Onward Ticket: Get Verified Proof Of Onward Travel To Enter A Country

Entering some countries requires you to demonstrate that you plan to leave the country by a specific date by showing proof of onward travel. But what if you don’t know when you plan to depart? Here are the best ways to show immigration you have a valid onward ticket without wasting money on cancellation or change fees.

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Published On: April 1, 2022

Latest Update: March 6, 2024

About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller- Abroad: Expats That Thrive.

What is an onward ticket?

An onward ticket is a document that proves that you have a scheduled departure out of the country within a specified period. Travelers often require proof of onward travel for visa applications or when crossing borders. This ticket is also referred to as a return ticket, departure ticket, or onward flight ticket.

Not every country asks for proof of onward travel, but the COVID situation has led many countries to mandate onward ticket checks with the latest lockdowns and pandemic border restrictions. 

While an onward ticket is not necessary when traveling to every country, an immigration officer can request you provide documented proof that you are not planning to stay in the country illegally. 

It's good to be prepared just in case. You can buy an onward ticket for $14 from a reputable website; there are even some free options I cover in the article below. Having an onward flight ticket will ensure there are no problems when dealing with bureaucratic border control upon arrival at immigration.

This article serves as a guide on purchasing and using onward ticketing to minimize your costs while maintaining maximum flexibility.

Why is it important to have an onward ticket?

It is all about illegal immigration. Many countries are cracking down on foreigners overstaying their valid visa days. Proof of onward travel shows authorities that you have the means and intention to leave the country and do not intend to stay in the country illegally.

63% more illegal immigrants overstay their visas than illegally cross the borders.

Showing an onward ticket for short-term tourists on vacation is not typically an issue, as tourists usually have a pre-booked itinerary with a fixed departure date and a prepaid return ticket. 

However, proof of onward travel doesn't work for digital nomads or nomadic retirees like me who choose to stay relaxed about our plans. Picking a departure date usually means paying for an airline ticket we don't plan to use (throwaway ticket), paying exorbitant change fees to choose a different departure date, or risk immigration not letting us into the country for not providing an onward ticket.  

Travel flexibility is where using an onward ticket provider comes in handy.  Onward ticket providers allow you to "rent" proof of onward travel confirming you have a flight out of the country. You can confidently present your proof of onward travel to the airline check-in agent or immigration when you arrive in the country. A rented or disposable onward flight ticket is a 100% legitimate, verifiable flight reservation made in your name.

A disposable onward ticket is a smarter, more flexible, and cheaper way to deal with proof of onward travel.

I have partnered with the most trusted online ticket provider on the web with a 4.7 rating on Trust Pilot and loads of happy customer reviews. You can book an onward ticket for just $14

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How do I book an onward ticket on your website?

You can get verified proof of onward travel in as little as sixty seconds from our travel partner's website. Simply click the button link below to start the application.

  • 1) Enter your origin and destination airport, passenger information, whether you want a round-trip or one-way flight ticket, and whether you wish to extend the reservation validity duration
  • 2) Pay for your ticket- The booking form takes all major credit cards or Paypal. After payment, a flight reservation is made within seconds by a registered travel agency.
  • 3) Your travel itinerary with a PNR code is immediately available for download. Additionally, the onward ticketing system will send your confirmable flight itinerary in a confirmation email within minutes.

How much does an onward travel ticket cost?

You can buy a disposable onward ticket reservation that meets airline and immigration requirements for onward travel proof for $14 USD. There are optional add-ons if you want additional features added to your reservation. 

Optional add-ons include

  1. Make your ticket a return ticket $7- a full round-trip ticket is helpful for a visa application
  2. Delay your ticket delivery date $1- if you don't want to activate your ticket until a later date
  3. Increase the validity period to 14 days $17- makes the ticket valid for 14 days (if you think the visa application process might take longer than 48 hours)
  4. Only use direct flights $2- to only use non-stop flights on your airline itinerary (avoids potential visa complications with stopovers in other countries)

How do I use a temporary onward ticket?

  1. 1
    Check the visa requirements of your destination country- Not every country requires an onward ticket
  2. 2
    Book your onward ticket on this website before you leave home- Your onward ticket can be checked at the airport when you depart and by immigration at the airport when you land. If you wait to purchase your onward ticket when you land, you may not have time or internet access to buy the ticket before you get your passport checked.
  3. 3
    Get onward ticket reservation in two minutes- Pick your departure and arrival airports, enter your passport details, and pay. The system sends a confirmed flight reservation to your email address.
  4. 4
    Show your onward ticket reservation to the immigration officer when you arrive-  Smile. Be polite. Don't be nervous. Your airline reservation is confirmed and has a departure date. Our ticket partners provide 100% legitimate tickets with a unique Passenger Name Record (PNR) code that immigration officials can verify with the airline.
  5. 5
    Get an onward ticket before you depart-  It could save you a lot of hassle at the airport.

 INSIDER TIP : Extending A Disposable Onward Ticket- Tickets purchased from our partner's website are real flight reservations. As such, the purchased reservation is only valid for 48 hours, enough time to fly to a new country and pass immigration. However, if you need to show proof of onward travel for a visa application, you can extend the reservation for 14 days.

Get Verifiable Proof of Onward Travel Within 60 Seconds

Nomadic FIRE has partnered with the most trusted Onward Ticket Provider on the web. They will make a confirmed flight reservation on your behalf and provide you Proof Of Onward Travel to show visa or immigration officials.

It's the cheaper, smarter option for traveling with complete freedom.

10 Ways to show proof of onward travel

There are a few ways to buy an onward ticket. The safest options cost money, as they create legitimate, verifiable airline reservations with your name and travel information that can be confirmed by any airlines agent, immigration authority, or border control officers.

  1. Rent a temporary onward ticket $
  2. Buy a Flexible Date Ticket $$$
  3. Purchase an expensive refundable ticket $$$
  4. Make a 24-hour Hold on an airline ticket $
  5. Book directly with airlines that offer free cancelations $
  6. Buy a cheap return ticket $$
  7. Risk it [NOT RECOMMENDED]
  8. Sign an airline liability waiver [NOT RECOMMENDED]
  9. Use a bus or train ticket [NOT RECOMMENDED]
  10. Photoshop a Fake Ticket [NOT RECOMMENDED]

Buy a flexible travel ticket ($$$)

The most straightforward way to show proof of onward travel is to purchase a ticket where you can change your departure date. This type of ticket gives you some flexibility if your travel plans change. The problem is airline companies make a killing off of flexible tickets. Changing an airline ticket is always expensive, as airlines can tack on change fees and charge you the difference in the fare price.

booking form for an onward ticket provider website

Get confirmed proof of onward travel for just $14

Purchase an expensive refundable ticket ($$$)

Another option is buying fully returnable tickets. Just make sure to read the fine print. Some airlines only refund tickets using flight vouchers instead of cash. A refundable ticket is not always available for every flight and often comes with a refund or change fee. A refundable ticket is almost always more expensive, and refunds are not always immediate. Qatar airlines, for example, held my money for one 1-month after requesting a refund on a legitimate ticket I purchased.

Reserve a flight ticket using online travel websites with FREE 24-hour cancellation ($)

The cheapest way to get an onward travel ticket is Expedia.com. Expedia has a 24-hour refund policy for most of its flights. I say cheapest, but if you keep a watchful eye, this method is actually FREE, as in 100% of your money back. In fact, Expedia has never charged my credit card when I cancel a flight within the 24-hour refund window. Expedia simply withdraws the reservation, and I never even see the charge hit my credit card statement.

While I mention Expedia, I'm sure other websites offer a similar policy. However, since I haven't had any reason to use a different company, I can't vouch for how they work. Expedia, to me, is tried and true.

 INSIDER TIP : Expedia.com- This method only works on Expedia.com. For reasons unknown to me, the .com site offers free refunds, while Expedia.ca, Expedia.co.uk, etc., does not.

Make airline reservations that have a 24-hour Risk-Free Cancellation Policy ($)

Another cheap option. The premise is the same as option 1 above, except you book directly with airline websites instead of Expedia. The key is finding an airline that offers FREE 24-hour cancelations AND has flights on the dates and arrival airport you need.

Here are some larger airlines that allow FREE refunds for reservations canceled within 24 hours of booking. Since airlines can change their policy, confirm with the airline if they still offer refunds with no change or cancelation fees. Additionally, verify your payment is refunded back to your credit card and not issued as flight credit or flight vouchers.

Alaska Airlines: 24-hour free cancellation.  

American Airlines: Keeps reservations on hold for free for 24-hours.

Delta Airlines: provides a full refund for cancellation on flight tickets made by midnight the day after the purchase

JetBlue: 24-hour free cancellation.  

United Airlines: 24-hour free cancellation.

 INSIDER TIP : Booking Direct vs. Online Travel Websites- I find booking my flight directly with airlines is cheaper 90% of the time. While I make nearly all my normal flight bookings directly with airlines vs. using an online travel website, I prefer travel websites when I need a temporary onward ticket. Why? Because online travel websites compile all the options for me, I need to check each airline one by one if I book direct. Since I'm don't plan on ever using or paying for the flight, I don't mind paying for the more expensive flights.

Buy the cheapest one-way ticket

An extreme budget airline like Ryanair, Asia Asia, or Wizz Air can drive down the cost of a one-way flight laughably low. In these situations, you can throw away or consider the ticket disposable. It may seem like a waste of money to burn a ticket, but some low-cost airlines have international flights for $10-$20. My girlfriend once paid less than $10 for a one-way ticket from Vienna, Austria, to Limassol, Cyprus. An Uber in Vienna to the airport costs twice as much as the cost to fly to another country.

Use an Onward Ticket Providers

The Onward Ticket Provider is my travel partner. They provide onward travel solutions by allowing customers to purchase a pre-booked itinerary as proof of onward travel on their website.

You can buy tickets using the site for $14, valid for 48 hours. 

sample of proof of onward travel

Sample of a confirmed reservation will receive from an Onward Ticket Provider

Four Ways To Travel Without A Ticket With A Scheduled Return

To be 100% clear, I do not recommend the following options. These options carry a high risk of being denied boarding your flight by airline agents or getting deported by Immigration authorities at your destination. Don't risk it. When you can get peace of mind by renting an onward ticket for $14, why take a chance?


A risky option is to arrive at the airport and try to get on the flight without proof of onward travel and hope no one checks. You'll need to pass through three potential checks:

  1. At the airline ticket counter during check-in
  2. By the gate agent before boarding your flight
  3. By immigration and passport control officers at your destination

I was caught without an onward ticket on my first business trip to Bogota, Colombia. It was my first time in the country, and ignorant about the proof of onward travel requirement. I'll never know why no one checked me at my departure airport or my transit airport. However, Colombian Immigration asked about my onward travel plans when I arrived. 

I apologized profusely to the Immigration officer and politely explained my situation. I showed them my business card and the business card of the clients I was scheduled to meet in Bogota. After a few more questions, he waved me through. I'm not sure if it mattered, but I looked the part of a business traveler with proper business casual attire and a collared shirt.

Sign an airline liability waiver [NOT RECOMMENDED]

The airline cares about money. If the check-in agent at the ticket counter denies you boarding for a flight, ask if you can sign a financial liability waiver rather than providing proof of onward travel. Typically, the airline is responsible for getting you out of the country if you are deported. By signing the waiver of liability, you are responsible for your travel costs if immigration denies you entry to your destination. The airline is no longer financially liable if immigration decides to deport you in this situation.

However, even if you successfully convince the airline check-in desk agent, the actual immigration officials at your arrival airport still need to permit you to enter.  

Buy a bus or train ticket [NOT RECOMMENDED]

When you're at the airport or immigration, and they ask for proof of onward travel, one option is to say that you will continue your trip via a land border. Buying a $20 to $30 bus or train ticket seems like an inexpensive way to show you're leaving the country. Sometimes this option works if you're entering a country by land, but most airlines and airport immigration officials won't accept an international bus or train ticket as onward tickets.

Additionally, bus tickets, train tickets, ferry tickets, etc., are harder to book and buy online before arrival, making this option even more inconvenient.

Photoshop a Fake Ticket or fake flight itinerary [NOT RECOMMENDED]

 There are many ways to forge a ticket, but the most common is editing an existing flight itinerary in a photo editor like Photoshop or GIMP. You can even use a word processor like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint to create a realistic-looking fake onward ticket for cheap.

A fake ticket is the riskiest option. Giving a falsified document to a government official is a big mistake. Forging a government document is illegal and can get you into serious trouble if caught. By falsifying a fake ticket and submitting it to a government official, you are essentially lying to the immigration officer and breaking the country's immigration law.

What countries require proof of onward travel?

Surprisingly, there is no comprehensive resource online showing all the countries that require proof of onward travel. However, here is a list of countries I am familiar with that need onward travel tickets.

It's important to note that every country has different requirements for proof of onward travel. Some countries, like Taiwan, do not require an onward ticket for Europeans but do for Vietnamese nationals. Other countries, like Thailand, will ban you from entry if you don't have proof of onward travel.

So, what should you do if you're planning on traveling abroad and don't have a valid onward ticket? The best thing to do is check with the embassy or consulate of the country you're visiting. They will be able to tell you exactly what documents they require for entry.

FAQs: Onward Tickets and Onward Flight Services

Can I choose the airline, destination, or specific flight for my onward ticket?

You can choose a destination, but there is no option for specific flights, times, or airlines. You can pick the departure and arrival airports, the dates, and if you prefer a non-stop flight. Our travel partner reserves the best onward flight instantly to ensure the fastest service.

Can I use my onward ticket as a return ticket?

No. Purchasing an onward ticket from our travel partner only provides a verifiable flight reservation. The reservation is automatically canceled after 48 hours unless you extend the validity for 14 days. You will need to purchase a separate ticket to receive an airline ticket you can use to travel.

What are the benefits of using a rentable onward ticket service?

Using an onward ticket service:

  1. Simplifies life if you don't know how long you want to stay or where you will go next
  2. Can be used for check-in verification at the airport and at border controls.
  3. Is cheaper than buying a throw-away ticket
  4. Is more flexible than buying a return ticket
  5. Is less complicated than a refundable ticket.

Overall, we believe that our travel partner's service provides excellent value for those looking for convenience and peace of mind during their travels.

Can I travel without an onward ticket?

An onward ticket is a required document for many countries proving you plan to leave the country and will not stay in the country illegally. Not every country requires a departure ticket. Popular tourist countries requiring proof of onward travel include the Philippines and Colombia.

If I have a visa on arrival, do I still need an onward ticket?

Countries require a departure ticket to crack down on tourists illegally staying in the country. When you leave matters less if you hold a long-term visa, but if you have a short-term tourist visa or visa on arrival, immigration authorities want to ensure you don't overstay your visa dates.  

We moved the comments to the New Expat Forums

  • My girlfriend wants me to relocate to the Philippines, so should I purchase a refundable return ticket to show proof to the airport authorities or immigration authorities that I have a return ticket?

    • Hi Randall,

      You are correct. Foreigners without a permanent visa entering the Philippines must show proof of onward travel with a date no more than 30 days from your arrival date.

      If you can find a refundable ticket, that works great. Just double-check the T&Cs, as some airlines and travel websites try to sneak in fees or put restrictions on the refund. You can also “rent” a flight reservation for about $14. I use this service all the time when I travel.


      Enjoy your trip to meet your girlfriend. If you need any additional help, drop us a line.



  • So I’m going to live in the UK for a year or so, should I buy a one way ticket or just book round trip and just miss the flight back?

    • Hi Erra,

      You haven’t provided enough information to answer that question, as the requirements depend on your visa and citizenship. Additionally, the UK isn’t a country I focus on, so I am unsure of their specific entry requirements. I suggest checking with the UK embassy in your home country for current specifics.



  • Hello. Re: extension visa.

    He’s staying for 6months but he doesn’t have extension visa yet. Should he buy 2months return ticket then rebooked it when he have extension visa already? Or he can booked 6months return or onward ticket immediately?

  • I have a 2 day flight to the Philippines. Will booking the onward ticket before i leave still be applicable? I believe their website says it is good for “up to 48 hours”.

    • Hi Mikkel,

      You are correct. The tickets are good for 48 hours. If that timing cuts things too close, there is an option on their site to extend the duration of the ticket.
      screenshot where you can extend the ticket validity period
      Happy travels and have fun.



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    About the author

    Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive. [view press...]