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 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

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.

188 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

  • hi! isa akong public school teacher at nakapag travel na ako sa japan noong 2015 kasi doon nagttrabaho ang nanay ko kaya may invitation letter sya nag process din ako ng travel order form deped in case hanapan ako, ngayon andito na si inay at balak kong magtravel uli sa japan kasama sya pero wala na syang work at isasama ko din ang anak ko nagprocess na din ako ng TO pero sa letter ko dun eh i visit ko ang kapatid ko na nagtatrabaho dun ito ang ikina kakakaba ko kasi baka hanapan kami ng invitation letter eh di na kami nag accomplish nun dahil di naman nya alam na pupunta kami dun parang surprise visit sana… magiging problema kaya ito? salamat ng marami

    • Tourist visa na Walang guarantor po so ok Lang yan. You don’t have to say you have to visit a relative. May cousin ako sa Osaka pero sa Tokyo ako nag visit,most,of the time.

      • sa visa application wala namang problema, yung travel order ko kasi ang reason na nalagay ko para payagan ako ay bisitahin ang kapatid ko baka kasi makita ng IO at hanapan kami ng invitation letter galing sa kapatid ko eh di na kami nag abala dahil ako naman ang mag shoulder ng expenses ng travel namin. sana lang di na kami hanapan ito ang inaalala ko…salamat sa reply

  • Hi! My sister and I will be travelling to Thakland this May 30 to celebrate her birthday there. We’re first timers po. She’s currently employed and has all the needed papers like COE, LOA, Bank Statement and company ID while I’m not employed cause I’m managing our family business. All I have here is my Bank Certificate, Itinerary, Hotel Bookings, and Business Permit with ITR but nakapangalan sa Mom ko since matagal nang family business ‘to. Do you think magkakaproblema kami sa immigration? Hoping for your reply! Thanks!

    • Hi Toni! Just bring everything unless they ask. Wag ka masyado mag explain kung di ka tinatanong. 🙂

  • Hi Rox,

    Do you think I’ll run into problem in the immigration? I am unemployed but ‘ll be going to tour japan with sponsorship from my dad but my dad will not be coming with me. I’ll plan to bring with me my passport, approved visa, maybe bring also my dad’s documents like affidavit of support and his COE, Bank Certificate and Tax forms. Though my visa is approved with my dad’s sponsorship do you think they’ll still question it since im unemployed?

  • Hi, my australian boyfriend and I will be travelling to Sri Lanka next July,,do you think i will be offloaded if i cannot show them an approved leave from my current company, I am not yet sure if my leave will be approved

  • Hi,i will be travelling to singapore next August to visit my boyfriend for a couple of days ,He works there as an engineer, he’ll pay all the expenses thru online such as round trip ticket and our hotel booking , i am currently employed and pocket money lang po ang i-sshoulder ko.

    may hahanapin pa po bang ibang requirements yung IO maliban sa coe, itr, approved leave and company id?

    may chance po ba na ma offload ako?


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