Immigration Tips for Filipinos: A Guide to Philippine Immigration

Philippine immigration photo

I wrote this guide in response to many questions in my blog about answering the questions in Philippine immigration. This guide is about how to handle Philippine immigration as a tourist and not as an OFW.

The first time I heard the word “offloaded” was in my blog. ‘Offloading’ is a Filipino English word that means you are denied entry to another country a.k.a. cannot leave the Philippines because you were unable to pass the Filipino immigration inspection.

If you want to minimize the risk of being offloaded as a Filipino, here are some tips:

Past travel experience is a must.

When I quit my job in China and returned to the Philippines jobless, I was a little scared to travel because I was unemployed. It didn’t become a problem because the immigration officer saw many stamps in my passport and let me through.

The more you travel, the less likely the immigration officer will ask you questions. I know many Filipinos travel with copies of their company ID, bank certificates, income tax return (ITR), etc. I don’t. I was unemployed and single. I just bring and show my return ticket. I think these are important for first time travelers but not for those who are frequent travelers. I have already been to more than 20 countries. I have not worked illegally and my stamps can prove I have always returned to my country. Of course, this is not the same for all cases. This is just my experience.

Even if you’ve been to only one or two countries, as long as he’s seen you’ve got past travel experience and have returned, he will less likely ask you many questions.

Always show a return ticket

Filipinos who have left me questions in my blog are often scared of the immigration officer (IO). They don’t know there’s another gate they have to go through first before the IO and sometimes they can be tougher than the officer.

The airline check-in.

cebupacific

That’s right. These people make sure you have all the proper documentation before you leave, especially the staff at our friendly budget airline, Cebu Pacific. They won’t let you go through immigration if you don’t have the right documents. They will usually ask for the return ticket to ensure a.) you’re coming back b.) you’re complying with the travel regulations of the country you’re traveling to. E.g. Malaysia law requires travelers to have a return ticket when they travel to Malaysia.

When you go to the immigration officer, always show your boarding pass and your return ticket.

I have forgotten to show my boarding pass and return ticket a couple of times because I’m struggling to organize the paperwork I accumulate during the check-in process (terminal fee, travel tax receipts and copies, Cebu Pacific itinerary, etc). Luckily the IOs are often nice about it and gently remind me. Whoops! They’re people too.

The main reason people get offloaded (from what I’ve read in the blogs) is that they weren’t able to show the return ticket. Even if you’re someone who’s traveled to several countries, if you won’t show your return ticket  (again, this depends on the country you’re traveling t0) they won’t let you through.

Be confident. Don’t be nervous.

IOs are taught to profile people. Any signs of nervousness are cause for them to make you more nervous by asking you more questions. If you’re nervous, it means you’ve got something to hide. Further interrogation is a scare tactic used by many immigration officers around the world. The theory behind it is by making you nervous, you’ll slip up and reveal your true intentions. You might say, “But I’ve got nothing to hide. They’re making it worse by making me nervous.” It doesn’t matter. Immigration officers think they are cops and they will bully the answers out of you. So stand your guard, smile and answer confidently with a heart ala Ms Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

If you have all your documents in order, what reason do they have to detain you? Unless they are looking for a bribe, of course.

Only answer what IOs ask you but do not elaborate.

There is really no need to give them further reason to ask more questions. Just answer as simply as possible.

IO: What’s your job?

Me: I work as an assistant manager in my family business.

IO: Family business? What do you sell?

Me: Plastic. Pots and pans. Brooms. Lots of household items.

IO: (stamp stamp)

Common questions Filipinos IOs ask you:

  • Where do you work? Follow up questions were what was position in the company? What did we sell?
  • Where will you be staying?

Have a rough idea of your itinerary/what you will do in the country. Just in case the officer ask you, just be ready with a short list.

IO: What will you do in India?

Me: Sightseeing. See Taj Mahal, the Pink City, Hindu temples. Shopping.

Philippine-Passport-e1408437251795

WHAT IFs SCENARIOS

The following answers are collected from other sites or what I would do if I was in that situation. I have by no means encountered them personally so it’s not 100% reliable and you will still need to do your own research. IMPORTANT: No immigration officer is the same. One would let you travel and the other might take you aside for second questioning.

1.) I haven’t traveled before.

You’re a first time traveler. This is probably the most nerve wracking because you’ll be more under scrutiny by the immigration officer. You’ll be less likely to be asked questions if you mention you’re traveling with someone who’s traveled before or if you’re in a tour group/package tour.

I have not done the following below because I was only 6 years old when I first started traveling internationally.

Here are documents you need to prepare:

  • Return ticket (a must)

The following are what I got from other Filipino traveler websites. For more information I’ve included their links at the bottom of this article.

  • Company ID
  • Certificate of employment or if you’re a student, a student ID
  • Original or photocopy of your passbook or bank certificate
  • ITR (income tax return- just in case)
  • The addresses and numbers of the places you’re staying

Proof of financial funds

  • I have never encountered this in the 20 countries I’ve traveled to. My friend who visited the US wanted to prove he had sufficient funds by “show money” when the US immigration officer stopped him. “You should never show your money,” he warned.

I personally think “show money” is a Filipino or developing country thing. Proof of sufficient funds for other countries usually means a bank certificate or a copy of your passbook to show how much income you have.

2.) I’m a housewife.

I don’t think it’s really a problem if you can show you have sufficient funds in your bank account even if it’s a joint one. You can also show your husband’s employment certificate to prove he is still employed.

3.) I was employed when applied for a US/Schengen/whatever country’s visa and now I’m unemployed. My current plans do not match the one in my visa application form.

Let me tell you something.

The immigration officer on both sides don’t care.

Government bureaucracy is so bloated that I don’t think consulates share your information to the immigration officer unless requested. As long as you’re returning to your native country and you’re not planning to do anything illegal, they’ll let you in.

My current itinerary certainly did not match the one in my Schengen visa application. Plans change. I didn’t get in trouble for that.

In case the officer ask you your occupation, just tell them your old job.

4.) I’m unemployed.

As long as you’re not applying for a visa, it should be easy if you’re going to countries Filipinos can enter visa free (Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, etc).

Prepare the following documents:

  • Proof of sufficient funds (even if it’s a joint account)
  • Your spouse or partner’s certificate of employment
  • Less of a problem if you’ve traveled before or traveling with your husband or with a tour group. Just mention that to the officer.
  • See documents for #1 I’m haven’t traveled before.

5.) I’m a freelancer.

I’m afraid I do not have experience with this or what documents you need to provide. Click on the link below for more detailed instructions on freelancers.

FIRST TIME ABROAD: Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

6.) I’m traveling abroad on a brand new passport. I’ve had a pretty good travel history but it’s all in my old passport. Do I show my old passport too with my new one to the officer?

 Yes.

7.) I’m sponsored by my relative/boyfriend/fiancé.

This is probably the hardest especially if you’re unemployed, single, traveling alone and it’s your first time traveling. If your friend/family member is with you and also single and unemployed, you can share the requirements. He/she must have the same copies or you can go to the IO box together.

Prepare the following:

  • Invitation letter and say he/she is supporting your travels
  • Proof of sufficient funds from your sponsor or the person paying for the trip (copy of passbook or bank certificate)
  • If you have enough money in your bank account, prepare a copy of your passbook or bank certificate
  • A photocopy of his/her credit card, if possible
  • Return ticket (a must)

You’re less suspicious if you travel with someone or are in a package tour.

I have an invitation letter but I can support myself and am planning to pay for my own trip.

Unless they ask where you’ll be staying, there’s no need to show the invitation letter. Just show your proof of sufficient funds.

8.) My boyfriend/friend/sister is traveling with me. Should I ask my sponsor to include them in the invitation letter?

Yes. In the letter, describe your relationship together and you’re traveling with your sister/friend/boyfriend.

9.) I have been offloaded before. Would this affect my chances?

It might but it will not prevent them from keeping you if you have all proper documentation. Show all the necessary paperwork and answer the questions confidently and you might be able to board your flight. This isn’t 100% foolproof because it will depend on your circumstance and your immigration officer.

This has been a comprehensive list. I hope this article has been helpful to my fellow Filipinos. Again, this isn’t 100% fool proof. It is more of a guide to help you.

The most important thing is all will still depend on the immigration officer who interviews you. 

If you haven’t found the answer to your specific immigration dilemma in this guide, check out the resources links below or call the Philippine Bureau of Immigration customer service hotline. They would be your best best bet in addressing your concerns.

Due to my new busy schedule, I found I couldn’t answer the comments in a timely manner. It wouldn’t be fair to the readers so I’ve decided to disable the comments section. If you have a question that can’t be answered in this post, you might find your answer in the comment section. Good luck!

Bureau of Immigration contact number

Bureau of Immigration main office

Good luck and happy traveling!

Read my related post on immigration.

What to Expect at the Border: A Guide to Immigration Interview Questions

Resources Links:

FIRST TIME ABROAD: Tips and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Avoid Getting Offloaded

For OFWs: 9 Tips To Avoid Being Offloaded at NAIA

Photo credit:

Immigration booth

Philippine passport

Cebu Pacific

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90 thoughts on “Immigration Tips for Filipinos: A Guide to Philippine Immigration

      • janna says:

        Hello Kate,

        ask ko lang kung anong mga paper works kailangan para magtravel pa morocco really want to go there next year as a first time traveller need ko pa ba ng CFO and travel insurance para makatravel dun? i really need help. Thank you.

      • Kate says:

        What is CFO? Filipinos can go to Morocco visa free so you don’t need any of those stuff. Just check the requirements of where your transit is.

      • Jean says:

        Miss kate thank you po sa guide nyo,tanong ko lang ang sister ko e visit visa sya ng amo ko da dubai dito din po ako sa dubai right now until feb.16 visit din ako ng amo at mga anak nya,yong amo ko dito talaga sya sa dubai nag wowork italy po kmi talaga e visit po ng amo ko ang sister ko para mag kita kmi pero may visa na sya at round trip ticket so ano pa ang need na documents para di sya ma offload
        E provide ng amo ko bahay nya,credit card,passport,visa ng amo ko sa work at letter ng amo ko,makatulong din kaya if e support ko papers ko na nag wowork ako sa amo ko? Thanks po and Good bless

    • Miraflor b. rosales says:

      HEllo good day syo dpat pla nbsa n kita bgo ako naoffload nong 0ct24 2016. so sad we missed our flight ng friend ko pamorocco we’re offloaded due to lack of documents and pocket money I think. we have invitation from mu moroccan friend. assuring she will shoulder all our expenses she even sponsored a round trip tickets. mgpparebook po kmi next week. advice namn pls. what else I need t0 provide to avoid offloading. Previous job ko is morocco I worked 2yrs finished contract no bad remarks. But time as a tourist, for tourism must fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity . I don’t have any of it in morocco but a lovinf friend. Pls help plsss

      • Kate says:

        Where did you leave from? I don’t quite understand your tourist requirement for morocco- can you please explain?

        I’ve been to Morocco via Rome. Maybe if you leave from HK and get a round trip from HK to Manila and round trip from Morocco? It would be better. HK authorities won’t ask you many Qs unlike the Philippines. Just follow the same advice I gave above for HK. I don’t know honestly what documents to present for Morocco if I have a friend sponsoring my trip. I went there on my own as a tourist. How did you do it before??

  1. jinx143 says:

    Thank you for your travel tips and guidelines. This is really helpful to me. I will be travelling to japan this june together with my 17y.o daughter. This is our first out-of-the-country travelling together. Nakalabas na ‘ko ng bansa pero 25 years ago na yun. At yung daughter ko nakapag out-of-the-country na rin sya 6 years ago. Do you think i still need to bring our old passports na may old stamp ng immigration? And by the way, i’m a housewife. If i bring my husband’s ITR, a copy of his ID, his ATM card, my credit card, my ATM, my daughter’s ATM card, my daughter’s school ID, my government issued ID, our return tickets, hotel reservations/booking and of course, money. Makakapasa na kaya kami sa immigration?

  2. Rey says:

    Hi. First of all, thank you for this very detailed and updated guide. I really appreciate how you shared this much information. 🙂

    Honestly, the issue with immigration officers did not concern me at all before, maybe because I usually travel abroad with my parents or relatives and this is much easier. But after reading a lot about this offload thing lately, I was surprised with how strict the officers are becoming and this suddenly concerns me.

    My boyfriend and I will be traveling to Hong Kong this June. I have traveled abroad before (My last time was in Singapore and that was 5 years ago. I have also been to US and other countries but I was still in high school back then). Currently, I am employed here in the Philippines.

    On the other hand, however, this Hong Kong trip will be the first trip abroad for my boyfriend. Moreover, unlike me, he is still a student (also here in Manila). Now we are worried about the requirements that would be possibly asked by the immigration officer most especially on his financial capacity.

    1. What are the chances of getting questioned on this?
    2. In case he will be asked about this, would it be enough to tell the officer that his funds for the trip will be coming from his own savings? Or from our combined savings/funds even?

    We did not ask for any support from our family because we want to experience traveling using only our hard-earned money and we are proud to say that we do have more than enough of what we need for this trip.

    Also, we didn’t avail of any tour package since we want to maximize the opportunity mostly in going around to shop in HK. We already have our flight booking and itinerary receipt and vouchers for our trip such as hotel booking, Disneyland, Museum, Sim card, and MTR and the rest of our expenses (pocket money) will only be for food and shopping. So yes, our trip would be pretty much DIY but a very planned one (We even already have an itinerary).

    • Kate says:

      Thank you, Rey! It really depends on the immigration officer. In my experience, when I was traveling from Cebu airport to other airports overseas, I don’t really see a lot of strictness or people being offloaded. I don’t take tour packages and usually do DIY. This depends on the airport. Cebu is not as strict as Clark or Manila which probably handles more people traffic, thus increasing the likelihood of getting offloaded.

      I think since you’re traveling with him and he is a student I don’t think it will be much of a problem (see #1 “I haven’t traveled before”). He can show his student ID and sometimes you can also go to the immigration officer together if it isn’t a problem and show you’re traveling together. Again, I cannot say 100% this will happen as it will depend on the officer but there’s a high probability you’ll be fine and it’s nothing to worry about.

      Good luck and enjoy your trip to HK!

  3. Xandee Pescador says:

    Hiiiii thank you so much for sharing this. I will travel this August to kuala Lumpur and this is my firs time to travel out of the country. I’m employed here in the Philippines. I’m a bit worried regarding what I’ve read that it’s good to have a package tour when you’re travelling alone. Do you have any suggestions where can i book a package tour in the city in Kuala Lumpur? Thank yoh and God bless! 🙂

  4. Allanny says:

    Hi ! I would like to ask if there would be any problem in IO’s if I book my ticket for 26 days tour in Singapore ? I’ll be having my vacation and visit my cousin as well. thanks !

    • Kate says:

      It depends on the IO but Filipinos can legally stay in Singapore for 30 days so there’s no technical problem as long as you have your return ticket and state your reason. I have booked my stay in Macau for 30 days and even return from HK but was not asked any addition questions from IO. Again, not all IOs are the same.

      Happy trip!

  5. Marge says:

    Hi. Thank you so much for this updated info about the immigration 🙂 I been searching since last month but i dont see any updated blog regarding to this.

    Um, Anyway. Im having my first ever international flight this coming august 6 2016 to thailand. Im so excited 🙂 but the thing is, I feel so nervous for the immigration interview since im will traveling alone Im 21 yrs old. Girl and single. Actually, I suppose to travel with my coworker. but unfortunely he had a problem in regards to his passport. Accidentally his passport get stain/dirt in all pages which is dfa required him for renewal even if his passport will be expire next year. So it lead me no choice but just to travel Alone because i dont want to lose this chance too. I really want to visit thailand!

    Im currently employed as a CSR at teleperformance. I have COE, ITR, Letter of approved leave ,and a return ticket. But Im main concern is that im traveling alone. Well, basically its totally fine to me since i can handle myself very well. But my problem is if the immigration will allow me to travel alone with my status? Im will visit thailand as a tourist.

    Is it adviseable to me to mention that i supposed to travel with a friend?

    Thank you so much in advance! 🙂

    Marge.

    • Kate says:

      No, I don’t think there’s any need to mention you’re traveling with a friend because your friend isn’t there. I think you’re pretty well prepared but again, it’s up to the IO. As long as your paperwork is fine and it really show you’re returning, there’s little chance he/she will deny you.

  6. Pat says:

    Hey, Marge!

    I’ve been thinking to visit my boyfriend who studies at Malaysia, and I want to be in the city when he graduates next year June. I’m a first time traveler, I don’t want to be offloaded. Can I show to the IOs that my boyfriend is my sponsor and I have credible documents as well?

  7. Alexis says:

    Hi. Thank you for this informative blog.
    I will be travelling to SG soon for 3 days with my friend. I would like to ask what if we dont have check in baggage on our return ticket yet because we are planning to add it 1 day before our flight back to PH, after we buy all pasalubongs. Would I.O.s see it as an issue for us to be offloaded? Do they check the boarding pass? My friend has been to Canada and I’ve been to S.Korea. Appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

    • Kate says:

      No I don’t think so but again it depends on the IOs- they don’t check if you’ll bring luggage just that you will return. The person who will definitely ask u this is the check in counter of the airlines but again, don’t think it’s a problem. Yes, the IOs will need to see your boarding passed.

  8. Justin says:

    Thanks for sharing. But I’m curious, is it true that even if you have a visa, it is no guarantee that you will get pass the immigration officer? And is it true that females get suspected more so than men (if traveling alone)?

    • Kate says:

      Yes,that one is true. Even if you have a visa, it’s no guarantee if you pass the airline check-in (cuz that’s also important) and the immigration officer. Don’t know about solo female travelers being suspected more than men. You’ll have to check the stats on that. I cannot confirm that.

  9. Ace says:

    Hi Kate. I’m Ace from Cebu. I badly need your advice. I’m a first time traveller and I will go to Hong Kong this November for 8 days. For sightseeing and my bday celebration with my foreign boyfriend (He’s living in Switzerland and we’ll meet again sa HK) He is paying for my entire trip though I am currently employed here. I have my company id, itr and employment cert. I also have a round trip ticket and hotel reservation(pero under the name of my bf) Are these enough.? I don’t have a credit card nor a bank statement but i do have enough cash. Thank you po.

    • Kate says:

      Hi Ace! You’re from my hometown -miss the Bisayas 🙂 To answer your question, look the list at 7.) I’m sponsored by my relative/boyfriend/fiancé and it should say if you have enough. Since you only have cash, just focus at the second point if IO or check in desk ask if you have sufficient funds.

  10. ferdie says:

    Hi Kate, i am an OFW and will be on holiday this end of November. After few days we will be going to the US for the first time with my wife to visit her aging mother and 7 siblings for two weeks. Any possibility that we will be denied by IO? We have a valid US tourist visa and will be back to my place of employment in early january.

  11. sharon says:

    Ask q lng po I am a public teacher,ung permit to travel q po ay ang principal lng nmn pumirma,okey na po Kya un..dala q rin Lht ng documents q ,thanks

    • McIntosh says:

      Hi teacher Sharon! Just wanna ask how was your travel. Im also a teacher and like you, this will also be my first international travel. I don’t have Authority to Travel from DepEd for some reasons. I already have all other essential requirements (passport, tickets, bank certifications) with me.

      Did the IO really look for your Authority to Travel signed by DepEd officials? Because if that is really necessary, Im not gonna declare that Im a government employee and just use my ID card from my previous employer or just tell the IO (if asked), that I manage our family’s little business.

      What do you think about it, Miss Kate? 😉

      • Kate says:

        Hi MCINTOSH, like Sharon’s case I do not have any clue about government employees’ permits to travel. You might want to ask fellow government colleagues and their experiences.

    • Kate says:

      Hi Sharon, Sorry I don’t know anything about government employees’ requirements only those working in the private sector. You might want to ask fellow government colleagues and their experiences.

  12. Iriz says:

    Hi Kate,

    Me, my sister and my girl friend will be travelling in SG and Malaysia on December 19, 2016 and be back on the 23rd. No rpoblem with me and my sister since we are employed and we can show everything necessary for employed travellers. The case on my girl friend, she is currently unemployed, and not currently enrolled but she stil have her college ID acquired 2yrs ago. We’ll be having a tour 3days in SG and 2days in Malaysia. I have also made a detailed Itinerary for our tour on both countries so my sister and my girlfriend are memorizing them by heart. For the unemployed, the things she’ll be bringing are:

    -passport
    -hotel accomodations
    -return tickets
    -detailed itinerary of the tour
    -student ID
    -COR (we made a fake cor as if she is enrolled during the sem)
    -school curriculum (asked from the school)
    -bank certificate
    -bank statement
    -postal ID
    -voter’s certificate
    -nbi clearance
    -nso birth cert
    -marriage contract of parents

    Will these be enough? and we’ll bring confidence with us. 😀

    any advise?

  13. violity says:

    Hello! For the return ticket that is to be shown to IOs, is it the one that the Cebu Pacific sent online? The Itinerary? I’m not so sure. It’s my first time buying an international ticket. Thank you!

    • violity says:

      Hello po Ate Kate! I am travelling from Cebu to SG next year for a learning camp.
      Kinahanglan pa ba ko magdala bank statement? I am a currently enrolled student. 20 years old. Travelling by myself.

      What I have with me are the following:
      *Itinerary Receipt CebuPac (Roundtrip)
      *Letter of Acceptance from event organizers
      *Letter from School allowing me to participate in the event
      *Receipts of payment
      *Birth Certificate
      *Parent’s consent
      *Program brochure and handbook
      *Hotel Reservation
      *Enrollment Billing Form – shows subjects that are currently enrolled this semester
      *School ID, Postal ID.

      Unsa pa lain nimo ma advice te for chance of approval, worried ko sa IOs. Kay nabayaran na tanan program and registration fees 😦 Salamat kaayo te.

      • Kate says:

        In regards sa imong Question, I think dili man kaayo ka lisuran sa IOs pero it really depends. Murag all your docs are in order. Dili ayo ko sure for a learning program. When I traveled to HK for a student exchange program years ago, all I had was an invitation letter and even then I don’t think I had to show it.

        Did you need a special visa for this learning program? Kay if dili and travel raka as a tourist, basin kailangan raka pakita sa imong Return ticket. What did your fellow peers advise you? Have they done this before?

      • violity says:

        Ok te. Salamat kaayo. 🙂 5 days ra siya te, dili na daw need ana ako auntie. One question te, kanang muduol na ka sa IOs te, unsay mga ihatag nga doc along with passport?

      • violity says:

        Halaaa. Wait. Di ma edit ako last comment te. Nakabutang naman diay sa imo blog post ang mga ihatag sa IOs. Daghan nako nabasa nga mga blogs, nagka-sagol2 na jud. Pasensya kaayo balik2 question. >.<

  14. caesar says:

    Hi, I want to inquire about going to Singapore, I have already a IPA (In-Principal Approval) processed by my employer, is it safe just to show it at the Philippine Immigration on my exit?

      • caesar says:

        From my understanding its the Approval of MOM(Ministry of Manpower) in Singapore that my working pass have been approved. I was suppose to process my OEC at POEA but one of the requirement is to have the Employment Contract be validated (Red Ribbon) in the embassy at Singapore which my employer won’t be doing. I went to Singapore as a tourist to process other requirements for my employment (medical, etc…). My concern is, I will be back to the Philippines again on the 28 and need to go back to Singapore the week after which might be questioned by Immigration since I just came from there. Although I already have the IPA with me.

  15. Kate says:

    Your situation is a little bit tricky. Also, looks like the POEA office got strict last time I had my OEC there. They didn’t require my contract to have the Red Ribbon (useless bureaucracy if you ask me) but I was working in China. SG might have a different requirement.

    As I understand, if you have already have a valid work visa from Singapore you need to show your OEC upon exit. Do you already have this visa?

    If you go to the Philippine and back to SG in a short time, the IOs might ask you. If you show them your IPA then they might ask where your work visa and OEC is? Just a thought- not sure if this might happen. Why not just stay in SG until you finish processing everything?

    Also a disclaimer: I’m not exactly the expert on Singapore work visas because I haven’t worked there. Just letting you know. Maybe you can talk to someone who is. I know a Filipino blogger who worked in SG. Maybe she can help?

    • caesar says:

      Thanks for the info, I still don’t have the visa since it will just be processed after the medical results have arrived (will be collecting it today) and may take until the last week of October for processing. I’d like to go back to spend time with my family on my birthday hehe although if it really is that strict I will just hold off that plan. Yes, i would appreciate if I could also ask for her opinion. Thanks again

      • Kate says:

        You just don’t know in these circumstances. If you go home, I think there are many undecided factors standing in your way back to SG. I’m not discouraging you to spend time with your family though.

        Here’s my Filipino friend working in Singapore blog link – https://maftravelgraphy.wordpress.com. She used to work there for many years but is now back in the Philippines. Do drop a comment and say Kate sent you her way for advice. Good luck!

  16. Lukas says:

    Hi Miss Kate. Thanks sa mga information. Btw, Kakaresign ko lang (#4 I’m unemployed) at first time ko magtravel and alone . I have confusions sa pag fill up ng embarkation card. Pupunta po ako sa VN kasi inimbitahan ako ng sister ko na dun sa kanya mag vacation.
    Question #1 since na unemployed ako, ano ang dapat ilagay ko sa occupation/work sa embarkation card? Do I leave it blank na lang ba?
    Question #2 purpose of travel: Vacation purpose ko pero since si ate ang sagot ng lahat at dun din ako sa place nya sa VN magstay, anu ang dapat iselect ko? 1st box – Pleasure/Vacation or 2nd box – Friends/Relatives?

    Documents:
    Passport
    Government ID
    Roundtrip ticket
    Invitation Letter from my Sister
    My Debit Card
    My sister Int’l debit card (VN bank issued)

    Do you think it is also a wise idea na dalhin ko ung ibang docx ni ate to justify na babalik ako ng Pinas? I have her red ribboned docx like special power of attorney (spa), ako attorney-in-fact nya dito sa Pinas; Employment Contract.

    Ano pa po ba mga dapat kong dalhin? Thanks in advance! God bless po.

    • Kate says:

      I always put a job if I’m unemployed. Looks better and less chance of being turned away. Tick friend and relatives. It’s not her documents but yours- you have to show you’re coming back usually with a RT.

  17. Wen says:

    Hi Ms Kate,

    Good day!

    Were going to travel next year with my french friend in south east asia. Ask ko lang po if need ko pa po pumunta ng thailand/vietnam etc embassy for requirements ? First time ko po kasi. Magtratravel po kasi kami 1 and half month for 4 countries . I have already passport, funds,return ticket,and hotel reservation( for thailand only.) And the rest reservation upon arrival nalang po doon.
    Do you have any idea if how much the budget for 4 countries like thailand,vietnam,cambodia and laos?Tsaka po magresigned ako sa work kasi po di po allowed ng company ng magpaleave ng ganon katagal so i decide na magresigned nlng.. magkakaproblema kaya ako sa immigration? Meron pa po kaya ibang requirements aside from my list above?

    Thank you so much po for kind assistance. I hope to hear you soon.

    • Kate says:

      Are you leaving from the Philippines? Filipinos can enter visa free in Thailand and Vietnam – why do you need to go there and ask for travel requirements?

  18. Joycie says:

    Hello po. I’m 23 and currently unemployed.. do you think po ba mahihirapan ako sa immigration considering na pang 2nd time ko na po to mag out of the country? Papunta lang naman po ako ng hk for tour po.. and i’m just alone.. meron namn po akong pera pero hindi po kasi nakabank.. i’ve been planning for this trip since june.. ano pong
    Possible questions ng immigration officer?

    • Kate says:

      See at the top “Common Questions Filipino IOs ask you” in this post.

      And if you’ve been abroad before, it won’t be so much of a problem. Show your return ticket and possible documentation if they ask you.

  19. Kars says:

    Hi. How legit is the affidavit of undertaking? Pag pinag sign po ba yumg parents ko ng ganun eh kelangna ko po ba tlagang bumalik? Kasi thrineat po ung friend ko ng IO na pag d sya bumalik eh idedemanda raw po parents ni. Im planning kasi na samahan lang ako mg mom ko to HK. Is it safe na umuwi sya kahit wala ako at if ever na pumirma siya ng ganun?

    • Kate says:

      I’m not quite sure what the affidavit of undertaking is because I haven’t done anything like that before. Sorry I can’t be of any help.

  20. Anna says:

    Hi. I will visit Australia on December, I have my tourist visa for 3months Im just a little worried because IO will question a lot, Im not working and my boyfriend supported me for this trip. What should I show to them. Thanks

  21. Keaven says:

    Hello po Mam..planing po ako pumunta ng hk for vication unemployed po ako firstime ko mg travel at ako lang mag isa my roundtrip po kinuha ko at reservation sa hotel pocket money lang po sakin kasi wala akong bang acount etc mother ko po ang sponsor sakin pero ako lang mag isa pupunta nang hk anu po ba posible tatanongin ng ios sakin hindi kasi ako mapakali baka ma offload ako pleas reply po salamat

    • Keaven says:

      Student po ako pero tumigil ako nitong second sem.pero wala po akong i.d nawala ko po ang meron nlng sakin postal at drivers licence anu po bang kailangan hindi kasi ako mpakali baka ma ofload ako firstime klng kasi mag travel at ako lang mag isa yung passport ko bago din salamat po taga iloilo po ako

  22. andrew says:

    hello po.. fresh grad po aqu at kasama ko po relatives ko.. sa hong kong po kami pupunta.. ano po need ipakita since wala po ako work and yung parents ko naman po yung gagastos para sa akin.. salamat po..

  23. Kaye says:

    Hi! I could relate to this scenario…. i wanted to share my dilema, my foreigner boyfriend is from Dubai and will come to the Philippines to fetch me to have a vacation in Indonesia or Hongkong for almost a week this coming February and he wants me to go with him to Dubai and hopefully to find job there… i am unemployed for almost a year now but with proof of financial capacity like bank certificate,atm and credit card. My boyfriend will finance my ticket and will get me a Visit Visa going to Dubai. i just wanted to ask, is it still possible for me to be offloaded because he will be with me throughout the process and the fact that i don’t have work?

  24. Love says:

    Hello Ms. Kate 😊
    I’m an ofw po from KSA, kauuwi ko lang po nong August. I have two sisters who have stable job in Dubai, and they invited me to visit them. Gasto nila tanan Ms. Kate tanang expenses. Gift daw nila sa ako.Naa nakoy ticket, ug ticket pabalik pod ug Visa. Ang problema,wala koy credit card or savings na Kay hurot. Unexpected pod ning pag invite nila. Ask q advice Ms. Kate, first travel naq ni nya aq ra isa. Karong December 7 na ako flight, ug nakulbaan ko.. Thank you in advance 😘 and Merry Christmas 🎄

  25. Aisha says:

    Good day po.. its my first time travelling alone but I been to sg 4 times together wit my bf but now I’m alone. I just came back from sg last month and goin back again this month for the preparation of my wedding on january.. may chance po ba ko ma offload? I got rt ticket, marriage course cert from sg, invitation letter and wedding date print out copy from registry of marriage in sg.. I need advice po

    • Kate says:

      See the post above for the requirements and it’s up to the discretion of the IO. If you show you are returning and have ties to the Philippines, it is less likely for him to refuse you.

  26. violity says:

    Hello po ate kate! Ask lang ko ug mulakaw na for an international trip, kanus-a ang immigration interview? Ayha paghuman nako ug check-in gamit sa airline or pwede na kana jud pag abot nako sa airport?

  27. Niel says:

    Hi I stayed in SG for 29 days as a tourist and stayed at my relatives, and planning to go back there after 5 days for the holidays because I was rejected by SG when my relatives applied me for an extension. I have also read that a tourist can only return to SG after exiting Philippines for 5 days. My dilemma right now is the Philippine Immigration. I wonder if they will question and offload me if they learned that I’d be returning to SG after exiting PH for only 5 days. Thanks!

  28. mearchitectureandnature says:

    Hi. I am going to cambodia this Jan.28, 2017- Jan31. I am quite nervous cos ive learned that there are still people that went offloaded in this route. I am a first time international traveler and my passport will be delivered roughly on January 13, 2017. I graduated with a degree of architecture last june and started working last aug. I can say that my salary is quite high for a fresh grad. I am gonna be traveling with a friend who’s a ceb pac flight attendant. I am scared that I might get off loaded since its my first time plus i am a fresh grad and single female. I am planning to bring:

    -my latest 3-months payslip as a proof of income (since i have no bank acct, only debit)
    -my return ticket
    -my hotel reservation receipt
    -my TOR
    -diploma
    -LOA with the photocopy of the id of whoever signed it
    -my COE
    -a print of our DIY itinerary
    -and birth cert

    Would this be enough? I am just scared that all my hard earned money i spent for this trip in my dream destination would just go to waste. Thank you.

  29. Sharon Leonor Cantela says:

    Good Day mam kate… I just need your advise…. Un friend ko po kasi eh ex abroad sya from Qatar …. nasa pinas na po sya now and our company invited him to attend a training using business visa…… ng comply nmn kami sa mga requirements like visa stamped in qatar embassy… two way ticket…. hotel booking and invitation from our company….

    Madami kasi nag sasabi marami daw po na ooffload gamit eh business visa… HOW TRUE PO BA ITO? MAY POSSIBLITY BA MA OFFLOAD UN FRIEND KO? laki na kasi ng ginastos ng company ko.

    Please advise kung ano pa po pwede gawin para ma assure na makakatawid sya sa immigration officer natin. Thank You.

    • Kate says:

      I do not know much about IOs turning away people with business visas to Qatar. This is really all up to IO. As long he complies all the requirements and answer well then there is less chance. Again, it really depends on the IO. You would have to take your chances.

  30. Dessa Bacalla says:

    My boyfriend booked me e-tickets using his credit card.Of course my name indicated on it. I’m a first time traveler and I’m going to HK to meet him there . Since he’s just my bf(we’re not yet officially engaged or whatever). I just wanna ask if do I have to show proofs, like Xerox copy of his credit card.
    I got my own necessary documents with me anyway, like my passport, company ID,cert.of employment,a leave of work letter,my savings card, show money if ever, hotel reservation and itiniraries.
    I don’t wanna tell I’m going to meet him if ever..
    pls pls help me what’s the best to do.
    Thank you so much more power.

    • Kate says:

      Yes, show proof to the check in counter of the airline just in case. It doesn’t matter if he isn’t your husband or if he’s your friend. Since he bought your tickets with his credit card, you have to show a photocopy with his signature on it (if possible). I had to show photocopies of my sister’s card in Cebu Pacific check in counter because she bought my tickets.

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