Everything you need to know about proof of onward travel

What does proof of onward travel mean?

Although most of the people who keep travelling from country to country now a days, no matter for what purpose they go there, they know well what proof of onward travel is and why is it important.

But those who are going abroad for very first time or they have very little or no experience of going abroad, they are not familiar with the term proof of onward travel. But there is no need for you to worry about it, as this article is going to give you a clear idea about it.

In simple words, proof of onward travel is termed as a proof that you are supposed to give to the government of the country where you are going, as a guarantee that you will leave that country upon the completion of your visa time. 

As far as the implementation of proof or onward travel rules is concerned, some of the countries strictly follow them while others do not. Here is all what you need to know about proof of onward travel.

Why do countries require proof of onward travel?

It is one of the frequently asked questions that why is there need for proof of onward travel. The answer is very simple that the countries need this proof just in order to make sure that the person entering the premises of a certain country will not stay there after completion of visa time. And he will move back towards his country upon the completion of visa.

Government of some of the countries takes the responsibility of checking proof of onward travel from all entering their premises. While other countries held the airlines bringing the passengers responsible for the checking of proof of onward travel.  In case a person enters their premises without a proof of onward travel, the respective airline is responsible for that.

How the proof of onward travel rule is implemented?

It is the perception of majority of the people that implementation of proof of onward travel means to check out the ticket at the time of boarding. But it is something more than that.

At the time of boarding, the passengers having one way tickets are required to produce the proof that they will either travel to another country after a certain time period or they will return back to their own country.

For this purpose, they are required to show the onward ticket or return tickets. And the airline you are boarding through will not allow you to board until or unless you produce before them the proof of onward travel. This how the proof of onward travel is implemented.

At land borders:

People may think that implementation or enforcement of proof of onward travel is just limited to the travelling by air. But this perception is totally wrong. No matter you are having a flight reservation for visa or you are using any other mode of transport to enter the premises of a country, you will be asked for proof of onward travel.

For instance in case of crossing land borders, it will be immigration officials who would require from you the proof of onward travel or at least your plan of travelling next.

Crossing through sea borders:

As mentioned earlier that no matter which means of transportation you use for entering the premises of a country, you would be asked to produce the proof of onward travel.

However, in case of land and sea borders, you are given relaxation of not necessarily having the tickets of return or onward travel. Instead of it you are just asked to show your plan of travel simply.

And all these rules are enforced to those travelling through onward ticket visa. On the other hand, those already having return tickets have nothing to do with them.

Countries requiring the proof of onward travel:

In order to determine whether a certain country would require proof of onward travel or not, we need to know about that country’s policy and rules in this regard. It is necessary just because different countries have different policies regarding others in this matter.

Although, there is no clear cut answer to the question, but here are some of the countries that would necessarily require you to produce proof of onward travel at the time of entrance. These countries include USA, UK, New Zealand, Peru,Philippines, Indonesia, Dominica, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina and Antigua.

However, it must be kept in mind thatnot all the countries would necessarily check the proof of onward travel just because in some cases despite of having strict rules, officials of immigration of some of the countries don’t implement or enforce these rules strictly. And there are equal chances whether they check the proof of onward travel or not.

How can one get proof of onward travel?

There are different ways a person can adopt in order to get the proof of onward travel. Here are some of the easiest and the most common ways of getting the proof of onward travel.

Get a refundable ticket:

It is one of the most suitable and practical ways you can adopt. What you have to do is get a return ticket or ticket to travel to any other nearby country that is refundable. After getting that ticket, you may cancel it after a few hours.

Rent a ticket:

There are different airlines or companies offering you the option to rent onward ticket. They book a ticket in your name and automatically cancel it for you after a few hours.

Go for a budget friendly option:

You may also get a less costly returnticket or ticket or any other countryafter comparing the rates of different airlines. And then you may cancel it later on.


Whenever you are travelling to a country, no matter you are going by air or by road or by any other means like ferry,is necessary for you to have some know how about what is meant by proof of onward travel and how does it work.

If you have no idea about proof of onward travel, don’t worry we are here to help you. The information given in this article will enable you to understand the proof of onward travel. It will also let you know ways of producing proof of onward travel.

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