An Airport Guide to Filipinos Traveling to the UAE

Be Prepared… the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise. –Robert Baden-Powell

Before going to the airport, double-check which terminal you should be at. Consider Manila traffic jams and be at the airport at least 3 hours before departure. Lines inside the airport can be very long sometimes.

NAIA Departure

Don’t mind the many people waiting outside, enter the airport by showing your ticket to the guard.

For the OFW: Proceed to the OFW lounge to get your OEC stamped. (As of January 2014, the OFW lounge is under renovation and the OEC counters have moved to inside the hallway entrance, just before the baggage scanners)


For OFWs only: Before going inside the airport, go to the OEC counters to have your certificates stamped. Bring along your OWWA certificate incase they look for it.

Place your bags on the scanners. Leave your trolley outside and get a new one from inside.

If the officer stops you to ask about something inside your bag, do not panic. Answer politely and allow them to open your bag. Wait patiently until they let you go.

For Tourist Visa Holders (confirmed tickets): Before proceeding to baggage check-in, pay the travel tax (PHP 1,620).

For Tourist Visa Holders (standby tickets): Enlist in baggage check-in first before paying your travel tax. This saves time while waiting for seat availability.

For OFWs: Stamped OEC exempts you from paying airport taxes.


NAIA Baggage checkin

Look for your airline’s check-in counters.

For confirmed tickets: Proceed to check your baggage in. For travel to the UAE, pass through visa check first. Receive your boarding pass and get your departure card from the counter. Fill it up while waiting in immigration line.

For unconfirmed tickets: Go to the rightmost or leftmost counter. Look for the “standby” sign. Enlist your name by presenting your passport and ticket. Airport staff will enter your name in the standby list and will tell you to wait and come back at least 1 hour to 30 minutes before counters close.

While waiting, pay the Travel tax. Then have your visa checked. Also, fill up the departure card given by the check-in staff.

Once the counters are closed for confirmed tickets, airport staff will arrange the standby list according to ticket code. Your chance to fly depends on the number of seats available, your ticket classification and the priority standing of other standby travelers.

Make sure you are near the counters and are visible to the staff when names are being called out. If you are handed a boarding pass, proceed to the immigration area. If your name isn’t called and seats are already full, wait for the next flight and enlist again.


After receiving your boarding pass, pass through Terminal Fee counters before Immigration area.

For OFWs: Take the leftmost line. Present your OEC for tax exemption.

For Tourist Visa Holders: Keep right. Pay the Terminal Fee (PHP 550.00).

After passing through the Terminal Fee counters, carry on to Immigration.

For OFWs: Keep left. Present your Passport, boarding pass, OEC & departure card. Ideally, there should be no more questioning here since you hold an employment visa.

For Tourist Visa Holders: Keep right. Prepare your passport, boarding pass, departure card, visa, return-ticket, affidavit of support (if available), bank statement (if no affidavit of support) and other supplementary documents (to present only when asked to).

Answer immigration officers confidently and politely. Answer the questions straight to the point and avoid unnecessary side stories. Provide only the additional documents they ask for.

Assuming you have presented all standard requirements and they still ask for supplementary documents which you do not have, present to them an alternative document which has the same purpose.

If the immigration officer is not satisfied with your answers, you will be handed over to another line of officers for further interrogation. You will be asked to fill up a sheet. Just answer their questions politely without showing fear.

You have a right as a traveler and as long as your documents are complete, you have nothing to fear.

If you are offloaded: Go back to check-in counter and seek advise.

If you are let through: Go to the bag scanners to enter boarding area. Go to your gate and wait for boarding. Be alert and make sure you won’t get left behind.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your 8-hour flight.

Upon arrival in the UAE, follow the signs to passport control / Immigration.

uae immigration

For Pink Visa and e-Visa Holders: Go straight to the Immigration line.

For scanned copy visa: Pick up your original visa first before proceeding to Immigration.

An eye scan will be done for you by the immigration officer. There would be no more interrogation at this stage. Usually, they just ask which flight/destination you flew in from.

After passing through Immigration, collect your baggage and wheel it out into the waiting arms of your family or friends.

Welcome to the Sandbox!


10 thoughts on “An Airport Guide to Filipinos Traveling to the UAE

  1. Hello I need help I work before in the UAE in sales and I ask to the company to get vacation so I get a round trip ticket but suddenly the company cancel me so I decided to find other job before I go back to the Philippines al hamdulilahhh I got a job but the visa not yet finish until the time I have to go to Philippines.and my new employer told me that they well sent my visa through email but my worry is what is the requirement bcoz most people said to me that I have to find agency and pay more and I don’t have enough money to pay for that plsss I need help what I will do thanks


    1. Hi Acel,

      Thanks for the inquiry. I am not a professional and expert in these cases. But I can only share from my experiences in the UAE.

      Kung ipapadala ng new employer mo ang visa thru email, pwede iyon dahil e-visas na ngayon ang UAE. Wala ka dapat maging problema. Isearch mo lang online kung ano-anong requirements pa ngayon ang hinihingi ng immigration kapag new employer ang babalikan mo sa UAE. Nagiiba-iba kasi minsan.

      Hope all goes well 🙂


  2. I have a visit visa.. is it ok if i will show to immigration officer just a copy of my visit visa or they need the original visit visa? Thank you


    1. were u able to present the printed copy of the visa or were u ask the original pink slip visa?


    2. Hey Marie did you get thru the immigration with just a copy of your visa or you need to present the original. Or is an e-visa acceptable.


What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s