How to Renew Philippine Passport
I went to DFA Aseana this week to renew my passport expiring in six months. Fortunately, my old passport was already the latest e-passport so I only needed to bring a valid ID with photocopy and the old passport with photocopy of 1st and last pages.
If you are in Metro Manila, the very first thing you need to do in renewing your passport is to set an appointment on their online appointment system at passport.com.ph. You can schedule your passport renewal at one of the following DFA offices:
I set my appointment at DFA Aseana for 7:30 am in the morning. The website will also remind you of the different documents you will need in renewing your passport. It will be best if you gather your documents first before scheduling an appointment because it may take you some time to gather them. Here are the links of the required documents for renewal and new applications.
After submitting your application, the appointment system will email you a confirmation link where you’ll be able to print the application form, so make sure to use a working email address if you still don’t have one. The link will expire within 24 hours, here’s what it looks like:
DFA advises that you should be there at least thirty minutes before your scheduled appointment. I decided to be at DFA Aseana around 6 am because most people think you still have to line up at government offices at dawn to be early. True enough, there were about 30 people already lined up at the gates. Luckily most of them had later scheduled appointments.
Some enterprising individuals are also there early, selling ballpoint pens and long envelopes. REMEMBER: to read the printout from DFA carefully and bring what DFA asks. These individuals will tell you that you need to submit your documents in long envelopes and that DFA will not accept the documents without one; or that DFA will only accept black ballpoint pens in the forms. THESE ARE NOT TRUE! (Unless DFA changes the rules of course) I told the person selling that those items are not needed, loud enough for the others on the queue to hear but they still bought anyway. The guy in front of me even asked the seller repeatedly if it really is required, and by the time he realized that he was duped, he just said, “Tulong na lang sa kanila (It’s just a small help for them).” But if you calculate 25 Php per folder and there were about 100 people for the 7:30 am slot, that would be 2,500 Php if all of us bought one.
Anyway, DFA lists 3 steps:
2. Payment/ Cashier
3. Encoding/ Enrollment
But there still a couple of checks before getting to step 1.
They let us in the premises at 6:30 am. At the gate, prepare your appointment documents as the guards will only let those with appointments enter the premises except for special circumstances. Your companions may have to wait outside or at the Mc Donald’s across DFA. (There is a family appointment link at the website, we’ll probably try that when my son’s passport expires)
Step 0 – Appointment checker
The appointment checker started around 7 am, this step is just to verify your scheduled appointment and the checker will let you queue at the appropriate time slot. This meant that even the people ahead of me outside the gates will still have to wait until their 9:30 am appointment. As long as you have a verified appointment, there is no need to arrive in DFA at dawn because they already assigned how many will be processed at a specific time slot. I think you should be at the appointment checker at least 30 minutes before your appointment.
Waiting time: 30 minutes
Processing time: about 1 minute
Step 1 – Processing
They changed the processing area since I renewed my passport 5 years ago, so be sure to ask the appointment checker where to go next. The first appointment at DFA Aseana is 7:30 am so all the windows were still closed. They opened 3 windows on time and I was seventh in line but by 7:40 I was done with step 1! This is where they will check your documents and even prepare the receipt. As long as all your documents are complete, this step should be a breeze.
There are two types of processing:
a: Regular 950 Php (14 working days)
b: Rush 1200 Php (7 working days)
Remember those black ballpoint pens being sold outside? The Processing windows have pens you can use while being processed in case you forgot to fill in some information. There is also a photocopier inside the DFA premises. Proceed to the 2nd floor for the cashier.
Waiting time: 30 mins
Processing time: <5 mins
Step 2 – Payment/ Cashier
Bring exact amount of the processing fee especially if you are early. When the cashier opened, they didn’t have small bills yet so I was bumped up at the start of the line because I brought exact payment. Proceed to step 3 and get your queue number, I was now 2nd in line.
Waiting time: 15 minutes
Processing time: about 1 minute
Step 3 – Encoding/ enrollment
At 8 am, the personnel at the encoding area were booting up their systems. They called 3 of us at 8:15 and I was finished by 8:20. This is where your data will be recorded, fingerprint, signature, and photo. The encoder will let you check the data on the PC, make sure that everything is correct especially if you had some details changed e.g. married surname, change of status etc. They will also photograph you here, so don’t wear colored contact lenses, earrings, or hair accessories. And don’t show your teeth, just maintain a neutral facial expression as much as you can, if you can.
Waiting time: 15 minutes
Processing time: about 5 minutes
And you’re done! Make sure you have the receipt where the date of releasing your passport is stamped. If you would rather have it delivered to your doorstep, there are several choices outside: LBC, 2GO, AIR21 and DHL. They were still setting up when I was finished so I didn’t bother asking their fee but I think it’s either 120 or 150 Php I’m not sure. I decided to just come back and claim my passport on the release date.
I will update this post when my passport gets released.
Unfortunately, my passport was not released on the date indicated in the receipt. Read about my passport problems here