When I shared my trip online, a lot of people even strangers asked me about my Immigration experience. What are the questions. What documents they asked. And all those stuff.
I always tell those who asked me about Immigration Screening that every traveler has different Immigration screening experience and every Immigration Officer has different requirements during the screening process. Just make sure that you will be able to prove that your purpose of travel is just for vacation if you’re a tourist and nothing more. So prepare as much documents as you can to prove it. Prove that you have work and you have money to sustain your trip. Prove that you’re traveling back home after that vacation.
I will be sharing some of my Immigration Stories with you.
During my trip in Indonesia last February 2023, I was even giving more information to the Immigration Officer in NAIA Terminal 3 when she asked for my Company ID (still I presented my COE), hotel accommodations, plane tickets. I told her that I cannot extend my trip and that I need to be back on my schedule because I will be watching a concert a day after my trip. I also told her that I did not book an accommodation for my first 2 nights because I will be staying at my friend’s house (who’s my former colleague and currently based in Indonesia). She asked me if she migrated to Indonesia and what she’s doing there.
Last December 2022, the Immigration Officer in Cebu asked me if I am traveling alone. But supposedly I have the same flight with my family but because I left my passport at home, I needed to delay my flight. So I told her that I am with my family and that they’re already in Singapore and currently in Gardens by the Bay. I know that’s too much info but it’s the truth.
Last November 2022 trip to South Korea, the Immigration Officer in NAIA Terminal 3 asked me if why I am staying for a long time in South Korea. I was there for I think 17 or 18 days. I told her that I will be watching a KPop Concert and she smiled.
They said that we have to be confident. I think this is true. We should show that we are confident because we are honest and we’re not hiding anything. But it is very inevitable that we will feel nervous and uneasy especially because our trip is dependent to the decision of the Immigration Officer.
Last August 2022 trip to Malaysia was my first International Trip after the pandemic. I was with my bestfriend but even with that, I felt nervous and uneasy. First because I was wearing a mask the whole day which I was not so used to anymore since I was living in the island. The only time I wore mask was when I went to the grocery or attend mass. So it was new to me. My throat dried up and I felt like I have cough even if I didn’t have. I got nervous that I might feverish or something. I had a lot of things running into my mind. But I was able to survive and answered what the Immigration Officer asked me.
My most fond memory with Immigration Officer was when I traveled to Taiwan last November 2017. I was alone and it was my first international trip for a vacation that I was just by myself. The Immigration Officer asked me if I am traveling alone or with someone then I said I am alone. He asked me if it will not be boring. I said no and that it will be an opportunity for me to make new friends. Which he agreed. He smiled and I got my stamped.
Immigration Screening is kinda scary and a lot, if not most travelers will get worried about it. Why? Because our plans, dreams, bucketlist are at the hand of the Immigration Officer. And so, I just pray. Pray that I will get the stamp and proceed with my plans, make my dreams come true, and check my bucketlist.
Hopefully, we all have a good fun travel!