NAIA Survival Guide

OFW Departure Guide

A guide for Overseas Filipino Workers departing from the Philippines.
Mayroon ding bersyon ng gabay na ito sa wikang Filipino.

Updated June 12, 2024

This guide will give you a step-by-step process on what to do at the airport.

1. Prepare all your documents

To ensure a smooth departure, make sure you have all the necessary documents with you. It is always a good idea to have a copy of these in your phone, aside from the physical copies.

You can also download our OFW Checklist.

  • Passport - Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from your departure date.
  • Plane ticket - A digital copy of your plane ticket will do. Make sure that the name on your ticket matches the name on your passport.
  • Work visa - Please make sure that your visa is still valid on your date of departure.
  • Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC - This is a requirement for all OFWs. OEC Exemption is available for OFWs returning to the same employer and jobsite.
  • For seafarers, your Seaman's Book - Make sure that your Seaman's Book is valid for the duration of your contract.
  • For first-time OFWs, your PDOS certificate - The Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a requirement for first-time OFWs. You can get this certificate from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
  • eTravel - You can fill out eTravel online.

2. Check-in online (optional)

Most airlines offer online check-in services. You can check-in online 24 hours before your flight. Even if you check-in online, you still need to have your documents checked at the airport.

3. Arrive at the airport

Make sure to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before your flight. This will give you enough time to go through check-in, security and immigration.

Check the terminal of your flight - You can find the terminal of your flight on your plane ticket or on our Departure page.

4. Check-in at the airport

When you arrive at the airport, there are screens/monitors that will show you the check-in counters for your flight. You can also ask the airport staff for assistance.

Proceed to the check-in counter of your airline. Present your passport, ticket, visa and OEC to the airline staff. They will check your documents and give you your boarding pass.

5. Go through immigration

Before proceeding to immigration, make sure that you have already accomplished the eTravel form. You will not be allowed to enter the immigration area without the accomplished form. Also prepare your eTravel QR code, your passport, boarding pass, OEC, work visa, and PDOS certificate (if applicable).

6. Go through security

After immigration, you will go through security. Make sure you are aware of the prohibited items to avoid any issues.

7. Head to your boarding gate

Once you have passed through security, head to your boarding gate. You can find your boarding gate on your boarding pass. If your boarding pass does not have a gate number, you can check the screens right after security.

8. Board your flight

Once your flight is ready for boarding, the airline staff will call your flight. Make sure to have your boarding pass and passport ready.

Mikko Gozalo
About the author

Mikko Gozalo

Creator of

Mikko is a data scientist based in Hong Kong. He flies the Manila to Hong Kong route regularly. Having flown a lot from NAIA, he decided to create to help fellow travelers.