Traveling has been a form of leisure for Filipinos. Even minors love to travel abroad without their parents or family.
But because of incidences of child abductions, a minor regardless of civil status is required to secure a travel clearance issued by the DSWD.
Travel Clearance for Minors
A travel clearance is a document issued by the DSWD to a Filipino child (below 18 years of age) traveling abroad alone or with someone other than his/her parents.
Who needs a travel Clearance
- Below 18-year-old minor traveling alone to a foreign country;
- A minor traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his or her parents; and
- An illegitimate child traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than the mother.
Who does not need a Travel Clearance
- A minor traveling to a foreign country with either parent or with his or her solo parent or legal guardian;
- A minor traveling abroad whose parents are in the Foreign Service or living abroad or are immigrants, provided he/she is holding a valid pass such as a dependents visa/pass/identification card or permanent resident visa/pass/identification card which serves as proof that he/she is living with parents abroad and their travel does not constitute child trafficking.
- A minor with a permanent residency card;
- A minor who is not a Filipino citizen and holds a foreign passport;
- An illegitimate child traveling abroad with his/her mother.
Requirements for Travel Clearance
The application for travel clearance and its documentary requirements are filed at any DSWD Field Office.
The application form is available at all DSWD Field Offices and downloadable from DSWD website www.dswd.gov.ph.
The documentary requirements vary depending on whether the child is traveling alone or traveling with an adult other than a parent or legal guardian.
For minors traveling alone to a foreign country for the first time
- Duly accomplished DSWD Travel Clearance application form.
- Photocopy of either Birth Certificate or passport of the minor.
- Written consent of both parents or the solo parent or the legal guardian permitting the minor to travel alone to a foreign country.
- Proof of the consenting parent’s relation to the child, in one of the following forms:
- (married parents) a photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents
- (legal guardian) a photocopy of the certificate of legal guardianship of the minor,
- (solo parent) a photocopy of the solo parent identification card from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, a Local Social Welfare and Development Office, Tallaq or Faskh certification from the Shariah court or any Muslim Barangay or religious leader
- (if the child is illegitimate) a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO)
- (if parents are deceased) a photocopy of the death certificate
- Two colored passport size photos of the minor taken within the last six (6) months.
- The DSWD social worker may require additional documentary requirements during the assessment of the Travel Clearance application to make sure that no child shall be trafficked and that the child’s best interest and welfare are ensured.
For minors traveling for the first time with a person other than the parents or legal guardian
- Duly accomplished DSWD Travel Clearance application form.
- A photocopy of the birth certificate of the minor.
- Written consent of both parents or the solo parent or the legal guardian permitting the minor to travel to a foreign country with a specific person other than them.
- As appropriate, a photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents or a certificate of legal guardianship of the minor or in the case of solo parents, a solo parent identification card from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office or a certification from the Local Social Welfare and Development Office of being a solo parent or a court decree of separation, annulment or divorce, or Tallaq or Fasakh certification from the Shariah court or any Muslim Barangay or religious leader or in the case of an illegitimate minor, a certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) *from the National Statistics Office or in the case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate
- Two colored passport photos of the minor taken within the last 6 months.
- Photocopy of the passport of the traveling companion.
For minor illegitimate children traveling abroad with the biological father
A minor illegitimate child who is traveling abroad accompanied by the biological father is required to secure a travel clearance certificate as parental authority is vested only to the mother of the child, per Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
Validity for Travel Clearance
A DSWD travel clearance is valid for a period of one (1) year from the date of issuance and shall be valid for multiple travels within the validity period, provided the conditions under which the travel clearance was issued have not changed.
If a change in condition occurs like a change in traveling companion, a new travel clearance must be obtained.
HOW MUCH IS THE PROCESSING FEE FOR A TRAVEL CLEARANCE ISSUED TO A MINOR?
The DSWD shall collect a processing fee for each travel clearance issued to minors traveling abroad under the following options:
- Php 300.00 with a validity of one (1) year.
- Php 600.00 with a validity of two (2) years.
Where can one file the application?
The application for travel clearance, together with the supporting documents required shall be submitted/filed at the DSWD Regional Office that has jurisdiction over the minor’s residence.
Application forms may be obtained from any DSWD-Regional Office or maybe downloaded from the website www.dswd.gov.ph.
- On the appointed date, go to the DSWD Regional Office that has jurisdiction over the minor’s residence which processed your application, to submit the original copy of your supporting documents and pay PhP300.00 per travel clearance certificate. The travel clearance certificate will be obtained thereafter.
Other Frequently Asked Questions…
WHO WOULD GIVE THE CONSENT FOR THE TRAVEL OF A TOTALLY ORPHANED MINOR WHO HAS NO APPOINTED LEGAL GUARDIAN?
Paternal/maternal grandparents who exercise parental authority over a minor whose parents are both deceased may issue the consent even without guardianship order from the Court.
But in cases where both the paternal/maternal grandparents are deceased, relatives/acting guardians of the minor should work for their legal guardianship over the minor.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE CHILDREN WHOSE PARENTS HAVE MARITAL CONFLICT AND ARE ON HOLD ORDER?
A minor who is the subject of an ongoing custody battle between parents will not be issued a travel clearance unless a Court Order is issued to allow the child to travel abroad with either one of his/her parents or authorized guardian.
The family shall be responsible to notify the Bureau of Immigration to include the name of the child/ren in the watchlist of minors traveling abroad.
It is, therefore, the Bureau of Immigration’s responsibility to ensure that no child under the watchlist order leaves the country.
CAN A TRAVEL CLEARANCE BE ISSUED TO ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN WHO ARE STILL APPLYING FOR THEIR VISA IN THE EMBASSY?
Illegitimate children are under the custody of the mother. If they will be traveling with the mother, they are not required to secure a travel clearance from the DSWD. If they are traveling with a person other than the mother, they must secure a travel clearance.
IS A FAXED COPY OF THE PARENTAL CONSENT OF PARENTS RESIDING ABROAD ACCEPTABLE?
Faxed written consent is only applicable to parents whose place of work is not land-based e.g. seafarers, etc.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN ABANDONED BY THE MOTHER AND UNDER THE CUSTODY OF THE FATHER OR OTHER RELATIVES WHO WILL BE TRAVELING ALONE OR WITH THE FATHER OR OTHER RELATIVES?
Since the mother has the absolute parental authority over her illegitimate children the father would need to secure a Court Order vesting in him the parental authority over the illegitimate children.
If a parental authority has been granted to the father, and the minor will be traveling with the father, he is not required to secure a travel clearance. If the minor will travel alone or with someone other than the father, he/she is required to secure a travel clearance.
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