What Filipinos Need to Know About Traveling Abroad: Guidelines from the Bureau of Immigration

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The Bureau of Immigration sparked furious discussions a few months ago when they announced they will be asking Filipinos traveling abroad to show proof of financial means.

You mean only the rich have a right to travel?” was the outraged question from citizens all over the country. There were also those who pointed out that — for those traveling to such areas as the US or Europe — we wouldn’t be granted a visa if we hadn’t already proven our capacity to pay for our trip. It’s bad enough we have to prove our innocence(!) to foreigners; do we have to prove it again to our own countrymen?

Related post: Filipina offloaded from flight at NAIA 3 for not bringing her grandfather’s birth certificate? Here’s what probably happened — and how you can stop it from happening to you

I have my own strong opinions about how the Immigration guys seem to pick who to interrogate and who to let breeze by, but those opinions will help no one. 🙂 Here, instead, are the actual rules of the Bureau of Immigration regarding:

  • What documents will be required during “primary inspection” of Filipino citizens traveling abroad
  • What circumstances may prompt the immigration officer to ask for additional requirements
  • Which travelers will automatically be subjected to “secondary inspection”
  • If you’re traveling with a child, make sure to read this as well: Must-Knows for Filipinos Traveling with Children. (The link will open in another window so you won’t have to leave this page.)



  1. Passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure
  2. Visa (when required)
  3. Round trip ticket


The Immigration Officer will consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to require additional documents:

  • Age
  • Educational attainment
  • Financial capability to travel

Regarding financial capability, the Bureau of Immigration says:

  • “If not financially capable to travel, an authenticated Affidavit of Support or Letter of Invitation, indicating therein the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents may be entertained; and
  • Affidavit of Undertaking/Guaranty may likewise be entertained.”

(To be honest, this sounds reasonable enough, and the BI says they are doing this to curtail human trafficking, illegal recruitment, etc. There is still something annoying and just wrong about having to prove your innocence — instead of them having to prove your guilt — but until the system is improved, there isn’t much we can do, and there’s no point fighting a battle you can’t win, so…what the heck, dalhin na ang mga diploma at mga gold bars!)



The Bureau of Immigration says they will automatically subject to secondary inspection those people who fit into either of the following categories, so be prepared.

  • “Travelers without financial capacity to travel escorted/accompanied by a foreigner who is not related;
  • Minor traveling alone or unaccompanied by either parent or legal guardian without the required travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
  • Repatriated irregular workers, in which case, travel may not be allowed without the clearance from the IACAT (generate data);
  • Partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet and/or marry his/her fiancé without the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate;
  • Passengers traveling to counties with existing deployment bans, alert levels and travel advisories and those in possession of visas to the said countries; and
  • Passengers who stayed abroad for more than one (1) year during a previous departure from the country as a tourist/temporary visitor, intending to depart for the second and/or subsequent time.”

For more tips on documents that might be required by the Bureau of Immigration, read: offloading faqs



As travelers, one of our most dreaded scenarios is being unreasonably detained on the whim of an Immigration/Border Control officer, missing our flight, and consequently having all our travel plans (and expenses!) messed up. (Or is it just me? A friend and I were once detained on arrival in Singapore, fingerprinted, and released with no explanation given…but that’s another story.)

Here’s what the Bureau of Immigration has to say about offloading, or deferring the departure, of Filipino travelers:


There have been incidents involving abusive Immigration officials — and, to be fair, I’m sure there have been incidents of abusive passengers as well — and while knowing the rules won’t necessarily protect us from profiling (or extortion attempts), we can at least minimize our chances of being detained by having all the documents we need (and might need) on hand. Happy travels!


  1. Bureau of Immigration > FAQs > Travel Requirements
  2. “Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in All Airports and Seaports in the Country”

Note: I am not an authority on Philippine travel regulations, just a girl who did some research. While I will try my best to answer any questions you might have, you will definitely get a more authoritative answer from the Bureau of Immigration (contact details HERE). If I answer your query with a succint “Please contact the BI” that means I don’t know the answer (and probably that I’m ridiculously busy at the time and can’t manage a lengthier reply). 🙂 Good luck and happy travels!

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I’ll update this section every time I go through Immigration. They won’t ask the same for all travelers — experienced travelers will probably get asked less questions than first-timers — but I hope this will give you an idea of what the IOs might ask you.

March 2015

  1. You’re a [my occupation]?
  2. When are you coming back?

September 2015

  1. Where are you going?

What Filipinos Need to Know About Traveling Abroad: Guidelines from the Bureau of Immigration” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 

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524 thoughts on “What Filipinos Need to Know About Traveling Abroad: Guidelines from the Bureau of Immigration

  1. Hi!

    I literally read through the comments from top to bottom just to see if anyone’s in a similar position I am in. No luck, so far. Anyway, I am in great need of advise about my planned trip to UK. First off, I have successfully traveled to UK dated November last year and stayed there for exactly 4 months with my boyfriend and his lovely parents. I was still a student back then when I applied for a visa and used my certificate of enrollment as proof that I’ll be coming back, and as promised, I came back March this year to attend our graduation. It was my first time ever to travel internationally and was fortunately approved a visa. The thing I am really wondering about is that I never attended any CFO seminars nor secured a CFO sticker but was still able to travel without any questions coming from the BI. Now, we are engaged and will be getting married in May. He is coming back this October to come and visit me and he is planning to take me back with him. The catch is I am unemployed (unfortunately) and I am confused on what to do. Do you think us, being engaged, could somehow help my application? It is the only proof I could use since we’re having the wedding here in the Philippines. That being said, I (or we) obviously have to come back for our wedding. We’ve partially paid our wedding coordinator, reception/catering and photographer and all there is that I could use is the receipts which were issued by them. :'(

    I know you’re not a professional adviser with regards to this matter but your insights would greatly help. Anyone is more than welcome to share their thoughts as well!

    Love from Mindanao! xx

  2. h, just wana ask about my case… im want to go to malysia to visit a friend.. i dont have a relative there, i dont have work here aswell.. my mom retired from work and recieve a respectable amount of money.. shes gona give me 150thou as a gift so i can visit my friend.. but after reading alll those comments it looks like im in a bad shape.. any advice?

  3. I’m traveling to japan this july. Yung mga pamangkin ko nag request na mag dala ng products galing dito sa pinas? may alam ka ba sa mga terms and conditions sa bureau of customs nila? please let me know if okay lang mag dala.

  4. Hi, I travelled to sg last December together with my singaporean bf, last time na- 2nd interview ako ng io, pero 1 hour before my flight they let me go,. 14 days lang talaga dapat ang stay ko sa sg but my bf ask me to stay for 30 days so we rebook my ticket.. my problem is I’m goin back to sg this September to spend and experience the hari raya haji with my bf and his family and plan to stay in sg for 10 days.. magkaka problem po ba ko sa immigration kc nag stay ako ng 1 month sa sg? Eh ang na record nila na stay ko last December is 14 days lang.. kinakabahan po ako hehe kahit sa september pa ung alis ko.. actually sa sobrang nerbyos ko last December before my flight I am having a fever haha but when I reach the boarding gate I feel ok na and my fever is gone lolz.. sana po mabigyan nyo ko ng advice.. ty po

  5. Hi, I travelled to sg last December together with my singaporean bf, last time na- 2nd interview ako ng io, pero 1 hour before my flight they let me go,. 14 days lang talaga dapat ang stay ko sa sg but my bf ask me to stay for 30 days so we rebook my ticket.. my problem is I’m goin back to sg this September to spend and experience the hari raya haji with my bf and his family and plan to stay in sg for 10 days.. magkaka problem po ba ko sa immigration kc nag stay ako ng 1 month sa sg? Eh ang na record nila na stay ko last December is 14 days lang.. kinakabahan po ako hehe kahit sa september pa ung alis ko.. actually sa sobrang nerbyos ko last December before my flight I am having a fever haha but when I reach the boarding gate I feel ok na and my fever is gone lolz.. sana po mabigyan nyo ko ng advice.. ty po

  6. Hallo…
    Me and my Bf( foreigner) will have a 30 days vication in thailand do i need CFO eventhough it is not his country and filipinos are allowed to stay in thailand in 30 days. I work in switzerland for 1and a half year and i have my savings i also have 300€ and 200francs is it already ok for the pocket money?? If ever do i need to show some documents from my past work??

  7. hello po i just wanna ask po kung ano po ba the best answer sa immigratio this Is my first time going to HK . Wat will i do

    • Hi lezah! Kung ano lang po yung totoo, yun ang best answer. Kasi kapag nag-re-rehearse ka ng answer na hindi naman totoo, mapapansin yan ng Immigration, at mag-fo-follow-up question yan, baka hindi mo na masagot ng maayos. Kaya kung ano lang yung totoo, yun lang ang sasabihin mo. So kung ang question “what will you do” sabihin mo kung ano talaga ang plano mong gawin doon, sabihin mo ang itinerary mo, kung saan ka papasyal, etc.

  8. hi. I want to travel to sg alone. And one of my purpose is to apply for a job. I have an agency and they are calling me for interview, but sad to say im here in the ph. Thats why i decided to go for a tour. If i would go there they would be the one to work on my Spass. If i bring my Diploma and OTR would the immigration see it? What is the best thing to do? Please help. This is a big oppurtunity for me.

    • Hi. I’m not familiar with the BI’s rules for people going abroad for a work interview. Can you try to ask other people who have done the same thing and find out if they had trouble with Immigration if they revealed their actual purpose? Anyway, to answer your question, sometimes — but definitely not all the time — the Immigration officer might look at your bags during secondary inspection. I’ve never tried having my bags inspected by Immigration, but I’ve heard of some people who have. I think the first thing that you have to do is to try not to be subjected to secondary inspection. If you’re going there on a tour, make it legit, like actually go to tourist attractions so that you won’t actually be lying to Immigration. Try to bring all the documents that the IO might ask to see (please see this post for a bit more info – http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/01/30/offloading-immigration-faqs/). And as a backup plan for luggage inspection, perhaps there’s a way you can make the papers not too obvious? Good luck, I hope you make it!

  9. hi! ask ko lang po were planning to go to Bankok Thailand for only 3days with my foreign bf sabay ko po siya here dito din po siya manggagaling sa Ph ano po ba mga requirements ? thaank you ,and do i need CFO ?

    • i went cfo this feb ’15 for seminar namention ng counselor na khit magvvacay lng with foreign fiancee dpt pumunta sa knla but none from us during tat seminar dare to ask why? and before even me n my foreign fiancee (married n kmi now) nagvvacay kmi overseas yearly but no cfo and lenient pa IOʻs nun. try to call for inquiries kc may good advantages din pagattend ng seminar at under sila ng office of the president., at pro-filipinos sila iniingatan lng din nila tau to prevent maging victim ng any types of trafficking. maganda umattend ng seminar at mura lng nmn at mabilis. very informative and helpful ang cfo.

      • Thanks for the input Gayle! Did they ever mention about those who just have foreign boyfriends (that is, they’re not yet engaged or married)? That really confuses me too, kasi they include the term “partners” but it’s such a vague term. Like, how about mag-boyfriend lang, not engaged, pero been together for 10 years? Or mag-boyfriend lang for 2 months? Na-mention ba nila yun?

  10. Hi… i am planning to visit my husband who is working in uae.. aside from coe… marriage contract and affidavit of support.. ano p mga need n proof… thank you..

  11. Hi po ..
    Mg. Ttravel po kme ng anak ko pafrance invite kme ng mom ko my travel consence na ako from lawyer notaryo na xa .. ok na po ba un pra sa immigration pra sa anak ko kc ung den ang pinakita kong docs sa pgkuwa ng pasport nia .. and about sa finacial assistant ipapakita ko nlang ung from na binigay sakin patunay na cla ang ggastos sa lht ok na po ba un or anu po kayang docs pa ang kailangan makalusot kaya ako kc first timer ko kc ako tnx po

  12. hi again, hmm last year december before my trip to sg i went to cfo office to attend a seminar, so i got my cfo cert bago ung flight ko, actually di xa hinanap sakin kahit kasama ko mag travel ung foreigner bf ko.. pero i still prepare my documents for my trip this year.. sabi sakin ng counselor sa seminar mag ingat daw ako kahit may cfo di daw sure kung paaalisin ako ng io.. but i still manage to pass the 2nd interview 🙂 sana this time di ako mahirapan sa immigration..


  14. Hello po. Ask ko lang po kung yung mga documents na ipapakita sa immigration ay need pa legalized ng embassy? I feel very worried. I already have a plane ticket for Italy sa August 10, 2015. Sabi ng via center, aabutin daw ng 2 months ang paglegalize ng documents ko sa Italian embassy. Kasama ko po daughter ko sa pagpunta ko sa Italy. Sana po masagot nyo po katanungan. Huhu. Thank you.

    • Hi brenicejane,

      I’m not sure what your specific situation is, what your purpose is for your trip to Italy, and why you have documents that need to be legalized at the Italian embassy. But just as a rough guide, kung anong documents ang sinubmit mo sa embassy to get a Schengen visa, yun na rin ang dalhin mo sa airport in case needed sa Immigration.

      Good luck!

  15. Hello! Here na in Bangkok after 2 months of preparing. Before coming here, of course I had a very harrowing interview with the immigration, a second interview I mean. The girl who interviewed me was rude, but in my obsevation, it was just a facade to throw me off guard. The key here for first time travellers, it is already a cliche, is to be CONFIDENT all the time. Don’t get rattled and be consistent with ur answers, and BE VERY COURTEOUS, the last thing you want to do is to piss them off. Always prepare ahead of time as well, anticipate what questions might come from your answers and also from documents you have prepared. For example, regarding my DTI, it is relatively new, I processed it solely for the purpose of showing them that I have an online tutorial job and a steady income. The questions were:
    “Who told you to do this (DTI)?”
    – I replied, ” i read online, on blogs, that it is important to prove our source of income.” Just that. Even if I wanted to answer more, i kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want her to ask more questions.
    “How can you prove that you have had this job for a long time now because your DTI shows that it was registered in June?”
    – I showed her the conversations I had with my students way back 2013, so far she was satisfied.

    Also, let me note that maybe they became smarter this time. I didn’t include my bank certificate along with the docs I showed her. She didn’t ask it, but she asked me about my current bank balance, and I told her the amount stated in my bank cert. Honestly, the real amount was lower because i made some withdrawals. To my surprise, She then asked me to make a blance inquiry at a nearby ATM and to bring her the receipt. That time, i was like, “i’m dead, i’m dead” but i wanted to outsmart her. So when, I got to her and handed the receipt, she said sarcastically, “you said ur balance was —–/” I said, “I thought so, too. My student said she would pay her fee yesterday, but I still don’t have it.” Please don’t follow my example, make sure that u really have the amount stated in your bank cert. it was a good thing, too, that i intentionally sent a message to my student regarding her tuition fee details, which the officer has read. Again, plan ahead.

    I think the interview took an hour or less, finally she asked me to go to the first officer to have my passport stamped. I asked the first officer about CFO’s regarding travelling with a foreigner bf/gf he said that it wasn’t necessary as long as the foreigner bf/gf has been “pabalik-balik” in Philippines to visit.

    Well, this comment is very long. sorry for that, but i hope your readers will learn something from it. Anyways, your blog has helped me a lot with my preparations, so thank you..^^

    • Yay!! I’m happy you made it to Bangkok — your hard work paid off! And thanks so much for taking the time to tell us about your Immigration experience. (I think you said before that you would, but sometimes people get busy, so thank you.) Enjoy your trip and treasure every moment! 🙂

  16. Hello im karen 25 pls help me. I am planning to visit my boyfriend in thailan he is also a filipino like me. I am still a atudent here no work yet. My parents are both phillipine airforce they just aupport my financial needs. What documents shpuld i bring? If my boyfriend will send mw an inviation letter is it acceptable by the imgration? I already have my roundtrip ticket. And pocket money and hotel reservation pls i need help

    • Hi Karen!

      This article contains most of what I know about getting through Immigration — I think you will find it helpful:

      In your case, since you are a student, you should bring proof that you are a student, such as your enrollment slip/receipt and school ID. If your boyfriend is paying for your entire trip, I think he should make an affidavit of support in addition to the invitation letter, and include his financial documents like his bank statement and his employment contract in Thailand.

      Good luck!

  17. Hello. Im nnerah. Im going to Hongkong this Aug. 25, 2015. for 3 days trip. Actually, this is not my first time going to HK. I’ve been there 3 times already with my family, but this time I will go alone. Is it okay just to bring valid passport with attached old passport (proof that Ive been there before), hotel voucher and round trip ticket? I already resigned from my work and Im going there just for vacation, I dont even have a bank statement (or bank cert.) I only have my not so big amount of cash, just enough to make this trip possible. Do you think I will get a stamp and go for boarding? I am just worried, kasi before may naipakita akong Company ID but, since I resigned wala na akong hawak na ID except UMID card and Alumni ID. Please help me, I wanted to sleep na pero I cant kasi I am thinking about it. kasi sayang ang ticket & all kapag na offload ako… My God , hwag naman po… Hoping for your advice…soon…Thank you 🙂

    • Hi nnerah!

      The fact that you’ve been to HK several times already is a point in your favor, so there’s a chance na baka hindi ka na masyadong kwestyunin ng Immigration Officer. That said, I can’t say for sure if the IO will ask for proof of financial capacity, especially since you’re not currently employed. Siguro if I were in your shoes, I would ask my parents for an affidavit of support for the trip, and prepare that, along with their financial documents, just in case the IO asks for it. Parang magiging gift ng parents mo yung vacation mo before you move on to another job. Parang soul-searching o kaya taking a break from the rat race ang peg. 🙂

      By the way, in case you haven’t read it yet, this article contains a few more details about documents that *might* be required by the IO:

      I hope makakalusot ka with no difficulty. Enjoy your trip! 🙂

      • Thank you 😀
        I will post my experience facing the Immigration Officer here again … I’m glad I came to your blog, and read lots of stories & experiences travelling abroad…. 😀
        Thank you po ulit 😀 😀 😀

      • Yay! Yes, please, when you have the time, let us know about your experience, makakatulong yan for sure sa ibang travelers. Good luck!! xx

  18. Hello. Nnerah here. I just wanted to share something.
    Pumunta ako ng HK last March 17, 2015 sumunod ako sa pinsan ko na nauna nang nandun with her 2 kids. Mga 9PM ang flight ko nun, that time may work pa ako, at nag 3 1/2 days leave lang super rush(buti pinayagan ng boss) and 6PM nandun na ako sa airport, I wore a blue leggings and checkered red polo shirt and violet jellylike doll shoes (bad combi.). I checked-in my luggage and dumeretso sa may IO, sa time na yun walang pila, so I rushed there, mukhang mashungit ang mukha ng IO, but you can’t tell her personality by her face. hiihih. Time na yun tatanga-tanga ako, inosente kong baga, I have no idea about offloading and Q&A of IO as in no idea even though it was my 3rd time travelling to HK. I showed my *passport, *roundtrip ticket and *boarding pass(given to me by the lady on the checked luggage). She asked me **Bakit ka magtravel to HK? I look at her straight to the eye(nag rattle pa ako nun) I told her that, “may family/relative ako na nasa HK na nauna lang kanina sa akin, so I followed lang kasi may work ako, and I cannot leave my work immediately”, she asked again “where ka mag-stay doon?” I looked at her again straight to the eye of course “In Central po ako”(nag ra-rattle talaga ako, Q&A is my weakness lalo na kapag feeling mo ni-judge ka talaga ng bongga) after that she asked me if I have my ID and hand it over to her.Luckily I accidentally brought my company ID on my little sopphie backpack (lagyan natin ng brand ung bag para labas ang kayaman).
    She asked again, when & where do you stay? “I answered again straight to the eye (don’t forget to blink) Im staying in Central and im going back after 5 days that’s on March 22″…. and so thats it after flipping my passport and maybe she saw some stamps in there, she finally put a stamp on my passport and gave me my company ID, passport, Boarding pass, & return ticket, and I saw her looking at me head to toe…and Off I go next obstacle the scanner/machine/lady guard na mag-scan ng damit mo, shoes, and carry-on-bags hehhehe!
    Tips: look at them straight in the when answering their Questions and learn to build confidence (pero nagrattle ako ng bongga heheh).
    Hays! this coming August 20 something… travel back to HK for 3 days vacation, nag resign na ako sa work and I want to have a nice 3 days vacation alone, wala na ako ID except UMID and Alumni ID…sana HINDI ako ma offload… Please God…sayang kasi if I can’t make it possible…

    Some advise naman dyan sa nag travel alone, no work(currently resigned) pero may enough/budgeted money to spend… hndi na kao mkatulog because Im worried heheheh… Thank you.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with us Nnerah! I’m sure makakatulong ito sa iba pang taong maglalakbay abroad. (I answered your question in your other comment.) Crossing my fingers na hindi ka ma-offload!

  19. Hi! Planning to go to UK this January and im preparing na all my documents. im currently employed and have the capability o support my 5months stay in uk. my letter of invitation din ako. ano kaya ang mga possible things pra ma deny? medjo takot lng. super thanks and would love to hear from you!

    • Hi maeria! I’m assuming you’re asking regarding Immigration (and not about the UK visa, for example) since you’re posting your comment on this article. For Immigration, I would suggest bringing all the documents that you prepared for your UK visa, kasi more or less pareho lang naman ang gustong malaman ng UK embassy and ng Immigration, which is that you’re going abroad only for the purpose that you state, you can support yourself, and you’re coming back to the Philippines. So just bring with you to the airport the same documents that you submitted for your UK visa. I think as long as you have the visa na, sobrang liit na lang ang chance na ma-offload ka by Immigration. Good luck and enjoy your trip! (Medyo inggit ako sa 5 months ah! Make the most of it. 🙂 )

  20. HI! i will be traveling to US next week via PAL and im unemployed ano po kaya pwede ilagay sa employment status sa departure card? my parents will shoulder my ticket and im gonna visit them since ako nalang mag isa dito sa pinas. this is my 3rd time going to us, yung first is student ako 2010 the yung second right after my graduation 2012. i hope you can help me with this matter, thank you! 🙂

    • Hi KG! I think you should just write the truth sa departure card, kasi mahirap din if you put something else, tapos they ask for proof of your employment. I think that will be fine as long as you got your parents to make an affidavit of support for your trip. Good luck and enjoy your trip! 🙂

  21. Good morning. Nnerah here. I arrived in HK yesterday. Good thing is walang tinanong ng Immigration officer sa akin, He just looked at me and scanned my passport and stamped it.Yay. I took an early flight of cathay pacific terminal 3. Ang layo ng boarding gate nila at hindi masyadong malamig. Nag prepare ako ng hotel reservation, my prev. Itr, and etc.
    When i arrived HKIA immigration no questions ask and they inserted a small piece of paper ( don’t lose it while you’re in HK), malamig pero pagpapawisan kayo sa airport ng HK, i suggest na huwag na kau mag blazer or jacket. Hihihihi. Thank you SGMT for your blog, it helps lot. 🙂

    • Hello po! Jane here. I am planning for a 4 day vacation to HK this September. First time traveller abroad. I already have a roundtrip ticket, a hotel accomodation. A 60k pocket money. Im a contractual nurse po and we don’t have a company Id. I only have a copy of my jan- june & june-dec 2015 contract. An Income tax return na form. Would it be enough po bah? Please do reply. Thank you!

      • Hi Jane! I can’t predict if those documents will be enough for the IO but it sounds like you’re in good shape. You might even be asked why you would need 60k pocket money for a 4-day trip to HK. I would suggest that you bring your bank statement as well, to show that you have always been in good standing financially, if that’s indeed the case. Good luck!

  22. Im traveling to sweden to visit my bf on October, i already have my visa, round trip tickets, cfo certificate.. nag dadalawang isip lang kami if need pa namin mag secure ng authenticated invitation letter from ph consular office sa sweden or Yung photocopies ng sinubmit kong documents sa embassy is enough na? Thanks

    • Hi Anne. What I know is that *sometimes* the IO will require an invitation letter that is authenticated by the embassy/consulate. But they don’t require it every time — I think they look at your case as a whole and if they’re a little bit suspicious, that’s when they require all these documents. In your case, since you already have a visa and a CFO certificate, plus the documents you submitted for your visa application, I don’t *think* they will require an authenticated invitation letter, but I can’t say for sure.

  23. Hi guys! I need your advice…. Iam planning to go back in Indonesia this september 14 to visit again my boyfriend and i will come back october 13…. Do i need an invitation from my boyfriend? But i traveled together with him last 3weeks ago and i came back here in philippines 1week ago… And now… I will come back there alone. I will stay at my blyfriends house. What should i do? Can i go without invitation? Iam really nervous. I dont know what to do. I don’t know what’s needed. Will immigration not let me travel if i don’t have invitation? Ang im not working now… I studied but i stopped this year. What should i do? Please reply guys……

  24. Hi just wanna share my 2 brother’s experience… yung isang brother ko first time lang nya magtravel out of the country, ung isa naman naka 4x na pero lagi nya kasama either me or my mum. The day before their flight super kabado talaga ako, ang dami ko kasi nababasa na mga na-offload…. almost 2 days ako hndi makatulog ng maayos kakaisip na baka ma offload din sila since they are both jobless…. on the day of their flight mas lalo ako kinabahan at nanlalamig pa ako. Ang document na meron lang sila ay passport, return ticket, hotel accommodation, at yung letter ko confirming na ako ang sponsor nila (not notarized)… sa awa ng Dyos ang tinanong lang daw sa kanila ay kung cno magbabayad ng trip nila at ang document lang na hinanap ay ang hotel accommodation nila…. I was so relieved then…. I guess tsambahan din talaga kung mabait matapat sau na officer at dasal..

  25. January ,2015 my 3friends and I went to hk+macau, given that we are a group of 4 (1-american citizen, 1-seaman,2kami- government employee) we surpassed the IO so very easy (Yung seaman Yung pinauna namin so sa kanya lahat ng tanong (saan last country ka galing?sure ka babalik pa kayo ha?pag kayo Di bumalik ikaw malalagot sakin, tatandaan kita, she’s joking anyways, so we laughed like a social climber,bwahahahah..June 2015 nag travel naman kami ng Sg, dalawa nlng kami ng ka officemate ko (Yung isa bumalik n ng Us,Yung isa Nasa barko na), government employee kami natira pero since mahirap mag leave sa office na Yung reason Ay mag travel abroad, we just filed a local leave. (at least Naka leave padin kami:)) kasi pag dineclare daw na Govt employee ka sa IO , hahanapin ung official leave…so ayun, nurse ako by profession pero nagwowork ako as social work,Yung kasama ko social work grad pero wala pa prc license and driver license lng Kaya nya ipakita and Yung reason nya nlng pag tinanong, sya daw nag rereview for board exam…lol, the IO asked me first, nakita nya Yung stamp na nag travel ako last January, Ano gagawin nyo dun? “tour po, at manonood ng sea games”( tamang Tama sea games pala), ilang days kayo dun? “5 days” Ano work mo dito? “nurse po” saan ka nagwowork? “dental clinic po” show me your ID ( I handed him my license) then finally stamped my passport without asking for my hotel booking), Yung kasama ko Di Na daw tinanong dahil na noticed siguro na Sabay din kami nag hk+macau last January., July 1 effective na resignation ko, kasi Plano ko pumunta ng dubai….July 23, 2015 pupunta naman ako ng Kuala Lumpur (yes sunod-sunod po Yung travel) pero Yung time na to kinakabahan ako, kasi aside sa mag stay ako for 3 days dun with roundtrip tix, passport and hotel booking, mag Isa nlng tlga ako magtatravel….ng Maka check in na,nag Cr muna, tingin2x sa salamin, breath in breath out, and Mas pinili ko Na mag Mukhang simple Tignan, Naka short and slippers and nakasando at jacket (naisip ko lng na at least this time Hindi masyadong defensive, Hindi ako pwede ma offload for God sake, I already have my ticket goin to dubai and visa malaking pera tong masasayang) Yung next na available na Window ng IO Ay medyo malayo sa Pila , so naglalakad ako Papunta and I can see him staring at me. I handed him my passport and my return ticket, he checked my passport and napansin nya naman siguro na last month na SG ako…he asked me, Ano gagawin mo dun? I answered “tour po” surprisingly, he stamped my passport without anything follows…..and now Im here in Dubai;), … Tama po Yung mga advises dito, just be more confident and Kung anong tanong, yun lng ang sagot…my mga IO lng talaga minsan pag minalas ka, eh Para Kang gumawa ng krimen na pilit makatakas sa pinas. Tulad ng ate ko, magbabakasyon ng Malaysia dapat ngayong Sept. Kompleto lahat ng documents, sa saudi sya nagwork for 10years, hanapan ba naman ng invitation letter ng kakilala nya daw sa malaysia? Hello? Turista po sya, and Kaya ng nag hohotel booking kasi wala ka naman matirhan dun, eh Kung meron Kang invitation letter edi sana Di Na sya nag book ng hotel! Pero pano Kung my invitation letter, sure ba na Di Na sila magtataning ng hotel booking? I doubt. Kasi may kilala akong na offload na Hindi na nag book ng hotel dahil daw my invitation letter…si which is which?lol Kaso wala din, magulo naman kasi sila…hahaha ayun, Yung ate ko nag change ng Plano, instead of KL tuloy padin ang Plano itutuloy talaga ang malaysia, Hindi nga lang sa KL kundi sa Sandakan sabah na thru aleson shipping lines from zamboanga-sandakan,Malaysia, by sea po yun sa mga Di nakakaalam, 20hours ung travel at at least refundable ang ticket..6400 po roundtrip, pag na offload babalik Yung bayad ng ticket, pag Ayaw mo na bumalik ng zamboanga, at balak mag Kl, mag book ka ng plane ticket dahil yun ung attachment ng aleson shipping lines para ma refund mo Yung return ticket mo pa zamboanga.amazinggggggggg! Sana smooth Yung travel nya sa monday Sept 14.ngayon ko lng din to nalaman..sana Di ganun ka strict ang port immig. Dun.pero sa mga nababasa ko friendly daw dun sila. baka from sandakan mag local flight sya to Kl haha..bahala sila sa buhay nila, ayusin sana nila ang sistema. Hindi na iimplement ng maayos, minsan OA na sa perfection. GOD BLESS US ALL!:) I’ll get back to u guys if gusto nyo ng update about that alternative route.;)

    • Also. Better book a ticket na early morning Yung flight…like 1-4am,,, kasi yun lahat ng flights ko, medyo Ayaw pa nila ma stress at Ayaw masira ang make up nila sa umagang tapat..nyahahaha and lahat pala ng flights ko Ay cebu pac din, sa mga nababasa ko dyan lagi marami na ooffload….Mas okay daw sa PAL, cguro nga naman kasi Diba admit it, pag narinig mo ang cebu pac, yubg stereo type na “promo” “cheap flights” “budget”.. Unlike pag PAL, “pangmayaman” “expensive” etc….guys shinishare ko lng po hehe…wala akong connection sa dalawang airlines na yan…..immigration padin ang kontrabida sa pag travel naten….hehe..

      • Hi Melfailana! Thanks for sharing your experience, makakatulong talaga for everyone here. Ingat dyan!

  26. My friend and I are going to visit Malaysia this October. And since wala po akong source of income, do you think it’s enough if I bring these as supporting documents: my old passport since I’ve traveled 4 or 5 times before, Notarized Affidavit of Support with my parents financial documents and my birth certificate, credit and debit cards, bank certificate and possibly land properties.

    Ano pa po ba ang pwede kong dalhin? Wala na kasi akong maisip na pwedeng dalhin pa as supporting documents and I’d like to bring as many as possible, sayang po kasi yung nagastos kung mag-ooffload ako. Salamat po

    • Hi Itsyel! I don’t know if you’ve already read this article, but it contains most of what I know about getting through Immigration, including the documents that you can bring, so I think you will find it useful:

      I can never say whether anyone’s documents will be enough because it all depends on the IO, whether or not there is anything in the situation that will trigger his/her suspicions and will prompt him/her to require more documents, so the best advice I can give is to just bring as many documents as you can. Good luck! 🙂

  27. Hi, ask k lg po. Mgtatravel po kmi ng frend ko dis oct. Xa sg as tourist pero ag plane ticket po nmin mgkaiba ag book at ung akin 2 days 3 nights xa knya 1 night 2 days lg kc ung leave nya d naaprove ng 3 days. Pero bka mgkasama po name nmin xa hotel booking. I went to china po Apr 2008 as tourist 4 a month po . makikita po ba xa system nla yn? Pero ung passport k kc dati nawala na po. Is it ok po ba na pg nag ask cla about that sabihib k na ngbakasyin ako xa pinsan k na ngwowork doon? Please help po kc first tine travel ng frend ko. Were both kabado lc about offloading. Ung first time k po was easy kc mdyo naswertehan lg. And long story po nangyari sakin xa airport dt tym. Ung travel k po xa china dti maging advantage kya khit papanu po un? Thanks in advance abd GODBLESS

    • Hi Iamsparci! I think your 2008 trip to China *should* be in their system but I don’t know if they can/will still check it, kasi I’ve tried before na new yung passport ko and they still asked if it was my first time to travel, buti na lang I was able to bring yung lumang passports ko.

      This other article contains most of what I know about getting through Immigration, including yung mga documents that might be required. I think you will find it useful:

      Good luck!

  28. Hi, IM Hustina, nagbabalak po kami magtravel ng fiance ko (Filipino) sa Singapore this coming Oct. Worried lang po ako kasi the last time I went to SG february 2014 then I came back po last September 2014 dito sa pilipinas, then meron po ako follow the ticket nung nagpnta ako Indonesia and tried to come back in Sg. Magiging problema po ba un sa pagbalik ko SG this Oct with my bf?
    Nung first time ko po kasi umalis with my tita smooth lang nangyri , walang tanong tanong stamped agad passport ko. Hope you can give me advice regarding on this. Isa pa po wala po kasi ako bank statement and ung bf ko po is my passbook sya ng account nya. Thanks and God Bless.

    • Hi Hustina! I’m not sure what you mean by “meron po ako follow the ticket” and like I always say, I can’t predict kung ano ang magiging decision, questions, problems, kasi sa IO naka-depend lahat yun. But, probably, if you went to Singapore on February 2014 as a TOURIST tapos you only came back after 7 months, baka nga medyo magdududa ang IO. And also, since you stayed there for a very long time last time, baka tatanungin ka kung bakit ka pa babalik, eh, marami namang ibang bansa and siguro naman nakita mo na lahat ng pwede makita in those 6 months that you were there. So prepare lang for questions like that. You can find some more info about documents that *might* be required by the IO here: http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/01/30/offloading-immigration-faqs/

  29. Hi. Planning to go to sg for a tour. I have a job here in philippines though bf ko yung magfifinance ng vacation trip ko sa sg, he’s in uae by the way. Do i need papers from him like about his work? I dont have credit card nor bank account. Thanks much!

  30. Hi Ask ko lang this november me and my husband will go to hong kong engineer ang asawa ko the ako naman wala akong work mgkakaproblem kaya ako dun? Good for 4 days lang kami dun at wala kami g hotel reservation kasi yung friend ng father ko ang sasagot ng accomodation namin thanks

    • Hi Mau. I can’t predict kung magkakaproblema ba kayo or not but you will probably need an invitation from your father’s friend.

  31. I would like to ask, dati po me ngwork s Indonesia until November 2014. Then pabalik blik nlng po ako gawa ng visa ko n allowed me mgstay s Indonesia ng 60 days. Nakareceived po ako n mgturo s software, business presentation and meetings. My letter po me galing company and my return ticket din po. Pero naoffload po ako last May. Nakaalis din nman po ako nung may. Ngaun po my record n po ako s immigration, my problem po is cmula august po tinour ko po Indonesia nanirahan po ako s kapwa pinay, kagagaling ko lng po s bali nd dumating po ako s pinaz nung Sept. 19. Ngaun po nakareceived ulit me ng need ko po mgpresent ng presentation at umatend s meetings. Naibok n din po ticket ko, natatakot lng po mahold.

    Ask lng po as business po, dpo b iba un s tourist? Mahirap po nakaalis ng bansa kht myletter ako at return ticket.

    • I’m not sure, but if you’re going there for business purposes, I think you need other papers. Wala bang binigay sa ‘yo na list ng documents na dapat mong dalhin, that time na na-offload ka? And also dapat ang company mo ang nag-aasikaso nun para hindi ikaw ang naaabala.

      • Wala nman pong sinabi basta tinanong bakit po ako laging pabalik balik sa jakarta. Kung hnd po ako ngwowork bkt lagi akong papunta ng jakarta!

      • Yun nga, kung pumupunta ka doon for work, hindi ka lang turista, kaya kailangan mo siguro ng ibang mga papeles.

  32. Hi po.. i heard po that i need to show a credit card in immigration?my problem po kc wala po akong credit card. kahit na yung boyfriend ko yung gagastos sa lahat ng expenses ko sa brunei? Kung saan po sya nagsstay dun din po ako magsstay. magtotourist po ako sa brunei ng 14days lang…

  33. Meron po ako invitation from company na mgpresent nd attend po ng meeting. Matuturo din po ako ng software pero 1month lng po talaga ako dun.

    Natatakot po kc ako s immigration, anu p po bng requirements o dpat kong ihanda. Tourist po idedeclare ko pero sa invitation po I go there for business presentation and meetings… Please advice po.

    Thank you

    • Hi Ana! I don’t really know how to help you kasi sa pagkakaalam ko, if you’re going there for business meetings and a presentation, yan dapat ang i-declare mo, hindi yung tourist lang. And I’m not familiar with the requirements for people who go abroad for business purposes. Hindi rin naman pwedeng i-advice kita to prepare a tourist’s itinerary if hindi naman yung ang gagawin mo. So I’m afraid I won’t be of much help to you, sorry. 🙁

  34. Hi! I’m going to Thailand this Oct. 22 and aalis ako magisa, my only purpose is to have a short vacation, natatakot lang po ako baka kasi maoffload ako dahil baka isipin nila maghahanap lang ako dun ng work, although confident naman ako kasi yun lang naman talaga ang sadya ko dun, my problem is wala akong work pero meron kaming family business, I read somewhere na magpresent daw ng business registration permit pero nakapangalan kasi siya sa mom ko, the most helpful solution na nabasa ko is magpresent ako ng certificate from our clients stating na nakikipagtransact sila sakin. Pero what’s your suggestion po ba sa mga docs na kailangan ko ipresent? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Collin!

      I’m afraid I don’t really have experience with a case similar to yours so I don’t know what the best thing to do would be. If I were in your situation, I would probably just ask my mother to make an affidavit of support, state there that you are working in the family business and that she is funding your trip, and attach her financial documents, including the business registration. That’s in addition to your own documents. For what it’s worth, you can read most of what I know regarding possible required documents here: http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/01/30/offloading-immigration-faqs/

      Good luck!

  35. hello im 18 years old this month na ang alis ko Mag totourist ako, at ang nag sponsor sa akin ay ang first cousin ko sa dubai., ano ano po ba ang dapat na ipakita ko sa immigration?

  36. Hello po. We’re going to Singapore this coming October 27-30, nakapackage tour po kami since it’s our first to go out of the country. Kasama ko po ung husband ko tas 2 kids namin. We’re both doing online jobs, pero wla kaming company id. Ang pwede lng siguro naming irequest is ung certificate of employment. Wla rin po kaming ITR. Would the COE and bank statements be enough? Sa Clark po kami nag pa book ng ticket and now ko lng nalaman na mejo strict sila doon when it comes to such.

    • Hi Zinnia! I can’t predict what the immigration officer will or will not require, kasi ang basic lang talaga is passport, return tickets and visa (if necessary), and it’s up to the IO what other documents they will ask to see if meron silang doubts. So I can’t say if the COE and bank statements will be enough. If you don’t have an ITR and company ID, just bring whatever you have that will help show that you both have stable jobs, you can afford your trip, and you’re definitely coming back to the Philippines. You might find this other article helpful: http://smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com/2015/01/30/offloading-immigration-faqs/

  37. Hi, i plan to trave to hk for a job interview… Anu po required sa immigration? Possible kaya ako mkatravel sa hk?

  38. Hi! First time namin magtatravel ng mother ko abroad. We’re going to SG this coming November. Senior Citizen na mom ko and I’m working sa isang govt office pero under pa rin ng agency. Ready na rin ang passport, roundtrip plane ticket at invitation letter namin from my ate who is working there. (Susunduin lang namin sya kasi uuwi na rin for good and at the same time magliliw-aliw na rin kami. Haha!) tanong ko lang kasi medyo kinakabahan ako pag sa immigration na. Okay na po kaya na company id nalang ipresent ko? Or kelangan talaga with CoE pa? And sa mom ko kaya wala na rin kayang magiging prob? Thanks! 🙂

  39. Hi everyone, I want to know for how long a Phillipine citizen can stay in france for vacation according to the French immigration authority so that I can see that person an invitation letter..
    Also what documents should I,as a migrated worker holding a visa for long stay provide my friend also for a long stay visa(1 or more than 1 year) to stay at my place if that person have a promising job letter..

  40. Hi everyone!

    Comments are closed as I am currently very busy with work. Please review the article and read through the other comments to look for situations similar to yours. If you feel that you really MUST ask my advice, such that you are willing to pay for my time, please send the details of your situation to travel@smalltowngirlsmidnighttrains.com — you will then receive a confirmatory email outlining the procedure for travel consultation together with my PayPal and BPI account details. 😀 Please note that this also applies even if you post your question on another article or in Facebook. 😀

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