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Travel and POE Information

Everything you need to know and do before leaving the Philippines

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COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS (CFO) REQUIREMENT

Filipino fiancÚ(e)s and spouses of foreign nationals are required to attend the Guidance and Counseling Session at the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). No seminar, no departure.

CFO Manila
1345 Citigold Center,
Pres. Quirino Avenue corner
South Luzon Expressway,
Manila, Philippines
Tel:(63-2)5623849, 5623848, 5623851
cfodfa@info.com.ph

CFO Cebu Desk Office
Room 301-302 GK Chua Building,
Sanciangko Street Cebu City,
Philippines
Telefax:(63-32)255-5253
cfocebu@mozcom.com

Below is the step by step guide to what the applicant is supposed to do at the CFO. This guide is copied from the actual one that is posted in the CFO office.

Guidance and Counseling Procedure

Step One
Check on the counseling schedule of your country.

Step Two
Proceed to counter I-A and present the following:
Original and photocopy of the authenticated Marriage Contract in NSO Security Paper (SECPA) IF MARRIED.
Any valid personal ID (i.e. passport, NBI clearance, driver's license, PRC license, etc.)
Original and photocopy of visa, if available.
Photocopy of passport (additional requirement)
One colored passport-sized ID picture with white background; and 100 pesos registration fee
A guidance and counseling form will be issued upon presentation of complete documents. A registration form will likewise be issued if you have a visa.

Step Three
Proceed to Counter 2 for form verification after having completed the Guidance and Counseling Form.

Step Four
Proceed to counter 3 and pay 100 pesos.

Step Five
Proceed to the 3rd Floor, Counseling Room for the Guidance and Counseling session.

Step Six
Issuance of your Counseling Certificate by your respective counselors upon full compliance with requirements

Note:
Japan and Korea bound fiancÚ(e)s/spouses have distinct requirements. Please check with your counselor of details.

Registration Procedure

Step One
Proceed to Counter I-A and present the following:
Original valid passport
Original and photocopy of visa
CFO Counseling Certificate; and
CFO official receipt

Registration form will be issued upon presentation of complete documents.

Step Two
Proceed to Counter 2 for form verification after having completed the registration form.

Step Three
Wait for your name to be called for the release of your passport at Counter 4.

Step Four
Check passport and make sure that your name is correctly spelled and your destination country is accurately reflected in the CFO registration sticker on your passport.

Note:
Filipino children of fiancÚ(e)s and spouses of foreign nationals should register with the CFO. Those with ages 13-19 years old will also attend the peer counseling session.

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OFF TO THE UNITED STATES: SOME USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION

In this section you will find travel information based on Nile's experience. This includes bringing a pet to the United States and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) procedure. Due to the terrost attack that hit the United States last September 11, 2001, airline companies and airports have enforced stricter security measures.

Important Reminder: Do not allow anyone to detach your passport from the K-1 envelope and open the sealed brown envelope, with the exception of an INS officer at the POE. If this happens, you will have to go back to the Embassy and have them restaple your passport to the envelope or reseal the contents into another envelope. Avoid the inconvenience and follow this reminder!


Bringing a Pet to the U.S.
To ensure that you and your pet do not encounter any difficulties, make sure that you do all of the following:

1. Bring your pet to a licensed veterinarian for the necessary vaccinations 30 days before departure. Number one on this list is anti-rabies.

2. Make arrangements with your airlines for your pet to be able to travel with you. For Northwest Airlines, the fee for transporting a pet one-way is $160.00 This fee will be paid at the excess baggage counter at the airport, in peso equivalent if dollars are not available. Ask for airline-approved kennel specifications before you purchase one. If your pet is small and light (maximum for in-cabin pet travel for Northwest Airlines is 15 pounds, combined kennel and pet weight) enough and the kennel can fit under the seat, your pet may be able to travel with you in the cabin.

3. Visit your licensed veterinarian again no later than 10 days before departure. The vet will perform a physical examination on your pet. If your pet is in good health, you will be issued a health certificate which is good for 3 days only. Professional and health certificate fees may vary.

4. Obtain a permit to export from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) while the health certificate is still valid. The BAI office is located at Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. Bring the health certificate (original and duplicate), vaccination records, and 150 pesos when applying for the permit. The application process is simple. You will get the permit on the same day, only a few minutes after application.

5. Always have your permit to export with you in your hand-carried luggage. You will be asked to present it at the check-in counter and to a Customs officer at your Port of Entry (POE).



Departure from the Philippines: Airport Procedure

1. Enter at the gate designated to your airline.The guards at the airport gate will ask to see your passport, visa, and plane ticket. For those with electronic tickets, present a printed itinerary receipt from your airline. The guards may or may not ask you for an additional valid ID with picture.

2. Upon entering the airport, you will have to submit to a security check. All bags and luggage will go through an X-ray scanner. The passenger will have to go through a metal detector.

3. Pay for your Philippine travel tax if you have not paid for it when you purchased the ticket. As of current, the rates are 1620 pesos for economy and 2700 pesos for business class. Children below 2 years of age are travel tax exempted while children aged 3-12 have a 50% discount.

4. Find out where you are supposed to queue for check-in. Your airlines will have personnel there to guide you. There will be another security check before you reach the check-in counter. The security officer will ask you some questions about your baggage, after which they will be marked with a sticker.

5. At the check-in counter, you will be given boarding passes and claim stubs for your check in baggage. Keep them safe and accessible.

6. If you have excess baggage, you will be directed to a separate counter. You must pay the excess baggage fee before your boarding passes and baggage claim stubs could be released.

7. Should you want to exit the airport once you have checked in, you will only be allowed to be outside for 10 minutes. You will have to leave your boarding pass with a security officer near the exit. You be given an exit pass. When you enter the airport, you will have to go through a security check again. Return the exit pass to get back your boarding pass.

8. Present boarding pass to guards assigned at the entrance to the terminals.

9. Queue for terminal fee payment. The rate is currently 550 pesos.

10. Queue for Philippine immigration check. Present your passport and boarding passes. Once you have gone past the Philippine Immigration counter you cannot exit the airport.

11. Proceed to the gate assigned to your flight (information found on your boarding pass). Here you will have to submit to another secuity check.

12. Wait for boarding announcement at the Pre-Departure Area.

13. Obey safety guidelines given by the aircraft crew. While you are en route to the US, you will be handed immigration forms to fill out. A person travelling on a K-1 visa must ask for the white I-94 Departure Record Card. You will also be handed a U.S. Customs Declaration Form. Read instructions carefully before filling the forms out. Fill them out while on the plane so you will not have to waste time when you get to the airport.



Welcome to the United States: POE Information
Your Port of Entry (POE) will be the first destination you get off at in the United States. For example, your final destination is Baltimore, but to get there, you will have to disembark at Minneapolis and take a connecting flight from there. Your POE is Minneapolis. This is where you will go through Immigration and Customs.

1. Have your passport, I-94, and Customs Declaration Form ready.

2. Queue at any Immigration counters marked "Non-US Citizens/Visitors".

3. Present your passport and I-94 to the INS officer at the counter. He/She will direct you to a room where K-1 and Immigrant Visas are processed.

4. If baggage claim is near the INS office, claim your baggages and check them back in for your connecting flight. Procedure my vary for each airport.

5. Go to the INS processing room for K-1 and Immigrant Visas. Take a number and wait for your turn. When you are called, submit your passport, I-94, and the sealed brown envelope from the Embassy. The INS officer will open the contents and inspect it while asking you questions about you petitioner, your relationship, wedding, and whatever they can think of. Be alert and always have presence of mind. Any sign of uncertainty in your answers may prompt them to give you some trouble. Don't worry too much, though...the procedure is very easy. Ask about your Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Some POEs issue it, some don't. If you are not given one, you can apply for one at your local INS office.

Very Important: Keep your I-94 safe! You will need it.

6. Go through the U.S. Customs counter and present your declaration form. The officer may or may not inspect your baggages. The Customs officer I had on my arrival just looked at my form, asked me what was inside my two boxes (which were already checked-in), looked at my cat's health certificate (and wanted to pet my cat too!) and let me go. Simple!

7. If you are taking a connecting flight, go to the gate number of your flight/pre-departure area and await boarding announcement. There may be additional security checks. You will be like a regular domestic passenger on your connecting flight...no more Immigration and Customs procedures.

8. Upon arrival at your final destination, be ready with your baggage claim stubs and wait for your check-in luggage at the conveyor belt assigned to your flight.

9. Greet your fiancÚ(e) with a long tight hug and a passionate kiss.:)


You are required to read the legal disclaimer if you intend to use the information found in the K1 Help Page to aid you in the immigration process.