Let's say country X requires proof of onward travel to permit my entry. If I had a flight out of country X within the duration of my maximum stay, I have no problem. But what if I have booked a flight that originates in a different country, country Y, before the duration of my maximum stay is exceeded?

In order to catch that flight from country Y, I will have to have left country X on time. Does this flight from country Y count as proof of onward travel?

I am aware that there may be differences between countries and that it may depend on which country I am from. Further, it could depend on other factors such as the locations of countries X and Y.

In my case, I am from the UK and specifically considering Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and the Phillipines. However, I am also more generally interested in whether there are any generalisations that can be made.

  • You would still have to show something for leaving X.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jun 3, 2017 at 13:29
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    My viewpoint is to try to make things as simple for immigration officers as possible. In your scenario, you are asking them to make a somewhat syllogistic conclusion. It makes sense, however note that immigration is not always sensible. For example the requirement for onward travel we all know is essentially means nothing. Probably 99% of absconders had return tickets they never took. Same thing with detailed itineraries in Schengen countries, many times we fake them in order to apply at a particular embassy. They are almost meaningless however immigration wants the documentation Jun 3, 2017 at 13:44
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    Looking at it logically, one purpose of an onward ticket requirement is to demonstrate your intention to leave Country X. The ticket from Y does fulfill that purpose to some extent. But another purpose is to demonstrate your ability to leave Country X. Without this requirement, some visitors might enter X, spend all their money, and not be able to afford a ticket to get home, so they decide to stay illegally instead. Showing a prepaid ticket out of X helps demonstrate that this won't happen to you - even if you blow all your money in X, you still have your ticket out. Jun 4, 2017 at 2:50
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    But a ticket from Y doesn't help with this - if you blow all your money in X, you might not be able to afford to get to Y to catch your flight, and thus have no choice but to overstay illegally. So only a ticket that actually departs from X would satisfy this requirement. Jun 4, 2017 at 2:53
  • @NateEldredge That is a really useful way of looking at the situation and I find it very helpful, thank you! Jun 4, 2017 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


I have personally traveled a long time in Southeast Asia and never really had to show proof of onward travel, except in the Philippines. Otherwise, there's always the possibility to book a cheap flight, train or bus ticket.

  • I've had to show in Singapore more than once and maybe Malaysia one but I'm less sure about that. Mar 31, 2023 at 7:57

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