Tourist Allegedly Told to Present 10 Birth Certificates to Immigration Officer

The story of a female passenger getting offloaded from her flight to Taiwan for failing to present 10 birth certificates of her relatives to the immigration officer has gone viral online.

According to interviews with the tourist’s cousin and sponsor, Ammie Liau, the passenger had been offloaded twice despite having documents and an invitation “consularized by the MECO” (Manila Economic and Cultural Office). Ammie claimed that her cousin’s initial flight was rescheduled from June 29 to July 1 in order to show a physical photo of them together to establish their relationship, but her cousin ended up being offloaded again after failing to present a total of 10 birth certificates from all their relatives to prove further that they are related.

According to Ammie, the immigration officer asked for these birth certificates because she was a seventh-degree cousin.

Ammie also said that her cousin wasn’t allowed to get a refund or monetary compensation for missing her flight, which reportedly cost Ammie PHP 17,000 to book.

The Bureau of Immigration then released a statement on Monday, July 10, clarifying that the passenger showed “multiple red flags” which caused her to be offloaded.

“According to BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco, while they have yet to receive the full report and investigation, initial information shows that the unnamed passenger’s travel was deferred for having multiple red flags. The traveler, who initially attempted to depart late last month, claimed she is traveling to Taiwan to visit a distant relative. However, the immigration officer noted that during the assessment, there was mention of a possible work in Taiwan. Said traveler also was unable to establish her relationship with her sponsor, and had numerous inconsistencies when asked about basic details about said sponsor,” the statement read.

“Her personal capacity to sustain herself during the 14-day trip was likewise not established. Hence, Tansingco said that the traveler was reminded to secure proper working documents.”

The statement added that “departing passengers whose purpose and capacity is not fully established” may only be sponsored by relatives within the fourth degree in compliance with the Department of Justice’s guidelines.

“Travelers need not worry as long as they have the appropriate documents that match their actual purpose of travel,” said Commissioner Tansingco. “So many travelers are coming in and out of the country with no issues. Only those with conflicting documentation are subjected to further inspection.”

The bureau assured the public that they will continue to investigate the incident despite this.

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