DSWD TRAVEL CLEARANCE FOR FILIPINO MINORS TRAVELING ABROAD
A DSWD Travel Clearance is a document issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to a Filipino child below 18 years of age, regardless of civil status, leaving the Philippines alone or with someone other than his or her parents. Philippine law requires minor children who are traveling abroad without their parents to obtain a DSWD Travel Clearance, which is a safeguard against the trafficking of Filipino children.
Philippine port and airport authorities will require the presentation of the DSWD Travel Clearance before a minor is allowed to leave the country.
Application should be made with the office of the DSWD by a relative or representative authorized by the parents. To apply for a DSWD Travel Clearance via the DSWD e-Services, please visit: https://www.dswd.gov.ph/eservices-3/
MINORS EXEMPTED FROM SECURING A TRAVEL CLEARANCE
The only exemptions to the DSWD travel clearance are minor children who are:
- traveling with either parent;
- traveling with the legal guardian;
- immigrants to another country and are holding a valid permanent residency card, dependents’ visa, or other pass issued by another country which proves residency with parents abroad;
- not Filipino citizens and holding foreign passports.
A minor who is a Filipino citizen and living abroad but does not hold either a permanent resident visa or equivalent pass issued by another country is required to secure a travel clearance.
DSWD REQUIREMENTS FOR A 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 child is illegitimate) a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
- (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
Note: 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 interests 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 minor
- A 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 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 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 OF A DSWD 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.
CHILDREN IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
- Orphaned minors who have no appointed legal guardian: The grandparents (paternal or maternal) who exercise parental authority over an orphaned minor may issue their consent even without guardianship order from the Court. But in cases where both the grandparents are deceased, the relatives or acting guardians of the minor should work for their legal guardianship over the minor.
- Minors whose parents have marital conflict and 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 parent or authorized guardian.
A child whose name is included in the Bureau of Immigration’s watchlist of minors traveling abroad will be prevented from leaving the country.
- Illegitimate children: The Family Code of the Philippines vests the mother with the parental authority over an illegitimate child (Article 176).
- If traveling with the mother, a DSWD travel clearance is not required.
- If traveling with a person other than the mother, a DSWD travel clearance is required.
- If traveling with the biological father, a DSWD travel clearance is required. However, if a Court Order has granted parental authority to the father, a DSWD travel clearance is not required.
- If traveling with an adult other than the mother, a DSWD travel clearance is required.
ELECTRONIC OR FAX TRANSMISSION OF PARENTAL CONSENT
A faxed copy is acceptable. Likewise, a computer-generated photo of minors and emailed documents are acceptable.
Kindly contact any DSWD Field Office for inquiries.