What Is a Temporary Passport? A Quick Explainer on the Travel Document That Sparked Small Laude vs. PAL Issue

It's an important document for some travelers.
by | January 02, 2024


With so much time, effort, and money that goes into it, traveling should be a fun, happy, and enjoyable experience, but sometimes, mishaps can throw your carefully laid plans into disarray. Such happened to socialite and vlogger Small Laude and her daughter Allison.

Small Laude vs. PAL Issue

In an Instagram Story, Small Laude shared her woes about Philippine Airlines (PAL) not allowing her daughter to board flight PR432 from Manila bound for Tokyo, Japan with a Canadian temporary passport. Small and her family were supposed to fly to Tokyo together on December 26 for a family vacation.

Viewers can hear the vlogger questioning how her friend’s daughter, who has a temporary US passport, had no issue getting on the flight: “Look, we’re here in Japan now, and my friend got into Japan with a temporary passport in the US. Why si Allison hindi na-allow [using a] Canadian [passport]? We were telling them kanina to get her on board, to put her on board, pero hindi daw. Bakit ito, ‘yung daughter ng friend ko na-allow.”

Expounding on the situation, Small wrote on the Instagram story: “My daughter got left behind because of PAL’s wrong decision! It has ruined our family vacation and it caused us so much stress. Allison was in tears leaving the airport going back to the house.”

The vlogger was even more frustrated when they learned that the check-in manager claimed to have called the Japanese Embassy to confirm that Allison’s Canadian temporary passport would not allow her entry into Japan, when they did not make a call at all. “We found out later it’s allowed! PAL should be responsible for their decisions.”

PAL apologizes to Allison

A day later, at around midnight, Allison made it to Japan and reunited with her family.

In a report by GMA News, PAL issued a statement apologizing to Allison for the mishap on “the initial assessment on her temporary Canadian passport as travel document.” After checking with Japan’s immigration authorities, PAL confirmed that Allison’s temporary passport “was deemed acceptable for travel to Tokyo.”

 

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A post shared by Small Laude (@smalllaude)

“Ms. Laude was able to fly to Tokyo the following day (December 27). She has been assured of the proper compensation for the inconvenience she experienced,” PAL added. “Internal actions are being carried out to prevent such occurrences in the future.”

What’s a temporary passport?

In general, a temporary passport is a travel document that works mostly like a regular passport but is only valid for a short period of time (e.g. six months to one year) and is usually issued by diplomatic missions such as embassies and consulates. Most temporary passports are issued due to an emergency, such as when a traveling citizen’s passport is lost or damaged, when a traveling citizen’s passport has expired, or when a citizen is stranded abroad and needs to travel urgently. A temporary passport is often used only for one trip, hence the short-term validity.

Each country has different rules and regulations on issuing temporary passports and other temporary travel documents.

In Allison Laude’s case, she has been issued a Canadian temporary passport. According to the official Canadian government website, Canada may issue a temporary passport, an eight-page machine-readable document that:

  • issued by a Canadian mission to Canadian citizens
  • used for short-term situations
  • meant for urgent, proven travel situations or residency requirements
  • based on the decision of the Government of Canada passport/consular officer
  • has a white cover, four visa pages, a bio-data page, your digitized photo, and security features
  • doesn’t replace a regular diplomatic or special passport
  • has a maximum of one year validity, as decided by the issuing office, and can’t be extended for any reason

Can travelers enter Japan using a Canadian Temporary Passport?

Just as each country has different rules on issuing temporary passports to their citizens, other countries also have different protocols on whether they will accept a temporary passport as a valid travel document.

Specifically, for Canadian temporary passports, the government of Canada states: “Different entry rules may apply when traveling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.”

Meanwhile, according to the website of Japan’s diplomatic mission to the US, a traveler who wants to enter Japan with a temporary passport or other similar travel documents needs to contact the embassy or consulate in advance.

Does the Philippines also issue temporary passports?

Allison Laude’s case is quite unique since she has a foreign passport.

For those who might be wondering, the Philippines does not issue a temporary passport like that of Canada. But Filipino travelers can get a similar document in case of emergencies, most often referred to as “travel document” or “emergency travel document.”

According to the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, a travel document is “a certification or identifying document containing the description and other personal circumstances of the bearer, which is issued in lieu of a passport and valid for one-way, direct travel to the Philippines” and “is issued to a Filipino citizen being sent back to the Philippines or who needs to urgently travel home but is unable to fully comply with the requirements for the issuance of a regular passport, at the time of emergency,” of which proof is required.

A Philippine travel document is only valid for one month and can only be issued and used for emergency reasons.

Accepted proof of urgency of travel may include “medical certificates issued by physicians, death certificates of a loved one in cases of bereavement, and signed letters from the employer,” according to the Philippine Consulate General in New York, USA.

 

This article has been republished with permission from 8List.ph. Minor edits have been made for Windowseat.ph.

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Meryl finds joy in music, movies, museums, and making her way around the world.

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