In the business world, traveling to international destinations gives you a competitive edge. However, I realized that traveling at a younger age gives you more benefit than when you do it later in life. What I mean to say is that it would be nice if you travel without the hassle of having to worry about long walks and chest pains or chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Of course, you know what I mean. You should travel to enjoy with friends and not irritate the people in your group tour because they have to constantly wait on you and have to adjust to your pace. Of course, you know what I mean again!
My question. Do you want to travel abroad for a vacation? You can easily get out of your comfort zone and take baby steps traveling alone to Asian countries. Some Asia destinations give you a visa free stay for a limited number of days.
Good enough for me. The maximum number of days I stay in a certain Asian destination is usually 5 days. You can see the list of visa countries in one of my older articles.
You can travel outside the Philippines as long as you are in compliance with the Bureau of Immigration rules. To give you an idea, here is the guideline on departure formalities for international bound passengers in the Philippines.
What are the travel requirements for Philippine citizens with tourist-purpose visas?
- Unexpired DFA-issued passport (at least six-months validity)
- Unexpired visa (if visa is required at final destination); and a
- Return ticket.
What does the Bureau of Immigration usually consider when they look at your passport and return tickets before you can step on the plane?
- Age and health
- Educational attainment
- Financial capability to travel
- Travel history, if any and
- Final destination
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Traveling can be scary, but you would get use to the airport procedure the second time you travel. Embrace the discomfort. Sometimes, the Bureau of Immigration will have to ask questions to make sure you are not into any unlawful human trafficking or anything related to it.
The Bureau of Immigration conducts a secondary inspection if necessary, to protect vulnerable victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment including other related offenses. One of the factors they would look into is your financial capability to travel, so make sure you bring substantial amount of money to help you pass the exit screening and interview.
How do you know you are already subjected to secondary inspection? One thing for sure. You will be given a questionnaire and will be required to fill out the form in a corner together with the others.
The Bureau of Immigration Border Control Questionnaire (BCQ) is given by the Immigration Officer seated at your front. Usually, travelers who are subjected to automatic secondary inspection are
- Travelers without the financial capacity to travel and escorted or accompanied by a foreigner who is not related
- 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)
- Repatriated irregular workers, in which case, travel may not be allowed without the clearance from the IACAT (generate data)
- Partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet and/or marry his/her fiancé without the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate
- Passengers traveling to countries with existing deployment bans, alert levels and travel advisories and those in possession of visas to the said countries and
- Passengers who stayed abroad for more than one (1) year during a previous departure from the country as a tourist or temporary visitor, intending to depart for the second or subsequent time.
CFO Guidance and Counseling Program
Let us talk about the CFO Guidance and Counseling Program. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) has implemented the Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP) for fiancé(e)s, spouses and other partners of foreign nationals or of former Filipino citizens.
The Republic Act 10906 called as the Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act of 2016 and the Republic Act 10364 referred to as An Act Expanding the Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2012 require the conduct of mandatory pre-departure counseling services for Filipinos in intermarriages.
The main objective of the program is to assist the integration of Filipinos in their host countries by counseling them on the realities of international migration, and preparing them to meet the practical, cultural and psychological challenges in cross-cultural marriage and migration.
To attend the Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP), you must secure an appointment through the GCP On-line Appointment System (GOAS). Only 15 attendees per session will be accepted in CFO-Manila, while only 12 attendees for CFO-Cebu.
Further reading, https://cfo.gov.ph/gcp.html
Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals
- Permanent residence permit or visa / immigrant visa / permanent residence card
- Guidance and Counseling Certificate
- CFO Emigrant registration sticker
- Airline/Sea Craft Ticket
Travelers presenting fake/fraudulent passports, documents, immigration stamp shall be confiscated by the BI without prejudice to any other action that may be taken against said passenger.
The Bureau of Immigration shall turnover the confiscated passports and other fake/fraudulent documents to the DOJ-IACAT for appropriate action.
Passengers who were not cleared for departure by reason of vulnerability to trafficking, illegal recruitment, or other related crimes, shall be immediately turned over by the Bureau of Immigration to the IACAT Task Force or to designated agency for mandatory service provision, such as temporary shelter, legal assistance, or psycho-social interventions, and for more in-depth information-gathering.
Immigration Officers, in the performance of their functions and duties, shall adhere to the principles of Courtesy, Accountability, Responsibility, Efficiency and Service (BI – C.A.R.E.S.). The Bureau shall, likewise, institute a mechanism for immediate feedback and redress of grievances of passengers.
All agencies and Task Forces designated for the purpose of combating trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment, and other related crimes are hereby directed to revise existing procedures and systems to complement these guidelines within one (1) month from the effectivity thereof, to be submitted to the IACAT and PTFAIR for review and evaluation.
To make sure you are in compliance with the immigration rules and also of the policies of your country of destination, please do not forget to ask your travel agency about any travel updates. You can just drop at the SM Mabolo travel agency and tactfully ask any travel updates at the airport and of your travel destination.
Further reading, http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/travel-req
What are the documents required for a sponsored-travel?
a. Philippine Embassy or consulate-authenticated Affidavit of Support with Undertaking showing
- 4th civil degree of consanguinity relationship between sponsor and the passenger, example pinsang buo or affinity, such as bayaw/hipag/biyenan)
- Sponsor’s financial capacity and legal status and
- Sponsor’s contact information
b. Philippine Embassy or consulate-authenticated Affidavit of Support with Undertaking showing
- Sponsor’s financial capacity and legal status
- Sponsor’s contact details and
c. Sponsor’s corporate registration papers, if applicable.
d. In cases of a local sponsor traveling with the passenger, a duly notarized Affidavit of Support and Undertaking which shall contain the following
- Sponsor’s financial capacity
- Sponsor’s undertaking is for passenger’s tourist travel with intent to return
- Sponsor’s complete residential address of the sponsor and contact details and
- Sponsor’s corporate registration papers, if applicable
When shall a DSWD-travel clearance for travelling Filipino minors be required? A Filipino minor who is below 18 years of age shall secure a DSWD-issued Travel Clearance if
- A Filipino minor is traveling alone to a foreign country
- A Filipino minor is traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his/her parents
Further reading, http://www.dswd.gov.ph/faqs/travel-clearance-for-minors/
Your travel destination
You have to figure out how you can connect with people despite the differences as well as learn to navigate in foreign environments. By traveling, you will develop cultural sensitivity, which is important in looking at certain behaviors and understanding underlying values.
Travel and enjoy life. Experience other cultures and understand why they are different from you. Go travel. Find cheap flights and hotels here