Bong Voyage received his visa packet and passport with immigrant visa. He read the enclosed Warning notification and decided to go to the U.S. Embassy to ask a few questions.
Bong Voyage: Good morning.
Jimmy Murdochs: Good morning, how may I help you today?
Bong Voyage: I received my visa documents last week. However, I read the enclosed Warning notification and don’t know how to retrieve my passport. I’m afraid to open anything because I don’t want to do anything wrong before I fly to America!
Jimmy Murdochs: I understand your concern. You may open the plastic envelope to retrieve your passport. Just be sure not to detach the Immigrant Data Summary nor open the yellow envelope when you do so. As stated in the Warning notification you received, only the Immigration or Public Health Service Officer at the U.S. port of entry is authorized to open the yellow envelope.
Bong Voyage: Thank you. I also would like to ask about the pre-departure seminar provided by the Philippine government. Am I required to attend the seminar or can I just register with government?
Jimmy Murdochs: The Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is conducted by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and overseen by the Office of the President of the Philippines. All immigrants must register with CFO prior to travel, as it is mandated by the Philippine government, and most will have to attend the seminar as well. Information about CFO and their seminar schedule is included in the packet you received.
Bong Voyage: Yes, I actually have it with me. So can I just register with CFO, or do I need to attend a seminar?
Jimmy Murdochs: Only individuals younger than 13 and older than 60 are exempted from attending the PDOS. They must, however be registered. A sticker is affixed on your passport as proof of your registration. You may read more detailed information on the leaflet that you have and by checking the CFO website at www.cfo.gov.ph. You may also call them at 552-4700.
Bong Voyage: You’ve been really helpful. I guess that’s my final question.
Jimmy Murdochs: We’re happy to help! Good luck with your move to America!