The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VII advises the public to secure a travel clearance for minors for at least a month before traveling abroad.
A travel clearance is a document issued by DSWD to a Filipino minor traveling to a foreign country unaccompanied by his or her parents or to an illegitimate child traveling with his or her father.
“The travel clearance is approved and issued within 24 hours as long as the supporting documents are complete and in order with the social worker’s assessment. However, we encourage the parents or guardians to process their application ahead of time and not a day before the actual date of their travel to avoid inconveniences,” said Regional Director Shalaine Marie Lucero.
Director Lucero added that the issuance of travel clearance is also a measure to prevent any form of abuse against minors.
The issuance of a travel clearance is specified under the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act and the Philippine Passport Act of 1996.
The following are the requirements to obtain a travel clearance for minors traveling abroad:
- Duly accomplished application form to be obtained in the DSWD regional office;
- Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) issued birth certificate of the minor with photocopy;
- Marriage Certificate of parent’s/mother’s certificate of no marriage from PSA with a photocopy;
- Original notarized affidavit of parent/s consent and support and should be notarized at the place of the parent’s current residence. The consent should include the following information: country of destination, the purpose of travel, date, and duration of travel;
- Certificate of Employment/ Latest Income Tax Return or Bank Statement with photocopy;
- Photocopy of parent’s valid ID with specimen signature;
- Photocopy of parent’s VISA (if working abroad);
- Two (2) original colored passport-size photos (white, red or blue background) of the minor taken within the last six (6) months from the time of application. No scanned picture is allowed; and
- Unaccompanied minor certificate from the airlines or waiver from parents (releasing DSWD from any liability in case of any untoward incident during the travel of the minor).
For a minor traveling with a specific companion, the additional requirement is the passport of the traveling companion with a photocopy.
Under special circumstances, additional requirements are also asked like the following:
A Filipino minor migrating to another country needs a visa petition approval for the minor.
A minor who will attend conferences, study tours, competitions, student exchange programs, summer camps, pilgrimages, World Youth Day, and other related activities needs certification from sponsoring organization; affidavit of the undertaking of a companion indicating the safety measures undertaken by the sports agency (for sports competition); and signed invitation from the sponsoring agency or organization abroad with the itinerary of travel, list of participants, and duration of the activity or travel.
Minor/s whose parent(s) are seafarers needs a certification from the manning agency attesting to the parent’s employment and a photocopy of the seaman’s book.
For an abandoned minor with an alleged missing parent and if the parents are married, the requirements are the following: a social case study report executed by a licensed social worker of the local government unit; a blotter report from either the local police or barangay certification from the locality or the last known address of the alleged missing; and one (1) returned registered mail to the last known address of the alleged missing parent(s) or known relative(s).
The application for travel clearance, together with the required supporting documents and payment of Php 300.00 per minor for one-year validity and Php 600.00 for two-year validity and shall be submitted by the parent/s, legal guardian, or a duly authorized representative to the DSWD Field Office VII located at MJ Cuenco Avenue corner Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Brgy. Carreta, Cebu City.
For Negros Oriental and Siquijor applications, the public can visit the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) Negros Oriental office in Dumaguete City for the processing of the documents. For Bohol applications, they may visit SWAD Bohol in Tagbilaran City.
Since January 2023, DSWD Field Office VII has already issued 63 travel clearances to minors traveling abroad. ###