A Filipino passenger — who was supposed to fly to Dubai on a tourist visa — stormed into Manila’s airport police station recently after being barred from travelling. This was the second time he was offloaded, local media reported.
Lamenting the huge amount of money that went down the drain because of the incident, the man argued that all his travel documents were legal, according to a local media report. However, immigration officers stressed that he failed to meet the requirements.
“I just wanted to tour Dubai,” said the passenger, who also told reporters that he had a sibling in the emirate. “I was asked to present an ‘affidavit of support’ from my sister.”
An affidavit of support and guarantee is a document that proves that a UAE resident can sponsor a visiting relative’s stay in the country. It can be easily obtained from the Philippine missions in the UAE; however, a monthly income of Dh10,000 is required for sponsors who are single.
The passenger didn’t have the document. His mother argued: “His sister didn’t invite him to visit Dubai. He shouldered all the expenses for the trip.”
He reportedly has a job in the Philippines and was able to present a return ticket. He was also holding a printed copy of his bank records.
The immigration authorities, however, noted that the statement showed he had opened the bank account only a month ago, according to the report.
An officer added that during the first time he was offloaded, he was given a list of requirements, which included the affidavit of support. When he came back to the airport, however, he couldn’t present the additional documents and brought only the bank record.
Immigration authorities in Manila have been under the spotlight after a ‘horror story’ of a traveller recently went viral. The woman narrated in a social media reel how she missed her flight because of the lengthy, ‘unreasonable’ questioning at the immigration — to a point that she was asked to present her graduation yearbook.
Philippine officials, however, explained that the tight screening was part of their efforts to prevent human trafficking. Just last March 7, for example, they were able to save two Filipinas from what could be an illegal recruitment scam.
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