Getting offload immigration for foreigners in the Philippines is one of the worst things that can happen. It could happen to anyone for several reasons not complying with what the immigration of the Philippines has asked for or needed.
Different tricks and tips to pass Philippine immigration are a must in order to avoid being offloaded.
From the primary requirements, to visitor visa interview questions by the immigration officers, this will be the expat’s guide on how to avoid getting offloaded in Philippines.
Here are some guidelines to consider:
The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration strictly monitors the movement of Philippine citizens in an effort to stop or minimize the problem on HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Make sure that you are well-informed before you travel. Read the following advice:
1.) KNOW the REAL PURPOSE OF YOUR travel.
You will be asked by the Immigration officer the reason for your travel abroad. Immigration officers may stop you from leaving the country.
2.) PROVE that you are going to your destination country for the PURPOSE that you are making the trip. You may be refused exit if you give CONTRADICTORY statements.
- If you are travelling as a TOURIST, show proof that you are FINANCIALLY CAPABLE to COMPLETE your travel from the Philippines and BACK. Some of these proofs include bank statements, business ownership, gainful employment, place of accommodation or confirmed hotel bookings, proof of income (i.e., income tax return), and enough spending cash or credit card.
- Make sure you have a RETURN TICKET with the date of your return. The RETURN TICKET should NOT bear a date that far EXCEEDS your contemplated length of stay abroad.
- Make sure that you have a CLEAR TRAVEL ITINERARY.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY for travel. You can be questioned on the basis of your appearance. PROFILING is STANDARD in immigration checks worldwide.
- Answer the questions of immigration officers convincingly.
3.) If you are a CONTRACT WORKER, make sure that you have with you your OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT CERTIFICATE (OEC) obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency or Philippine foreign service posts.
4.) If you are travelling DEPENDENT on FINANCIAL SUPPORT from ANOTHER PERSON, ORGANIZATION, or COMPANY, make sure you have the APPROPRIATE AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT AND GUARANTEE, including INVITATION LETTERS from the legitimate/relative SPONSOR at the country of destination, duly AUTHENTICATED by the Philippine Consulate in the country of your destination.
- Make sure that you know what is written in the Affidavit, including the name of the person, organization, or company that is inviting you. You will be interviewed by immigration officers on the basis of the document that you present.
- The Affidavit of Support and Guarantee is NOT a 100% GUARANTEE for you to be allowed exit from the country; it is a SUPPORTING DOCUMENT that strengthens your CLAIM to LEGITIMATE TRAVEL.
- Know the contact details (i.e., address and telephone numbers) of your SPONSORS.
5) If you are travelling while you are EMPLOYED in the Philippines, it would help to have the following documents with you:
- Certificate of employment stating your designation in the company, your salary, and the inclusive dates of your travel approved by the company. Bring your company ID.
- If you are a government employee travelling on private capacity, make sure you have an employment certificate, your ID, and approved Leave of Absence from your agency. If travelling on official capacity, make sure you have the appropriate Authority to Travel, including your itinerary.
6.) Make sure that your PASSPORT is valid at least SIX (6) MONTHS from the date of your departure from the Philippines.
7.) Make sure that the VISA in your passport is VALID and agrees with your PURPOSE OF TRAVEL.
8.) Know your TRAVEL HISTORY. Immigration officers may refuse you exit on the basis of questionable travel history (or lack thereof).
REPORT ANY ATTEMPT OF EXTORTION IN EXCHANGE FOR CLEARANCE AT IMMIGRATION. THIS EXTORTION IN ITSELF IS A FORM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING. PUT YOUR COMPLAINT IN WRITING, SPECIFYING THE CIRCUMSTANCE, DATE, TIME, IMMIGRATION COUNTER AND NAME OF IMMIGRATION OFFICER OR AIRPORT PERSONNEL INVOLVED. YOU MAY BRING YOUR COMPLAINT DIRECTLY TO THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION OR HAVE YOUR LETTER ENDORSED BY THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE TO THE BUREAU.
The Bureau of Immigration May be Contacted Through the Following:
Gen. Ricardo A. David, Jr. (Ret.)
Office of the Commissioner
2nd Floor, Bureau of Immigration Bldg.
Magallanes Drive, Intramuros Manila
Tel. No. +632 527-3248
Basically, to avoid getting offloaded, just remember 3 key points: (1) Preparation of all necessary requirements, (2) Preparation of documents to prove that you are a legitimate tourist, and lastly (3) Honesty with all of answers. When you consider all of these, you are good to go.
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