First Time Abroad: How I Almost Got Offloaded as a Freelancer?

how I almost got offloaded as a freelancerHow I Almost Got Offloaded as a Freelancer? It was my first out of the country trip for my 4 Days and 3 Nights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September 2013. My Philippine passport was so fresh at that time, which I applied for it in January 2013. Got enticed to book my first international trip after my Siquijor-Dumaguete trip with an unexpected free trip to Manila. I was so stoked back then as I was bringing my laptop working as a digital nomad. I was with a fellow blogger friend. When he learned that I’d go to Malaysia, he booked a flight right away.

Got an email from the airline that there will be a change of our flight. Instead of flying directly from Cebu to Kuala Lumpur, the airline told us that we had to fly to Manila then Kuala Lumpur. Our flight to Manila was in the morning, and our flight to Kuala Lumpur was in the afternoon. We already checked in, and it was our time to get interviewed by the Immigration Officer.

How I Almost Got Offloaded as a Freelancer? – Facing the Immigration Officer

My blogger friend was a medical student, so his interview was great and smooth. I, on the other hand, I was very confident that time, but the IO asked me a lot of questions. She asked me about my current job, my employment ID, my funds, bank accounts and other sources where I got my funds for traveling.

Unfortunately, I have no Income Tax Return, no Certificate of Employment, no company ID, no leave of absence to show, and no other proof that I have a strong indication to come back to the Philippines.

The IO was interrogating me, but I answered with confidence. I told the IO I’ve been working online since 2009 and the transaction for the salary are through online. I don’t have any employment ID to show, so I just showed my BIR ID which was not the one they were looking. They asked more about my job on what I do. They asked my bank accounts, and I showed them different ATM cards until they asked me one last thing, if I have a credit card.

My Credit Card Saved Me

I showed them my credit card. It did save my @$$ and they let me fly out of the country. Without it, I had no idea what to do if I experienced offloading.

Things to Prepare to Avoid Offloading

Bring these documents to avoid offloading.

  • Valid passport
  • Bank Certification
  • Credit Card (if applicable)
  • Latest Income Tax Return (ITR)
  • Proof of property (vehicle, land title)
  • Certificate of Employment (COE, of course, if you’re employed)
  • Approved Leave of Absence (LOA, if employed)
  • A copy of Company ID
  • Return flight ticket
  • A copy of your daily itinerary
  • A copy of your hotel/hostel booking reservation
  • A visa (to a particular country if applicable)
  • Bring School ID, Transcript of Records (TOR), in case you are asked for your educational attainment

Well, this was my first experience of traveling abroad in 2013. The second time was in Hong Kong, and I went with friends. You can also check out How I Got a Japan Visa without Income Tax Return.

Next time, I will share with you how I traveled solo to 5 countries in 2015.

Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.

178 thoughts on “First Time Abroad: How I Almost Got Offloaded as a Freelancer?

  • hi po.ask ko lng if may possibility pb maoffload pg tour package sa travel agency ang kinuha mu?plan kc nmen ng bf ko mg bangkok.last year pko ngresign s work xa nman in 3 days resign prang wla kme work parehas but he has savings kaya lilibre nya ko.

      • Salamat po sa tips..actually last year of september lang nag malaysia kame kaso may work p sya that time.ako wala na nun kaya nasecond inspection pako..mas natakot lang ako ngaun kc parehas na kame wala work pero since tour package kala ko super safe na rin sa the way salamat po ulet ms. roxanne 😊

  • Hi miss Roxanne.. MAy idea ka po ba if I will get offloaded,, I got a package tour as a group tour but I will be alone.. I don’t even know whom I am with.. wala ako work now, kasi babalik pa aq sa KUWAIT sa MAY 24,2018 Domestic helper ako..meron ako visa sa Kuwait and ticket ko na babalik ako dun.. like ko lang kasi magbakasyon muna bago bumalik s Kuwait. hahanapin kaya sa akin lahat yun ng IO? salamat

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