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:

image

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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209 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. Hi. Thank you for the informative post.
        I just want to double check for my peace of mind.
        I am allowed to go back to PH if my passport is near expiry (5months) and without OEC?
        I can’t apply OEC here in Dubai since the validity of my passport is below 6months.

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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

    Liked by 1 person

      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

      Liked by 1 person

  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

    Liked by 1 person

    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!

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  15. hello po sir/maam.

    Sir/Maam ask ko lng po if ano ang pwed ko gawin kasi po flight kuna nagyong June 28,2018 going philippines for 1 week so balik din po ako July 5,2018, but im trying to make a OEC by online pero hnd ako mkapasok which is 5 months before maxpired na passport ko. So ask ko lng po if ano pwed ko gawin? balak ko po sana na pgbalik ko nlng ng saudi ko i renew ang passport ko gawa ng maikli lng bakasyon ko. So if sa pinas ako mg renew ng passport baka hnd mahabol before ng flight ko. So i need your advice sir.

    Thank you and God Bless.

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    1. Hi Sir Melvin,
      WELCOME TO THE CLUB (pinapangiti ko lang po kau). Usually po di na talaga aallow ng bmonline.ph pag less than 6 months meaning po sa PInas na kau makakaapply ng OEC. Tapos makikita po nila expired na yung passport nyo. Then they will assess po if need ng renewal and/or extension. Dapat po dalhin nyo yung contract at Residence ID nyo as proof na me existing work at visa kau para maprioritize. I suggest right after nyo dumating ng pinas, visit po kayo agad sa DFA office malapit sa inyo. Hope this helps po.

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  16. Sa daming katanungan din sa aming FB page about sa less than 6 months validity na uuwi na for good, nag research ako kay Mr. G and landed here, good to read such information na pwede ko ring ishare sa mga followers namin

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Sir Good pm po.. Ask lang po ako sir kng makakabalik paba ako dto sa dubai? Kac nga ang passport ko expired na this coming January 2019. Tapos uwi ako this month July 25.. Dina kac ako maka kuha ng oec kac need na renew passport ko.. Balik ko ko nman dto sa August 27 po… Pero makakuha na ako dati ng oec nong pag uwi ko last2015 po. Same employer po ako

    .. Thanks sir sana matulungan mo ako. God bless po..

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    1. Since di na kau makakuha gn OEC online means wala na po sa 6 months validity yung passport nyo durign your travel. Makakauwi po kau pero baka magkaproblema kau pagbalik. Either magparenew kau paguwi nyo po sa pinas or try nyo nalang po pagbalik ipakita yung contact nyo na valid pa incase tanungin kau ng immigration natin pagbalik nyo Dubai. Since sa Pinas na kau kukuha ng OEC, iaadvise na rin nila kau if pwede na po kau magrenew doon para panatag loobnyo na sure makakabalik kau ng DUbai. Usually pag sa pinas po nagpaextebnd, dun lag kau magbabayad, i think ieextend nila yung old passport nyo then marerelease yugn new passport sa Dubai na…

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  18. hello po..magbabakasyon po ako this october 1-28.yung passport ko po is maexpired this dec.nakapagpabook na po ako ng ticket pauwi..then may connecting flight po ako sa saudi..ask ko lang po kung makakauwi po ba ako kahit hindi renewed yung passport ko?and hindi po kaya magkaproblem sa airports..(saudi and dubai)?thank you po..

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    1. Basta hindi naman po kau lalabas ng KSA or UAE then ok lang po. But since Oct 1 pa naman po ang flight nyo, why not try to apply for renewal baka po umabot pa. Usually 45 day lang naman para din po less stress. Suggestion lang po. Otherwise mababawasan pa yung vacation days natin sa pagpila sa DFA… but depends on your situation po whichever is more convenient po.

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      1. nandito po ako sa dubai..vacation ko po sa manila sa october 1.tapos po ang available appointment slot po for passport renewal is october 1-30.so kung magrenew po ba ako within that days makukuha ko pa din po yung renewed passport and makakabalik po ba ako here in dubai?
        thank you po

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  19. and kung magpaapointment na po ako sa consulate then ipakita ko na lang po yung appointment letter ko na nakarenew na po ako makakabalik po ba ako

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  20. Hi good day, malaking tulong po and blog nyo po.
    Tapus na po ako mag renew ng passport last july 12,2018 then naka book napo ako ng ticket sep 5-oct 2,2018 just realize po ung passport ko is ma expire na this december 5,2018, sa previous comment nyo po walang problema kng lapit na expire na passport bsta ung destination is home country lng ask ko lng po kng pedi po ba ako maka balik ng uae kahit 3 months nlng validity passport ko then ano po ba requirement just to make sure lng po wala abirya sa pagbalik ko.
    Slamat

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    1. Same din po ng nakalagay sa blog sir. Need nyo lang po magapply ng oec sa pinas since di na po kau makakaapply sa bmonline bec of the passport validity. If magaapply po kau ng oec paadvise na rin po kau kung pwede kau mag renew/extend ng passport or pwede sa uae na po.

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  21. hi .. may tanong lang po ako, since ung saudi po is gcc country din puedi po ba magbakasayon sa pinas at dun napo irerenew ung passport ko .. expiration po nang passport ko is feb14,2019 but uuwi opo ako this aug 21 bale 5months and 25days pa ung validity nang passport ko puedi po ba un?.. or need ko pa nang extension para po sa passport ko ..salamt po

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  22. Hello poh, ako po ay visit visa and valid til September 30 then yung passport ko poh ay mag expired sa February 2019. Panu poh kung mag renew ako tapos d pa dumating til matapos na validity ng visit visa ko? Anu poh gagawin ko. Please advice me…

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  23. Good Day sir, ask ko lang po. andito po ako ngayon sa Dubai for visit visa at mag eexit po ako ng september 21, sa oman Airport to Airport. tapos wala na po 6 months yun validity ng passport ko expired na ng january 12, 2019, pero narenew ko na sya nung August 15,may chance ba na makapag exit ako sa OMAN airport to airport? thank you po sa reply.

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    1. Sana makuha mo po yung new passport before your flight otherwise baka pwede mo po paextend yung passport sa Phil Embassy – DUBAI. Usually po kasi possible yan sa me mga Residence ID kasi pagbalik sa work area pwede na irenew kaso visit visa ka po kaya medyo im not very confident if makoconsider kayo sa exemption. You can also ask the airline po.

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  24. I’m curious about the OEC. POLO won’t release an OEC for less than 6 mos validity passports. Any idea if there are any other ways to secure the OEC? I’ve renewed my passport. But it won’t be ready on my scheduled vacation. Now obviously I need the OEC upon boarding the plane back. Any ideas?

    Thanks!

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  25. Hi! hello Po! ur blog really helps a lot…

    as i have read to all the comments Po I just want to ask my case!

    I am travelling on 1st Nov 2018 coming back on the 10th Nov 2018 (for family emergency reason) and since passport is due for renewal I did submit it already for processing and my UAE Working Visa is valid till 2020. I have my old passport with me but my renewed passport is not gonna be ready before my flight is it possible to travel and use my old passport back and forth.

    Please advice!

    THANKING U IN ADVANCE!!

    GOD BLESS PO!

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    1. Hindi po nakaindicate kung kelan po expiration ng passport nyo and if you were able to get an OEC online po. But anyway, usually naman po if medical reasons basta me proof pwede nga po kau magpaextend ng passport sa Phil embassy. Alsoy, technically you can go home and back dalhin nyo lang po yung valid contract nyo and residence ID. If me receipt kau na nagparenew na kau ng passport then better. Sa Manila na kau magpa OEC but they might ask you to renew and/or extend your passport so dalhin nyo po yung receipt nyo if done na sa UAE. Thanks po!

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  26. Good afternoon. Meron na po ako application ng renewal ng passport since october 2, 2018. Ang passport ko po ay about to expire on march 2019. Ang problema ko po cancelled na po ang visa ko and my valid stay in qatar is until october 22, 2018. Ang advise sa akin ng ph embassy is to wait for my new passport. Ang tanong ko nman po halimbawa dumating ang passport ko after oct22 pwedi pa po ba ako makaexit to any country like oman. Or kailangan ko umuwi ng pinas. Thank you so much.

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    1. Although medyo iba na po ito sa actual blog topic pero pipilitin po natin sagutin. Pag expired na po passport depende na po sa country na pupuntahan nyo ung implementation ng 6 month rule. Usually mahigpit lahat. Pero since sa oman u need a visa, icheck nyo po if iisyihan kau ng visa using that passport. Pag naisyuhan kau meaning ok kaso pagbalik nyo sa country or origin nyo need nyo ulit visa kaya icheck nyo if ok sa kanila ung passport nyo since tourist/visitor na ang classification nyo. Unless uuwi po ng pinas… yun wala na pong problem kasi home country na sya kaya kahit expired/less than 6 months na passport ok lang. Kung oct 2 naman po ang application nyo ng passport thats 2mos bago po maissue ang bago. Kaya po need nyo magdecide if u want na magexit sa oman kasi u need to check both immigration rules ng oman at qatar pabalik.

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  27. Goodevening po, ask ko lang po kasi mag exit na po ako sa qatar dec24. And my passport will expire jan.5.2019 magkakaproblema po kaya ako sa airport ?? Samalat po

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      1. Opo pauwi na po ako sa pinas. Exit na po ako. Un flight ko po dec.24.2018. Un passport ko po expire jan 5.2019. Papayagan po kaya ako. Na booked na po kasi.salamat po ulit

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  28. Hello sir.

    Thanks po sa blog nyo. Very imformative.

    Ask ko lang po. Currently, nandito po ako sa Qatar. Mag for good na po ako. Uwi po ako sa December 6, 2018. Ung passport ko po ay Valid up to April 2019. Mkakauwi po ba ako without any husstle?

    At ito po pa po last question medyo conflict.
    Yung QID ko po ay expired last November 01, 2018. Ang pagkakaalam ko po ay merong 90 days (3 months) grace period para sa working visa. Makakatravel po ba ako this December 6, with expired QID at passport expiry is on April 2019?

    Salamat po Sir..

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      1. Salamat po sir sa pagsagot.

        Pahabol sir. 😊
        Sa airline po ba, pwde po ba connecting or kailangang direct flight going to Manila?

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      2. pwede naman po connecting basta di lang lalabas. pwede nyo rin po pala idisclose sa airline ung case nyo para po mas clear kasi baka me bagong rules na rin pero basta uuwi naman ng home country ok lang ung passport pero sa qid baka lang mahold kau

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  29. Salamat po. Na sstress na po kasi kaka isip baka po ma hold ko sa airport pabalik sa pinas kung malapit na po malapit na ma expired passport ko.

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  30. Hi,im currently based in qatar but i’ll be travelling to the philippines for vacation on january 2019 till march 2019, my passport expires on December 2019, do i have to ask for extension or renew my passport? And in between we have to go to SG too..

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  31. I am travelling on March 22, 2019 to phil and be back to doha on April 24, 2019. My passport will expire on Nov 5, 2019.is it ok to travel?

    Like

    1. Your 6 month validity will start by June 5 (meaning travelling to other countries starting this period “might” not be possible according to International Aviation – except if you have approved visa)… so i guess its still ok for your flights March22-April24. But i suggest that if you have other travel plans within the second half of 2019, better apply for your passport renewal after April 24.

      Like

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