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Your Filipina lady (ie. your girlfriend, fiancée or wife) will be traveling to Australia on an Australia tourist visa (aka Australian Visitor Visa). Will she have any problems at the Philippines airport on departure?

flyingjeepney

The issue of human trafficking comes up in the Philippines. Unscrupulous low-lifes will prey on the vulnerable with promises of great jobs overseas doing modelling, singing, etc. Instead they end up stuck in countries where they don’t speak the language and locked up in brothels. To deal with this situation, the Bureau of Immigration here has brought in the following Guidelines:

http://immigration.gov.ph/images/ImmigrationLaw/12.Guidelines%20on%20Departure%20Formalities.pdf

In short, it means they can stop a girl at the airport if they suspect she may be a potential victim, ie. when necessary “The Bureau of Immigration shall conduct a secondary inspection of a traveller, when deemed necessary, for the purpose of protecting vulnerable victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment and other related offenses…

So if they see a bewildered looking girl with a passport and a ticket with no money and not much of an idea where she’s going, they will probably stop her.

Is this a major issue for girls going to Australia?

From our experience, no. Around 250 of our clients travel to Australia on tourist visas every year, and we’ve only had this happen once. Yes, they have the power to stop anyone. Immigration officers the world over have powers to stop passengers when they have suspicions. Watch “Border Security” and see what happens in Australia!

So can we guarantee that your lady won’t be stopped? No, we can’t. It could happen, and whilst it would be very annoying if it did, such is the price for vigilance in protecting girls from a horrible fate. When tourist visa are granted to our clients (except in those cases where we don’t see the visa grant), we always give some advice.

  • You should dress conservatively.
  • You should know the street address and phone number of your destination in Australia.
  • You should have around AUD$300.00 on you (pesos or Aussie dollars)

This advice, plus the fact that our applicants are heading to Australia and not to South Korea or Eastern Europe, has so far seen all of our clients generally sail through without a hitch.

To the Aussie men?

If she arrives at the airport a bundle of nerves, then she’s far more likely to attract suspicion and therefore attention. Do whatever you can to keep her calm, especially if she hasn’t flown before. Make sure everything is organised in plenty of time. Make sure she has money with her. And consider a direct flight to Australia with Philippine Airlines or Qantas to avoid stopovers. And assure her that you’ll be there waiting at the other end for her.

Do “unregistered migration agents” exist?
Can I get a 1 year tourist visa for my Filipina lady?

10 Comments

  1. David McKelvie

    Hi Jeff

    Good article, except I have some concern with the line “You should have around AUD$300.00 on you (pesos or Aussie dollars).” (especially the peso bit)

    AUD $300 converts to approximately 12000 Philippine Peso at current rates.

    Taking 10000P out of the Philippines not only requires declaration at airport, but technically authorisation by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is required to bring in / take out amounts larger than 10000 P.

    This would be avoided if the filipina is advised to take out no more than around AUD$245 or equivalent which would be around 9800 Peso and under the cap for Peso’s.

    Source, section 36 at http://www.bsp.gov.ph/downloads/Publications/FAQs/banknotes.pdf “Any person can bring in and out of the country legal tender notes and/or coins in the amount not to exceed P10,000.00 as provided for under BSP Circular No. 98, Series of 1995. Larger amounts require authorization from the BSP.” .

    cheers

    David

    Reply
    • downundervisa

      Good point, David. However once she’s paid the travel tax and the terminal fee she will have less than P10K.

      Reply
      • David

        Very true. Unless you’re like me and would ensure she has money plus extra for the travel tax and terminal fee on top of the other money. But I wouldn’t encourage her to leave Philippines with much Peso’s anyway. Would rather she carry Singapore or Australian Dollars out.

        Reply
  2. Edwin brown

    What
    is
    the
    restriction
    on
    currency
    import/export
    for
    Philippine
    Peso
    notes
    and
    coins?
    A
    person
    may
    import
    or
    export,
    bring
    in
    or
    take
    outside
    of
    the
    country,
    or
    electronically
    transfer
    legal
    tender
    Philippine
    notes
    and
    c
    oins,
    checks,
    money
    orders
    or
    other
    bills
    of
    exchange
    in
    amounts
    not
    exceeding
    P50,000.
    Prior
    authorization
    (from
    the
    BSP’s
    International
    Monetary
    Affairs
    and
    Surveillance
    Sub

    Sector)
    is
    required
    when
    the
    export
    or
    import
    of
    Philippine
    currency
    exceeds
    th
    is
    amount.

    Reply
    • Jeff Harvie

      P50K in Philippine Pesos going out of the country. Import? Never had anyone ask that one.

      Reply
  3. Keith

    Its interesting Jeff. I went to the Philippines in May my for my second trip, to become engaged to my lovely Filipina. I knew I wanted to buy her a ring, pay for up to 3 weeks food and hotel accommodation and possibly rent an apartment for her to live in and for me to stay with her during that and other visits. I took with me, from memory about 120,000 pesos which I had ordered from my bank before departing.

    I had no idea about the 50,000 peso restriction (I’m pretty green at international travel), and certainly had no idea they’d object to their own currency coming back to them! It was on the plane on the way, from memory that I discovered this limit. I agonised over what to do, and eventually decided the truth will get me into less trouble than a lie. So I declared it and drew it to the attention of the customs(?) woman on arrival. She looked at me somewhat shocked and asked “whatever would you want that much for?” I explained, and she warned me very sternly, saying “we take this very seriously. By law I should confiscate it but I’ll let you through this time. Don’t ever do it again without proper authorisation”.

    I thanked her and breathed a sigh of relief.

    Some may be asking, “Why did you take cash?” The answer is that in January I found it almost impossible (contrary to my own bank’s assurances) to find a bank in Mindanao with an ATM that could process my Mastercard! I found one on Pagadian with 2 ATMs and only one of the ATMs would process my card.

    Reply
  4. Norm Savage

    Does this restriction of money apply to Pesos only ? As it is legal to take 10,000 Au per person into Australia over that it must be declared. Is a Filipino restricted from taking Au $ cash out of the Philippines ?

    Reply
    • Jeff Harvie

      No restriction on quantities of foreign currency, Norm. But it needs to be declared at Customs. And no idea what the procedure is back in Australia.

      Reply
  5. Stone

    Dear Jeff
    I have read your web page with some interest as i am about to go down the path of bringing my Fiancee To Australia . Whoever i have searched you web page and there is no mention of what the costing are engaging your company to assist with partner visa , i do understand that different cases require more work ,but there should be a basic starting price ?
    Regards Reg

    Reply
    • Jeff Harvie

      Please complete one of our online visa assessment forms. There’s a link at the top right hand corner. I’ll give you costing then.

      Reply

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