First International Trip: Experiencing NAIA Terminal 3 Departure Area, and Immigration in the Philippines

Photo by Anton Zelenov
My first international trip was Taiwan, and I planned for a year about it.  As a first timer, I was so anxious not to be allowed to board the plane.  I prepared all the documents that I could bring and be asked by immigration officer (IO) e.g. ITR, Certificate of Employment to prove my financial capacity.

On the day of our trip, my sister and I, were already at the NAIA terminal 3 four hours prior to our flight as we were still not sure what to expect along the way.  We went first to the designated check-in counter, and the Cebu Pacific officer took our passports and round trip tickets.  She verified our documents, and printed our boarding passes after.  She requested us to pay first the Travel Tax before she could give our boarding passes.  After paying the travel tax and getting the passes, we went to the immigration section.

Immigration Experience

There were just few people in Immigration Section that time.  I was so anxious.  I was watching the other window because a woman was being interrogated by IO and asked to show a business card (may be she was self-employed).  It was my turn now as the guy in front of me passed the immigration while the woman was still being interrogated.  The IO asked for my passport, boarding pass,and return ticket.  He inspected my documents and asked me if I have someone with me.  I said I was with my sister while pointing to my sister. In just 3 minutes, he stamped my passport and I was good to go.  No question was asked to my sister, and it was just purely checking of documents was done.  We couldn't believe that it would be so swift like that after being paranoid for how many months. We went to final security check and waited our flight to Taiwan.  By the way, the woman I was watching was able to pass the immigration as well.

What were the requirements I brought?
1. Valid Passport
2. Return Tickets 
3. Visa-Free in Taiwan for Filipinos (Check if your country of destination requires Visa)
4. Certificate of Employment
5. Income Tax Return
6. Company ID

The first 3 were the basic requirements and the rest were supplementary documents I brought along with me. You may view Travel Requirements for more details.

Since we were early,  we waited for 3 hours.  We had to kill some times.  We roamed around the different boutiques in departure area.  Some boutiques we found were Coach, Longchamp, and Kate Spade.  There were also different coffee and souvenir shops.

Summary of the Events
1. Go to Check In counter
2. Pay the Travel Tax
3. Go to Immigration Section with accomplished Departure Card.
4. Go to Final Security Check
5. Wait at your Boarding Gate

Good to Know
1. Free Wifi
2. Charging station on each boarding gate

It was a good experience in NAIA terminal 3 for a first timer.

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