Offload is such a nightmare for every Filipino traveler. Your time, money, excitement, expectations and effort in preparing for your dream travel or overseas vacation is put to waste because of this. The Philippine Immigration is known to be very strict in executing the departure formalities for international travel. Don’t hate them. They are just doing their job to avoid undocumented Filipino workers abroad.
As for my personal experience, I have never been offloaded for my years of traveling but I experienced a very strict 10-minute interview with an Immigration Officer. It’s nerve racking! So, I am sharing with you useful tips for this nightmare not to happen.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated nor part of the Philippine Immigration. All the tips I will be sharing is based on my pure experience and encounter with Immigration interview.
Do Your Research
When it comes to traveling, preparation is always the key especially when you are on a budget. The same is true with your immigration departure interview. Go to the Philippine Immigration website for the requirements to be presented on your departure interview, depending on your employment status. Also, it is important that the guidelines are coming from them so it means that it is accurate. Reach out to them too through Facebook. They are very responsive and would give you the right answers to your queries. You can also check blogs and YouTube videos on the web regarding other’s experience regarding offload and immigration departure interview. Learn from their experience, avoid the mistakes they did and follow the tips they give.
Get Your Travel and Employment Documents Ready and Printed
These documents prove that you will just travel and not going to seek employment abroad. Also, these will back up your departure interview proving that you are employed and will come back to our home country. Immigration Officers usually look for your valid passport, return ticket and visa. But you can also include hotel/accommodation booking and itinerary just in case they look for them. For proof of employment, prepare your company i.d, Certificate of Employment (COE) stating you are currently employed in the company and Leave of Absence (LOA) form. Print them out and present them nicely to the Immigration Officer when they ask for it.
P.s. I write my itinerary at the back of my leave form to make it more convincing.
Practice Immigration Interview Questions
Since you already did your research and you heard others experience regarding their immigration interview, you have idea what questions the immigration officer might ask. With that, you can also start preparing your answers with the expected questions you gathered on your research.
For your reference, these are the common questions I encountered during my departure formalities. Some might make your eyebrow raise but let’s believe they have reasons for asking them.
- What is your job?
- What company are you working with?
- Where are you going?
- Where will you stay in (destination)?
- Is the travel for work or vacation?
- Is it your first time abroad?
- Why are you traveling alone?
- When are you coming back?
- How long will you stay?
- Who are you traveling with?
- What will you do in (destination)?
- Where did you graduate in College?
- What is your major/ degree?
- When did you graduate?
Be Confident and Honest
Remember, your confidence will show your honesty. If you keep on stammering and can’t answer the Immigration Officer straight, that might be a red flag and subject to offload. Always keep a confident tone of voice and look at them straight in the eyes while answering their questions. Know to yourself that you have nothing to hide. You will just travel, explore new country, learn new culture and live your best life!