Mitzi Ilagan | Pinoytrekker.com
Once you’ve completed your bucket list of places to visit in the Philippines, Asia’s next for sure. Whatever your reason may be, a passport is needed for you to be able to ride that plane and cross the seas. Here are the steps in securing one:
1. Prepare the needed documents for your passport application. You need an NSO-issued birth certificate, one valid ID as proof of identity or two supporting documents. Here’s the link to DFA’s list of requirements.
As for my experience, I have brought with me my PSA Birth Certificate, NBI Clearance, company ID, postal ID, and 2 photocopies of each document. I also brought extra documents/IDs in case the others wouldn’t be accepted.
2. Secure an online appointment. To schedule an appointment, visit this link.
If you’re going as a family or you’re a group, you could choose the group appointment. Fill in all the required information and double check it before submitting. This appointment system is on a first come, first served basis. If you’re setting an appointment on March 1, 2017, vacant slots are usually available for April or May 2017 already. Click this link for the list of DFA offices and satellite offices.
3. You will be receiving an email confirming your appointment. Click the link on the email and then download the file containing the application form.
4. On the date of appointment, be ready with your documents and application form. On the verification area, show your application form.
5. As you fall in line at the processing area, a checker would verify if your documents are valid. After that, wait for your turn for the processing. This manner of processing happens at DFA East (SM Megamall), where I had applied for a passport.
6. Next, proceed to the cashier. Passport application fees are:
- Regular processing (20 working days, weekdays): Php 950
- Express or rush processing (10 working days, weekends): Php 1,200
*You’d have to pay for the fee within 24 hours or your receipt would be considered invalid.
7. After that, head to the encoding area. There, they would encode your information for the passport, and will have your photo taken. Make sure to wear proper attire according to dress code. You’d have to remove your contact lenses, eyeglasses, earrings, or necklace as a photo of you would be taken. For ladies, make sure that your face is not being covered by your hair. Biometrics would also be taken.
8. If you want your passport to be delivered at your house, proceed to the courier or delivery area. Fee is Php 150. If not, keep the passport slip to be presented to the guard on the date of release (indicated at the passport slip).
- Bring at least 2 photocopies of your documents. You’ll surely experience hassle if you’d have it photocopied inside the office on the day of your appointment.
- If you are a Muslim, secure a Certificate of Tribal Affiliation from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
- If you are married, have a PSA marriage certificate ready. Also, make sure that your documents are updated, with your new civil status and surname renewed.
- If you are a minor, you should have a parent or guardian with you at the day of appointment.
- Make sure that your documents aren’t expired.
- Go to your chosen DFA site at least one hour prior to your appointment to avoid delays.
- After the processes, you could claim your passport anytime from the schedule provided, but claiming of passport should not exceed six months from the date of release.