Having the freedom to travel for abroad as a visiting tourist is perhaps one of the greatest perk of being a Filipino, as is true to other races as well. While our passports are not as powerful compared to other countries, we are still lucky that we have a number of visa-free countries where we can enter without applying for a visa beforehand.
While we are free to go places as we had wished, being able to travel to another country is a privilege not many get to experience for one of few things: the need to travel overseas is completely unnecessary and is thus not an option, the travel cost is simply not affordable, or, if able to, they belong to the unlucky bunch who simply failed to make it past the Immigration Officials, a step away from boarding the plane.
Getting offloaded is not just embarrassing for many people, it also implies putting to waste everything a passenger had prepared for: effort, time, and money.
Tips to Avoid Getting Offloaded by Immigration When You Travel Abroad
As much as we would like to hate the idea of getting filtered out from the rest of people who had no trouble getting past the screening, there are policies that must be followed meant to curb issues of human trafficking as well as the entry of potential illegal aliens.
Here are some tips you could follow if you wish to make your travel abroad as seamless as possible:
Bring the Required Documents
There are two to three things that you are required to present if you want to get past the Immigration Officer:
• Passport that is valid for at least 6 months
• Roundtrip Ticket
• Visa, if required
Not taking chances that Visa would mostly be just optional, it is better to have all three requirements available when presenting to an Immigration Officer.
For a bit of an interview, expect the questions: “What company do you work for?” and “Where will you be staying?”
Intuitively, the first question pertains to the kind of job you are having and may even ask you a proof about it such as your valid company ID.
On the other hand, getting asked where you will be dropping off once you reached your intended destination may require you to show a copy of your hotel reservation or otherwise provide more details if you are to stay at an acquaintance’s place.
In circumstances where your return is questionable, you may expect the immigration officers to demand further documents to prove you are coming back.
According to the Bureau of Immigration’s 2012 memorandum called Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers, any passenger subject for secondary inspection is to be assessed based on these 3 criteria:
• Educational attainment
• Financial capability to travel
Of these three criteria, the passenger’s financial capability to travel poses a common problem, especially concerning travelers who cannot financially support their trip.
Although any person can be a subject to this further inspection, Immigration Officers puts more suspicion towards individuals who are: first-time tourists headed to uncommon destinations and tourists who did not have a steady source of income and without benefactors.
Should you be a subject to secondary inspection despite having true intentions for your travels, there is a good chance of you offsetting the unwarranted suspicion by showing the following documents:
• Company ID
• Copy of your Income Tax Return (ITR)
• Certificate of Employment
Showing these documents give the officers the impression that you have a reason to go back home to—Your means of living.