Unjustified ‘offloading’ of Filipino travelers

My old post: New Rule for Filipinos Traveling to Dubai discussing the pains of Filipinos traveling from the Philippines to Dubai has been getting a lot of  attention lately from people wanting to travel to Dubai but faced a lot of problems with the immigration officials in Manila.

Despite having proper documents, Filipinos still face problems at the immigration desks while exiting the country. The proper documents would include passport,  visa to enter Dubai and that Affidavit of Support (a new document imposed last Sept 2010 by the Philippine government supposedly to curb human trafficking but has been subjected to a lot of abuse and seen only as new money making scheme) authenticated at the Philippine consulate in Dubai and air tickets. But horror stories have surfaced how people are bullied into answering ridiculous questions like proving his/her relation with the sponsoring relative in Dubai (which have been proven during the notarization of the Affidavit), show money (cash on hand), ATM cards, Credit cards, certificate of employment in the Philippines, etc.

It’s worth mentioning AGAIN that: this Affidavit of Support that entails a lot of trouble to get is NOT required when one enters Dubai.

It’s not uncommon to hear stories that some travelers have resorted to paying immigration officers bribe money just to pass through the airport freely.

While I don’t condone paying these corrupt officials who trample the constitution’s RIGHT TO TRAVEL, I could not blame the people entirely. Desperate job seekers* sacrifice a few thousand pesos for a hassle-free travel out, thinking of long term greener pastures waiting for them abroad. It’s just blatantly wrong!

Today, UAE national paper Gulf News published an article about the silly ‘offloading policy‘ imposed at Philippine airports that is not only illogical but unconstitutional as well. The term ‘offloading’ itself is outrageous – this happens after you’ve checked in your bags! Sometimes even when you’re already in the pre-departure area with passport stamped cleared for travel.

Offloaded passengers have been reaching out to me via the blog post which they found in Google while searching for answers to their woes and I have answered most of their queries with the information that I know. I am glad there is an advisory as to where to formally submit the complaints, from Gulf News:


If you had been victimized by alleged corrupt officials in Philippines airports, please email the Filcom-DNE through matilynbagunu@yahoo.com or alan_1010@yahoo.com to submit the following documents:

  • Copy of boarding pass.
  • Exit stamp in the Philippines showing the control number and initials/signature of the BI officer.
  • Original passport (with bearer).
  • Sworn statement.

I really hope this issue is sorted out the soonest. It is disgusting that a country who ‘uplifts’ Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) as the new heroes, helping the country’s frail economy with the dollar remittances coming from abroad is actually being anti-OFW with this baseless, non-sensical ‘offloading policy’.

* It’s a common knowledge that employers in Dubai entertain job seekers on tourist visa then transfer it to employment visa once they are accepted for the job.

[Top Photo Credit]

Instead of posting in the comments, you can now ask questions or post your travel success story at my new community forum: http://sandierpastures.com/sandier-pastures-community-forum

561 thoughts on “Unjustified ‘offloading’ of Filipino travelers

  1. As most of us Filipino Overseas Workers looking for greener pastures for our family’s future, we have taken risks of coming to a place totally unsure of what will happen whether we are to succeed or not. Although admittedly, this kind of doing is wrong but we should not be judged by them as fugitives.

    Just wanted to share my husband’s experience from the Phil. IO’s. He arrived here in UAE thru a tourist visa last month, sponsored by me. We prepared all the documents required before booking his flight (eg. AOS, our marriage contract duly authenticated by DFA and UAE Embassy in Manila, and even our birth certificates) but from all this he still got questioned by the IO’s and was sent to the airport office. From there he was interrogated by three official’s asking questions that are irrelevant to his travel, maybe trying to seize some amount from my husband but eventually failed. So, they just allowed my husband to pass through. But before doing so, they confiscated his original documents (AOS with our authenticated marriage certificate) leaving his visa and passport only, still unsatisfied they have issued their so-called ‘TRAVEL MEMO’ for my husband indicating that he and I (yes, including ME) will be deported back to Philippines if he fails to return back this month. The most bothering part of it was… my husband never received a copy of it. Do they have the rights to do so? Even if I have all the legality as a worker?


  2. Hello! nakakalungkot and at the same time nakakainspire yung mga experienced na nababasa ko sa forum na to ( thanks to you miss grace for this blog site ) Iaapply ko din as tourist visa yung boyfriend this coming July. But the difference uuwe din ako sa july and what the agency suggested to me na pinaka safe is sabayan ko yung boyfriend ko. So nakahanap sila ng flight same as my flight talaga na pabalik ko na dito sa UAE ( I am currently working as a sales manager here in Abu DHabi ) so yung flight namen together with my boyfriend is manila to hongkong, then hongkong to dubai. Tapos magproprovide lang daw ng dummy ticket yung sa boyfriend ko in 2 weeks ( kunyare ) na Dubai to manila. So i dont know kung malaking advantage na ako mismo yung mageescort sa kanya from Philippines at sasabihin na ako yung sponsor niya. Do you think malaking advantage yung presence ko? or I should let him to travel alone papuntang hongkong then to Dubai tapos dun ko nalang siya imemeet? I can provide all the documents for him with o without my presence but the only thing that i cant provide is yung AOS kasi hndi pa naman kame related to each other.

    Please need your advice and suggestions ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Hi! pareho po tayo ng plan isasabay ko din ang BF ko pagbalik ko Dubai pero August pa naman flight namin.. pwede ka makakuha ng AOS pero fiance ang ilalagay mo. Ganon din kasi ang gagawin ko, Pero sabi nun magpprocess ng documents hinde pa din guranteed kahit kasabay na yung sponsor kasi depende pa din sa pagsagot sa IO so swertehan pa rin talaga. Balitaan mo naman ako loriel kung ano mangyari sa flight nio ng BF mo..Maraming Salamat..


  3. grabe naman mga nabasa ko.. paalis na ako sa july 9.. baka ma offload ako.. kasama ko naman mga bakasyunista d2 galing dubai, isasama daw ako palabas.. tanonng? ma offload kaya ako ?? kasama ko mga kamag anak ng Girlfriend ko..


  4. my husband offload last wk,try nya uli ngaung wk kahit nagkatuldok naang pasport nya sa bandang likod,nakumpleto na rin nya ung invitation letter sa sister nya.may posibilidad pa ba uli na oofload cya,may karapatan b na ipaglaban nya ang rights nya na makapag tourist sa SG,laki na nagagastos kaya may karapatan din sya na magalit sa IO kung sakali at ma offload uli cya at wag nman sana..


  5. Hi po!
    Balak ko din po magtourist sa uae kaso 2nd cousin ko lang po ang nagssponsor sakin. bday gift po kase sakin yun from my bf na nagwowork din po sa sa uae,nagtulong lang po sila ng cousin ko para maiayos mga kelangan ko pati ticket ko nadin po (with return ticket)
    Ok lang po ba na sabihin ko po sa immigration na nandun din po ang bf ko sa uae?at pde pong magsupport sakin.
    Doubt po kase ako sa sponsor ko,the fact na 2nd cousin ko lang sya.. So kukunin ko nalang mga docs nila pareho if ever. Oec,emirates id,contract etc.
    Employed pa po ako and mabibigay ko naman po mga docs about sa employment ko.
    May credit card and payroll atm din po ako.
    Aside sa bday gift,we r going to celebrate our 3rd yr anniversary nmin ng bf ko.
    Pls.sana po mabgyan nyo po ko ng payo. ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. Hi guys, Im going to qatar this august, but im planning to get a tour from manila-malaysia coz its cheaper than in hongkong. Is there anyone who has plan to go in malaysia?


  7. Hi! Is anybody here who sponsored there bf and they travel with them manila – dubai? Coz I’m planning to bring my bf here, I will have my vacation this coming December and I planned to comeback here in UAE with him after new year. I’m a nurse here with license. We’re already engage and we will get married on May. I just want him to come here for our Prenup venue for our big day. You think there will be a problem with this Immigration Officer? I have all the documents needed like my contract and salary cert if ever they will ask. AOS, visit visa and roundtrip ticket for him plus my presence. Hope you guys can share their xp related to mine. Thank you and Godbless!


  8. hi po mga sir and mam.. im planning na mag visit visa sa dubai but i plan n mag travel agency muna mag tour po ako sa hongkong for 3days.. may possibility ba na ma offload pa kht magtravel agency na ako..

    and if ever po sino may contact sa inyo na mag escort para d maoffload ok lang kht na magbayad na.. patusin ko na mga kuratong sa pinas kesa ma istak-ap d2 sa pinas na hndi naman sasapat ang kita.. please sana po matulungan nio ako, e2 po email ko.. acuril.arbel@gmail.com or please contact me po kapag may kilala kau.. 09262365730 please help nop naman po ako.


  9. Grabe talaga ang immigration officers sa pilipinas.
    pero based on my experience, nakalusot ako sa immigration nung oct.2013 pero hindi ko sinabi na pupunta ako ng dubai. Meron akong tour voucher (which includes booked hotel and tour) sa thailand. pinakita ko lang ung mga un at roundtrip ticket (PH-THAI-PH). Dapat di nila makita ung mga documents mo na magdudubai ka. (and kasama ko din dad ko nun) wala naman nang pake ang thailand airport kung magdudubai ka or what pero need mo parin ng dummy ticket (DXB to PH) para sure. ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. Hello po. I am planning to go to singapore this april para mag work doon pero i’ll portray as a tourist. I am 21 yrs. old and i am going there alone. 21 days po pinabook ko. May chance po ba ako ma off load kahit na may maipakita ako invitation letter, company id and coe? i really need answers. thank you


  11. hello po ask lang po ako advice.. i have my husband working in uae. kaso were not yet married but we have 2 kids na. balak nya ko kunin kaso hnde pa kami mag ka apelyido ano po ba requirements need to provide. and ano pp maganda reason why ako punta dun?

    may isa pa option na ung 1st cousin ng asawa ko magsponsor ano po ba dapat requirements na hinde ka offload offload.??
    thanks!! sana may makasagot sa problem ko


  12. Ask lang po, may visa po aq going to abu dhabi, SINGLE ENTRY, NEW SHORT TERM VIST SINGLE ENTRY -WORK, ang nakalagay sa visa,ang pla q dumaan muna nang singapore then mag stay doon for a couples of day,then flight na to abu dhabi,anu ba kailangan ng IO sa singapore,d kaya ma question kasi hindi naman tourist visa yan.thanks sa sasagot.May return flight from abudhabi to sg,


  13. dapat patayin yang mga walanghiyang immigration officer na yan. naranasan ko na din ang ma offload. kahit na halos mapuno na ng stamp ang pasport ko kc daming beses ko na nagtravel. wala sila maayos na explanation bakit nila ako ioffload yun pala manghihingi lang ng lagay worth 1 thousand USD. kc ang dala ko pocket money 2k USD. pinanindigan ko na hindi maglagay kaya sa huli offloaded ako. mga walanghiya nakakapanggigil sarap balatan ng buhay.


  14. Hi po question po sino po dito kaka travel lang as tourist visa from manila to sg then sg to dubai nung nasa singapore immigration n po kayo ano po ang hinahanap nilang documents at ano po nag question nila hinahanapan p b ng pocket money at invitation letter from dubai? Like sa mga tanong sa manila immigration and ano po yung nilalagay nila sa passport laminated stamp or stamp lang talaga sya please po ineed your answer salamat po!!

    Add ko na din sa tanong once ba na nasa immigration k n ng dubai airport ano ang mga questions at hahanapin n documents please pasagot po kaagad….


  15. Hello. First time ko po magtravel this coming october to Singapore for 26days with my foreign bf with me. Sagot niya po lahat including RT ticket, hotel, and other expenses. Tanong o lang po ano pa po ba ang kailangan kong requirements? Takot po kasi akong ma offload. Hehe thanks


  16. Hi!
    I also had the same scenario like the others re: offloading. Yun sakin naman they confiscated my AOS kasi fake daw eventhough naka red ribbon ito. ????????????
    My cousin said na agency yung nag ayos nun at nag fill up lang siya. Ang balak lalakadin personally kaso they (the embassy) give strict policy re: 4th degree of consanguinity. 2nd cousin po kasi kami. Kindly help me naman po. i need some tips. Want ko po talaga mag tour sa dubai ????????????


  17. I’ve been there! Done that! I experienced the whole traumatic experience and the embarrassment. I was offloaded two times. In the airport, immigration officers have this kind of habit and lifestyle to offload Filipinos going to dubai! My friends in dubai who are from india, pakistan, egypt, lebanon were so appalled to know the offloading lifestyle in NAIA! They are very eager to find you any reasons to deny you. they will ask for the documents u dont have so that u will be offloaded and the sad part is they have no mercy in providing help for plane refund or whatsoever! very cruel people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I msgd different kinds of partylist including Migrante international about the rampant offloading system in dubai and still no reply!


  18. I hope you guys are still active responding to our inquiry.

    Anyway, mag cross country sana ako MNL>BKK>DXB kaso nga lang, baka matanong ako ng IO dahil unemployed ako at mag isa lang mag travel. Though I can provide naman roundtrip ticket MNL>BKK>MNL, Hotel Booking, Itinerary, Debit/Credit Card at Statement of Bank Account. Masyadong malaking pera na yung nasa Savings ko kung titingnan nila yung statement. Magbu-book pa lang ako ng Ticket ko to Bangkok depende kung kailan plan ng employer ko. Direct hired kasi ako. Kaya base dun sa ticket na ibu-book nila for me going DXB yung ibu-book ko going BKK. Do you think enough na yan mga documents na yan para palusutin nila ako? This is my 2nd time to travel abroad nga pala. I went to Taiwan last January though employed pa ako noon.


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