PSA: Take Note of These Revised Immigration Requirements for International Travel

These will take effect on September 3.
by | August 25, 2023

We’ve all been hearing “immigration horror stories” these past months, prompting confusion and anxiety to Filipinos traveling abroad. On August 23, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACT) announced stricter departure formalities to combat the rising number of human trafficking victims. The revised guidelines will take effect on September 3, 2023.

Under the 2023 IACAT Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Filipino Passengers, here are the documents needed depending on the type of traveler.


What are the basic travel documents?

For immigration inspection, here are the basic travel documents you need to present:

  • Passport, valid at least six (6) months from the date of departure;
  • Appropriate valid visa, whenever required
  • Boarding pass
  • Confirmed return or roundtrip ticket, when necessary


What are the additional documents to prepare for?

Aside from the basic travel documents, the immigration officer may ask clarificatory questions and require additional documents:


  1. Self-funded Travels
    • Confirmed return or roundtrip ticket
    • Proof of hotel booking/accommodation
    • Financial capacity/source of income
    • Proof of employment
  2. Sponsored Travels
    • If the sponsor is a relative with a first civil degree:
      • Original birth or marriage certificate or report of marriage issued by PSA
      • Copies of sponsor’s passports and valid work visa/permit or residence permit
    • If the sponsor is a relative up to the fourth civil degree:
      • Original Affidavit of Support and Guarantee (AOSG)
      • Original birth or marriage certificate or report of marriage issued by PSA
    • If the sponsor is not a relative:
      • Original Affidavit of Support and Guarantee (AOSG)
      • Substantial proof of relationship



If you’re an OFW departing for the first time, bring the following:

  • Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or OFW Clearance issued by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW)
  • Valid and appropriate employment visa or work permit
  • Employment contract
  • Visa Usage Undertaking or Manpower Request



Minors who are traveling without their parents need to present a DSWD Travel Clearance Certificate (TCC). Travelers under the age of 13 are prohibited from traveling alone.



If you’re a student or scholar moving abroad, bring the following:

  • Acceptance Letter issued by the institution or school abroad
  • Notarized affidavit indicating the name of the student, educational institution, and duration of the course of program or study
  • Confirmed roundtrip ticket consistent with the duration of the program
  • Proof of financial capacity or academic scholarship/funding/support


What is the inspection process?

All international-bound Filipino travelers are subject to a primary inspection where basic travel documents and the purpose of travel will be asked by the Immigration Officer (IO).

A traveler may be subject to a secondary inspection, which shall not exceed 15 minutes, under the following circumstances:

  • Those who failed to establish the purpose of travel during primary inspection
  • Those with inconsistent or insufficient travel documents
  • Unable to show proof of financial capacity or accompanied by a foreign national who isn’t a relative by the fourth civil degree
  • Traveling to countries under Alert Level 3 or 4 as determined by the DFA
  • Those who previously stayed abroad for over six months as a tourist and intend to travel again for the same purpose
  • Those identified and reported by the IACAT or other government agencies as a potentially trafficked/illegally recruited person or a suspected trafficker/illegal recruiter


Grounds for offloading

The primary IO (immigration officer) may defer the departure of a passenger if:

  • They present fraudulent, falsified, or tampered travel or supporting documents
  • They refuse to undergo primary inspection


A traveler may also be deferred during secondary inspection under the following grounds:

  • Refusal to undergo secondary inspection
  • Doubtful purpose of travel
  • Inconsistent or insufficient travel or supporting documents
  • Misinterpretation or withholding of material information about the travel
  • Presentation of fraudulent, falsified, or tampered travel or supporting documents
  • Non-compliance with previous deferred-departure requirements
  • The passenger is a potentially trafficked/illegally recruited person or a suspected trafficker/illegal recruiter


For more information and updates, visit the Bureau of Immigration’s official website or Facebook.


Looking for other places to explore? Join’s official Facebook community What’s Your Trip PH for more recos!

When she’s not writing, Ina’s busy curating playlists that will save her when words don’t work, reading, annoying her cat, or thinking of her next meal.


  • Paul Cooper

    do we still need to the e-travel software to travel in May “24? please

    February 7, 2024 at 6:39 pm

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