Must-Knows for Filipinos Traveling with Children

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Are you traveling with, or making travel arrangements for, a Filipino child? Here are the rules/requirements of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for minors traveling abroad.

 

Definition

*
Anyone below 18 years of age is considered a minor (or child).

 

Getting a Passport

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These are the general requirements for getting a passport from the DFA:

  • Confirmed appointment (except for 1 year old and below)
    * Not necessary for those applying in Cebu. See Passport Application/Renewal at DFA Cebu: What You Need To Know.
    _
  • Personal appearance of the minor applicant
    _
  • Personal appearance of:
    • EITHER parent (if minor is a legitimate child)
      or
    • MOTHER (if minor is an illegitimate child; that is, if his/her parents aren’t married)
      _
  • Original Birth Certificate of minor in Security Paper issued by NSO
    or
    Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar and duly authenticated by NSO

    • Transcribed Birth Certificate from the LCR is required when entries in NSO Birth Certificate are blurred or unreadable.
    • Report of Birth duly authenticated by NSO is required if minor was born abroad.
      _
  • Marriage Certificate of minor’s parents duly authenticated by NSO
    * Only if parents are married.
    _
  • Photocopy of valid passport of:
    • EITHER parent (if minor is a legitimate child)
      or
    • MOTHER (if minor is an illegitimate child)
      _
  • IF MINOR IS 8-17 YEARS OLD (whether a first time or renewal applicant):
    • Document of identity with photo such as School ID or Form 137 with readable dry seal
    • For minor applicants who never attended school, the DFA requires a Notarized Affidavit of Explanation executed by either parent (if minor is a legitimate child) or by mother (if minor is an illegitimate child) detailing the reasons why the child is not in school.
      _
  • Notarized Affidavit of Support and Consent to travel from:
    • EITHER parent (if minor is a legitimate child)
      or
    • MOTHER (if minor is an illegitimate child)
      * The DFA lists this as one of the general requirements for getting a passport, but in my experience in Cebu, this was not necessary.
      _
  • Original and photocopy of valid passport of the person traveling with the minor
    * Not necessary if there are no specific travel plans yet

*

Click on the images below to see the additional required documents for:

  • A minor who is traveling alone or is not traveling with either parent
  • A minor whose parents are both currently outside the Philippines
  • A minor who was originally illegitimate but has been legitimated by the subsequent marriage of his/her parents
  • A minor who is illegitimate but is acknowledged by (and uses the surname of) his/her father
  • A foundling
  • An orphaned minor applicant
  • An abandoned minor applicant
  • A legally adopted minor
  • A minor applicant whose parents are annulled/divorced
  • A minor applicant whose mother is also a minor

 

Getting Through Immigration

_
According to the Bureau of Immigration, the following minors do not need a Travel Clearance from the DSWD:

  • A minor traveling to a foreign country with:
    • Both parents
    • Either parent, if the child is legitimate
      or the mother, if the child is illegitimate*
    • His/her legal guardian;
  • Children of Philippine Foreign Service or diplomatic corps officials;
  • Children living abroad with Philippine emigrants, subject to child-trafficking regulations;
  • Minors with unexpired alien passports;
  • Adopted children, subject to a court-issued adoption order with Certificate of Finality;
  • Minors with proof of unexpired visa for permanent residence outside the Philippines;
  • Minors accompanied by a court-appointed guardian, subject to proof of guardianship;
  • Minors accompanied by a solo parent, subject to a Social Welfare Office-issued ID. If illegitimate, subject to a Local Civil Registrar-issued Certificate of No Marriage.

*According to the BI website, illegitimate children traveling with biological mother are exempt from a DSWD clearance. Proof of lawful custody is required for illegitimate children traveling with biological father.

*

The BI will require a DSWD Travel Clearance for the following:

  • A minor traveling alone to a foreign country;
  • A minor traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his/her parents;
  • A minor who is a subject of an ongoing custody battle between parents will not be issued a Travel Clearance unless a Court Order is provided stating that the child is allowed to travel abroad with either one of his/her parents or authorized guardian. (DSWD)

The Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in All Airports and Seaports in the Country specifically states that a 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)” will be automatically subjected to secondary inspection.

(For BI guidelines applying to all passengers — of any age — read: What Filipinos Need to Know About Traveling Abroad: Guidelines from the Bureau of Immigration)

 

Via Wikimedia Commons
Via Wikimedia Commons

 

Getting a Travel Clearance from DSWD

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The DSWD website lists the requirements for securing a Travel Clearance for Minors and answers frequently asked questions.

A few important points:

  • A minor who is married still needs to secure a travel clearance if he/she is traveling abroad alone or with someone other than his/her parents. (This means that a married minor still needs a travel clearance even if he/she is traveling abroad with his/her spouse.)
    *
  • “A minor who is the subject of ongoing custody battle between parents will not be issued a travel clearance unless a Court Order is issued to allow the child to travel abroad with either one of his/her parents or authorized guardian. The family shall be responsible to notify the Bureau of Immigration to include the name of the children in the watchlist of minors travelling abroad. It is therefore the Bureau of Immigration’s responsibility to ensure that no child under the watchlist order leaves the country.”
    *
  • If an illegitimate child has been abandoned by the mother and is currently under the custody of the father or other relatives: “Since the mother has the absolute parental authority over her illegitimate children the father would need to secure a Court Order vesting in him the parental authority over the illegitimate children. If a parental authority has been granted to the father, and the minor will be traveling with the father, he is not required to secure a travel clearance. If the minor will travel alone or with someone other than the father, he/she is required to secure a travel clearance.”

The application form for the Travel Clearance may be downloaded here.

For more information, contact:

*
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 agency concerned. If I answer your query with a succint “Please contact…” 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!

 


 

avoid offloading

 


 

Immigration officer tips

 


 

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Must-Knows for Filipinos Traveling with Children
© Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. Contents verified as of 31 March 2016.

 

 


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