Close

Visa question for Australian

I am hoping that I can purchase a one-way ticket from Australia to Philippines and then within 30 days, if I decide to stay longer, extend my stay for 60 days.

Can I enter the Philippines with a one-way ticket if I don't know my intended departure date? I might never return to Australia!

If I pay for a return ticket and don't use the return on the date specified I feel I will lose my money for the return half.

Thanks!

I have wasted so many return tickets on my visits, never knowing how long I would stay. 
I did try to enter without a return once, but the airport at Darwin made me buy a return ticket or they would not let me fly.

On my last trip I bought a cheap flight from Manila to Japan, and wasted that one instead,  But t was a lot cheaper than wasting a Manila to Sydney flight ;)  I think about $25 .  Other local destinations are good.  i just looked looked for the cheapest promo on Cebu Pacific at the time.

All they need is to see that you have a flight out of the country that they are taking you to.

Bottom line, you cannot enter the Philippines with a one-way ticket...  And it is the airlines that enforce this, not Immigration.

I have never been asked to show my return ticket at Philippines Immigration.

ABCDiamond :

I have wasted so many return tickets on my visits, never knowing how long I would stay. 
I did try to enter without a return once, but the airport at Darwin made me buy a return ticket or they would not let me fly.

On my last trip I bought a cheap flight from Manila to Japan, and wasted that one instead,  But t was a lot cheaper than wasting a Manila to Sydney flight ;)  I think about $25 .  Other local destinations are good.  i just looked looked for the cheapest promo on Cebu Pacific at the time.

All they need is to see that you have a flight out of the country that they are taking you to.

Bottom line, you cannot enter the Philippines with a one-way ticket...  And it is the airlines that enforce this, not Immigration.

I have never been asked to show my return ticket at Philippines Immigration.

Many thanks for your helpful advice! I have to say that like you, Philippines Immigration didn't ask to see my ticket on my last visit there.I can't recall if I was asked in Darwin.

I will play it safe.

OzFreddie :

Many thanks for your helpful advice! I have to say that like you, Philippines Immigration didn't ask to see my ticket on my last visit there.I can't recall if I was asked in Darwin.

I will play it safe.

Leaving anywhere in Australia, it seems that we will be asked. They have asked me every time in Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

I do read that many from the US never get asked at their departure airports though.

The option to buy a refundable and changeable ticket is there too, but my experience wasn't good.  A five hour wait in an Air Philippines office in Manila to get one refunded, and then they closed before they got to me.  I gave up.  They didn't do online...

Another, a changeable one from the Flight Centre, and I then found it had a $100 change fee !!

Throw away tickets are cheaper and less hassle.

ABCDiamond :
OzFreddie :

Many thanks for your helpful advice! I have to say that like you, Philippines Immigration didn't ask to see my ticket on my last visit there.I can't recall if I was asked in Darwin.

I will play it safe.

Leaving anywhere in Australia, it seems that we will be asked. They have asked me every time in Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

I do read that many from the US never get asked at their departure airports though.

The option to buy a refundable and changeable ticket is there too, but my experience wasn't good.  A five hour wait in an Air Philippines office in Manila to get one refunded, and then they closed before they got to me.  I gave up.  They didn't do online...

Another, a changeable one from the Flight Centre, and I then found it had a $100 change fee !!

Throw away tickets are cheaper and less hassle.

Thanks once again!

Ok, on the Phil Embassy website, and this is true of most countries, you dont need a return ticket but a way to leave within the visa time. It can be a ferry ticket, an Air Asia ticket to Sabah Malaysia (a nice trip in itself), or anything. You can book whatever the cheapest Air Asia flight is to anywhere and then dump the ticket in the dustbin if you dont want the trip. But no place in Asia allows one-way tickets. I dont know any country that does.

I may move to Phils, im exploring. Im from US and have stayed in Malaysia for almost 16 years. Each time on my trips the airline forces a round-trip ticket UNLESS you have a workpass or other long-stay visa and Im sure Phils is the same (ASEAN). At various times ive had all visas. Last time, Aug 2014, I bought a 6-month return ticket, and at the end, cancelled the return and filed an insurance claim for what I didnt get refunded. This wasnt fraud, I was in hospital tests and the doctor wouldnt let me fly until tests were done. I could have delayed the flight but just cancelled anyway.

Phils being islands the choices are slim. In Malaysia you can cross to Thailand or Singapore for the weekend on your motorcycle with ease. Money permitting, I'll have a boat in Phils and just go out for a week that way. Point being, no govt wants you to stay without a good reason, and tourists hanging out forever isnt one of them. The doors are rapidly closing so unless a long visa you must show them your way out within the permitted time.

And that gives another idea, if several expats joined for a boat, all could go out at minimal costs and have a great sailing time too. I wonder if anyone has ever done that.

cvco :

Ok, on the Phil Embassy website, and this is true of most countries, you dont need a return ticket but a way to leave within the visa time. It can be a ferry ticket, an Air Asia ticket to Sabah Malaysia (a nice trip in itself), or anything. You can book whatever the cheapest Air Asia flight is to anywhere and then dump the ticket in the dustbin if you dont want the trip. But no place in Asia allows one-way tickets. I dont know any country that does.

My last option was a flight to Japan that was going cheap on CebuPacific.  I paid for the ticket and then discarded it.

There are often great deals, but somehow, never at the right time when needed :)

I will assume that by now, you have been fed all the answers you need, but the long and the short of it all, is you need a ticket out, no exceptions.

There are a few economical ways of doing the ticket though, mostly involves travel to Singapore first, and if you are on the East coast of Australia,you fly Scoot to Singapore, but before you fly, do a a booking from Singapore, to  Manila, then the return leg can be to Hong Kong, even Sandakan, and if you book through somebody like UTIKET and get the cheapest fares available, you just dump the return leg., and you will not get a credit anywhere on a part used ticket.

Sure, get your 30 days, then extend 60 days, that's all easy, and you can extend at any regional immigration office: after, if you elect, you can get a 6 month visa on top of what you have already used, but you can only apply for those in Manila, Cebu or Davao, and by this stage, you will have applied for your Alien Residents Card.

After 2 lots of 6 months visas, you need to travel out of the country, and start all over again.

Even with an allround ticket from Manila to San Francisco and my Alien Residents Card and a current visa, I was made to buy a through ticket when returning from San Francisco. The cheapest deal Philippines airlines did for me was through ticket to Macau, $149 . They told me when in Manila I could get a refund minus $50.

This page offers a good explanation: Through Ticket Explanation

The frustration then was that I was given the automatic 30 days tourist visa and had to start my monthly trip to Immigration and now have had to apply for a 30 day extension, then a 60 day again.

Freddie,
Agree, you need an outward bound ticket. But you can always change the date or fly on a cheap Cebu Pacific trip somewhere after a year.
I fly back to Australia every 6 months for my business, so no issue for me.
Philippines make it easy for you. If it was Thailand you have to leave the country every 30 days....
I am an Ozzie who has lived the past 6 years here in Manila.
Cheers,
Matt

Thanks, Matt!

What through ticket do you usually purchase?

I will return to Oz perhaps once every year, but I understand that in addition to purchasing my return ticket Manila to Australia I will need to purchase an additional through ticket to somewhere even if not intending to use it. This is even if I have a current long-term tourist visa for Phils. A strange setup!

I know marrying a Filipina is a good alternative, but my lady needs an annulment, which could be a long process.

Hi Freddie,
I just buy a Phil Airlines 1 year ticket. So the second leg (return flight) will be booked with the original ticket about 6 months in advance.
You could just buy a return ticket and have the return date close to 1 year after you depart date, on the same ticket....so when you depart Australia you have an outward bound ticket. That's what I do.
Cheers,
Matt

Never stay over 6 months, alleviates a lot of issues. Buying a return ticket 6 months out you never need to lose anything!

It looks like securing an ECC alleviates the problems if you are leaving after 6 months or more in Philippines:

"Manila, Philippines---The Bureau of Immigration (BI) reminded foreign nationals to secure an Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC) at BI offices before leaving the country to avoid being denied departure.

BI Spokesperson Elaine Tan said that based on airport statistics, foreign nationals who failed to present their ECCs comprised 33% of travelers who were denied departure. “It is unfortunate that we have to deny the travel of our foreign friends, but we have to implement the law”, Tan said.

Section 22-A of the Philippine Immigration Act provides that a foreign national who is about to depart from the Philippines temporarily or for good should seek clearance from the Commissioner of Immigration to insure that the foreign national has no pending obligation with the government of the Philippines."

Hi,

There are indeed many ways to avoid this issue especially if one arrives prepared. If you are truly unsure when you would like to leave the Philippines, the best thing to do is to purchase a one-way ticket out of the country from one of the low-cost carriers such as Cebu Pacific or Air Asia. In general, the cheapest foreign destination to fly to from Manila is Kota Kinabalu. It is quite common to find one-way fares for as little as US$50 -- sometimes even less if you book far enough in advance. If you get caught last minute without a ticket out of the Philippines, the same strategy applies. Check the low-cost carrier websites and don't necessarily purchase a ticket back to the country you are entering the Philippines from as there are cheaper destinations such as Kota Kinabalu. You can also consider flights from Cebu or Clark, which are often cheaper than Manila. As an alternative to the low-cost carrier option, you could also purchase a refundable ticket, which will cost more up-front but you can get your money back.

Have a nice trip.

Good post!

I discovered the Kota Kinabulu flight back in May when I was returning to Phils from Australia. I purchased a one-way from Manila with Air Asia for $64 AUD ($48 USD).

Strangely though, Philippines Airlines didn't ask about my through ticket in Melbourne and no one at Manila Immigration asked me either! But better to be prepared as on a previous trip I didn't know about the through ticket and PAL got me to purchase a one-way to Macao, $150 USD. I was a bit naive then!

i get 6month extension in samar also ID cards

I always buy a promo airline throw away ticket. You can get away with spending as little as $30aud if you're lucky!

then my suggestion is to book for a rebook able return ticket is very useful.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Davao

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Davao

Moving to Davao

Find tips from professionals about moving to Davao

Travel insurance in Davao

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Davao

Flights to Davao

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Davao