Friday, August 13, 2010

DFA Passport Renewal

Last July 6, I was able to get a passport renewal schedule through the Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) Passport Appointment System, the new and easy way of securing an appointment for your passport needs (new application, renewal or replacement). The process of securing a schedule is as easy as creating a Facebook account. Just log on to , fill out the required fields (such as your identification and passport details -- if for renewal) and you will be led to a page where you get to see the available dates and time that DFA may process your application.

Now, the latter part is not that easy...not the choosing of the date and time but finding the earliest date possible for your application, as the earliest dates are closed, and more often than not, you find a free/available slot at least a month from the date you logged in. Take my case, for example. I logged on July 6 and got an appointment (the earliest I found) was August 12. That's a month and 6 days waiting time! Though I tried about 3 to 4 times, testing my luck if I'd get an earlier booking, but no... August 12 was the earliest then, so I grabbed it.... August 12, 2010, 7:00AM.
During the 1 month waiting time, I prepared all the requirements needed, well, there isn't much actually... only the following:
  • photocopy of the front (where your photo is), pages 1-3, most recent immigration stamp, and back page of your old passport
  • print out of the application form (in pdf format) sent by DFA to your email in long bond paper
 Everything is set, just waiting for the day. Then, on August 6, I got an email from DFA stating that my 7AM schedule has been moved to 8AM, nevertheless, it also states to be in DFA at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time. Hmm, I appreciate DFA's effort to inform applicants of the time changes. Nevertheless, I was still fixed on going to DFA at least 45 minutes to an hour before my schedule just so I can finish early.

Fast forward to August 12, my tito and I went to DFA. There were lots of people already when we arrived (730am) so we proceeded to the gate to begin the process:
  1. At the gate, fall in line for bag inspection. Show printed printed application form to the guard.
  2. Proceed to the desk just a few steps across the guard (hehe) and present application print out for DFA Representative's checking (Rep highlights the bar code on the form)
  3. Proceed to the building entrance and present application form to the guard at the door
  4. As you enter, you will see a big sign on the wall 'RENEWAL' where the queue for passport renewal is (there are long benches where you can sit while waiting which also serves as the waiting line)
  5. Upon reaching the front row seat (facing the windows/counters), prepare application form & photocopy of passport (at this stage, everyone was informed that only the 1st and 2nd pages of the passport are needed)
  6. When it's your turn, present all requirements to the DFA officer. Sometimes, they ask for an ID (so bring one!)
  7. DFA Officer will ask you to sign the lower portion of the application form to confirm that the Officer has received your passport
  8. Officer will punch through 2 holes in your old passport as he asks you whether you would like your passport renewal to be processed either Regular (20 working days from day of application) or Express (10 working days from day of application). Officer prepares a voucher which indicates your choice.
  9. Officer returns your old passport, processing voucher and application form and lets you sign on his log sheet.
  10. Proceed to the second floor for payment.
  11. Go to the cashier, present voucher and pay fees (Php 950 for regular processing; Php 1200 for express). Wait for a printed receipt.
  12. Approach the verification counter (just adjacent to the cashier) to get your number for photo capture.
  13. Wait for your number to be called (it will be flashed on screen)
    waiting area for your photo capture
  14. LBC representatives may approach you while you wait asking if you'd like to have your passport delivered straight to your home/office address. You may/may not opt to avail of this... well, it all depends on you). If you do choose to have your passport delivered at your doorstep, just pay Php 120 per passport. It will be delivered a day after your scheduled passport release. (e.g. if DFA says that your passport will be released on August 26, your passport will be delivered to you on Aug. 27). 
  15. When your number is flashed on screen, proceed to the counter number assigned to you (also seen on the screen, next to your number).
  16. Present application form to the DFA representative (for scanning). The DFA Rep will ask you to put your thumb on the thumb print scanner.
  17. DFA Rep then requests you to face the camera, ears exposed, no smiling. 
  18. After (or at times before) your photo capture, you will be asked to sign on a digital tablet.
  19. The representative will ask you to review the information she typed on her computer before she clicks the 'Submit' button. And you're done!
  20. (Optional) If you chose to have your passport delivered to your home, proceed to the LBC counter, which is located near the exit (you won't miss this because you will pass by this area as you leave the 2nd floor).
  21. Present the payment voucher given to you by the LBC representative when you paid the Php 120 delivery fee.
  22. LBC Rep shall encode your delivery address, lets you check the details on screen, prints a form and requests you to sign it. 
And you're done!!!!
Now, I just have to wait until my passport is delivered.

  • Ensure that you have the pages of your passport photocopied before going to your appointment. This will save you time and money. Photocopying is at Php 3 per page in DFA!
  • Bring a pen
  • Bring an ID or a photocopy of your birth certificate/marriage certificate, just in case

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