Experiences · Philippines

Passing through Philippine Immigration

“Offload”

This is a term that a Filipino, who wants to go out of the Philippines, doesn’t want to experience.

I’ve done my homework and did browse the internet about it and how to get away from it. And based from my rough comprehension from the blogs I read and websites I visited, often times, due to lack of documents or suspicious responses to the officers questions, the traveller is held back by the Immigration officers for further questioning after the initial interview. 

Unless the traveller can show enough documents and respond to all the questions confidently, the officers become persistent in digging up to the bottom of it all. So if a traveller don’t have enough time for this, eventually, this leads to missing the flight, thus “being offloaded”.

There has been a lot of discussions with regards to how strict, difficult and even unreasonable the Immigration officers when interviewing Filipinos who are going out of their country, regardless of the reason for leaving the country.

However, I haven’t found a single post which is exactly the same as my case. So this post is about my experience passing through Philippine Immigration.

I’m 31 years old and I’ve never flown as stated on my previous post “My first flight”.

My husband is American who is working and living in Malaysia for almost 4 years now. 

My husband and I just got married this January and we want to live together in Malaysia.


Documents we prepared:

  1. Passports
  2. Tickets
  3. Marriage Certificate
  4. Letter from my husbands employer stating that they will take care of the spouse visa for me in connection to my husband’s employment visa.
  5. My husband’s bank financial statement
  6. His paychecks


    Step-by-step process at the airport:

    1. Check in luggage at the check in counter

    They weighed my luggage.

    We showed them the passport, ticket, marriage certificate and the letter from my husband’s employer.

    The check in officer brought our marriage certificate to the supervisor and they had it emailed to Malaysian immigration for approval. 

    We waited for about 20 minutes before they said it’s approved.

    2. Pay the travel tax

    We showed my passport and ticket. Then paid 1,620 php. Please note that this is different from the terminal fee. Foreigners pay for terminal fee only. 

    3. Return to check in counter

    We showed the receipt for travel tax.

    They give us the boading pass.

    4. Pay terminal fee

    We showed our passport and boarding pass.

    5. Interview at the immigration

    I showed the IO1 my passport, ticket, boarding pass, marriage certificate and letter from my husband’s employer. 

    Immigration officer 1:

    • Are you traveling alone? I said no. I’m with my husband.
    • Where is he? I pointed my husband who is being interviewed on the counter just behind me. 
    • Ok ma’am just go together with your husband. You will be interviewed together. 
    • The IO told the IO interviewing my husband to interview us together.

    Immigration officer 2:

    I showed OI2 my passport, ticket, boarding pass, marriage certificate and letter from my husband’s employer. 

    • Is it your first time to travel?  I said yes.
    • What’s the purpose of the trip? I said I need to get a single entry visa so my husband’s employer can process my spouse visa in connection to his employment visa.
    • When did you get married? I said just this January.
    • When is your husband’s birthday? Told her my husband’s birthday.
    • IO2 returned our documents then asked when is my return date. I told her I only have a one-way ticket.
    • She asked why? My husband answered her, “because she is moving there. She has to be there to get the single entry visa then she can get the spouse visa in connection to my work permit.”
    • IO2 continued typing and then stamped my passport.

      We had breakfast.

      Then waited for boarding for My first flight.

      Bye for now Cebu, Philippines. I’ll definitely see you again soon. 

      And off we went. 

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