Boarding and Offloading Policies of the Philippine Immigration Bureau: What They Do and Don’t Tell You

Tip #1: The Proper Documents

What they tell you:
An Immigration Officer shall require you to secure the following documents before you are allowed to board your scheduled flight:

1. A valid passport
2. A round-trip ticket
3. Visa, if applicable

What they don’t tell you:
With the collective experiences of several travelers, these specific questions are also being asked:

1. What is the nature of your work?
This is synonymous to being asked of the status of your employment (if you either do or do not have a current job). Additionally, you may also be asked to support your claims, e.g. with a company identification card or a certificate of employment.

In the case of freelancers (like virtual assistants and the like), you should procure the following:
a. A copy of your certificate of Income Tax Return (ITR) of the previous fiscal year.
This document, which you may procure from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), is proof that you are remitting your taxes.
b. A duly signed certificate of employment

For business owners, a Business Registration Certificate will be crucial to prove that you are an authorized proprietor.

2. Do you have a place to stay there?
A copy of proof of your hotel reservation may additionally be required. They may otherwise ask further if you reply that you are merely staying with an acquaintance or with a friend, so it is ideal to procure the former.

(See common reasons why there is an offloading policy.)

Tip #2: A Supplemented Inspection

This procedure is done basically when the Immigration Officer doubts of you returning from the trip.

What they tell you:
The Philippine Bureau’s Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International Bound Passengers itemizes the criteria of assessing those who fall into this category based on the following:

1. Age. You should be of the legal age of 18 years old to travel for a work-related matter.
2. Educational attainment. The nature of your work should, more or less, encompass that of the level or the degree that you are holding.
3. Financial capability to travel

(See common reasons why you will get offloaded.)

What they don’t tell you:
The last criterion above usually is the center for argument.

For travelers with no financial capability (although it is not a guarantee) these documents might help:
1. For travelers with a benefactor who is of blood or civil relation:
An authenticated affidavit of support which reflects the relationship between you and your benefactor is within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity.
2. For travelers with a benefactor who is NOT of blood or civil relation:
An affidavit of undertaking or guaranty from your benefactor

Consequently, you are more likely to be held up for further probing if you are:
1. A newbie tourist-traveller whose destination is that of a not-so-popular spot (as in the case of backpackers)
2. A tourist-traveller with no stable job from the place you are coming from, or if you have no benefactor (a person or entity who supports your finances)

Nevertheless, statistics shows that almost 5% of people with legitimate reasons are often offloaded and are not allowed to leave the country, and they happen as a case-to-case basis of eventuality in the Immigration standards that are imposed by the Philippine Bureau.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.