I remember the feeling of traveling alone when I was only 16. Well it wasn’t technically a solo trip–the rest of the family were already in Hong Kong and I had to follow after my finals–but I still remember the thrill of going to the airport, checking in my luggage, going through immigrations and finally arriving in one piece–all alone.
I was in college when I first applied for a DSWD travel clearance for myself. Now that I’m a single mom, I had applied for Caleb’s travel clearance so he can travel accompanied by other guardians (e.g. his grandparents).
Who Needs A Travel Clearance?
By Philippine law, all minors below the age of 18 are required to have a DSWD Minor Travel Clearance for the following:
- for minors traveling alone
- for minors traveling with companions other than his or her parents parents.
Even if a minor is traveling with a direct relative such as their own adult siblings or aunts or uncles, they are still required by law to travel with the DSWD document. This requirement is to ensure that children on transit are protected from child kidnapping or child trafficking.
Minors traveling with the legal guardians or parents are not required a DSWD clearance. However, illegitimate children traveling with father are still required to have a DSWD clearance.
When Should I Apply?
Once you have finalized travel plans, it’s best to apply as soon as possible, around a month or two weeks before the travel date. This will get you ample time to collate all required documents before the travel date.
Once you have all the requirements, it only takes around thirty minutes to an hour to get your DSWD document (at least in Cebu!) The people in the Cebu DSWD office are very efficient and accommodating (thanks, Ligaya!)
Where can I apply in Cebu?
The DSWD office in Cebu is located in MJ Cuenco Avenue cor. Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City. Office hours are on weekdays M to F, from 8am to 5pm.
What are the Requirements?
As of July 2017, here is the updated list of requirements for minors traveling abroad unaccompanied by parents:
- Filled up DSWD application form
- NSO birth certificate of the minor
- Marriage certificate of minor’s parents (if legitimate); no need if parents are unmarried and child is illegitimate
- Notarized affidavit of consent from parents . This must include:
- date of intended travel,
- purpose, and
- name of companion/s
- 3 pcs. passport size photos of the minor and companions
- Photocopy of the passport and visa (if necessary) of the minor
- Photocopy of the passport and visa (if necessary) of the companion
- 300 PHP payment per minor applicant.
- If parents are not applying; you also need an authorization letter from minor’s parents to process application
Once again, if the child is illegitimate, it will only need requirements from the mother (sole parental authority) and not the father.
Also, the minor does not need to be present in the DSWD office to file for the clearance. The officer will only
Once you have everything, it only takes 30 minutes to process your travel clearance valid for one year. Always check the spelling of the names before you leave.