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BI: Yearbook, grad photo not requirements for international travel

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Sunday that they were not requiring travelers to present their yearbooks, graduation photos, and even diplomas before they proceed with their flight overseas.

Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said that travelers only need to bring their passport, roundtrip ticket, visa if applicable, and supporting documents.

“Hindi po kailangan ng yearbook kapag ba-biyahe tayo. Hindi po ‘yan hinahanap ng Immigration. Wag niyo na dalhin ang yearbook, sayang ang espasyo para sa mga pasalubong,” she said.

(You don't need to present a yearbook when you travel. Immigration is not looking for that. Don't bring your yearbook anymore, it's just a waste of space for your packages.)

She issued the clarification in light of the viral story of a traveler who failed to catch her flight to Israel due to a lengthy interview with a BI officer who also asked her to show a yearbook.

Sandoval said that BI investigated the matter, and the immigration officer denied asking for a yearbook.

“Siguro ang nakikita natin na kakulangan siguro nung immigration officer is ipaliwanag doon sa passenger kung ano ang nangyayari, ano ang mga question na tinatanong [the immigration officer may have failed to explain what was happening and the question being asked] because it is really important for the passenger to understand the procedure or what is going to happen next,” she added.

Sandoval had defended the BI’s thorough screening of outbound passengers, especially considering the cases of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

She also reminded travelers to arrive in the immigration area at least three hours before their flight. — DVM, GMA Integrated News