How 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 Bureau of 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
Next time, I will share with you how I traveled solo to 5 countries in 2015.
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Roxanne is an aspiring digital nomad. A virtual assistant since October 2009. She is a hobbyist blogger, photographer and travels a lot.