Do You Need to Bring Your Yearbook or Diploma to the Airport?

Airport yearbook
ILLUSTRATOR Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Is it time to add a yearbook or diploma to your next flight's to-bring list? A TikTok user shared how an immigration officer allegedly asked her a long list of questions before her flight, which included the need to show her 10-year-old yearbook. Short answer: You don't need your yearbook, the Bureau of Immigration said.

Passenger Cham Tanteras said she missed her 11 a.m. flight to Israel despite being at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport - Terminal 1 eight hours before scheduled departure. This was after an Immigration officer allegedly refused to let her go as he asked for her IDs, if her parents are together or separated, if she booked the flight herself, and if she could show him her yearbook or graduation photo.

"I told the officer, hey, I graduated college 10 years ago, why would I even bring a yearbook in my travel? Who brings a yearbook going to Israel? Who brings a yearbook [on] their travel? Why would I even bring all those stuff with me?" she said in her TikTok video posted on March 1.

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Despite the airport ground staff's several attempts to call her to the gate before closing and having her passport stamped eventually, Tanteras said she still missed her flight. She had to rebook another flight with a different airline worth P27,000. This time, her Terminal 3 experience was smooth, she said.

Her experience got at least one other traveler scrambling to bring her own diploma to the airport, in case the immigration officer decides to ask.

@chamtanteras I missed my flight because of the immigration! #immigration #naia #travelphilippines #travelabroad #israel #palestine #naiaterminal1 #immigrationissues #travelingnomad #traveltips #islandgirl #siargao #islandlife #fyp #foryoupage original sound - Cham | Siargao Island Life

Do you need to show your yearbook or diploma to the immigration officer?

canada immigration
PHOTO BY Pexels
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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said travelers don't need to bring their yearbooks to the airport.

"Kung tayo po ay bibiyahe, of course we have to have proof po ng ating background, kung ano ang istorya natin so ayun po ang tinitingnan ng ating Immigration officers," BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in a March 17 TeleRadyo interview.

"Not yearbook po, ayan po ay hindi kasama sa requirements ng ating Immigration officers."

The bureau launched an investigation into what happened, she said. The officer involved has been relieved from his post and has been assigned to the back office.

"We can really say po na this is not part of the regular questions na tinatanong po sa ating secondary inspection."

So why do immigration officers ask these questions? It's to check for red flags like incomplete or fake documents as incidents of human trafficking and illegal recruitment are on the rise, she said in a separate interview

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Take note that these are the basic documents you need to bring to the airport:

  • Valid IDs
  • Passport
  • Return ticket
  • Visa, if required
  • Overseas employment certificate, if necessary

Also read: GUIDE: How to Travel to South Korea Without a Visa

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