Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in All Airports and Seaports in the Country

Philippine Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia : Press Release No. 2012-011 (19 January 2012)

Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) implements  “Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in All Airports and Seaports in the Country”

The Embassy informs the public that the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) started on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 implementing the following

Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in All Airports and Seaports in the Country”:


Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9208, otherwise known as the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003”, and its implementing Rules and Regulations, Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995”, as amended by Republic Act No. 10022 and other related laws, the following guidelines providing for definite parameters in the strict enforcement of immigration departure formalities intended for the prevention of trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment, and other related offenses, are hereby promulgated for strict implementation/compliance by all concerned:


A traveler intending to go abroad with a tourist/temporary visitor’s visa shall be subjected to:

1. Primary inspection

During primary inspection, the following documents shall be required from a traveler:

a) Passport  b) Visa when required c) Round-trip Ticket

2. Secondary Inspection

2.1 The Bureau of Immigration shall conduct a secondary inspection of a traveler, when deemed necessary, for the purpose of protecting vulnerable victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment and other relate offenses, through the assessment of the following circumstances:

a) Age  b) Educational attainment  c) Financial capability to travel

i. If not financially capable to travel, an authenticated affidavit of support, indicating therein the relationship within the 4th civil degree of consanguinity or affinity, together with the supporting documents, may be entertained; and

ii. An affidavit of undertaking/guarantee may likewise be entertained.

2.2 Any passenger/traveler who will be subjected for secondary inspection shall be required to accomplish the Bureau of Immigration Border Control Questionnaire (BCQ) to be furnished by the Immigration Officer.

2.3 However, the following shall automatically be subjected to secondary inspection:

a) Travelers without financial capacity to travel escorted/accompanied by a foreigner who is not related;

b) 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);

c) Repatriated irregular workers, in which case, travel may not be allowed without the clearance from the IACAT (generate data);

d) Partners and spouses of foreign nationals intending to depart to meet and/or marry his/her fiancé without the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate;

e) Passengers traveling to countries with existing deployment bans, alert levels and travel advisories and those in possession of visas to the said countries; and

f) Passengers who stayed abroad for more than one (1) year during a previous departure from the country as tourist/temporary visitor, intending to depart for the second and/or subsequent time.

2.4 Clarificatory questions may be propounded relating to the above-mentioned documents/purpose by the Bureau of Immigration.

2.5 A traveler found to be misrepresenting the purpose of his/her travel as tourist shall not be cleared for departure.


1. First Time Overseas Filipino Workers

1.1 Travelers under this classification shall present the following documents as validated by the Labor Assistance Center (LAC):

a) Passport  b) Visa c) Airline/Sea craft tickets d) Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)

1.2 Allowable Visa Usage (Based on POEA Rules and Regulations) Should there be any discrepancy in the actual job position/job title in the visa and in the Overseas Employment Certificate, travel may nevertheless be allowed provided that the POEA through hits LAC, has validated and approved the variance based on the following:

a) The visa category is related to the workers’ position or in line with the principal’s nature of business;

b) The recruitment agency executes an Undertaking on Visa Usage ; and

c) The worker is aware of the visa discrepancy situation and has executed a Declaration of Awareness and Consent.

1.3 Instance When Visa Usage is NOT Allowed (Based on POEA Rules and Regulations). The use of Visa Usage Undertaking (VUU), however, does not, and can never, apply to Household Service Workers (HSW). The visa category should be strictly for household-based positions, otherwise, a traveler will not be cleared for departure and the aforementioned documents shall be confiscated for further investigation and appropriate action.

1.4 For Acts Involving Reprocessing of Contracts and Other Documents OFWs in possession of “reprocessed” documents shall not be cleared for departure.

Based on R.A. No. 10022, the following constitute acts of reprocessing:

1. The job description/position as indicated in the work visa is different from all other pertinent documents such as the Overseas Employment Certificate, the PDOS Certificate, among others;

2. The actual job as promised or offered is different from the actual overseas work as indicated in the pertinent papers; and

3. The name of the employer or hiring company as indicated in the work visa and/or OEC are not one and the same.

All documents used under the afore-mentioned provision shall be confiscated and turned over to the POEA for further investigation and appropriate action.

2. Balik-Manggagawa/Returning Workers

2.1 The following OFWs fall under the category of Balik-Manggagawa/Returning Workers:

a) Worker-on-Leave – a worker who is on vacation or on leave from employment under a valid and existing employment contract and who is returning to the same employer, regardless of any change in jobsite, to finish the remaining unexpired portion of the contract.

b) Rehire – a worker who was rehired by the same employer after finishing his/her contract and who is returning to the same employer, regardless of a change in jobsite.

c) POLO-registered worker – a returning worker whose employment contract was not processed with the POEA but was subsequently verified and registered with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the jobsite and who is returning to the same employer either as a worker-on-leave or rehire, regardless of any change in jobsite. Same employer/principal refers to the current employer or the worker at the time he/she came home for vacation and to whom he/she is returning to resume employment upon return to jobsite.

2.2 Balik-Manggagawa OFWs shall be required to present the following:

a) Passport  b) Valid visa c) Airline/sea craft ticket  d) OEC issued onsite by the POLO or by the POEA

2.3 In case of incomplete or questionable documentary requirements, the OFW shall be referred to the POEA-LAC for further investigation and appropriate action.

3. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) on vacation but visiting other countries before returning to original worksite/destination

A Balik-Manggagawa OFW with a valid visa and existing work contract who intends to go to other countries while on vacation need not get a POEA travel exit clearance/OEC. Hence, he/she is considered a tourist and is not exempt from travel tax and terminal fee, but shall be allowed to travel.

4. Special Travel Exit Clearance

Pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement between POEA and BI, the following are required to secure a Special Travel Exit Clearance from the POEA:

a) PEZA-registered companies sending their employees to South Korea for training program with worker trainee visas;

b) Seafarers who are under the employment of a Philippine shipping company who are assigned to accompany or “conduct” a vessel that is being imported by the said shipping company from a foreign port to the Philippines, also referred to as “conduction crew” since they remain to under the employ of their local companies;

c) Filipino seafarers who are required to undergo special training abroad as prescribed by the prospective foreign employer;

d) Filipino workers and spouses who are covered by the Work to Residence Policy, and who applied for immigration to New Zealand with no pre-arranged employment with an employer prior to departure; and

e) Filipino workers required to undergo final interview or qualifying examination abroad as prescribed by the prospective foreign employer.


1. Filipino emigrants/residence visa or permit holders/permanent residence card holders Travelers falling under this visa category shall present the following documents for primary inspection:

a) Passport  b) Permanent residence visa /immigrant visa / permanent residence card

c) CFO Emigrant registration sticker

d) Airline/Sea craft ticket

2. Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals

Travelers falling under this visa category shall present the following documents for primary inspection:

a) Passport

b) Permanent residence permit or visa / immigrant visa / permanent residence card

c) Guidance and Counseling Certificate

d) CFO Emigrant registration sticker

e) Airline/Sea craft ticket

3. Filipino J1 visa holders or Exchange Visitor Program Participants Departing for the USA

Travelers falling under this visa category shall present the following documents for primary inspection:

a) Passport  b) Valid J1 visa for USA



Workers to undergo final interview/qualifying exam as required by their prospective employers shall present the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Special Exit Clearance. In the absence thereof, passengers shall not be cleared for departure.


Travelers intending to depart to another country for the purpose of onthe- job training shall present the following additional documents:

i. School certification on the need for on-the-job training

ii. Acceptance by the host company

iii. Certificate of Overseas Training by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)

3. For relatives requesting for compassionate visit to an irregular worker abroad, a certification from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) must be secured.

4. Immediate family members of OFWs travelling with a tourist/temporary visitor’s visa shall be allowed without the need of further inspection, provided, they establish relationship within the first civil degree of consanguinity or affinity (spouse, children and parents) with the OFW and provided further that they present photo copies of the following documents of the OFW:

a) Passport   b) Visa  c) Overseas Employment Certification (OEC)  d) NSO authenticated birth/marriage certificate, as the case may be.

5. Passengers who intend to depart for intra-company trainings abroad for less than three (3) months shall present an invitation from the host company reflecting the duration, entitlements, travel and other incidental expenses; while those exceeding three (3) months shall present the corresponding Trainorship Agreement containing all the above data.


1. 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 passengers.

2. The BI shall turnover the confiscated passports and other fake/fraudulent documents to the DOJ-IACAT for appropriate action.

3. 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 BI with IACAT Task Force or designated agency/ies for provision of mandatory services such as temporary shelter, legal assistance, or psycho-social interventions, and for more in-depth information gathering.

4. 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.

5. 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.



10 thoughts on “Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers in All Airports and Seaports in the Country

  1. Dear Mr. Bong,
    I was supposed to have an interview in Bahrain for an Executive position. The company sent me my round trip ticket bound to HK-KSA-BAH, a business visa and a document stating that they will be the one to shoulder my expenses for my 3 day stay in a Hotel and transportation. When the officer asked me if I was carrying any money, I told them only $600 but the company will pay for my expenses. Since there was some news that Bahrain is under political unrest, it was also my chance to check if Bahrain is indeed a safe place to work. But when I was at the Philippine Immigration, the officer told me that I can’t travel. As far as I know the travel ban for Bahrain has been lifted months ago.

    • You should have the following requirements to enter Bahrain with Business Visa

      Passport, must be signed and have at least 6 months validity remaining
      1 visa application form, fully completed and signed
      2 passport-type photograph required
      An original letter on the company letterhead stating the purpose and duration of visit and the applicants responsibility for all travel expenses (Photocopies are NOT accepted)
      Copy of return/onward tickets or airline itinerary
      Foreign permanent residents must present a copy of the Green Card
      Copy of return/onward tickets or airline itinerary

      If you have all of the above, you have your visa stamped in your passport.

      Once the Philippine immigration noticed or know that you’re going to Bahrain for employment purpose and not for Business trip, then they can hold you for questioning or worst will not allow you to travel. The reason is – to prevent you from entering Bahrain, whose real purpose is to seek employment as undocumented OFW.


  2. good morning kuya bong ask ko lang po kung tama bang hndi ako pinaalis ng immigration last week, last dec to jan binisita po ako ng bf ko d2 ngbakasyon po kmi sa cebu nung jan11 balak ko n pong sumama sakanya sa thailand kaso sabi nya pacheck up muna daw po ako dahil nga sumasakit ung tiyan ko nagiwan po xa ng 20,000 para sakin n pocket money sa thailand after 1month po ng decide po ako n pumunta s thailand para mkpgpatingin din po ako s bangkok bka kc mali lang ung result dito pinabook po ako ng bf ko pgdting ko po s airport clark unang tinanong po sakin kunng sino ang pu2ntahan ko sbi ko friend ko ininvite po ako n mgbakasyon dun for 16days tinanong nila ung invitation pinakita ko po ung ticket dahil un n ang pinaka invitation ko dhil xa ang bumili tinanong nila ako kung maydala po akong pera eh ung cash ho ay 800pesos nlang pero may ATM po ako may savings po n 20,000 ang sinabi po ng immigration kung may laman n 35,000 yung ATM ko makakaalis daw po ako bkit ganun kuya mayaman lang b ang pwedeng lumabas ng bansa? eh sure naman po ako n susunduin ako ng bf ko s bangkok at may connecting flight ticket narin po kmi sbi ko po skanila gusto ko lng talagang mgpatingin dun sabi nila mas mura daw po dito sa pinas eh si bf nga po ang gagastos para maoperahan ako till now hndi pa po ako naooperahan dahil hndi po ako nkaalis kahit pinakita ko n po ung mga result ko sa ultrasound wala nabang karapatan ang katulad kong mahirap n makaalis ng bansa?

    • Jean,

      May mga requirements ang lahat ng mga umaalis sa bansa katulad mo na isang turista. Kasama na po dito ang Financial capabality to travel kaya hinahanapan ka ng pera upang malaman na may sapat ka bang pera pagdating sa Thailand. Hindi lamang po ikaw ang hinahanapan nito kundi lahat po ng mga Pinoy na umaalis sa ating bansa bilang turista. Pangalawa po, ang tiket ay hindi po maituturing na invitation. Kailangan mo po ng isang sulat na magpapatunay na ikaw ay inimbita ng isang individual, kompanya or institusyon, at idagdag po dito ang Affidavit of Support, or Undertakling/ Guarantee na kung saan nakasaad doon na ang nag-imbita ang mag-shoulder sa lahat ng mga gastosin habang nasa Thailand ang isang turista. Ang mga nabangit ko ay mga importanteng requirements na dapat inalam mo muna bago bumili ng tiket ang iyong boyfriend.

      Hindi po ibig sabihin na mahirap po tayo, wala po tayong karapatan na pumunta sa ibang bansa, lahat po tayo ay free to travel, however we need to comply with the requirements. Hindi po lamang sa Pilipinas ang may ganitong proseso in order to travel outside their country, lahat po ng mga turista sa ating bansa na galing sa ibang nasyon ay katulad rin po ang mga requirements na hinihingi sa atin sa Pinas.

      Kaya kung gusto ng iyong boyfriend na makapunta ka sa Thailand, let him produce the documents para walang problema pagdating mo sa immigration.

      Naintidihan ko po kung bakit ka gustong papuntahin ng iyong BF, oo nga naman bihirang opurtunidad ang ma-libre sa pamasahe at pagpa-doktor, ngunit meron po tayong polisiya na dapat rin po nating sundin para rin po sa ating kapakanan.

      Puntahan mo ang Immigration office at maski sa mga travel agency natin diyan sa Pinas at tanongin kung ano nag mga kailangan para maging isang turista sa bansang Thailand.

      Good luck!


      • eh kung ganun po dapat lahat ng airways bago nila i book lahat ng mgttravel dapat muna nilang tanungin or dapat muna nilang sabihan about sa mga kailangan bago makalabas ng bansa kasi po kagaya ko hindi po lahat ng tao ay alam nila ung mga requirements bago makaalis katulad po nito ang dami po nming pinabook lahat po ng connecting flights ko hindi ko nagamit ni isa nagbayad lang po kami sa wala,,
        maraming salamat po sa inyo…

        • Jane,

          Wala pong pakialam ang Airline Ticketing office sa mga bumibili ng Ticket, sa kanila business or pera ang importante kasi usually po lahat ng mga nag travel palabas sa ating bansa ay may mga travel documents na. Halimbawa magtanong ka sa kanila – ang sabihin sa iyo pakitanong na lang po sa travel agency ninyo or sa immigration ang mga requirements. Kaya sa susunod be smart, wala naman pong mawawala kung magtatanong tayo.



  3. My Filipina girlfriend wanted to visit me in Thailand.
    She has a passport, is 23 years old, had a return ticket Clark – Bangkok – Clark by Tiger Airways.
    Just for a holiday of 2 weeks. She works as a cashier in Angeles City Mall, was accompanied by her father – and was rejected to depart!!
    I am art teacher of Germany, tour guide in Thailand. We plan to marry.
    This guideline is so bad, becos the Immigration can do what they like. They feel like God.
    They think, every Filipina coming from Angeles are bargirls!!
    I lost all money paying the flights. She cried all day, feels like in a prison- country.
    No country in the world has such anti – human “guidelines”.
    I will bring this incredible act to German newspapers!!

    • Mr. Klaus,

      I understand your sentiment. You better advice your filipina girlfriend and her father to visit Bureau of Immigration office and look for Associate Commissioner Mangotara. Please tell her that OFW Empowerment blog refer her to see him in person and inquire what really the reason that their trip was denied. If they felt that their rights to travel has been violated – I just hope they have the names of this Immigration personnel for easy verification of the complaint. I do believed that everyone has the right to leave any country if their travel documents are in order.

      Thanks for dropping by.


  4. good day sir bong,
    we just want to ask some favor, we’re ex saudi nurses and opted to come back to jeddah to work but we need to verify our status if we’re not in the blacklist. here’s our iqama number 2276875388 , 2271001352 , 2276875826, please email us as soon as you verified our status, we owe it a lot to you. wala na po kaming mapagtatanungan. here’s our email address…thank you

    • Una, bakit po kayo ma-blacklist may problema ba kayong kinasasangkutan noong kayo ay nasa Jeddah? Hindi po ba kayo bumalik sa kabali na may exit re-entry visa?

      Sa aking pag verify ng inyong iqama, lumalabas po na rehistrato ang inyong employer pero ang holder ng iqama is GROUP REGISTERED: “BUT NOT ON THE JOB”. Ito ang translation from Arabic to English sa resulta ng verification.

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