On March 19, my sister and I applied for passport. I’ve read blog posts about how fast the process is, but in reality it isn’t. Maybe it’s because it’s March now; vacation months are coming.
We’re scheduled for 3 PM and we got at Department of Foreign Affaris (DFA) at 2. Here’s a part of the queue that greeted us!
Passport Application Queue
We finished our application at around 5:30.
So here’s a tip: be at DFA at least 2 hours before your appointment.
- Set an appointment here.
- Bring application form, and original and photocopy of your documentary requirements, which you can read here.
You may also refer to this list that firstname.lastname@example.org emailed me.
NSO Birth certificate
Original Valid ID
Original ID i.e. Senior Citizen’s ID, Voter’s ID, digitized government-issued IDs like SSS, PRC, Driver’s License,
original school ID (for students only) and one original supporting document indicating full name, date and
place of birth, and citizenship.
Other acceptable picture IDs such as the following:
- Old College ID
- Alumni ID
- Old Employment IDs
Other Supporting Documents
Please bring the following if they are available.
PRC / IBP ID
Government Service Record
School Form 137 or Transcript of Records with Dry Seal
Other documents that show full name and birth details of applicant and or citizenship
Voter’s Registration Record from COMELEC Intramuros
Baptismal Certificate with Dry Seal
Income Tax Return (Old)
3. On your appointment day, go to the DFA branch you selected. For DFA Manila, it’s at SM Manila, 5th floor. Queue outside DFA. (Ask the guard to be sure you’re queuing at the right place.)
4. Once you’re in DFA, someone in the Information Centre will sign your application form.
5. Processing. Show your application form, original and photocopied requirements. (This is another queue. You’ll spend a lot of your time standing but you can already sit once you’re near the Processing counter.)
6. Pay. (Just a very short and fast queue.)
- Regular Processing (15 working days): P950.00
- Express Processing (7 working days): P1,200.00
7. Biometrics and photo taking. (Another queue but there are seats!)
8. (Optional) Courier. If you want them to deliver your passport to your house, you can pay P120 at the Courier just right before you leave DFA. Alternatively, you can just go back to DFA at the date written on your receipt.
What to Wear?
There isn’t really a dress code but just to be on the safe side, wear a top that has sleeves and that doesn’t show cleavage. Wear pants and shoes. (I was in a polo shirt, jeans, sneakers.)
- Don’t wear necklace and earrings. They’re not allowed in photo-capturing.
- Don’t wear false long eyelashes. My sister did so and she was told they’d photoshop it out. (I can’t imagine it, but if you would prefer to be eyelash-less in your passport photo, go for it.)
- Don’t bring food inside DFA. You may bring a bottle of water. (But don’t leave the bottle there. You’re a human, not a humanised rat. Sorry, rats.)
- Don’t show teeth during photo-capturing. In fact, just don’t smile at all. Neutral face is encouraged. Think: Lady Gaga’s pokerface. Or think: model’s face.
- You can actually use your Voter’s ID as “original ID” and not just a “supporting document” (as opposed to what’s written on DFA’s site). I was afraid they wouldn’t accept mine but they did.
- They don’t return original birth certificate so apply for more than one birth certificate at the NSO so you won’t have to go back there when you need a birth certificate for other matters.
- Be patient. At least the queue doesn’t last for a whole day!