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No return ticket - will I have visa problems?

Discussion in 'Migrating to the Philippines' started by Sunnyjim, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Sunnyjim
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    Sunnyjim Member

    So we are flying soon to Manila on a one way ticket, as the plan is to stay a few months and get married.

    But I'm worried now - will I have problems at customs without a return ticket?

    (I didn't buy a return ticket because I'm planning on doing the whole Surinder Singh thing.)
  2. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    You must have either: return tickets or: tickets out of the country dated within 30 days of your arrival. You will not be permitted to check-in for your flight to the Philippines otherwise. In addition to showing 'exit' tickets to check-in, you'll be required to show them to the Immigration Officer upon arrival.

    I suggest you book a Tiger Airways flight to Singapore which will cost you a few Dollars but cheap enough to throw-away after it expires.
  3. Sunnyjim
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    Sunnyjim Member

    Thanks Markham.

    Next question is: I understand I can extend my visa to 59 days once I arrive in Manila. How will this work if I have a flight to Singapore within 30 days? Won't this raise questions?
  4. TheTeach
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    TheTeach Le MaƮtre Senior Member

    Once you get through immigration upon your arrival - showing your onward ticket to who knows where, you won't have any problems with visa renewals at immigration. Crazy isn't it??

    Al.
  5. johncar54
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    johncar54 Member

    When I went to Philippines in 2006, I did have a return ticket ( I could change the return date) I applied for, I believe it was a three month visa from the Philippines Consulate in Spain before I went. When I was there I obtained two extensions from the Bureau of Immigration in Manila.

    A problem which emerged was that as my wife was coming to Spain with me, and I could not book her on the my flight, the ticket I had became useless so we had to buy singles for both of us.
  6. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    You can pay for your first Extension (of 28 days) on arrival at Manila provided that the BI office in the terminal is open. If your flight arrives at Terminal 1, there should be no problem but the BI offices in Terminals 2 and 3 are not always manned. There is no cost advantage in doing this however, the cost of the Extension will be the same if you visit the nearest BI office to where you're living - I believe you mentioned Cebu and there's a "full service" BI office in Mandaue City.
  7. Sunnyjim
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    Sunnyjim Member

    Hmmmm. Can I buy a ticket with TigerAirways to Singapore, then apply for a refund?
  8. johncar54
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    johncar54 Member

    From Tiger Airline web page

    refunds and cancellations
    Tigerair operates a no refund policy and as such it is unable to refund any tickets (fares and charges) where the passenger decides they no longer have a requirement to fly or is unable to travel, as a result of any change in personal circumstances, including but not limited to medical grounds. Individual or Personal Travel Insurance is recommended for all passengers to cover such cancellations.

    Should a passenger decide they no longer wish to travel they are entitled to apply for a refund of the Government Passenger Services Tax and other government taxes paid. However, Tigerair will apply a S$50.00 or A$50.00 (for Australia domestic flights) administration fee (or local equivalent) per passenger per sector to cover the cost of processing and bank charges for each tax refund request.

    In the event of the death of a passenger prior to the scheduled departure time of their flight. Tigerair will refund the reservation following receipt of a copy of the death certificate.
  9. johncar54
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    johncar54 Member

    From UK Gov web page:-

    Entry requirements
    Visas
    You can enter the Philippines without a visa for an initial period of 30 days. You can also get a tourist visa from the Philippine Embassybefore you travel, which will allow an initial 59 day stay.

    You can apply to extend your stay at the offices of the Bureau of Immigration. Overstaying without the proper authority is a serious matter and can lead to detention pending payment of outstanding fees and fines and voluntary deportation at your own expense.
  10. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    Make sure that if you get an e-ticket for the return/exit, you print it out. You must show a printed copy.
    Where is the requirement for the exit ticket to be dated within 30 days of arrival in the country?

    On several occasions (not recently) I have flown in with an eight week return ticket, and paid for the extension of stay before the expiry of the initial (21 day) period allowed. (not wanting to confuse things, the 21 days has now been replaced by 30 days)

    The IATA travel rules refer to the return ticket, but not when it must be dated, these are the rules referred to by the airport check-in staff.

    I would appreciate any clarification of this.
  11. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    The situation with regards to people visiting the country, either under the Visa Waiver Scheme or with 9(a) Visitor Visas, has changed but (typically) the Bureau of Immigration's web site has not yet caught-up.

    If you are a returning "Permanent Resident" - with a Section 13 Visa (quota or non-quota), Investors' or Retired Persons' Visas - then you do NOT need to produce an onwards or return ticket but you will have to produce your ACR-I Card and Re-Entry Permit. All other (non-diplomatic) persons require an onwards/return air ticket dated no later than their maximum initial permitted stay - 59 days with a Visa or 30 days without (for UK/EU/US Passport holders). As those visitors who arrive in the Philippines without a valid onwards/return ticket are refused entry and the airline is required to fly them back to their origin and is also heftily fined, airlines should check that passengers hold the correct documentation and refuse to carry those who don't.

    These regulations were tightened-up when Commissioner Mison took over from Commissioner David in the latter half of last year. In fact, for visitors it is potentially worse than that because when you apply for an Extension of Stay, the Alien Control Officer can ask to see your onwards/return ticket. But I have yet to hear that this particular requirement is being enforced.
  12. walesrob
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    walesrob Administrator Staff Member

    Every time I've been to the Philippines, I've NEVER been asked to show my return ticket.
  13. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    If when you checked-in for the outbound, the agent sees that you've booked a round-trip then you probably would not have been asked.
  14. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    In all my flights I have only ever been asked to show the onward or return ticket a couple of times, even in recent times.
  15. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    I understand that you mean the rules at departure for the airline will prohibit departure but at the same time the actual checks on landing in the Philippines are almost non existent even now.

    As I have mentioned on here before, in Dec 2008 I was refused boarding at Glasgow on a KLM flight to Manila because I only had 4 months left on my passport, that had not bothered the same folk at Glasgow the previous month when I only had 5 months on my passport so even at the UK end these checks may not be rigorously enforced.
  16. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    I would not recommend attempting to fly to the Philippines without a return or onwards ticket.
  17. oss
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    oss Not Here Staff Member

    Neither would I.

    Although you get told on every flight that if you don't have an onward ticket, report to immigration on arrival, presumably so you can buy one, or maybe so you can go directly to jail without passing go ;) :D
  18. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    I still see no clarification about the "return ticket within 30 days" requirement.

    Is that true, is that really the way that check-in staff work, despite the fact that IATA guidelines do not mention that requirement, or is it merely a rumour, perhaps sponsored by Tiger Airways .

    I remember flying from Manchester to Luxembourg last year, my return ticket was in ten weeks time. The check-in lady made a overly big issue about telling me that I could not stay in Luxembourg longer than three months without a visa, my ticket was for just under that and I think she was a trainee wanting to feel important...

    I asked my hotel about it, no problem, they always fill in the official forms. I asked my employer, no problem. I checked the Government websites, no problem. Finally I realised that she had misread the IATA rules and was regarding me as a "British Overseas Citizen", fairly ironic that she was not a native Brit herself...

    I could not be bothered to tell her that I was flying from Luxembourg to Saigon five days later, better to keep the hidden card up my sleeve...

    Anyway, back to the point, where is the official clarification for the "return ticket within 30 days" requirement, preferably with supporting documentation.
  19. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    It's a Philippine Bureau of Immigration requirement, Dave.
  20. Dave_E
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    Dave_E Well-Known Member Trusted Member

    [​IMG]

    Aargh!

    [​IMG]

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