What Exactly Is The Proof Of Onward Travel? And why is it such a sore spot? |
It’s nothing personal really. Buying a one-way flight ticket can only happen in songs and movies. In real life, every country wants to make sure you are not an illegal immigrant or begpacker. Both these happen, and even though just having an onward ticket doesn’t guarantee the fact that you are not gonna do something like that, it’s their way of telling themselves: “sure thing.”
Airlines take the heat and often don’t let you board
In most cases, rather than taking the responsibility themselves, many countries pass the ball on the airlines. So, the airlines with which you are flying, could turn into the bad guy and not let you board the flight if you don’t meet the requirements. If you are in a pickle, and you have to fly, they could force you to buy a return ticket from them, which could end up making a very big hole in your pocket. The reason is, if the airline doesn’t enforce all this, and actually fly you without the onward ticket, and the immigration hawks pick your ass out, that particular airlines would be the one to fly you to your origin.
The rule sucks because if you are planning to just take buses overland, like I did in South America, you don’t need an onward flight ticket. The rule sucks if you really don’t know when you go back. It sucks when you are on a budget, and you have to buy the onward ticket just so you are allowed inside. I am visa exempt. Do I still need to show proof of onward travel?
Being visa exempt is a privilege. Arrive, get a stamp for 90 days and enter. Why would they ask you for proof of onward travel?
Well, sorry to be a ball buster, but they are not gonna cut you any slack. Especially in Asia. And some notorious airlines might not let you board.
Same goes for people who have a tourist visa or are availing a tourist visa on arrival. Although, I must add that you might be a little more vulnerable. What are the Countries that Need Proof of Onward Travel?
There might be more but some countries that are famous for making more than just a big fuss about it are United States, Brazil, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Peru, Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, United Kingdom and Panama. Japan and Guatemala are also known to be fussy at times.
Buying a round-trip ticket is simply impossible for everyone. You might be in a bad situation speaking in monetary terms. What is the Way Around?
If you are you a digital nomad or a long term traveler making a lot of visa runs, there is no way you could go on buying onward flight tickets even if they are refundable. So, I am gonna compile a list of short-cuts I and other long term travellers use, in that order. All these are easy and if I might add, perfectly legal.
As a precaution, I get proof of onward travel before travelling to any country. I would ask you to do the same.
Here is the website : Onward Ticket Visa : https://onwardticketvisa.com
Book a Refundable Ticket on an Online Booking Website
There are a number of booking platforms like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline that allow you to book a ticket and cancel it within 24 hours for a full refund. So, if you want to save this 10$, and opt to book a refundable ticket, you would have a proof of onward ticket and you can cancel it once you make it to your destination.
Book a Flight Ticket on an Airline’s Website with a 24-hour Cancellation Window.
Use Airlines Miles
If you have piled up a lot of miles, you can use those miles to buy a refundable ticket and cancel it later. Most of the times, you would have the option to find something that’s refundable.
Buy a Cheap Throwaway Flight on a Budget Airlines
This is a good option especially in Asia and Latin America. There are lots of budget airlines like EasyJet, AirAsia, Volaris where you can buy a flight ticket for as low as $50 from one major city in one country to a big city in another country.
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