Anti-Offloading Tips from an Immigration Officer

Anti-Offloading Tips from an Immigration Officer | SGMT —
Plus guidance straight from the Bureau of Immigration and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

I recently had the chance to put a few questions to an Immigration officer and he kindly agreed to give me a few tips for travelers who might be nervous about getting offloaded. (I promised him I would keep his identity confidential, even though he didn’t really require this as a condition to answering my questions, and I also assured him he didn’t have to reveal any “trade secrets” from the Bureau of Immigration.) Please take note that these tips are for legit tourists, particularly first time travelers who might understandably be worried about the possibility of being offloaded. If you’re reading this so you can find out how to fool the Immigration officer at NAIA, I urge you to please, please reconsider your plans. You may have good intentions — maybe you just want to work so you can send your kids to school and get your family out of poverty — but the risks can be very high. It might be your family who will end up having to sell everything to save you, so please think about it.

Required Documents: The Basics

First of all, if you haven’t read “Pinoy Abroad: List of Documents Required by Immigration for International Travel” please do so right now. (The link will open in a separate tab so you don’t have to leave this page.) That article will give you a list of documents you have to bring when you travel — the basic requirements, the additional documents that may be required if the Immigration officer has doubts about you, the requirements if someone else is paying for your trip, and the list of people who need a DSWD travel clearance or a Travel Authority. If you want to be really prepared — to the point of being over-prepared sometimes — you’ll find even more tips here: “Offloading, required documents, and other Immigration FAQs.”

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An Immigration Officer’s Tips

Here’s the gist of what the immigration officer said when I asked him for tips for first time travelers:

  • There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to first time travelers — the IO’s decision will really depend on your case (or in the words of the BI website, they will look at the “totality” of your circumstances).
  • Financial capacity to travel is especially important for first time travelers.
  • Being a fresh graduate won’t be a big problem if you graduated from a reputable school and you have the financial capacity to travel. If you don’t have a job yet, it will help if, as mentioned, you graduated from a decent school and if your parents have decent jobs.
  • If you are employed, always bring with you your company ID and an approved leave of absence. (Some IOs have even been known to ask for a photocopy of the company ID of the person who signed your leave of absence.) If you don’t have those documents, you might be referred for secondary inspection.
  • Always remember to book a return ticket and present a hotel booking — some countries are strict about that and might send you back if you don’t have them.
  • For first time travelers or unemployed travelers, it will be easier for you if you’re going to a country where you have relatives. Just make sure you have valid documents — like NSO birth certificates — that will prove your relationship, particularly if that relative is partly or wholly sponsoring your trip.

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Automatic Secondary Inspection

According to the IACAT Revised Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers (dated 15 June 2015) the following people will automatically be referred for secondary inspection:

  • A passenger who has no financial capacity to travel and is escorted/accompanied by a foreign national who is not a relative by consanguinity or affinity;
  • A minor who is traveling alone or is unaccompanied by either a parent or legal guardian without the required travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD);
  • A spouse of a foreign national intending to depart for the first time to join the foreign spouse;
  • A partner of a foreign national who intends to go abroad to meet/marry his/her fiancé/fiancée but does not have the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Guidance and Counseling Certificate;
  • An individual traveling to countries with existing deployment bans, alert levels 3 and 4, and travel advisories AND is in possession of visas to said countries; and/or
  • Someone who had previously stayed abroad for more than 6 months as a tourist or temporary visitor and is intending to depart for the second or subsequent time.

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Deferred Departure (Offloading)

Deferred departure is what happens when, for various reasons, a traveler is not allowed by Immigration personnel to get on his/her flight. We often refer to this as offloading. The Philippine Constitution grants Filipinos the right to travel; HOWEVER, this right is not absolute and may be impaired “for the interest of national security, public safety or public health, as may be provided by law.” (BI)

According to the IACAT Guidelines, if your departure is deferred during primary inspection OR if you are referred for secondary inspection, what will happen is:

  1. You will be required to fill up the Border Control Questionnaire (BCQ).
  2. The Immigration officer who conducted your primary inspection will document his/her initial assessment in the BCQ.
  3. Your documents will be examined and you will be interviewed, so that the authorities can get a clearer grasp of the facts and circumstances surrounding your trip. As much as possible, this secondary inspection should take no more than 10 minutes* unless the circumstances demand a longer period of inspection.

You will NOT be allowed to depart if:

  • You are found to be lying or trying to conceal the real purpose of your trip.
  • Based on the facts discovered during the secondary inspection, it looks like you are part (whether you know it or not) of a human trafficking operation. In this case, the IO will execute an Affidavit of Deferred Departure and you and your documents will be turned over to the IACAT Task Force for further investigation.

*Note: Although the secondary inspection itself should take 10 minutes or less, the actual waiting time might be longer, especially during peak times for flights going to trafficking hot spots. This is why it’s important to be at the airport early, to allow sufficient time for unexpected events.

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Example Case: Julie Ann dela Cruz (“Julianne Dee”)

I previously wrote about the case of “Julianne Dee” (real name Julie Ann Dela Cruz) in: “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.”

This is what the Bureau of Immigration said about it in an official press release:

  • Dela Cruz said that she was made to wait 1.5 hours before being interviewed. According to the BI, the delay was due to a long processing queue, and although the Immigration personnel tried to take into account that it was almost time for her flight to depart, the passengers ahead of her also had flights near departure. “Dela Cruz was processed during the ‘peak hours’ of secondary inspection, as most flights were considered ‘high risk’ destinations for being jump-off points to other countries or with high incidents of trafficking. Based on the flight summary for June 17, 10 out of 12 flights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. were bound to high risk destinations, with a total of 1,873 passengers processed.”
  • The BI said that Dela Cruz was offloaded because:
    • She had no substantial proof of local employment.
    • She was not able to establish her own financial capacity to support her travel as a tourist in Singapore.
    • The invitation letter from her sponsor, which was only scanned, was not duly certified by the Philippine consulate in Singapore.
    • She failed to prove her relationship to her sponsor. Dela Cruz said that the sponsor was her aunt, but the Immigration officer asked for documentary proof that they really were related, especially since “Dela Cruz” is a common family name in the Philippines.

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Important Tidbits from the Bureau of Immigration

Here are excerpts from a press release by the Bureau of Immigration:

Tourists must prove their financial capability for the trip, present proof of work or support in the Philippines, or submit an affidavit of support if they are visiting relatives overseas, to avoid being offloaded from flights.

It is common practice to leave the Philippines supposedly as a tourist but actually intending to work for an employer upon reaching the country of destination. These undocumented Filipinos are more prone to abuse in other countries; since they have already spent so much for their trip, they are often determined not to go home empty-handed and are thus more vulnerable to trafficking.

The BI focuses particularly on people going overseas as tourists because most illegal workers come from this demographic.

Common red flags:

  • First time travelers going to destinations that are not popular among tourists
  • Tourists with no steady source of income in the Philippines and no benefactors
  • Going to Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangkok — places that are considered transit points accounting for high incidents of human trafficking

    • Dubai is the most common destination of Filipinos who want to illegally work overseas
  • Inconsistencies in the travel plan

Even if one of these red flags apply to you, you will not be automatically offloaded. The BI says that they will “assess the totality of the circumstances to determine the passenger’s true intent.”

Finally, according to the BI Commissioner: “We want our countrymen to understand that there is no reason to fear us, in fact they can ask us for advise on how to legitimize their travel and we will be happy to help.”


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109 thoughts on “Anti-Offloading Tips from an Immigration Officer”

  • Hello there, reading your posts makes me want to travel. I am saving money to go to Europe specifically, Italy, Spain and France….I am currently working as a DH, here in Singapore and I am already 51. I am thinking before going back to Philippines for good, at least, I fulfilled one in my bucket list. Or I have an alternative to travel in my own country. Maybe, I will do the latter. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Hi Des! I’m very happy to hear that and I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me about your travel plans. Well, you know what they say, that it’s more fun in the Philippines — huwag maging dayuhan sa sariling bayan — and it’s true that there are soooo many beautiful spots here in our country. But you know, I also think that you learn so much and gain a lot of perspective from visiting other countries, so I would also recommend that, if you can, go ahead with your plan to visit Europe. Either way, I hope you have wonderful travel experiences. You deserve it after all the hard work that you’ve done. Thanks again and good luck!

    • Hi i need help pls.. andito po ako abraod with my family.uuwi po ako pinas.pag balik ko gusto ko po isama father ko at anak ko sa una kong husband na namatay n.gusto ko po sila makasama celebrate christmas and new year here abroad. Wala kaya problema magkaiba apelyedo namin ng anak ano po mga needs na requirements.thanks

      • Hi Beth. As long as you can prove na ikaw yung nasa birth certificate ng anak mo, wala namang problema if iba na ang apelido mo ngayon. To prove that, I would suggest you bring your birth certificate, birth certificate ng anak mo, death certificate ng first husband mo, at marriage certificates mo sa first and second husband. Good luck!

  • Hello, first of all I want to thank you for ALL your post about Filipinoes traveling abroad, for the tips, what I need to know & bring and so on! I read your post everytime, manytimes to get rid of my kaba. It really helped me understand & to really get ready! But I’m still scared since me and my Japanese fiancé is planning to go to Cambodia & Thailand this December until January. (First time for me but as for my fiancé who is traveling everymonth) I’m very worried I’ll be offloaded because I’m a first time traveler, I’ll turn 18 this October, a university student & will just marry my fiancé on December. He will be sponsoring my whole trip. I want to ask if I’ll be staying in Cambodia for the whole 21days free visa entry and probably a few days (5-6days) in Thailand then go back to Cambodia for 2 days then go back home here in Philippines. Would they believe me and is it possible to do that? I’m not going to work there! I’m sure I have a return ticket & I’ll be staying at my fiancé hotel. I’m also thinking to bring my marriage certificate, university ID & RF & a notirized affidavit from a lawyer that my fiancé will be sponsoring my whole trip. But do I also need to have a DSWD clearance since I just turned 18? I think I could also bring our little angels birthcertificate to show I have a family and school to go back here. As for the money, I do have a mastercard & probably bring a enough cash. My fiancé is going to travel with me. So is it also possible kapag kinausap ako ng IO kasama ko siya? I’m trying to bring all the documents I can because you said so on your other post. I really really thank you po!! You have such a good big kind heart to post this stuffs to help and inform us what to do! Thank you again! God bless you!

    • Hi Mao Autumn! Sorry for the delayed reply, the past few days have been really busy. I can’t guarantee that they will believe you, but from what you said, it sounds like this trip will be after your wedding? You can just tell them this is your honeymoon and bring your marriage certificate, and bring your enrollment certificate and leave of absence from your university as proof that you intend to come back to finish your studies. And yes, bringing your child’s birth certificate will definitely help prove that you intend to come back to the Philippines. If you’re already 18, you don’t need a DSWD clearance. Since your fiancé will be paying for your trip, have him execute an Affidavit of Support. Make sure you have copies of all the plane tickets and hotel vouchers. Good luck! 🙂

  • Good day!I need help please…i was offloaded the first time last Aug.1 i was supposed to visit my japanese friend there and he was the one who will support my stay there…i used to work there as an OPA last 2014 ,do you think it will be an issue for the 2nd time na interviewhin ulit ako ng immigration officer?i was planning to rebook on October.I need your advice,thank you in advance.

    • Hi Diana! Sorry for the late reply, have been really busy lately. I think they might ask you more questions kasi nga you used to work there and you also have a history of being offloaded, but just try your best to prepare your documents that will show that you have ties to the Philippines (like your employment certificate and leave of absence, if you’re employed) and that you really do intend to return after your trip. Good luck!

  • Hello. First time ko po magtravel this coming october to Singapore for 26days with my foreign bf with me. Sagot niya po lahat including RT ticket, hotel, and other expenses. Tanong o lang po ano pa po ba ang kailangan kong requirements? Takot po kasi akong ma offload. Hehe thanks

  • Hi! im planning to visit my friends this coming october in singapore. but im gonna travel alone. i might bring my coe and loa. and show money of course. but im still scared i might be offloaded just because i travel alone. my friend says its fine though, just show the return ticket and money.

  • Can i use as a proof that me and my cousin are related like the nso of his mom and my fathers birth certificate with a certification from the civil service that the true copy of my fathers birth certificate is legit and not a fake one thanks

    • If your cousin is sponsoring your trip, and you only have his mother’s NSO, how will you be able to prove that the person named in the birth certificate is your cousin’s mother? Do you get what I mean? Kumbaga, ma-po-prove mo yung relationship mo to your father, and the relationship of your father to your aunt, but how do you prove the relationship of your aunt to your cousin if you don’t have your cousin’s birth certificate? That’s what you’ll have to establish.

  • Yes she will be sponsoring my whole trip as a family visit visa. Her nso will be send to me by her together with nso and other documents iam really worried about the nso of my father my question is. Does the IO will honor the birth certificate from the civil registry of the cityhall of my father?

    • Ah okay, I thought you meant na walang NSO yung pinsan mo, yung father mo pala ang walang NSO and meron lang syang birth certificate from the civil registry? I think that will be fine.

      • Thank you because of this blog i learn so much i pass the immigration officer kahit na second inspection ako still i pass from the IO. Buti na lang relax ako at alert mg isip sa mga situation like that tama po kayo mam dapat be prepared bring all the nessary papers kahit madami at mabigat sila hehhe once again thank you 🙂

      • Yay!! I’m so happy for you! Thank you for taking the time to write back. Ingat sa byahe!

  • hi good day!
    need your help flight namin this october 20 with my 1 year old daughter.
    so mag dadala ako ng NSO kasi hindi kami same family name
    and affidavit of support from my father ng gagastu sa trip

    may few questions lang po ako.
    1. we have family business registered by sec need ko pa dalhin yong sec registration and affidavit of incorporations na naka state treasurer ako?
    2. sa disembarkation card ano ilalagay ko sa occupation TREASURER or business owner or self employed?
    wala pa po akong itr kasi kaka register lang ng business namin.
    3. hotel booking sa friend kasi kami mag stay pero to proof ng na sa hotel need bah 7 days ang booking kasi 7 days kami don or oklang 1 day ipapakita ko then cancel ko agad yong booking.
    4 chini-check bah nila yong hotel booking?
    5. ok lang bah mag dala na canned goods sa japan like corned beef and luncheon meat?

    • Hi Anne!

      I’m not an immigration officer myself, so these answers are just my opinion, but here’s what I would do if I were in your situation:

      1. Yes, if I were you, I would bring the business papers, just in case the IO asks to see it, tutal wala na mang mawawala if dadalhin ko.

      2. I would write “corporation treasurer” because it sounds more bongga hehe. Or, as I said in your previous comment, you can write businesswoman and then you can just explain if the IO asks about it.

      3. Ideally, you should ask your friend for a letter of invitation stating that you will be staying at his/her place. But if you’re going to book a hotel, I think you would need to book for 7 days, because they might wonder why you’re just booking it for the first day.

      4. Not sure what you mean by chini-check ba nila… If you mean, are they going to ask to see your hotel reservations while you are being screened, yes, they might. If you mean are they going to, like, check with the hotel if you are truly booked to stay there…I don’t know. I don’t think so, unless perhaps if they get really suspicious.

      5. Sorry, I don’t know.

      Hope that helps. Good luck and enjoy your trip! I hope your daughter enjoys it. 🙂

  • Hi I’m going to Hong kong before the year ends. I am just curious about documents since Its going to be my first time travelling abroad. Well, first thing I have issues with my last name. Will the affidavit of discrepancy help if they needed to check further about my identity? My ids and my passport have different last name. And another problem I have is that I am unemployed as of the moment but I am receiving monthly allotment from my parents. I just need answers to these questions. Thanks!

    • Hi Kristine! As long as you have the legal documents that show you are the same person in the IDs and in the passport, that should be fine (although you should probably expect to have to explain it to the IO). If you’re unemployed, you will need to show who’s paying for your trip. If you’re paying for it yourself with the money your parents send you, it’s best if you bring a copy of your bank statement(s) showing how regularly your parents send you money and how much money you have available on hand. Good luck!

  • Hi it’s my first time travelling alone in singapore for 3 days. I am planning to stay in my cousin (para tipid ;D) who works there. Is it ok na sabihin ko sa IO un pag tinanong nya ko kung saan ako mag sstay? hindi ba un magiging reason para ma offload ako? Im the one who sponsored my own travel I already prepared my ITR, COE and company ID pero wala akong LOA sa field kasi ng work ko (sales) ok lng mag leave kahit walang leave form since 2 days lng din nmn ako aabsent, ok lng kaya un? any advice? It’s my first time to travel international and im so excited kaya natatakot ako ma offload hehe. thank you in advace. 🙂

  • Hello I’m sendI I’m planning to go in hk for 3 days with my mom just for tour.. what documents need to show in the imigration.. except from round trip ticket hotel booking and money for the trip.. thank u..

  • Hi.. Question.. I booked a flight going to macau.. My husband work there.. So he send me invitation letter.. My problem is 44days po kmi dun.. Ung departure po nmin ng anak ku is sa jan 13 2017 and ang return date po ay s feb 27.. Maooffload po b kmi?

    • Hi Rc! I think the only person who can tell you if you will be offloaded or not is yung Immigration officer mismo na makakaharap mo. As long as ma-justify mo naman yung long stay nyo dun and you have all the documents needed, I think it will be fine.

  • Hi good day…

    I got offloaded a month ago. I have an scheduled interview abroad that time. When the io offloaded me and asking to comply with their requirements. I do understand and the io briefly explaine where part of the rules i falled on. So they gave me an checklist and the io requested me to get an OEC or “special travel exit clearance from poea… but! I dont have my employment contract yet since that i am only for interview and do some assesment. The invitation from the company says that they liable on hostel and welfare during the employment process there. Then i ask the io if there’s a problem with my visa, and she said,” wlang problema dito (visa) o dito (visa stamp), eto lang ang kailangan ko ( special travel exit clearance)….”
    My worry there, same lang po ng process c oec and travel exit clearance? Magkano po ang charges?? Very bad experience lang even my friend who refer me to that company got confused with the process since na “calling visa” po ung nirelease nila sa akin… pano ko po ba iovercome ito, hehe… salamat po sa reply…. god bless

    • Hi Nicka! I’m sorry I’m not very familiar with the process for people who are going abroad for work or for a work-related interview. I think the best thing to do in your case would be to go to POEA and ask them about the special travel exit clearance — maybe that’s the document that they give (instead of an OEC) for people who are still going for an interview. Sorry I can’t be of more help, wala talaga akong masyadong alam dyan. Good luck!

  • Hello mam! I just want to know your opinion regarding my situation. It’s my first time travelling abroad, I am bound to go to India alone this Nov. I got a stable job in here So i can provide for my own fees. I can provide documents that will assure that i will go back except for two : ITR and Credit Card
    i have no itr yet for it will be released by next year.
    Will it be an issue if i can’t provide an itr? If yes, what other alternative document i can provide?
    I only used my friend’s credit card to pay for my ticket but paid it on cash right after. Will it be an issue too?

    And Lastly mam, I got friends there who will accompany me during my travel, but i will not stay on them since it’s strict and prohibited. Will they ask for an affidavit of support if they knew i will be accompanied by my friends? and if ever, what documents should i provide to assure them that i really knew them.

    Thank You in advance.

    • Hi Jem!

      * If you don’t have an ITR, you can bring other proof of regular income and sufficient financial capacity, such as certificate of employment (with your salary stated) and bank certificate and statement of account.

      * A credit card is not really a requirement. I have a friend who doesn’t have a credit card who was able to go to the UK. Again, you just have to prove that your finances are healthy.

      * I don’t think the IO will accept an affidavit of support from your friends anyway. It has to come from a close relative. You can just say you’re planning to meet your friends while you are there but you will not be staying with them and they are not paying for your trip.

      Good luck!

    • Hello Jem, I’m in your same position. As in super exact except that i can stay in their place for accomodation, but the rest like travel and food will be on me. But if in case they need a hitel booking at least for the first night. I can do that. Please help me, my trip will be next month. May i know what happened? Thanks u so much

      • HI, may i know what happened to your trip? What does the immigration officer asked you? Thanks.

    • Hi Shee Jhee! If you plan to work in Dubai or in other countries, make sure idaan mo sa tamang proseso. You will need an Overseas Employment Certificate pagdaan mo sa Immigration. Good luck!

  • hi po… we’re planning to have tour and at the same time spend our xmas vacation in Paris this December with my husband and my daughter ( 1 yr. old). we are processing our papers now for our visa.
    it is out first time to travel abroad, i am a public school teacher and my husband is self-employed (Computer shop business po). i have the certificate of employment (with my salary stated), leave of absence, bank certificate and statement of account. pero kapapalit q lng po ng atm ko maam (nawala po ung dating atm) land bank po dati account ko sa bank and now BDO n po. ok lng po b maam, na kadedeposit q lng ng pera sa banko, hnd po b issue un n bgong karga lng account ko?
    and maam, are the other supporting documents para po hnd kmi ma offload?
    thanks in advance po.

  • Hello. Thank you for sharing this. Its really a big help esp to people like me who isnt a frequent traveller. However i still have some questions to ask. I hope you dont mind. Hehe. Thanks.
    Here it goes. Im a 24 y/o girl. In a few months i will be visiting my boyfriend in Malaysia, he is a local there. I am planning to stay for 3 months since we want to spend longer time together. We are in a LDR for 1 and a half years already but just been together twice. The first time was in Dec 2015, he went here and the second time was last June, I went there in KL and stayed for 6 days. My question no. 1 is: Am i on sponsored travel since i will have a letter of invitation from him?
    When applying for visa, this is one of the requirements of the Malaysian Embassy so i ask him to get one. However i will be paying for my all the expenses in this trip like the tickets and such.
    My question no. 2: I will be resigning from my work as a civil engineer since leave for more than a week is not possible in my present company, thus I cannot provide a coe and loa anymore. Will I be automatically subjected to interrogation? I can only provide a copy of my bank account certification and a credit card. I hope to hear your opinion soon regarding my worries. Thank you and more powers to you. ☺

    • Hi Nikki! I suppose your boyfriend is, in a sense, partly sponsoring your trip in that he is providing you with accommodations. But I think the letter of invitation should be fine. If asked, you can just say that you are paying for all your other expenses and show them your bank cert. The possible difficulty would be in proving that you intend to come back to the Philippines and since you’ve already resigned from your company. Try to bring other proof of ties to the Philippines, like if you have property here, or if you have another job lined up when you return, etc. Good luck!

  • Hi good day I’m first time kumuha ng passport anu nb pwede supporting documents na pwd dalin bukod sa nso pwd po bng police clearance I’d at Phil health I.d thanks po

  • Hello i am hoping you could read this and help me out. First time to travel abroad and going solo. I’ll visit bangalore next month and im scared i might be offloaded. I am sure i can show them coe, bank statement and credit card and i have money for this trip but still it’s my first time and going solo. Well the idea really is i have a friend there who invited me. But i dont wanna ask for invitation letter since hassle pa un sa kanya at sabe mo nga kailangan din ng proof of income nia so pwede ba na invitation letter and i-state na lang dun na i’ll be paying for my own trip. It’s just a supporting document to tell na i will be safe there since i have indian friends there i’ve known from work? Thanks u so much

    • Sorry, not exactly ininvite ako (i just used the term since i’ve been reading invitation letter for quite sometime now kasi kanina pa ko nag reresearch) anyways, ayun po, i chose india to visit good friends from there and i know they would love me to be there. So please help po, if i’pl tell this to the IOs, they will probably ask me about an invitation letter but as what i’ve been reading it should be a relative. Please help 🙁

      • Hi Wish. If you want to avoid all the hassle of explaining to the IO, then just book a hotel (that you can cancel for free) and tell the IO that you will be meeting (but not necessarily staying with) your friends from work.

    • Hello, may i know what happened to you? I am exactly in same situation and i dont want to get offloaded. What douments does the immigration officer asked? Thanks

  • Hi, I hope you can help me out.. Me, my husband and 2 kids are travelling to SG this April, but the thing is my husband resigned from his job last year. We are financially capable of paying for this trip and we arestaying at my bro in law’s condo during our stay there. This is my husband’s 3rd time in SG btw. Is there a chance that we will get offloaded? thanks!

    • Hi Jana! I always tell people anything is possible; even I get a bit nervous every time I’m at the Immigration counter. Your financial capacity is certainly in your favor. Perhaps the only concern would be that your husband will be taking the opportunity to look for a job in Singapore. As long as you can prove that you will legitimately just be tourists there (itineraries, tickets, etc.) and that you’re coming back (certificates of enrollment for next school year, perhaps) I think your chance of being offloaded will be minimal.

  • Hi..I just want to ask po..Magttravel ako s Thailand this coming April, alone and first time traveller po..I’m kinda worried n bka maoffload ako. Kakaresign ko lng po s job ko but I will have another job waiting for me after my it ok if I will just show the certificate that I have a job when I come back here in the Philippines? Also, I will celebrate my birthday there. I will pay my trip, I have money in cash and on my other concern is that I will be spending my birthday there with my bf who is also a tourist and he will pay the I have to get cfo for that? And should I tell the IO that I will meet my bf there? Please help po..thanks!

    • Hi Chie. Yes, you can basically tell the IO what you told me, which is that you’re going to Thailand to celebrate your birthday and you’re taking a short break before starting your new job. You can show them your job offer for your new job but also try to bring your payslips or other proof of income from your previous job, just in case they will ask you about it. Is your boyfriend non-Filipino? Can’t he just book the hotel under your name so you can show the booking to the IO and not have to explain anything? I wouldn’t advise you to lie to the IO, but you don’t have to volunteer information if they don’t specifically ask.

      • Hello good day… na ofload po ako
        Last dec 2016 going to hk.. this time my husband sponsored me as a visit visa sa qatar(egyptian national pala c hubby naka base sa qatar)my husband prepared all this document, affidavit of support from phil embassy in qatar, marriage contract.salary cert. tenant contract.meron din po akong cfo, visa… my question po, last offload ko po d ko na po maalala kong anung mga documents ang dapat e preper ng mga offloaded passenger… kindly help me po what those requirements pra sa mga na offload na dati… thax po

      • Hi Noursie. Wala namang separate list of requirements for people na na-offload dati. Just make sure that you have ALL the documents that you might need —
        better safe than sorry — para kung i-require ng IO, maibigay mo. Good luck!

  • Hi!

    I enjoyed reading your posts.. And I have some questions lang po and I hope you won’t mind na my post is a bit long hehehe..

    Me and my husband will be going to Thailand this June 2017.. we already have roundtrip tickets. It is my 1st time to go abroad but not for my husband but since he renewed his passport last year does he need to bring his old passport showing his previous travels? The problem with his old passport is it got wet when our house got flooded years ago..

    Also, we both are in business. We own our own company so will our SEC papers, business permit, ITR, General Information Sheet of our company stating there that I am the president and my husband is the company treasurer suffice? It also reflects us as 2 of the shareholders with me as the major shareholder. Or do we need bank statements pa under our separate accounts or our corporation’s account? Or both na lang to be sure? Hehehe

    Also, sa company namin my husband serves as the general manager while I serve as the assistant GM. We both have company IDs as proof. So sa disembarkation card what do we put po ba?

    If it would have any bearing din po, I would like to mention that we have a 3 year-old child who will not be with us on the trip, so would it help that we bring his birth certificate and our marriage certificate as proof na may babalikan kami dito sa Philippines? I will also be 6 months pregnant by the time we travel abroad 🙂

    Looking forward to your reply. Thank you and God bless you!

    • Hi butterflyandaslan (love your name!),

      Old passport — It’s not absolutely required but it will be very helpful to prove that he already has a history of travel. Bring it anyway even if it got wet. (Moving forward, try to photocopy and scan your passport after your travels; keep both the photocopy and a soft copy (say a PDF file) so you will have records just in case your current or old passports get destroyed in the future.)

      Other documents — I always tell people to bring *all* the documents that they can bring. Better safe than sorry. I cannot guarantee that they will suffice, but I can guarantee that you will regret it if you decide not to bring a certain document and it turns out that the Immigration officer will require it.

      What to put in the disembarkation card — I think it’s really up to you how you want to describe yourself. If you own your company, perhaps you can write entrepreneur or business owner.

      Good luck and God bless your trip and your family. 🙂

  • Good Evening Ms. Gaya. I badly need your expert advise when it comes to immigration. I’m afraid being off loaded. I’m Cris 24 years old from Cagayan De oro . I am going to Thailand this June 4-11 and my boyfriend is also coming ( he is from new york). He will bring his parents with him to meet me. My bf already booked my ticket, hotel reservation with my name and his name on it using his credit card. By the way I’m working here in CDO so I can provide COE and my absent form. Aside from passport, round trip ticket and hotel reservations , what else do I need to prepare ? Do I need an invitation letter from him even though he is also a tourist in Thailand like me? Do I need to have CFO? I’m not yet his fiance. Can you help me please. Thanks You and God bless you.

  • hello. is there someone can answer asap. nag apply na po ako visa pa japan and waiting for 3months. and i decided to tour in singapore. wala po ba ako magiging problema just incase makaalis ako? please help me po.

    • Hi Rose.

      Do you mean nag-aaply ka ng working visa for Japan? May trabaho na bang nag-aantay sayo doon? Kung meron, I think makakatulong yan, kasi at least it means hindi ka pupunta ng Singapore to look for a job there.

      Kung wala ka pang job offer sa Japan, pero may trabaho ka dito sa Pilipinas, okay lang din, as long as may mga documents ka to prove na babalik ka sa Pilipinas and you can pay for your Singapore trip.

      Pero kung wala ka pang job offer sa Japan, nag-aaply ka pa lang, tapos wala ka ring trabaho dito sa Pilipinas, dyan siguro magkaka-problema.

  • hi po. Ask ko lng po kc papnta po ko ss hongkong this june bale first time ko mging solo traveler. And pang 3rd time ko n sa hk. . Travel history ko january 2012 Hk, march 2014 malaysia.. may 2016 there a possible maoffload p po ako kc mgisa lng ako ss sunod n travel ko as a birthday trip ko nrin. Thank you po.

    • Hi Pamela! I don’t think naman na ma-o-offload ka. Anyway, marami-rami na namang nag-so-solo travel ngayon. Just make sure your documents are complete, and I’m sure your previous travels will work in your favor. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

  • Hi.. i need your help. my gf and i will be flying to malaysia tom. we have a RT which we payed tru a bayad center / hotel reservation payed by my mom using his japanese boyfriend. and around 400$ pocket money each with passbook and debit card. we are just worried because we dont have a job and ourbsource of income is direct selling but no propper docs such as business permit /. addition to that is the remitance i recv from my mom every month.. do you think that theres a big probability that we’ll be offloaded? btw. im 26 and my gf is 31. and we also have a paid plane ticket for hongkong next month.. please help. we are so nervous and worried since we invest a lot of money for the trip.

    • Hi rriicch. If you don’t have a job, try to prepare documents that show a steady source of income. If your bank passbook shows a regular inflow of money, then that should be fine. Just be meticulous in preparing those documents that you do have. Good luck!

  • Hi!
    Pls help me po about my problem today about immigration…
    Na offload po aq going to Thailand..
    My friend is a Singaporean citizen and we planned to meet in Bangkok.. shoulder Nya lahat ng gastos from ticket to hotel.. ung hotel nkaname sa knya..
    I was show them my coe..
    that is not our first of meeting but in outside our country, yes..
    so I’m worried bcoz I have my other trip to Singapore this July.. same situation shoulder Nya lahat.. but the hotel accommodation sa name q na po.. I can bring coe and my itr.. that’s his bday gift to me ..
    is it possible na maoffload ulit aq?
    Better po ba na Sabhn q I pay all the expenses and don’t mention about him?
    It’s all tour purpose lng po tlga..
    thanks po.. hoping for your reply..

  • Hi..ask lng po po ako going singapore last yr and it was my first time to travel abroad..and now my plano po ako mgtravel sa korea for vacation ds yr.. Im a govt employee..and i do have savings nman.. my big chance po ba na made.deny ang application q for visa? My impact po ba ang void stamp sa passport q if kukuha ng visa?thank you po..

    • Hi Tim! I can’t predict if your Korean visa application will be approved or denied but as long as you prepare all the required documents, and okay naman lahat, I think that will matter more than your history of being offloaded. Good luck!

  • Hi good evening po kabayan im
    Jocelyn here in dubai, kasi kukunin ko po ung pamangkin ko sa paguwi ko this july20, so syempre po ang ipapalabas namin sa imigration satin e ito tour ko sya since kasama ko naman sya pabalik dito, at bday nya sa aug 20, balik ko po dto sa dubai sa aug 17 plan ko ssbhin ko pabday gift ko sa kanya kasi bday naman nya tkga e aug 20.Pero kinakabahan ako baka maoffload po kami. Anu po kaya magandang dahilan pa at documents n pwede dalin? Parehas kami surname sya at 24 years old. Thanks ng marami

    • Hi Jocelyn! Pasensya na ngayon lang ako naka-reply. Nagbakasyon kasi kami at ngayon lang ako nakapagsimulang mag-reply sa mga comments dito sa blog. Pasensya na din po kasi personal policy ko po na hindi ko ini-encourage ang pagbigay nga maling impormasyon sa Immigration. Siguro po kung determinado kayong gawin yan, hingi na lang po kayo ng advice sa mga naka-try din po ng ganyan. Good luck po!

  • Hi. Gusto ko lang magtanong kasi I’m a girl (24 years old) & first time kong mag travel outside the country this July 30 and ako lang din mag isa. I’ve waited so long kasi for this trip eh. Pinag ipunan ko talaga. Kaso kinakabahan ako baka ma offload ako. Kumpleto naman documents ko like ITR, Certificate of employment, Leave of absence, Company ID, MNL-HK-MNL ticket, Hotel reservation, Bank certificate & HK itirenary. But my COE and Bank Cert was dated last June pa. Ok lang po ba yan?

    • Hi Meagan! Yes, that should be fine. But just in case — mga a day or two before your trip — if you have online access to your account, try to print out a screenshot of your current balance. Or you could go to an ATM and get a receipt that shows your current balance. Just in case lang naman nah the immigration officer will ask for it, kasi I know of one person na the IO told her to go to the ATM in the airport and get a receipt with her balance on it, pero most likely it won’t be necessary nah. Good luck and happy travels!

  • Hellow po hihingipin po sana ako ng advice ex ofw po ako sa Japan and dubai before nag tourist po ako s dubai last 2014 and nag work po ako dun for 1 year pero umuwi po ako dito sa pinas for vacation and di na ako bumalik ng dubai ngayon po nagpln kmi ng brother ko mag tour sa hongkon for 3 days kaso nagwowory ako na baka dahil s previous alis q as tourist sa dubai magkaproblema ako s IO malalaman b nila yung tungkol s previous n alis ko since new renew n passsport ang gagamitin ko? Also wala po akong work dito sa pinas yung boyfriend ko pong pakistani ang nag bibigay ng pangastos q thru remitance xah din po mag bibigay ng pangastos para s tour nmin ng kapatid q pero ako po mag bobook ng (RT ticket, hotel)pati po allowance sagot din po ng boyfriend ko belated gift nya po s birthday ng brother q ngayong July 30 npo kasi birtday ng brother ko nagwowory po ako baka dahil sa previous n alis ko at sa wala akong work dito sa pinas yun yung maging dahilan para ma offload kmi ng brother ko sana po mbigyan nyo po ako ng advice
    Thank you po!

    P.S:pasensiya npo kung mahaba yung message ko

    • Hi Liane,

      Posible ngang makaka-apekto yung dating pag-alis mo na sabi mong bakasyon lang pero nagtrabaho ka pala. Pero wala ka na’ng magagawa dun kasi nasa record mo na ‘yon. This time siguro, just make sure na talagang tourism lang ang purpose nyo at maging meticulous kayo sa mga documents nyo, like yung itinerary nyo, etc.

      Good luck!

    • hi we have the same experience po. ask ko lang if nakaalis ka and nagirapan ka ba with IO? please share naman po your experience. thanks!


  • Hi po. Gusto ko lang po sana itanong. I’m a girl (19 yo) and first time ko po magtravel. Kakatapos lang po kasi ng klase namin so naisipan ko po magbakasyon sa Japan eh since studyante palang po ako di ko kaya isupport yung sarili ko papuntang Japan. Kaya may friend po ang mom ko sa Japan na lalaki (50 yo) and sya po ang guarantor ko. Nagpromise naman po sya na sagot nya lahat. And dun po ako magsstay sa house nya pero nandun naman po yung family nya so hindi lang kaming dalawa. Tsaka po to visit a friend po yung nilagay ko and may proof naman po na magkavideo call kami. Natatakot lang po ako maoffload kasi student palang po ako, girl, and bata pa and baka ano po isipin ng IO. Ano po kaya magandang gawin kung ganito po ang case? Pati narin po yung mga documents na kailangan ipakita para maproof na vacation lang po talaga. Pls reply po. Thank you so much po!

    • Hi Xyriue,

      Huwag mo sanang masamain, pero kung ako ang IO na mag-i-interview sa yo, medyo mag-a-alanganin talaga akong i-approve yung pagtravel mo kasi 50-year-old Japanese male, tapos 19-year-old female na walang sariling pera…medyo delikado talaga yun. Marami na kasing nagpapanggap na tourist lang pero actually may planong magtrabaho abroad.

      Siguro if I were the IO interviewing you, I would require the following:
      * Proof na long-time family friend nyo na ang 50-year-old Japanese (at talagang friend, hindi benefactor) – not just video call but mga messages na matagal na, hindi recent lang – para ma-explain kung bakit sya ang magbabayad ng bakasyon mo, ganyan ba kayo ka-close, etc.
      * Proof kung ano ang gagawin mo doon, anong mga lugar ang papasyalan mo, etc., tapos bakit ikaw lang pupunta doon, hindi kasama ang mom mo, eh sya naman ang friend ng Japanese
      * Proof na babalik ka sa Pilipinas (for example, certificate of enrollment for the next school year)

      Good luck! Ingat.

  • Hi mam me and my friend is planning to visit bangkok then dubai to experience sky jumping and other extreme adventures there. Kaya lang po nung nabasa ko blog nio medyo kinabahan ako na baka maoff load kami kasi first timers lang kami. Konti lang po savings namin pero tingin ko po sobra naman para sa travel expenses namin. May work naman po kami dito sa pinas at medyo matagal na po namin nplano ang trip namin. May dapat po ba ako ika kaba o dapat ko lang tigilan ang pagkakape. Thank u po. Godbless

    • Hahahahaha! Kaloka naman yung tigilan ang pagkape. 😀 Anyway, hi Kiko! Be prepared lang kasi maraming kunwari mag-to-tourist daw sa Dubai pero maghahanap pala ng trabaho, isa yun sa mga destinations na binabantayan ng BI. So kung sky jumping and other adventures ang purpose nyo doon, better siguro if may bookings na kayo sa bawat activity at naka-plano na talaga yung itinerary nyo. Tapos make sure din na you have documents to prove your ties to the Philippines, like yung Certificate of Employment nyo. Kung may property kayo dito, pwede din yun proof of ties to the Philippines. Good luck! 🙂

  • I was in saudi arabia for 3 months and decided to go back in the philippines,may partner gave me a gift a tour to hongkong and dubai,when iwas in immigration they didnt allow me to go alone in hongkong,so a week after my sister accompanied me to go to hongkong,the immigration allowed us but my sister sign a waiver or affidavit sigted that we should return back to the philippines together,but may plan is after our tour to hongkong from hongkong i will go to dubai since i have may visa in dubai and my sister will return to philippines alone,so is there any charges or criminal offence might may sister and me may be facing?should they have the rights to deport me or my sister?

    • Hi Mel! I don’t know if it would exactly be a criminal offense — even if your sister signed a waiver/affidavit — but if they have that on record, you might have a harder time departing next time.

  • Hi Po! I need some advice. I’ll be travelling solo to SG and will meet with my Filipino bf. He’s coming from Canada. Mag tour lang kami sa SG and share kami sa lahat ng expenses. Will it be a problem sa immigration na magmemeet kami? Siya nag book ng hostel sa SG but yung room is under both our name. I’m kinda paranoid sa mga nababasa ko. And I don’t want to lie sa IO. Thank you

    • Hi Alexa! If your boyfriend is also a Filipino, I think that won’t be a problem. I think the immigration officers are more concerned with Filipinas traveling with or meeting foreigners because of the risk of human trafficking. Just try to make sure you have your other documents, like if you have a good job here in the Philippines and a decent bank balance, so that you won’t look like you’re at high risk of being trafficked. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

  • Hi were planning n sumunod sa asawa ko sa europe with may two kids as family immigrant Ok n ang lahat..ask ko lang sana ano ano ang need ko dlhin as a proof sa airport.first timer kc ako kaya mejo matatakot..thank you

    • Hi Sonny! I’m not very familiar with the requirements for immigrants but siguro just bring all the documents that you needed to secure your immigrant visa. Good luck po on your new life abroad!

  • Hello po,I just want to ask for some advice Po, me and my fiance will get marry next month here in Philippines,then after that we’re planning to go for honeymoon trip in Bangkok Thailand for a week and comeback here because he’ll stay for another week before flying back to Canada,I have no work since, but I’m x ofw in Hong Kong,I worked for 2months only. What po Kya requirements of if newly wedd for sure d p kme makakuha Ng marriage certificate,
    Hope to hear from you soon,thanks!!! God bless!

    • Hi Charlotte! You might not be able to get a marriage certificate from the PSA (NSO) but I think you can get a copy of the marriage *contract* right after your wedding from the church or whichever authority is conducting the ceremony. You can also photocopy your marriage license as additional proof. ANd photos. Congratulations in advance and enjoy your trip!

  • Need advice please.. i was offloaded once sa clark and they gave me reuirements to comply, the next day nagpa book ako then dinala ko lahat ng requirements they needed,then we flew going SG, sabi nung girl na she is keep my note that i was offloaded until i get return to Philippines. As from my plan i found job in uae so dumeretso nako sa dubai naging ofw ako for just 1 year, nakapagbakasyun din ako in 6months time,it means na nakakuha pako ng oec. The after a year umuwi ako for emergency, nkapag stay ako sa pinas at dna nkabakik ng dubai. 6months na since umuwi ako, then i want to travel SG again to meet my bf and take him to Philippines. Question po makikita bayung history record ko sa clark,bka ma offload ako ulit,bka iisipin nila na im going to do the same, please advice,thank u

    • Hi Anna Marie! I don’t know if they still have it on record, just make sure na lang that you have all the necessary documents this time, and be prepared to answer questions like bakit kailangan mo pang pumunta sa Singapore to meet your bf, bakit hindi na lang sya dumiretso sa Pilipinas, etc. Good luck!

  • Hi, noob question 6mos pa lang ako sa current work ko sa BPO company and gusto kong malaman kung pano ba maka kuha ng ITR? pwede po ba yun online? or kelangan talaga sa office ng BIR? and yung proof of financial capacity applicable din ba dun yung payslip? Thanks po

    • Hi Jo! I think you can get a copy of your ITR through your HR department. And yes, pwede din part of your proof of financial capacity (as well as ties to the Philippines) yung payslip mo.

  • Hi. I was offloaded in Decembe3 2013. IACAT people said my passport will be mailed to me by the DFA. It’s now 2017, no mailed passport still. Pls advise what to do. I haven’t asled BI or DFA about this. Due to the trauma of that experience, I’ve lost hope to travel abroad. Pls help. TYIA.

    • Hi Evelyn. Why do they have your passport in the first place? Even if you were offloaded, you should still have possession of your passport.

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