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Offloaded at NAIA? Here’s how to avoid it

by | TOP STORIES

It’s one of an OFW’s worst nightmares: being offloaded in the airport, minutes away from boarding a plane. Your bags are all packed and you have said your goodbyes to family and friends (who have wished you a safe flight in return) and you are flagged by an airport officer who tells you you cannot board the plane.

Many OFWs have found themselves being offloaded at the airport, unable to go abroad and fulfill their dream of helping their families here in the Philippines by working overseas.

This comes as the government continues to intensify efforts to combat human trafficking. Data from the Bureau of Immigration show that 43, 323 Filpinos have been barred from leaving the country in 2016 alone.

According to NAIA Immigration Officer Dennis Opiña, Dubai is the most common destination of Filipinos who want to work overseas.

“Dito kasi sa Dubai napakarami nang Pilipino. Ang gagawin lamang ng kababayan natin hahanap ng sponsor, halimbawa, o kung wala man sponsor magpapakuha lamang o maga-apply ng visa,” Opiña said.

For her part, Immigration spokesperson Angelica Pedro said “inconsistencies” in the travel plan may result in a Filipino traveler being offloaded.

“If we find out that there is an inconsistency in any part of your travel, offloading may be a consequence of that,” she said.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, in a phone interview from Manila, said it’s the immigration officers’ job to scrutinize Filipinos leaving the country. He said OFWs, for their part, should ensure that they have proper documents.

“Trabaho ng ating immigration officers na magkaruon ng paniniguro na ang mga umaalis ng bansa na mga manggagawa, lalo na yung papunta ng Middle East, ay napangangalagaan,” Cacdac said.

“Kung ang sirkumstansya ay kaduda-duda (kaya di pinaalis), para sa akin ay para sa kabutihan na rin yun ng mga kababayan natin. Kumuha muna ng sapat na dokumentasyon mula sa gobyerno natin. Isipin nyo na lang na kung di ganun kahigpit ang mga immigration officers, makakaalis ang maraming mga kababayan natin at ang susunod dyan ay tataas naman ang mga kaso ng abuse,” Cacdac said.

So the next question is: how do you avoid being one of them? How do you avoid being offloaded? Here are some important tips to consider:

Make sure you have all immigration requirements

Airport authorities have strict policies when it comes to immigration requirements. These include:

  • Visa

  • Valid passport

  • Plane ticket

  • Supporting documents and IDs

Ace your interview with immigration officials

It’s your turn to be questioned by immigration personnel. The tip is to answer their questions in a truthful, straightforward manner. Some of the questions they usually ask are:

  • Which company will you work for?

  • Where will you be staying?

Prepare additional documents

Sometimes, immigration personnel ask for proof that a passenger has business to a particular country he or she is going to, or if a tourist is really just going to visit for a holiday. It is always wise to bring the following documents that you can present:

  • Company ID

  • Income Tax Return (for returning OFWs)

  • Certificate of Employment

So the next time you travel or find yourself just days before a flight, do remember to prepare the right documents, be confident in your answers during the interview and bring supporting documents that you might need to present to immigration personnel.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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