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Am I required to have a round trip ticket?

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Everybody seems to think that you need a round trip airplane ticket when you come to the Philippines.  Truth is, there is no such law requiring a round trip ticket.

There is a law that, for most passengers arriving n the Philippines, they need an ongoing ticket.  An ongoing ticket and a round trip ticket are two different things.

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A round trip ticket (in some countries they call it a return ticket) is an airplane ticket that will take you to your destination, along with another ticket that will bring you back to the place where you started.  So, for example, if you purchase tickets that will take you from Los Angeles to Manila, then at a later date will bring you back to Los Angeles, that is a round trip ticket.

Round Trip?

Round Trip?

A one way ticket is an airline ticket that takes you from your origin to your destination, with no other flights beyond your destination.  So, for example, if you purchase a ticket that will take you from Los Angeles to Manila, and will not take you to any destinations beyond Manila, that is a one-way ticket.

An ongoing ticket is an airline ticket that takes to from your origin to a destination, then takes you to another destination, but not back to your origin.  So, for example, if you purchase an airline ticket that takes you from Los Angeles to Manila, then another ticket that takes you from Manila to Hong Kong, that ticket from Manila to Hong Kong is an ongoing ticket.  No matter when the flight to Hong Kong is, it is an ongoing ticket, it need not be immediately after landing in Manila.

Generally speaking, if you are going to take a vacation to the Philippines, unless you are on a Balikbayan Visa or a Resident Visa when you arrive in the Philippines, you are required to have an ongoing ticket within 59 days of your arrival in the Philippines.  Since it is a requirement for an ongoing ticket, there is no requirement on where it goes to, as long as the ticket takes you to some country outside the Philippines.  This ongoing ticket must be for travel no longer than 59 days after you arrive in the Philippines.

So, if you are going home to where you came from, within 59 days, you should purchase a round trip ticket, that would be best for you.

If you are going back home, but it is beyond 59 days after your arrival, the best thing you could do is to purchase a one way ticket to the Philippines and a “throw away” cheap ticket to a country near to the Philippines.  The throw away ticket should be dated for travel withing 59 days of your arrival in the Philippines.  The term “throw away ticket” will be discussed later in this book.

If you are intending to come to the Philippines to stay forever, but you don’t have some type of resident visa, and are not eligible for a Balikbayan visa, then your best route would be to purchase a one way ticket to the Philippines and a throw away ticket that is dated for travel sometime within 59 days of your Philippine arrival.

Whatever your plan, you should always enter the Philippines with an ongoing ticket to somewhere, either a place where you are actually going within 59 days of your arrival, or a throw away ticket to anywhere.  If you have these things in hand, you will have no hassles entering the Philippines.

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Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.

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Dogglast Mather
Guest

It is frustrating for people there that are living there to do a 1 week or so visa trip and have to buy 3 tickets to go out & come back to there home in the Philippines.

John Miele
Guest

I would also mention that the EU and many other Asian countries have the same requirement… it is not just the Philippines

John Miele
Guest

I still don’t understand why people have such a hard time with this. Very simple. Did it many times myself before I got PR. Tiger Air and Air Asia are also good for throwaways. Just find the cheapest flight in the future, usually Singapore or Hong Kong, print the receipt, and you are golden. Alternatively, you can buy a fully changeable round trip and just keep changing the return date. That could end up being cheaper if you will travel quite a bit within Asia once you are here… you can use the return more than once

Bob Martin
Guest

There is no need for a one-week trip. Just an overnight trip is all that is required.

Will Moore
Guest

There is a company that…”leases” throw away ongoing tickets for $10.. I’ll see if I can find a link …

Bob Martin
Guest

I deleted the link. Sorry about that, but I really don’t care to advertise for my competition. I hope you understand.

Will Moore
Guest

This is not an endorsement..I have never used them..

https://flyonward.com/en/

Robert Murphy
Guest

You’re right, Bob.
As far as the Philippines is concerned,
you don’t need a round-trip ticket.
But the problem is — and it’s a very real problem — foreign airport agents won’t you fly into the Philippines unless you can show a ticket that you are leaving.
Even when you are flying with your Filipino spouse and will get a BB visa on landing, airports in the US, Canada, Europe, and some Asian countries, will not let you board the plane.

Bob Martin
Guest

Yep, exactly as it should be Randy.

Randy Weis
Guest

They always ask me that when we are coming back from the US. I just show them my I-Card and that suffices the problem.

Bob Martin
Guest

I’m talking about leaving the US, not entering the Philippines Robert. Get a throwaway ticket for $20, and you will have satisfied the requirements of the agents at the gate. Good luck to you.

Robert Murphy
Guest

Bob Martin the problem is NOT getting into the Philippines.
I’ve NEVER been asked for an ongoing ticket on arrival here.
The problem is getting OUT OF the US or Canada.
I’ll investigate that throw away ticket option, thanks.

Bob Martin
Guest

The reason the agency that is because that is what the Philippines government forces them to say. Enforcement of the law is put on the backs of the airlines. But, if you could display what the law is for them they will let you through. I know this, because I have seen it happen, and talked to many people who have been able to do it. If you think it’s a problem spend $20 for a throw away ticket, that’s all it costs. It’s really not a big deal.

Robert Murphy
Guest

It’s getting OUT OF the US or Canada that’s the problem.
The problem is not at the Philippines end.
The agent told me they insist we have a ticket out — and they DO insist — is that, these days, the agent who let you travel is the one having to pick up your flight charges if you are denied entrance!
The fact that you will not be denied entrance doesn’t matter to them.
They are just scared that they are going to be tagged with a cost.

Dogglast Mather
Guest

seems like theres new options now

Bob Martin
Guest

If you know how to handle those agents, it’s not hard to get it done. Throw it could cost you $20, so it’s not really a big deal. Nobody ever requires a round trip ticket, an ongoing to get is all that you need.

Dogglast Mather
Guest

Hmmmmm

Mark Rowell
Guest

I’ve been traveling back and forth between here and the U.S. for the last 3 years. I usually spend 4-6 months here at a time. I’ve never bought a roundtrip ticket. I buy a one-way and then a promo ticket (normally Cebu Pacific) and never have an issue with the gate agents in the U.S.

Wally Barr
Guest

I have been denied a couple times. I had roughly purchase a refundable ticket to Macau (PAL) and got my money back minus the $25 refund fee.

Bob Martin
Guest

There is no law or requirement for a round trip ticket. A cheap promo or “throw away” ticket like what you are doing is exactly correct! People have a very difficult time understanding or figuring this out though. For $20 you can be in full compliance with the law!

Ron McCarthy
Guest

I’ve been traveling in and out of the country for over 30 years and we’ve always had to have ongoing tickets if we’re traveling as non-immigrants. I happen to maintain homes on both sides of the big pond and don’t use non-immigrant visas any longer. When I was, there was no 21 day or 59 day ongoing ticket requirement. Often my ongoing tickets were dated 6 to 9 months in the future and this was perfectly acceptable to the airline and immigration when I arrived. Even though Balikbayans are NOT REQUIRED to have ongoing tickets, some airlines still require them.

Shawn Gray
Guest

My ongoing tickets were up.to a year in advance. So unless the law has changed in the past year I don’t think there is a 59 day requirement. Sometimes I was asked to show it at immigration and sometimes not. But never had a problem and I flew in and out about 12 times a year

Ron McCarthy
Guest

As a side note, International Airlines do check for “onward tickets” if they are required, but they may not mention it to you if you have one. Your entire itinerary appears before them on their computer screens (just as it does for Immigration Officers at your destination). If they haven’t asked you to show one, that is why.

Ron McCarthy
Guest

Bob Martin — As far as “the law” is concerned, BI says that a non-immigrant must have “A validly issued ongoing ticket”. They make no mention of when it must be dated. As far as I know, all Commercial Airlines arriving in the Philippines stipulate their non-immigrant passengers have an on ongoing ticket with no specification upon when it is dated. If you know a specific “law”, please pass it along just for my own edification, thanks.

Alexander Mooney
Guest

You are telling people to do something which you’ve been doing for some time now which doesn’t make it right. That is not educating. Maybe I can educate you and make things a little easier for you. Buy a $10 onward ticket which is dated within the 59 days. This way you save on an airline ticket that you probably wont be using. Extend your visa through the embassy up to 6 months then exit at your convenience. Don’t tell people they need to get open ended tickets or onward tickets through Philippine airlines when there are cheaper solutions which… Read more »

Alexander Mooney
Guest

They told you to buy a ticket good for 1 year because they wanted to sell you a ticket. Next time buy an onward ticket for $10 then leave and enter the country at your own convenience within your visa limitations. There is no law that says 59 days because of the complexity of the immigration law which is different for a lot of countries. Anyone reading this needs to have an onward ticket which is dated before their visa expires to enter the country. It’s really quite simple. An executive order doesn’t need to be issued for them to… Read more »

Shawn Gray
Guest

I am sure Dutuerte can sign an executive order changing the status of the current law but until he does there is no requirement for 59 days. I believe the original law is actually an executive order so it can be changed by one if the President so desires

Alexander Mooney
Guest

You need to have the onward ticket which doesn’t exceed the maximum number of days allowed on your visa. That’s the whole purpose of the onward ticket. Onward tickets can be bought for around $10. The whole purpose of Bob’s site is to teach expats the right way to do things. Buying expensive tickets that Philippine airlines want to sell you or buying expensive open tickets isn’t the right way to do it either. They don’t do things like they do in the US but what happens when the new president wants immigration agents to take their jobs seriously and… Read more »

Shawn Gray
Guest

Look at the link I posted from PHILIPPINE IMMIGRATION, it clearly states you need an onward ticket but does not say anything about a timeline on it. When the order was issued in the early 60’s the visa was not for 59 days so it is a different matter. You are ASSUMING that it does matter when in fact it doesn’t. Philippines airlines made me buy an onward ticket to board from Singapore and they suggested I buy an open ticket good for 1 year. Which I did. Immigration has occasionally checked my ticket on entry and has always said… Read more »

Alexander Mooney
Guest

Most airlines don’t know a lot about the onward ticket. I’ve had airlines not even ask people I’m traveling with for the onward ticket but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have it. You can theoretically stay in the Philippines for upwards of 6 months if you play your cards right. The law allows for tourists to stay for 59 days. I don’t see how don’t get that you need to have an onward ticket which falls within the legally allotted time your allowed to be in the country. THE LAW IS 59 DAYS. Whatever else you apply for through the… Read more »

Shawn Gray
Guest

It doesn’t matter if this is a NO BRAINER, it is what the law actually says that matters and it does not require the onward ticket be within 59 days. The law and common sense do not go together.

Alexander Mooney
Guest

By law you are allowed to stay for a maximum of 59 days if you are not married to a Philippine citizen. You are then able to extend your visa further by going to the embassy. By saying you can only stay a maximum of 59 days is kind of a no-brainer that you’d need to have your onward ticket within that legal time frame.

Shawn Gray
Guest

No, I posted what the Philippines govt. has said is the requirment. I have lived in the Philippines the past 7 years and I work abroad so I travel in and out about 12 to 14 times a year. I have had to deal with this often and I have never been told 59 days from either an airline or the Immigration officers in the Philippines. I am not trying to get around anything. I am following the law as it is written. I assume some airlines don’t understand the rules. I have never had a problem and I use… Read more »

Alexander Mooney
Guest

Shawn Gray By law you can come into the Philippines for 30 days and it is your option to get the tourist visa which extends your stay for 29 days. 30+29=59 This is the time frame from which you need to have an onward ticket. It’s common sense to follow the law not look for a rule or somewhere it says to “have an onward ticket within 59 days” Your talking about what you can get away with Bob is talking about the right way to do things. Please don’t confuse other expats here as they might go through unnecessary… Read more »

Shawn Gray
Guest

Ok, I found the info on the Philippines immigration website. No where does it have a time limit on the onward ticket. It just says you must have an onward ticket.

Shawn Gray
Guest
Shawn Gray
Guest

I don’t want to argue about it but people need to know what the rule really is. I have even used open tickets to satisfy the requirement. Issued by Philippines airlines for this exact purpose. So I assume they would know.

Bob Martin
Guest

I have no link. I have it on a piece of paper in my office. I really have no interest in arguing about it.

Shawn Gray
Guest

Can you send me a link. I can’t find it.

Bob Martin
Guest

OK Shawn. I have actually looked at the law, but I am not going to argue over it.

Shawn Gray
Guest

Airlines sometimes check it before they allow you to board. Never had any problems even from America or Singapore. I really don’t think it days 59 days in the legislation or the airlines would not let you board. They get fined for it

Bob Martin
Guest

The law is that it should be within 59 days of arrival. However, this is the Philippines, and enforcement varies widely so you just never know.

Maynard Handy
Guest

Can you believe an airline in the U.S. wasnt going to allow me to fly to the philippines with just a one way ticket ? Some workers dont have a clue about the process !

Shawn Gray
Guest

Without an onward ticket they should not have allowed you to board unless you have a proper visa already. When leaving the US or Singapore or Japan I have always been asked to show my onward ticket. I usually buy one throw away ticket per year and use it all year long.

Shawn Gray
Guest

Just because they didn’t ask doesn’t mean you didn’t need it. They could have denied you boarding. The airlines get big fines if they do not comply.

Maynard Handy
Guest

I never had an onward ticket to anyplace.

Shawn Gray
Guest

section 9 and 9.1 apply to Americans

Maynard Handy
Guest

I never needed a visa because i recieve one on entry.This happened to me one time in ten years of traveling to Pi .

Jess Manchester
Guest

Yes you need and exit ticket in order to inter the Philippines

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