Nowadays, the Philippine Immigration is being very strict about people going abroad especially to countries that does not require visa for entry. One of the famous destinations is Thailand. People just come to Thailand with only passport with them and nothing else. They can easily enter the kingdom and stay up to 30 days. Now, what is very ironic here is that, in the immigration office in NAIA 2, or in Clark Airport, the officers are very strict and opted to offload passengers whom they suspected as job hunters without proper working documents and visas.
The truth is, people come to visit their friends in Thailand and start looking for jobs. I know for sure that this is not a hidden agenda anymore because the immigration office already know about this. What they do to address the situation is that they imposed a list of documents needed for Thailand travelers in order for them to board the plane. Documents are invitation letter from a friend in Thailand authenticated by Philippine Embassy Bangkok (worth 1250 Baht), passport copy of that person, and copy of work permit.
Most of the time, passengers just come to Thailand as tourists. Here are ways in order to avoid tight interrogation from the immigration office. First, dress smartly. If they see you dress not properly, they will start suspecting you and will include you in their list. Secondly, avoid bringing to many hand carries. Be simple and easy. Show them that you know where you are going and what you’re gonna do there. And, last very important tips is, when you are asked with a lot of questions, be ready to answer them confidently. Be sure that you have the same answer for every related questions and repeated questions. Be confident.
But, sometimes, these officers just simply include you in their list of offloaded passengers even when you have complete documents. Thousands of Bangkok-bound passengers were already offloaded by them. This is a good way to prevent human trafficking, according to them. But. Most of the times they are very much unreasonable. Passengers who wanted to come to Bangkok have already secured all possible papers and documents needed to show to the immigration office but still they are offloaded. Many at times passengers complained for random denial. A certain case of a working Mom here in Bangkok, with her 8 year-old daughter and her sister who is also a teacher here. They went back to Philippines for emergency because their Mom died. In Davao Airport, during their return flight back here, the immigration officer asked for the daughter’s return ticket. The daughter has been staying here in Bangkok with them, and in fact she is just a minor, but the officer said that the child can not go without securing a return ticket. How? Would that mean that they wanted the child to come back by her own since the two are teaching here? The officers really insisted for a return ticket and suggested to just refund it later. It was almost time for their boarding so they just purchase a ticket just for them to board the plane. Buy return ticket and refund it? Another case happened to my husband and daughter. In December, we all went home. But I came back here earlier than them because I needed to catch my classes. And so they followed me 2 weeks after. In Clark, the immigration officer asked for their return ticket. My daughter is only 3 and so she does not any visa and she can stay in Thailand without visa until she reach 15 years of age. And my husband has a Visa and re-entry permit, copy of my work permit and passport, marriage certificate and the child’s birth certificate. He showed everything to the officer and asked “why do we need to have return ticket when we are not coming back yet, we have been staying there for 5 years already”. But the officer just said, “I’m sorry Sir but you can not fly without return ticket.”
The good thing was, I already purchased a ticket for their March vacation but I didn’t print it because I never thought it would be required. My husband said, we have a ticket but its not printed. The officer insisted, and so they searched in the internet, their names, date of flight, destination, and they saw it right and printed it, and they were released.
My question is, if the immigration officers are really after those who are victims of human trafficking, why are they so unreasonable most of the time. Purchasing return tickets without using it is just a waste of money. How can they help Filipino people in that way? They are just adding up to burdens these people are facing. Their style doesn’t help at all.
So, isang mahalagang payo mga kapatid na nais pumuntang Thailand at maghanap ng work. Dress decently, wag yong para kang pupuntang night club, prepare all documents, and answer their questions confidently. To be really safe, have your return tickets ready. It might be expensive I know, but it is easier than being offloaded. Good luck.