In the event that you need to take your child out of the country, you must secure a DSWD travel clearance for minors. You may apply for it at any Social Welfare Development Center (SWDC) or any accredited agency.
Before a minor can travel outside the country, he or she must first obtain a travel clearance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The purpose of the clearance is to ensure that the child is not being trafficked or forced into labor.
In order to obtain a travel clearance, the child’s parents or guardians must submit an application form to the DSWD. The form must be accompanied by a birth certificate, passport, and other supporting documents. Once the application is approved, the DSWD will issue a travel clearance certificate. The certificate is valid for one year and can be used for multiple trips.
But in order to proceed, you need to understand what a DSWD travel clearance for minors is and what it entails. You can learn more about it by reading the following sections.
What is a DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors?
The DSWD travel clearance for minors is an official document that allows you to take your child out of the country. It can also be used to identify you when traveling with your child. This document will contain important information about your child, such as his/her name, birthdate, and nationality.
This document confirms a child’s identity up to 18 years old and his/her relationship with you—the parent or guardian. It also confirms that you have met all the requirements in order to take your child out of the country.
- Authorizes a child to leave the country for a vacation or other purpose either with or without their parents
- Serves as proof that the child can be able to travel abroad
- Helps protect him/her from any form of abuse, trafficking and other forms of abuse that children might encounter while traveling.
These three points are very important to parents who want their children who are minors to travel abroad. The DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors is a very useful document in many situations and can help with the protection and well-being of your child.
Who Needs a Travel Clearance?
The DSWD travel clearance is required by both Filipino and foreign nationals when traveling with a child. The DSWD travel clearance for minors can be used as an alternative to the passport.
This document is issued to a:
- A minor traveling alone to a foreign country ;
- A minor traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his or her parents.
You don’t need to get this document if:
- You are a minor other than those specified above, for example:
- A minor traveling to a foreign country with either parent or with his or her solo parent or legal guardian;
- A minor traveling abroad whose parents are in the Foreign Service or living abroad or are immigrants, provided he/she is holding a valid pass such as a dependents visa/pass/identification card or permanent resident visa/pass/identification card which serves as proof that he/she is living with parents abroad. Their travel does not constitute child trafficking.
What are the Requirements to Get a DSWD Travel Clearance?
A. For a minor traveling alone to a foreign country for the first time
- Duly accomplished DSWD Travel Clearance application form – check here
- A photocopy of the birth certificate 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
- As appropriate, a photocopy of the marriage certificate of the minor’s parents or a photocopy of the certificate of legal guardianship of the minor or in the case of solo parents, a photocopy of the solo parent identification card from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office or a photocopy of a certification from the Local Social Welfare and Development Office of being a solo parent or Tallaq or Faskh 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 National Statistics Office (NSO) or in the case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate
*Issuance of CENOMAR will take 1-5 days for cases of uncommon surnames and 1-15 days for common surnames.
* Issuing office of CENOMAR is the National Statistics Office not the Local Civil Registrar.
- Two colored passport size photos of the minor taken within the last six (6) months
B. For a minor traveling for the first time with a person other than the parents or legal guardian
- Duly accomplished 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 National Statistics Office or in the case of a deceased parent, a photocopy of the death certificate
* Issuance of CENOMAR will take 1-5 days for cases of uncommon surnames and 1-15 days for common surnames
*Issuing office of CENOMAR is the National Statistics Office not the Local Civil Registrar
- Two colored passport-size photos of the minor taken within the last six months.
- Photocopy of the passport of the traveling companion
C. In the case of illegitimate children traveling abroad accompanied by their biological father, they are still required to secure a travel clearance certificate as parental authority is vested only to the child’s mother, per Article 176 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
What is the Process for Filing an Application for a DSWD Travel Certificate for Minors?
The application for travel clearance and supporting documents should be submitted to the DSWD Field Office.
Step 1: Obtain DSWD-Field Office Travel Clearance application forms from their website or any DSWD field office.
Step 2: Submit all the necessary documents.
Step 3: Go to the nearest DSWD field office on the appointed due date and pay the required amount for the travel clearance certificate.
The travel clearance certificate may be issued within three (3) working days following the submission of the necessary documents.
How Much is the Fee for the DSWD Travel Clearance Certificate?
The application fee for the DSWD travel clearance certificate will depend on how long you wish to use the travel clearance and what purpose it is used for.
- A fee of Php 300.00 per child will be valid for one (1) year
- A fee of Php 600.00 per child will be valid for two (2) years
NOTE: If the travel clearance has been lost, the new requirements for the approval of a new travel clearance should be submitted to the field office. This should not be considered a renewal of the clearance.
Application Form for DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors Traveling Abroad (MTA)
As mentioned, you may download a copy of the DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors Application Form online. Here is a COPY you may use you can download online – https://ncr.dswd.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/mta_iso_form.pdf
Check out a sample of the DSWD Travel Clearance Application Form below:
Please read the instructions carefully before filling out the form. You can use either a black or blue ballpoint pen to fill out the form and ensure you have all the necessary documents ready before applying. If you have any questions about applying for a DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors or other concerns related to traveling abroad with minors under your care, you may contact the nearest DSWD Field Office.
Video: Filipino Vlogger Shares Details of Getting a DSWD Clearance for Travel for Child
Follow this step-by-step guide, and learn from the experience of the vlogger on how they went about applying for a DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors.
Sending your child overseas on their own can be a very difficult decision to make. One of the most important things you need to do before sending your child overseas is to apply for a DSWD Travel Clearance for Minors.
The travel clearance is a document that states the specific details about your child’s travel abroad, including his/her age and any special needs they may have. This document will also show that their parents or guardians are giving them permission to go abroad alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a minor according to the law?
The term minor, also referred to as “Child,” is defined in RA 7610 as a person under 18 years old or one who is over 18 years old but is unable to protect himself or herself from abuse, neglect, discrimination, or exploitation due to a mental or physical disability.
2. Are the following minors exempted from securing a travel clearance?
- A minor with permanent residency card
- A minor who holds a valid pass such as dependents visa/pass/identification or permanent resident visa/pass/identification card is no longer required to secure travel clearance from DSWD. A permanent residency card is a valid pass and a holder of such is exempted from securing a travel clearance.
- A minor born abroad but has no permanent residency card
Depending on the minor’s citizenship and residency, they may not need a travel clearance. For instance, minors who are not Filipino citizens but have a foreign passport may not need one. However, those who are living abroad and do not have a permanent resident card may need one.
3. Who would give consent for the travel of a totally orphaned minor who has no appointed legal guardian?
Grandparents who have the authority to give consent to a minor child whose parents are deceased may do so even without a court order. However, in cases where both the parents are dead, the legal guardians should be the relatives or acting guardians of the child.
4. What about those children whose parents have marital conflict and are on hold order?
Unless a court order is issued to allow a child to travel with either of his or her parents, a travel clearance will not be granted. The child’s name will be added to the Bureau of Immigration’s watch list if the family fails to provide the necessary information. The agency is also responsible for ensuring that the child does not leave the country.
5. Can a travel clearance be issued to illegitimate children who are still applying for their visas in the embassy?
Children of illegitimate parents are under the custody of their mother. If they are going to be traveling with their mother, they do not need to secure a clearance from the DSWD. On the other hand, if they are going with someone other than their mother, they need to secure a clearance.
6. Is a faxed copy of the parental consent of parents residing abroad acceptable?
Sending a copy via fax is acceptable, as long as it is accompanied by a photo of minors. Also, email documents and a computer generated image of children are allowed.
7. What are the requirements for illegitimate children abandoned by the mother and under the custody of the father or other relatives who will be traveling alone or with the father or other relatives?
The father would need to secure a court order granting him the authority to raise his illegitimate children. If the mother has the absolute authority over her children, then the father would not be required to provide a travel clearance for the minor. However, if the minor travels with the father, or with someone else, he or she would need to secure a clearance.
8. Is a married minor required to secure a travel clearance?
Regardless of one’s civil status, a minor must get a travel clearance if they go on a solo or group trip without their parent.
Aside from providing social services to the poor and needy, the DSWD is also responsible in ensuring that children in the Philippines are protected from abuse and exploitation. For this reason, parents need to ensure that their children are safe and secure when traveling abroad. If you want to send your child overseas alone, you must apply for a DSWD travel clearance first.
We hope that this guide has helped you better understand the application process for a DSWD travel clearance for minors traveling abroad, which is fairly simple and quick.
So, do you think you’re ready to send your child abroad? If so, do you have the right documents? Are there any other things you need to do before you send them overseas? Do let us know in the comments section below!
DISCLAIMER: This post is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for the DSWD’s official travel clearance requirements and procedures. We strongly recommend you visit the DSWD website for more information.