.
* Boarding Pass
This one, you can get it after you check-in your luggage at the airline counter. This document is your proof that you have flight for the day and you are going to board any time soon.
* Round Trip Ticket
You need to provide a print out of your itinerary ticket showing your flight going to the destination country and the return flight to the Philippines including the price of the ticket showing that it is already paid. It is good to print it all out including the condition of the ticket.
* Hotel Booking
This document will show your accommodation for the said trip. Print out a copy of your confirmed booking showing the address and the price that you paid. If you won't stay in hotel, you will need an invitation letter of the person who invited you (friend/relative) to stay in his/her place. This letter will be notarized or certified by the Philippine Embassy from the destination country. You will need to tell the officer about your accommodation by showing this "Invitation Letter".
* Proof of Work
The officer will ask you about your work so, you will need to provide your Company ID and employment certificate. If you are not an employee, you have a business instead, you will provide the business registration and BIR papers to prove that you have business.
* Proof of Relationship
If you don't have work and business but, you are traveling to meet boyfriend and he will be the one to provide all your travel expenses, you will need to show proof of relationship. These are the photos of both of you and emails of conversation.
* Financial Capacity to Travel
Here, you will need to prove that you can travel because you have financial capability to travel. They will ask if how much cash you've got in your hand carry. You can provide also bank statement showing your name and balance. But, credit card is enough to prove it. Just bring the last statement of your credit card and the card itself under your name. If you don't have financial proof, you need to show your boyfriend's affidavit of support and financial capacity along with his xerox passport and xerox driver's license ID who invited you on this trip.
How To Face The Officer
Facing the officer is intimidating because they won't smile at you. But, smile anyway. Do not show nervousness instead be confident in answering but sincere and genuine. Do not lie. Just tell the truth and be straight forward. Do not reason out, if the question is asking yes or no, just answer only yes or no do not explain or elaborate. Look at straight in the eyes when answering the question. Focus on the question, they will keep repeating it to destruct you with your answer so, be alert. When they ask you some documents, show to them at a time with smile. Always remember the date of your flight and the date of your return, the airline name, the price, the hotel or your friend's address, and total number of days of your stay. Most importantly the purpose of your travel. Wear light make-up to show your beauty, be presentable and wear comfortable travel clothes. Do not bring unnecessary documents like diploma, resume, certificates, etc. Your goal is to let the officer know that you will be coming back to the Philippines after the vacation and not applying for work abroad.
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.