Thursday, April 28, 2011

DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors (Plain English / Plain Language revisions)

Notes: (1) Please read my post “Plain English, Plain Language or Plain Writing for government offices and private companies in the Philippines.” (2) I conduct seminars for government offices or private companies that want to train their staff in Plain English. Please email me at gtgalacio@yahoo.com or text 0927-798-3138 for details. (3) For interactive grammar exercises, please visit my “Better English for everyone” website; I also have interactive quizzes on Plain English / Plain Language. (4) If the tables do not look right, try using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. (5) These revisions are my own and are used only to illustrate Plain English principles. If there are conflicts between my revisions and the official DSWD guidelines on travel clearance for minors, you must follow the official guidelines.

DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors (Plain English revision)
Note: The pronouns “you” and “I” refer to the parent, legal guardian or person (other than the minor) applying for the minor’s travel clearance.

Travel Clearance for Minors

A travel clearance is a document issued to a Filipino child (below 18 years of age) traveling abroad alone or with someone other than the child’s parents.
When does my minor child need a travel clearance?
Your minor child needs a travel clearance when:
  • traveling alone to a foreign country; or
  • traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than you.
When does my minor child not need a travel clearance?
Your minor child does not need a travel clearance when:

1. Traveling to a foreign country
  • with either you or your spouse, or
  • with you as a solo parent, or
  • with the legal guardian.
2. You and your spouse are
  • in the Foreign Service, or
  • living abroad, or
  • immigrants.
In number 2, your minor child must have a valid pass such as a dependents visa/pass/identification card or a permanent resident visa/pass/identification card. This document proves your minor child is living with you abroad and the travel does not constitute child trafficking.
Is a married minor required to get a travel clearance?
Article 35, paragraph 1of the Family Code states that no person below 18 can get married even with parental consent. If your minor child has gotten married by some means, a travel clearance is still required. (Please read Article 35 of the Family Code below.)
What are the requirements in getting a travel clearance?
1. Duly accomplished application form;

2. Photocopy of the birth certificate or passport of the minor;

3. Written consent of both parents or the solo parent or the legal guardian permitting the child to travel alone or with someone else to a foreign country;

4. Photocopy of passport of minor child’s traveling companion;

5. Two colored passport size photos of the minor taken within the last 6 months.

6. As appropriate:
  • photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents; or
  • photocopy of the certificate of legal guardianship of the minor; or
  • photocopy of the solo parent identification card from the municipal social welfare and development office or Tallaq or Fasakh Certification from the Shariah court or any Muslim Barangay or religious leader;
  • in the case of an illegitimate minor, the mother’s certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR) from the National Statistics Office;
  • in the case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate.
Is there a validity period for a travel clearance?
The clearance is valid from the date of issuance either for a period of one year or two years. It is valid for multiple travels within the period, as long as the conditions under which the clearance was issued have not changed. If a condition has changed, like a change in traveling companion, your minor child must obtain a new travel clearance.
How much is the processing fee for the clearance?
The fee is:
  • Php 300.00 with validity of one year.
  • Php 600.00 with validity of two years.
Where can I obtain the application forms? Where should I file the application?
You can obtain the application forms from:
You should file the application, together with the supporting documents, at any DSWD Field Office.
What is the procedure?
1. On the appointed date, you should go to the Field office which processed your application.

2. You must submit the original copy of your supporting documents, and pay the processing fee.

3. The clearance certificate will be released afterwards.
Other Frequently Asked Questions

Does a minor with a permanent residency card need a travel clearance?
No.
Does a minor born abroad but with no residency card need a travel clearance?
It depends on the minor’s citizenship or residency.

Ifthen
the minor is not a Filipino citizen and holds a foreign passport …a travel clearance is not required.
the minor is a Filipino citizen and living abroad but does not hold a permanent resident visa/pass/identification card …a travel clearance is required.

Who can give the consent for the travel of a totally orphaned minor who has no appointed legal guardian?
1. The grandparent, whether paternal or maternal, may issue the consent even without a guardianship order from the court. If there are several grandparents, the Family Court has to appoint which grandparent will exercise parental authority. (Please read Article 214 of the Family Code below.)

2. In cases where both the paternal and maternal grandparents are deceased, the relatives acting as guardians of the minor must secure a guardianship order from the court.
My minor child is the subject of an ongoing custody battle between me and my spouse. Can a travel clearance be issued?
We will not issue a travel clearance to your child. The exception is when the court issues an order allowing your child to travel abroad with either you or your spouse, or with an authorized guardian.

To prevent your minor child from traveling abroad without your consent or a court order, you must ask the Bureau of Immigration to include your child in the watchlist of minors traveling abroad. The Bureau of Immigration is responsible for ensuring that no child under the watchlist order leaves the country.
I am the mother of an illegitimate minor child. Can a travel clearance be issued to my child even while I am still applying for the visa in the embassy?
Under Article 176 of the Family Code, you have sole parental authority over your child.
  • If your child will be traveling with you, no travel clearance is required.
  • If your child will be traveling with a person other than you, a travel clearance is required.
(Please read Article 176 of the Family Code below.)
I am the biological father of an illegitimate minor child. The mother has abandoned the child. What are the requirements for the travel clearance?
Since the mother has the absolute parental authority over her illegitimate children, you need to get a court order giving you parental authority over the child.

If the court grants parental authority to you, then:

if the child will be traveling with you …travel clearance is not required
if the child will be traveling alone or with someone other than you …

travel clearance is required.


The parents are residing abroad. Is a faxed copy of their consent acceptable?
Yes, a faxed copy is acceptable. A computer generated photo of minors and emailed documents are also acceptable.
Relevant provisions of the Family Code of the Philippines

Article 35, par. 1 of the Family Code
The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;
Article 35, paragraph (1)
The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:

(1) Those contracted by any party below eighteen years of age even with the consent of parents or guardians;
Article 176
Illegitimate children shall use the surname and shall be under the parental authority of their mother, and shall be entitled to support in conformity with this Code. However, illegitimate children may use surname of their father if their filiation has been expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth appearing in the civil register, or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten instrument is made by the father. Provided, the father has the right to institute an action before the regular courts to prove non-filiation during his lifetime. The legitime of each illegitimate child shall consist of one-half of the legitime of a legitimate child.
Article 214
In case of death, absence or unsuitability of the parents, substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the surviving grandparent. In case several survive, the one designated by the court, taking into account the same consideration mentioned in the preceding article, shall exercise the authority.



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