I just applied for the renewal of my Philippine passport. I used to have the regular green passport but since the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has now required that all new Philippine passports and renewed ones must be e-passports, I applied for a Philippine e-passport.
Before the e-passport, the DFA issued machine readable passports. That’s now kaput. The e-passport accordingly is a lot more secure since it contains this special chip of sorts. The Philippine e-passport is also known as the biometric passport since you no longer need a passport photo along with your passport renewal application form. Your photo, thumbprints and digital signatures will be taken during your passport renewal appointment.
Step 1: make an appointment with the nearest DFA in your area. What you need to do is CALL the nearest Department of Foreign Affairs in your area. Have your old passport ready since they might ask you for your passport number. Tell them that you want to renew your passport. They will then advise you with your appointment date (usually a week later or even more) and REFERENCE CODE. Jot this reference code down.
MORE TIPS ON HOW TO APPLY FOR A PHILIPPINE E-PASSPORT AFTER THE JUMP!
As much as possible, have your Philippine passport renewed in the same consular office that issued your old one. This lessens hassles on your part since according to the DFA, passport issuance is now made by region. For Manila-based people who need to renew their Philippine passport, you can make an online appointment through the DFA website. Check this FREE service offered by the DFA.
Next, download a copy of the Philippine e-passport application form. This is also the same form that you will use if you want to apply for renewal. Download a copy from this DFA site. Accomplish the form. Use a ballpen or sign pen. Avoid using a pencil. Use either a black or blue pen.
BRING your old passport during your renewal application. Also, bring photocopies of the inner pages (first three pages) of your old passport, the inside front and back covers as well as the pages showing immigration stamps (if you already have trips outside the Philippines) and the amendments page (mine had a “Not Valid for Travel to Iraq” line on it).
YOU DON’T NEED TO BRING A PASSPORT SIZE PHOTO. This is NO LONGER required if you get an e-passport. Your biometrics will be taken at the DFA so again NO NEED FOR A PASSPORT SIZE PHOTO.
Which brings me to my next tip. On the date of your appointment at the DFA, if someone approaches you and tells you that must have a photo taken, IGNORE him/her. Heck, even if the guard tells you that a photo is needed, IGNORE HIM and even report him to the DFA supervisor. Because again, there is no need for a passport size photo. Check out this page on the official DFA website:
Requirements for renewal of passport:
MRP & Green Passport or issued after 01 May 1995
- Present passport and photocopy of inside and back cover.
- The pages showing latest Bureau of Immigration departure and arrival stamps.
- For illegitimate minor, personal appearance of mother is required.
As you can see, no mention of a photo.
On the date of your appointment, wear as much as possible a collared shirt or top. A plain collared top will do.
Go to the DFA and check what the steps are. As I understand it, the passport application procedures vary, depending on the consular office. In Manila, there’s a certain lane for those who applied for appointments online while in regional consular offices, duly accomplished application forms are required to be left at a certain window and you just need to wait for your name to be called.
Once called, a DFA personnel will then check your old passport and your duly accomplished form. In my case, I was asked whether or not I’ve already traveled abroad. I said yes and mentioned the countries I’ve already visited. A few seconds later, I was directed to go and wait at the biometrics area where my photo, thumbprints and digital signature were collected.
Avoid wearing jewelry (the DFA personnel will ask you to take your earrings off) and if you’re a contact lens wearer like me, wear transparent lenses. Eyeglasses are not allowed. Colored lenses are not allowed as well. You will be asked to take them off before you have your picture taken.
Once your biometrics are gathered, the DFA personnel will hand you a printout. Bring that printout with you and proceed to the cashier. Pay for your passport.
For regular passport applications (25 days) – P950.00
For expedited passport applications (15 days) – P1,200.00
After paying for your passport, your official receipt will be given. On it will be the date when your passport will be released. You have two choices. Either you come back and get your passport yourself or you can have it delivered to a desired address via courier. In my case, I opted for the latter. I approached the LBC booth (which was inside the premises of the DFA), presented my official receipt, and was charged P100.00 for the delivery service. I was told that it was a FLAT RATE.
The official receipt, by the way, will be retained by LBC. I was told that they need it so that they can collect your passport on the date of expected release. Your official receipt will be sent along with your new passport.
So there. Pretty easy steps on how to renew your Philippine passport and get a new e-passport.
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In the meantime, if you already renewed your passport, please feel free to share your experience 🙂