Philippine Passport Renewal: Important Tips to Make it Easy
Remember these key tips to make your passport renewal fast and easy.
By Rhea J. Bernardino
April 04, 2017
Here are 7 tips to make your Philippine passport renewal much easier:
You’ve heard it over and over since the day you got your passport for the first time: Your passport must be renewed at least six (6) months before its expiration date. The so-called “six-month rule” is very important and has sometimes been the cause of international travels getting delayed or even not pushing through—ouch!
If it's your first time to renew your passport, relax and let this article serve as your guide in making the process easy and hassle-free.
TIP # 1 – Go online ASAP to set an appointment.
Update: No appointment is needed for the following: Senior Citizen with Senior Citizen ID, Person with Disability (PWDs) with PWD ID or visible disability, Solo Parent with Valid Solo Parent ID, Pregnant women with medical certificate, Minors seven (7) years old and below.
You may avail of the PRIORITY LANE at DFA Aseana or at any DFA Satellite Office or Regional Consular Office to apply for your passport.
Walk-ins are not allowed so the first step in renewing your passport is to go to www.passport.gov.ph to reserve an appointment schedule. If you have an upcoming trip, make sure to do this months in advance as the website is on a first-come, first-served basis and tends to be fully booked for several months from the present. Try to set an appointment three (3) to four (4) months in advance to give you enough time to process your renewal before your trip.
When setting an appointment, have a valid and working Gmail or Yahoo! email address because it is where the website will send the details of your schedule. If you don't have one yet, create an email first before proceeding with scheduling an appointment.
Once you have your email address ready, go to the Schedule an Appointment page of the website. Both individual and group appointments are available so if you're going to be traveling with your family and friends and they need to update their passport as well, then it's best to choose a group appointment.
The next part of this step is choosing where you will renew your passport. The Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA has various satellite offices in Metro Manila, which are indicated below:
• DFA Aseana in Parañaque
• DFA NCR - North in Robinsons Novaliches, Novaliches
• DFA NCR - North East in Ali Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao
• DFA NCR - East in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
• DFA NCR - Central in Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas
• DFA NCR - South West in Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa
• DFA NCR - West in SM Manila, City of Manila
Applicants residing in the provinces don't need to go all the way to Manila for an appointment because the DFA also has regional consular offices in select provinces all over the country. You can refer to them below:
• Angeles, Pampanga
• Calasiao, Pangasinan
• La Union
• Legazpi City, Albay
• Lipa City, Batangas
• Lucena, Quezon
• San Fernando, Pampanga
• Puerto Princesa, Palawan
• Cagayan de Oro
• General Santos
Meanwhile, Filipinos abroad can head to the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate to file an application for passport renewal.
TIP # 2 – You can choose a Saturday appointment schedule.
When selecting an appointment, remember that some DFA offices are open on a Saturday. This is especially helpful for those who cannot renew their passport on a weekday. Just remember to reserve early as weekend slots tend to get fully booked quickly. Take note as well that the processing fee on a Saturday is much more expensive compared to a weekday, which will be discussed more later.
Bonus Tip: If your appointment date suddenly becomes a special non-working holiday or gets cancelled because of, let's say, a typhoon, expect it to be moved to the nearest available date. For good measure, be on the lookout for announcements from the DFA's website http://dfa.gov.ph/ and Facebook page.
TIP # 3 – Ready your personal information and old passport when filling up the application.
To confirm your schedule on the website, you will be required to provide some information about yourself and your family, which will all appear on your application form after finalizing it. Since you will be renewing your passport, you will also be asked for your old passport number. Have this one ready in order to process your application fast.
TIP # 4 – Prepare the requirements
The following are the primary requirements for renewing your passport:
• Personal appearance – It’s a must to turn up for your scheduled appointment. “No-show” applicants will not be allowed to apply or renew for 30 days, as per the DFA.
• Confirmed appointment - This refers to your scheduled online appointment. Senior citizens, infants and minors below one year old, and OFWs bearing sufficient proof can be exempt from this rule.
• Duly accomplished application form - Bring a printed copy of the PDF of the application form you filled up online.
• Most recent expiring or expired passport
• Valid IDs or documents to prove identity - Visit this link for a list of acceptable IDs. Make sure to bring both the originals and photocopies of your documents and IDs.
There are also additional requirements depending on which passport type you are going to renew:
Electronic passport (E-passport) issued in the year 2016
• Original passport and photocopy of page 2 (data page)
Machine readable passport issued in the year 2007
• Original passport and photocopy of data page and last page
• Birth Certificate (BC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or Certified True Copy (CTC) of BC issued by the Local Civil Registrar (LCR)
Green passport/s issued after May 1, 1995
• Original passport and photocopy of the data page and last page
Brown passport/s issued prior to May 1, 1995
• Original passport and photocopy of pages 1, 2, 3, and 4 and the last page
• Birth Certificate (BC) in Security Paper (SECPA) issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or Certified True Copy (CTC) of BC issued by the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) and duly authenticated by PSA.
For first time applicants, take note that you will be asked for your birth certificate from PSA in addition to the requirements.
TIP # 5 – Be prepared to wait in line for hours.
On the day of your appointment, you may want to forget about going to work half day or meeting someone after the renewal since the process could take longer than expected. Due to the number of passport applicants that consular offices attend to in a day, it is not unusual to experience delays or to stay in long lines for hours. The DFA, however, is committed to entertaining all applicants who show up on the day of their appointment. So while you’re there, be prepared with a lot of time and patience to spare.
Bonus Tip: If you want to avoid long queues, you may want to select the earliest schedule available for your chosen DFA office. There are time slots as early as 7:00 AM while some are from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM. The earlier your selected time is, the faster you’ll complete your renewal.
TIP # 6 – There is a dress code. And chaperones are only allowed for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Consider your passport renewal a special occasion so dress up properly, which means no tank tops or sleeveless shirts, shorts, sandals or slippers allowed. If you are wearing contact lenses or earrings, be advised that you will be asked to remove them when your passport photo gets taken.
In addition, chaperones or companions are only allowed for senior citizens and PWDs, so it may not be wise to have a friend accompany you to the appointment, unless he’ll be willing to wait for you outside for hours.
TIP # 7 – Prepare PHP 950.00 to PHP 1,200.00.
Regular processing will take 15 working days and costs PHP 950.00. Meanwhile, express processing is only seven (7) working days and costs PHP 1,200.00. If you will renew your passport on a Saturday, it is immediately considered as express processing as per the DFA.
Paying for a courier service to deliver your passport to your home is less of a hassle as compared to going back to the satellite or consular office to pick it up. Make sure to put the names of your family members so they can be allowed to receive your passport in case the courier drops by and you're not at home. The courier costs a minimum of PHP 120.00
So there you have it, travelers! Just follow this guide and these tips and renewing your process will be a smoother and more hassle-free experience!
Got a question about renewing your Philippine passport? Leave a comment below and we'll try to answer as best as we can!
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