SQ: Is Philippine Immigration OK with multi-destinations?

If only international travel is as hassle free as domestic. Komodo, Indonesia.

At our Facebook fan page, a follower asked the following question: "Would I have problems at the Philippine Immigration if I have multiple destinations outside of the country?"

First, a disclaimer: I am not an immigration lawyer. My answer to this question is guided by my own experiences having gone out of the country more than twenty times in the last ten years.

For those who do not understand the context of this question, Philippine Immigration requires Filipinos going out of the country to posses a return ticket upon their check in for their outbound flight. If you're wondering why, here are my thoughts on the issue:

Read also: Why are Filipinos required to have a return ticket?

Thus, the question could be rephrased as "Would I have problems at the Immigration if the arrival airport for my outbound flight is different for my departure airport for my return flight?" Simply put, is there a problem if I'm flying Manila - Siem Reap (outbound) and Bangkok - Manila (return)?

The short answer: No.

Immigration officials only require a return ticket, it doesn't matter if you're flying out of a different city than that where you arrived. But, and there's a big but. Some Immigration personnel are known to be bullies and nothing stops them from interrogating you, especially if they think it's your first time to travel. The only way to deal with these bullies if to maintain a presence of mind, tell them your itinerary and show your return ticket.

I know this is easier said (or blogged) than done. During my first few trips out of the country, an immigration personnel asked where did I get the funds to backpack for one month, and I replied "That's none of your business." I promise both of us were shocked with that reply, and he responded with a hundred other questions. What's the lesson here? Immigration personnel could be annoying sometimes, but they could also annoy you more, so it's best to keep that smile.

So don't worry about having multiple destinations. In fact, I think it's the best way to travel outside the country if you're Filipino. With how expensive our travel tax is, it makes sense to target as many countries as possible with each trip.

Check out my multi-destination itineraries here.

Submit your own travel question here.

Tara, byahe tayo!

Froilan Grate | Last Row Traveler

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