I applied for passport renewal last week and opted for the rush processing of 7 business days. (Read about it here)
I arrived at DFA Aseana at 7:50 am and submitted my receipt to the releasing counter which was already open. There is no scheduled time to claim your passport so you can go there anytime within office hours. After a minute, my name was called (yay!) and I was told to return on February 18 (whaaaaaaat!!!) to claim my passport due to unforeseen circumstances. Fortunately, I already had my breakfast so I calmly asked if I could get a refund since I paid for the rush processing fee. And the good man said I couldn’t.
I asked the information counter where I could direct my concern and I was sent to the Passport Division Interview Investigation unit. I waited for 35 minutes until my name was called.
I had 2 questions:
1) What happened/caused the delay?
2) How do I get the rush fee refund?
The man apologized for the inconvenience and asked if I needed to leave the country soon. I told him no but that I wanted to know what caused my passport to be delayed. He said there are 2 reasons for a passport to be delayed in my case (renewal):
1) System downtime
2) Duplicate applications
He said that they are going to send this for investigation and asked me to return on Friday. The passport will be available by then if there are no duplicates or problems. As for the refund, he quoted the reminder on the website regarding no refund due to:
1) Power failure
2) Technical breakdown
3) Natural calamity
He said I could call releasing section tomorrow to follow up and apologized again for the delay.
While it was a hassle not getting my passport on time, and being unable to complain about the DFA refund policy at the moment, the experience didn’t ruin my day. But it does make me think that having the passport delivered would have been more convenient.
I’ll update this post on Friday, hopefully I’ll have my passport by then.
Update: I got my passport last Friday, finally! I went straight to the releasing section when I arrived at 7:40 am and my name was called after almost 30 minutes. It was still a short wait for me but then I was instructed once more to go to the same office and get my passport there. I was fearing the worst but I immediately went there, waited for 15 minutes and thankfully got my passport.
So here ends my 3-day ordeal in getting a passport in DFA Aseana. If you will not encounter technical problems like mine, it would be just a 2-day process or have it delivered to your home. (Hmm, I should have asked the others with problems if they chose pick-up or delivery)