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

255 comments

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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255 comments on “OFWs can travel even with less than 6-mos valid passport”

  1. May appointment na din ako dito sa Dubai ng March 6, 2019 for my renewal of passport.

    So ok lang po ba na magapply or kumuha sa Pinas ng OEC?

    May mga requirements po bang kailangan kung sa Pinas ako magaaply?

    Salamat ulit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello po. Ask ko lang if may idea kayo how long yung process ng OEC if sa Pinas na magaapply? 2 weeks lang po kasi ang stay ko sa Pinas then balik UAE na.

    Salamat.

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  3. Have a good day po.. tanung ko lng kung pwede akong makauwi exit ng july 2019 pero ang expiration ng passport ko ay september 2019… kasi may nagsasabi sa akin na hindi daw pwede at mayrun din nagsasabi na pwede pa.. gusto ko pong malinawan.. kasi kung dito sa saudi ko irenew ang passport ay aabot ng 700SR equivalent ng 9500 pesos lahat ng magastos ko kasama pamasahe at pag sa pinas ay naman irenew ay cguro mga 2500 pesos lng. Nanghihinayang lng po kasi ako.. sayang yung pera hirap po kasi maghanap ng pera.. antayin ko po ang sagot nyo and God bless po..

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    1. Hello Sir, sensya na po at naleyt na ng reply. Actually po madalas ko na po itong nasasagot dito sa BLOG. Pag pauwi po tayo ng PINAS kahit po less than 6 months ok lang po kasi bound for HOME COUNTRY naman. Hindi na nga lang po kayo makakatravel sa ibang bansa. or pabalik dyan. Regarding renewal yes po you have option kung dyan nyo po ipaparenew or sa Pinas pero hindi lang po tayo sure sa pinas kung gano katagal ang release kaya i suggest na if need nyo bumalik agad sa pinagtatrabahuhan nyo, need nyo lang muna magpaextend at magparenew at the same time. Then dyan nyo na po sa workplace nyo makukuha yung new passport. Pero depende po if makakuha kau ng rush schedule.

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  4. Hi po,

    Pauwi po ako ng Pinas sa March 27 for 30 days leave, expiration po ng passport ko April 21, 2019. hindi po ako makapag online check in dahil daw po malapit na maexpired passport ko. Papayagan pa po ba kaya ako maka uwi ng pinas pag nag direct check in nalang po ako sa airport?

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      1. Hello po biglaan paguwi ko 2weeks lng po aq sa pinas uwi aq august 17.2019 balik aq ng august31 below 6months xpire pasport ko po pwede b mgreniew n aq sa pinas at mkkauwi b aq

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  5. Same dilemma … passport will expire on August 11 but naka-schedule na ang travel this June 1 for 7 days. may schedule na ako to renew my passport this May 10 and hopefully lumabas siya by may 31. If hindi makakalabas ang passport ko by June 1 – will Manila allow me to travel back to Dubai? Then saan ako kukuha ng OEC – sa airport ba may nagpo-process ng OEC? Or once nakapag apply na ako ng renewal, pwede na rin ba nila iprocess sa OWWA Dubai ang OEC?

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    1. You can also check in the experiences of other kabayans in the comment section, please read along. But in brief, pwede kau makauwi pero di kau makakakuha ng oec online or sa dubai bec of the passport validity. pwede nyo po sya ayusin sa pnas (malls or DFA) and i think me bagong rule about owwa or philhealth membership etc etc so make sure to bring pertinent docs po. then baka need nyo magpa extend ng passport sa pinas otherwise ipakita nyo lang sa immigration pagbalik ng dubai na me valid visa pa kau sa UAE. Hope this helps. Thanks po.

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      1. Sir thank you po nakita ko tong blog mo.

        I have the same situation with others here. i’ll be travelling in few days (May 1) and my passport will be expiring on October 15, 2019. i was told by the airline na makakalabas naman nga ng bansa kahit less than 6 months and validity ng passport basta magrerenew sa pinas (which i really intended to do). My question is, db po online naman ung pagkuha ng OEC EXEMPTION, pero since wala na 6 months ang validity ng passport e hindi na ako makapasok sa bmonline, ask ko lang po, hindi ba online lang din ang pagkuha ng OEC Exemption sa pinas pagkarenew ko (bale ieedit lang ung passport details sa bmonline? or kailangan ko pa pumunta sa office ng owwa para kumuha ng OEC exemption.

        Thank u so much, sana po hindi kau maguluhan sa tanong ko. hehehe.

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  6. Very useful info. Too bad i did not know about this before i was offloaded by an airline (along with my son , a special child) just because my passport validity is only a few days short of 6 months! I have a valid working visa etc. so the airline shouldn’t have done it to us. Charge to experience.

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  7. Hello po.. Patunong naman po ako!
    Schedule po ako uwi next week sa Pinas 16th of May 2019
    nag aaply ako exemption sa OEC pero ayaw i-accept gawa ng 04September2019 mag expire po passport ko at plan ko renew sa pinas pagkauwi.

    Magkakaroon po ba ako ng problema palabas ng UAE? or pagdating sa pinas?
    Makakapag apply po ba ako ng Exemption sa OEC pagkarenew passport sa pinas?

    Salamat po

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    1. Ung OEC need po un pagbalik sa workplace/UAE. Hindi na po tatanggapin ung bmonline pag less than 6 months ang passport validity kaya sa pinas na po kau magaapply ng oec. dahil nyo lang copy ng contract at iba pang documents para makapagpaextend na rin po kau ng passport.

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  8. GOOD DAY. I HOPE YOU CAN RESPONSE TO MY CONCERN. I AM CURRENTLY WORKING IN RIYADH AND WILL BE HAVING MY FINAL EXIT ON APRIL 30, 2020. MAY PASSPORT WILL EXPIRE MAY 20, 2020. DO I REALLY NEED TO RENEW IT HERE OR SA PINAS NALANG PO PAG UWI KO? ISASABAY KO NALANG PO SANA MAGPA-CHANGE OF NAME DUE TO MARRIAGE. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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    1. pag pauwi po ng pinas ok lang po lahit kess than 6 months ang passport kasi bound to home country naman paguwo na sa pinas ang renewal. di lang pwede yung me stopover at lalabas ng other country kasi mag eeffect po ung 6 month rule. for your case basta straight to phils ang flight ok lang po. baka lang maquestion sa riyadh sabihin nalang na magrerenew paguwi. hope this helps.

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  9. hello po ask ko lang po kung pwede ko pa i travel iyong passport ko less than 6 months expire pa bakasyon po ako ngayon october 16 2019 expire po ng march 10 2020 sa riyadh po ako sa pinas ko nalang po renew

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  10. Hi.. I hope you can respond to my comment… Im here in the philippines and will travel back to work sa riyadh in sept 27 and that is 3 days from now… My passport will expire in march 11,2020 which is less than 6 months… I cant acquire an OEC online to return to riyadh bec of my passport (w/c i intend to renew in riyadh) what best option can you suggest bec i am of time constraint. I have a valid work visa… Cant i really get an OEC even if i go (walk in) to their mall offices? Or if i go to DFA how long will it take to process my passport extension?

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    1. try to apply for passport extension and/or renewal kung anuman po maappr0ve ng dfa sa inyo. Then tell them na sa riyadh PHIL EMBASSY office nyo na iclaim. then iisyuhan kau ng OEC. Pakita nyo lang ung copy ng contract nyo at iqama as proof. pls reply if you receive this reply.

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      1. Thank you po sa response.. I am so stressed and worried kasi supposed flight ko na sa friday morning which leaves me 2days to try to fix this problem.. I live in the province 5hrs away from manila and i plan to go to DFA Aseana very early tomorrow, hope they will extend my passport.. And sana makuha ko kaagad na walang maging problema para makakuha pa ako agad ng OEC… I called POEA and DFA hotlines and their call centers are not much of help… Thank you for your post, it helped a lot to ease my mind..

        Like

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