The biggest nightmare for a tourist is not being allowed by Immigration Officials to board the plane. The trip ends even before it begins. Not only can it be humiliating, it also puts to waste everything invested on planning the trip: time, money, effort, and emotions. And with the Bureau of Immigration putting in place stricter measures to combat human trafficking and prevent potential illegal aliens, they may need a little bit more convincing.

According to the Bureau of Immigration, every day around 40 people are offloaded at NAIA Terminal 1 alone. Most of them had the intention of seeking employment in their destination country without proper papers.

It’s been a highly controversial issue these days with some questioning the constitutionality of the policy, as it goes against a Filipino citizen’s right to travel. Also, its vagueness makes it prone to abuse. But while we continue to discuss this in social media, the bureau has long been implementing this.

So, if you’re traveling to another country soon (especially if it’s your first time) and wish to breeze through the airport immigration process without incident, here are some things that could help:

Before you are allowed to board, there are three things that you MUST present to the Immigration Office: valid passport, round trip ticket, and visa, if applicable. Usually, these are all they will ask from you, so you should have these three.  However, they sometimes ask the following: “Where will you be staying?”  They may ask a copy of your hotel reservation. If you’re staying at a friend’s, they may dig deeper by asking for more documents to prove you would return.

According to a memorandum entitled Guidelines on Departure Formalities for International-Bound Passengers, released by the Bureau of Immigration to their airport and seaport officers in 2012, travelers are assessed based on their age, educational attainment, and financial capability to travel.

The last item usually becomes an issue. According to the Bureau (as told to a news agency) tourists who are more likely to be questioned are those with no steady income in the Philippines, and has no benafactors. If the person appears to have reason different from what he has declared before the immigration official, he may be asked to present further proof. First-time tourists to a not-so-popular destination are also candidates for questionings.