OFWs can travel even with less than 6-mos valid passport

Few weeks prior to our flight last April 2016, we realized that my passport only have less than six months validity. My passport expiration will be on September 25, 2016 and (that’s barely 5 months and a week before expiration).

This almost caused us to panic since the vacation plan had been sorted out long time back. So we asked around and even went to the Philippine Embassy office in Qatar for information and assistance. Some advised us to apply for an extension and others suggested to apply for a new one since it is still exactly 3 weeks before our flight and if we are lucky, it will be released in 2 weeks-time.

The embassy personnel told us that we might as well apply for a renewal since an extension is only granted for medical and legal emergencies. They even said that the 6-months validity is an international aviation rule and it is strictly followed by Doha Immigration. So, afraid that I might not be allowed to board in time for our flight, I proceeded with the renewal application and chose delivery rather than pick up for convenience. At the back of my mind, I was also considering that in case it will be released while we are on vacation, we can just authorize someone to receive it for us in our office.

And that was what happened, the passport came out while we were in Manila. Good thing that I knew the QPOST personnel who usually delivers passports to our office, and he already told me to do the needful: an authorization letter, a copy of my ID and the standard QAR25 for the delivery charge. Fortunately i have a colleague who was kind enough to assist me throughout all these procedures and successfully ensured delivery of my new passport back to Manila. Lucky for this passport to have traveled back and forth (Manila-Doha-Manila).

But prior to all these, I was travelling using my old passport going back to Manila. We were pleasantly surprised that no question was asked from Doha immigration up to Manila immigration. Out of curiosity, i inquired to the NAIA immigration personnel about the passport validity rule.

We were told that so long as the OFW has a valid work visa and the vacation is for a fixed period (say 1 month), they can be allowed to use the passport even with less than 6 months validity since they can renew it once they come back to Qatar, for example.

We also have an international flight in between that vacation and our worry was that we might encounter a problem because of this same issue. But the travel agent assured us that since we were already issued a visa, there will be no problem about it.

Sometimes, we are looking for answers to our questions and we depend so much on authorities to provide us the right response. It’s not that we are trying to get away from the procedures but at least to offer us a sound advise. We understand the pressure of attending to so many inquiries everyday but their answers could mean “life or death” to some people too.

I searched from the internet and found this which may be helpful also:

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The second requirement specifically mentioned that “if visa-required at final destination”, meaning so long as your passport is still valid (even less than 6 months) and you have a visa and a return ticket then you can travel internationally. In the case of Filipinos working abroad, so long as your work visa is valid and you have a return ticket, then, your passport may be renewed in the country where you are working at.

But still, this doesn’t excuse us, including me, from the fact that it is our obligation to always check our documents especially if we have vacations plans. Even upon filing/approval of our leave, let’s check the passport validities and visa expirations, to avoid any problems.

And while vacations are meant to be exciting and stress-free, an oversight like this can eat up much energy than you can imagine… and eventually ruin what could have been an enjoyable moment with your family.

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165 thoughts on “OFWs can travel even with less than 6-mos valid passport

  1. uuwi po aq dis december for good, and my passport will expired on june 06, 2018, ndi po kaya aq magkaproblema sa immiration? thanks po

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  2. ndi kpa alam kng may stop over o wala, kng meron man sguro wala rin magiging problema kc ndi naman aq lalabas ng airport eh, salamat po sa info 🙂

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  3. hi sir, you mentioned in your blog that you have an international flight in between your vacation, so meaning pwede pong makapag travel sa ibang country other than sa pinas kahit less than 6 mnths ang validity ng passport? kasi you have the same case with my mother po. from japan nga lang po sya tpos uuwi sya ng pinas sa january, eh 5months valid nlng po pala ang passport nya. nakapag renew na po sya sa japan kaya lang after 2 months pa ang release ng new passport nya, baka nakauwi na sya dito eh wla pa rin. plan din kasi naming pumunta sa hongkong sana pag uwi nya.

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    1. Yung pinuntahan po naming other country is japan and me visa po kami nakuha. So even if less than 6 months po passport ko and valid pa naman ang contract ko sa workplace po kaya ok lang. Since wala nman tau visa sa HK di kolang sure if ieeffect nila ung 6months aviation rule. Apply nlang po kau extension para sure.

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      1. ah ok po.. hindi raw po kasi pwedeng mag apply ng extension unless emergency ang reason. need kasi ng proof na emergency talaga.

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    1. Usually po, pag returning to home country wala namang problema kahit po paexpire na yung passport. To be safe just bring your updated/valid work contract and residence/work papers as proof that you are coming back. Then you can do the OEC and renewal of passport in the Philippines.

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      1. hello good evening, i just want to ask if i can still use my passport. its expiration is on april 15 2018. i have a flight of march 4 2018 – march 26 2018. that is my roundtrip ticket. i have plan to renew my passport this march when i go home in philippines..

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      2. Good day kabayan, if ever po na me chance kau makavisit sa embassy natin sa KSA to ask if they can grant you an extension, its better for you. Otherwise, ok naman po yan since pauwi naman kau sa home country. As ive mentioned in my previous replies here, dalhin lang po ang contract and updated IDs para maprove na me babalikan po taung work and we can have our OECs and passport renewal sa dfa offices sa pinas po. Have a safe flight!

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      3. Pa advice lng po!!pwede bh mka uwe ng pinas 3month bago expire ung passport ksi piña pa uwe nh po kmi nka appointment nh ako tpos ipinagplit uwe nh ako wla po bang problima

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  4. Sir Good Day po!

    Maraming Salamat po sa blogpost nyo daming infos na mkuha kaso walang katulad sa case ko.

    Dto po ako nagwowork sa Kosovo Southern Europe more than 5 years na po at wala po kaming Embassy at wala ring visa issuance. Ang gamit po nmin dto ay work permit so far wala nman pong problema sa 5 years kong yearly inuuwi last year lng hndi ko inuwi walang savings po kasi. Kaso ngkamali ako ngayon sa passport validity ko na akala ko sa August pa maexpire yun pala sa April 16, 2018 na at ang bakasyon ko po ay sa April 10. Kaya po pa ba ang flight schedule ko na yan na super close April po kasi ang graduation ng anak ko at 1 month lang po stay ko sa pinas at babalik po ng kosovo ulit after. Plano ko po dun mag renew pagdating hndi kaya magkakaproblema po ako pauwi.

    Please advice.

    Thank you po,
    DennyLaine

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  5. Thank you po! This is my situation today and I am super stressed out and almost on the verge of crying. My passport will expire in July and my flight to PH is tomorrow na, then 2 weeks lang ako sa PH. so no time to renew my passport and makuha in time. Thank you po talaga sa blog mo!! I can finally breathe

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      1. Pa advise po sir hinde bah magkakaproblima Sa imigration!!ñh 3monht po bago expire passport!!ksi balita po ngayun dpat ma renew yung passport 6monht hnde po bah mag problima Sa imigration!!

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    1. Good day po. Ms.arriane naka renew po ba kayo passport sa two weeks na bakasyon nio…kasi yan din po iniisip ko kung maka renew ako kagad.wala napo kc ako makuhang date para sa appointment ko. Thanks po sa blog mr.zeke tunay

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  6. ask ko lang po isang staff namin will travel back here in Dubai same employer but her passport will expire on may 2018 her returning flight is march 2018 how can she get the OEC? we tried for the OEC exemption but still a message pop up stating need to renew the passport.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Usually po pag below 6 months hindi na po iaacept sa bmonline.ph so automatically sa pinas na po sya magpapaOEC and iaadvise na rin po sya either to extend and/or renew the passport. dalhin lang po ang contract at residence ID para proof. Thanks for visiting the blog!

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  7. Ask ko lang po kasi my annual leave is on 6th of April 2018. My passport will expire on 4thof the same month. Granting na i will move my flight to 1st of April, i-aallow po ba ako na umuwi ng pinas. I have a validwork and residency visa po dito sa dubai. Thanks po in advance sa advise.

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  8. Salamat Po Kabayan sa info. Ganyan po nangyare sakin kahapon February 26,2018 nagpunta ako sa Philippine Embassy Qatar para mag apply nang extension sa validity nang passport. Mag travel po kasi ako nang 15-March-18 for 15days lang at maeexpire ang passport ko on June 2018 (3MONTHS). Dahil sa advise ng mga kapwa natin na dapat 6months validity pumunta kagad ako sa Embassy. Pero pagdating ko binigyan nila ako nang 2 forms na dapat i fill up isang for extension at the same time for renewal. Nagtanong ako kung mandatory ba dapat kasabay ang renewal sa extension na inaaply ko for 1yr kasi magdodoble yun gastos ko at ang plan ko sa pinas ko na irerenew yun passport dhil 7days working lang naman at mas mura sana. Ayaw i accept ang sabi sabay daw naging useless yun extension at babayaran. Pero wala magawa rules nila yun at tayo ang may kailangan sakanila na share ko lang baka my mga kabayan din tayo same experience. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing Ellie. usually ganyan nga po ang advise nila. As per policy po ata kasi hindi na sila allowed magissue ng extension so dapat renewal nalang kaso since it will take time talag pag renewal, me special case for extension since magrerenew naman (so parang ganun po ang dating). Of course its really expensive pero ganun nga po talaga… kaya we have to device a way para maremind tayo bago mapaso yugn passports natin kasi hassle po talaga… more than anything else, emotionally stressful hehehe. Hope everythign turns out well sa vacation nyo. Thanks for dropping by the blog.

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  9. hi po tanong ko lng po kasi pauwi na po ako ng pinas dis coming june 2018 mag expire po ang passport ko this coming july 2018..nangangamba po ako baka di ako makauwi..magkakaproblema po ba ako isang buwan nalang kc mag expire ang passport ko bago ang uwi ko ng pinas..mag for good na po ako

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  10. Is their anyone here who is able to still pass the Philippine immigration at the airport even though their passport was still 5-months valid before expiry, prior to 6-month rule? In regards to the French consulate which allows 3-months validity before expiry of the passport? My Schengen Visa was approved but they told me that there is a risk with ph immigration, I am just worried because everything was already booked.

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  11. Sir good day po! Ask ko lang po if pede po b ako mkauewe ng pinas kahit n ka 1month p lang po ako dito sa Qatar. Kase sabi po ng agency kailangan ko raw lo mag bayad sa kanila. At sarili ko pera pambili ko ticket. Paki tulungan nyo nman po ako sir. If ano po magagawa tulong sakin ng embassy dito. Thanks po

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    1. Medyo special tong question nyo, pero ang sagot po dyan ay depende sa inyong employer. at sa hawak nyong visa. If work visa po kayo meaning need nyo po ng NOC to travel. If nagwowork po kau dito at uuwi kayo agad after one month, dapat po maestablish nyo yung reason at kung babalik pa po kau ulit. Depende po kasi sa sitwasyon nyo yung sagot sa inyong tanong po. PM me at bestlifeqatar@gmail.com

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  12. Thanks for this info kabayan! Ive booked my ticket next month ,one week bakasyon sa Pinas.. Alm ko din na pede pa magtravel ang khit less than 6monsna expiration ng passport . Nagrenew na din ako dito sa HK kaso May 14 pa release nya.. and sa sept na expire ng passport ko. Nagpanic lang ako kagabi Kasi nung mag oonline apply ako ng OEC, Hindi ako makapasok Kasi nga less than 6mons nalang validity ng pp ko. Haha. Uuwi kasi ko para ayusin wedding ko haha. So pede kaya mag walk in nalang ako sa consulate dito for OEC? Or sa Pinas nako kukuha?

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  13. hello sir,ask ko lang po kasi uuwe ako for vacation this may,ngparenew na ako ng passport kaso wala pang date of release,magbbaskyon sana kame ng mrs ko sa europe,then uwe na sa pinas,ask ko lang po sana kng ano magandang gawin?kasi me schedule na ako ng visa application sa europe,mageexpire na passport ko sa october,thank you

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  14. Hi!. I have the same problem. I will be going back to Manila for 3 weeks but I cannot get an OEC online because my passport is less than 5 months na. Tapos sa 2nd week ko sa Manila aalis pa kami papuntang other asian countries (without visa) so mawawalan ako ng time makapagparenew ng passport kasi ilang araw nalang flight ko na. Ano ang magandang soulusyo at best gawin? Thanks!

    Like

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