All experienced travelers already know about passports and visas, but many aren’t familiar with onward tickets. An onward ticket is a document that confirms you have an intent to leave the country you are trying to enter. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a ticket home, but it should be a document that confirms you’ll continue your journey from that country eventually.
You might ask yourself, why are they doing this? Well, it is a way to fight off any illegal immigrants that might wish to stay longer than it’s allowed by their visa. Still, it can be quite annoying if this happens to you, as most countries don’t have this system in place. You can be a world traveler and never experience this, but it might also happen on your very first trip. Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to speed with everything you need to know.
What Are The Chances That I’ll Need It?
That really depends. Some people need to go through this all the time, while others never encountered this problem. Sadly, it all depends on how you look. If you fit the bill of a wealthy western businessman or a world traveler, you probably won’t have any problems. However, if you have a suspicious vibe going on, you can be in trouble. We’re mostly kidding, but it is actually something like that. When you are a traveler, you always need to be prepared for the worse, so do your homework, and acquire everything you might need in time.
As we have previously mentioned, this move is forced in order to prevent immigrants from entering the country, and staying there for a long time. Because of this, you can be asked for an onward ticket when entering from a nearby country. Chances significantly decrease as you move further away. Countries that often times require an onward ticket include: Peru, Brazil, USA, United Kingdom, Philippines and Indonesia among others.
What’s The Worst Thing That Can Happen?
Well, not that much, you can just be banned from entering the country! Most airlines won’t take you back at their dispense, so you’ll just be stuck at the terminal, waiting for a flight home. This doesn’t really happen all that often, but it is a possibility. Some airlines will take you back immediately, but they tend to be cautious, and warn their passengers about the need to purchase an onward ticket. Because they don’t want to give anyone a free ride, they’ll make sure you have an onward ticket before even entering the plane.
Can I Bend The Rules?
If you don’t want to spend extra cash on buying the ticket immediately, there are some ways in which you can bend the rules. For example, you can try your luck, and if they ask about your exit strategy, just buy a ticket online. Don’t go for the old fake tickets routine, as they might verify it, and then you can be in a lot of trouble. Furthermore, some airlines offer a 24-hour refund policy. Once you enter the country, you can simply cancel the trip, and you’ll get your money back. Be careful when you’re selecting a company for this, as some will have those small letters in their contract that can eventually stop you from getting your full payment back.
You might even be asked to prove that you have enough money to leave the country at a later date. This can be done with both cash and credit cards. Still, this requires some good will from border control, and it can depend on your reputation. However, in most cases, this proof will be good enough. Remember, you don’t have to have a ticket with you. Even if you are asked to show it, they will accept a screenshot of your email, or a printed copy. And it doesn’t have to be an air ticket, it also counts if you want to leave a country by a bus or ferry. The final advice would probably be – if you want to take a risk, look your best and good luck. If not, prepare in time and you won’t have any problems.