Last year, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) tweaked the passport appointment process a bit so that applicants are required to confirm their appointments by paying for their passports before their appointment dates. In the past, applicants have the liberty to book an appointment’s date and time, appear before a DFA consul, and then pay for their passport only after they have completed all required processes. This has been observed to be one of the reasons why some applicants do not keep their commitment to appear before the DFA. Because they can simply book another slot, they just ignore their set appointments, never mind that others are not able to book their own because all slots are already filled.
To discourage no-shows and help the agency better manage the appointment slots, the DFA placed the payment of the passport at the onset of the application process. This time, after you have successfully reserved your slot, you have 24 hours to pay your passport fee in order for the DFA’s system to confirm your appointment. Non-payment within the prescribed timeline will mean that you have decided against your appointment and your slot will be released for others to claim.
But what happens if you fail to appear before the DFA even after you have already made a payment? Can you refund the passport fee? Can you have your appointment moved to another date?
According to the DFA, they follow a No Show, No Refund policy on booked appointment slots. They may, however, entertain appeals to accommodate applicants who have valid reasons for missing their appointment, but these are on a case-to-case basis.
Also, make sure to bring all required documents and IDs on your appointment date. Incorrect and incomplete requirements can also keep you from completing the application process and your appointment will be as good as canceled. No refund for such cases as well.
Here are some important reminders when applying for or renewing your passport at the DFA:
- Have your passport renewed at least six months before the expiry date.
- Make sure that all information on your application form, birth, and or marriage certificates, and IDs are true, correct, and accurately spelled and dated. If there are discrepancies, have these corrected first.
- Have a valid and active Yahoo or Google Mail account ready when making an appointment online.
- Remove accessories such as necklaces, earrings, and colored contact lenses when appearing before the DFA consul, up until your photos have been taken.
- Make sure that the information on the data page of your new passport is all correct before affixing your signature. The consul will let you check this before finalizing your data page.
For more information on passport applications and renewal, visit the DFA website at www.dfa.gov.ph