Tag Archive: Passport Renewal

09 - 18.jpg

In the first week of September (2017), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that it has opened more appointment slots for Pinoys seeking to apply for a new passport or have their old ones renewed.  The additional slots came from the 1,200 reserved (daily) slots for travel agencies and DFA employees.

Yes, even DFA employees have to adjust to the new mandate so that only their immediate family members are extended the privilege of an assured appointment with the DFA.  Immediate family members include parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law.  The courtesy lanes remain open for senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, solo parents, children below seven yearls old, and Overseas Filipino Workers.

More good news from the DFA came in late last week when they announced the redesigned online appointment system.  Here are the highlights of the new and improved online passport appointment system:

  • Fully-booked dates are shown in red while available slots are in green.
    • This makes searching for an available date and time easier rather than clicking on each and every date.
  • Feedback mechanism activated.
    • This ensures that applicants are informed of any concerns on their application and how they can resolve the problem.
    • These include discrepancies on provided information, documents submitted.
    • Applicants are given ample time to prepare for the lacking requirements ahead of time, instead of finding out about the problems just when they are about to claim their passports.
  • Automatic reminder for people who are exempted from making online appointments:
    • Senior Citizens
    • Persons with Disabilities
    • Pregnant women
    • Solo parents
    • Children seven years old and below
    • OFWs

The reminder was put in place because most of the time, even if the applicant is entitled to use the courtesy lane, they still apply for an appointment online and wait in line for their turn.  With the reminder, they would know right away that they can proceed to a DFA office, freeing up the appointment slots that they would otherwise book.

The DFA promised to deploy more improvements, not just on the online application system, but in all aspects of their services to the public.  They said that their utmost concern are the comfort and security of people who visit their offices everyday, from the head office in Aseana to all satellite and consular offices and foreign posts.

If you have questions about the DFA online appointment system, send us a message and we will do our best to find the best answers for you.




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08 - 04

Good news to Pinoy travelers and OFWs!  Philippine passports are now valid for 10 years from date of issuance, following the enactment of RA 10928, an act extending the passport validity and amending Section 10 of RA 8239 or the Passport Act of 1996.

The government acquiesced to the public’s clamor to lengthen passport’s validity in order to save time, effort, and money when applying for or renewing an expired passport.  Longer validity would also allow Filipinos to enjoy their visas to the US without the need to visit the DFA every five years.  The US Embassy grants 10-year multiple entry visas.

Driver’s license validity is also extended to five years, from the original 3-year validity period.  This can still be extended to 10 years upon renewal if the license holder has “not committed any violation of RA 4136 and other traffic laws, rules, and regulations.”

What do you think of these new laws on two of the most important government-issued IDs?  Comment your thoughts and questions below!

Source: www.gov.ph

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07 - 03

Whether you are applying for a passport for the first time or are about to have your old one renewed, you need to be guided by the following reminders from the DFA.  A lot of applicants fail to check these fine prints in the DFA website and end up losing their slot simply because they are not wearing the prescribed dress code, lack the necessary documents, and sometimes, does not have the exact amount for the passport fees!

To help you achieve a hassle-free visit to the DFA we summarized the following guidelines when applying for a passport.  You may also download the complete list of the DFA’s required IDs and supporting documents here.


  • Personal appearance is required for all applicants.
  • Confirmed appointment is required for all applicants EXCEPT:
    • Senior citizens
    • Infants and minors below 1 year old
    • OFWs – OFWs must show sufficient proof such as valid employment contract or OEC.
  • Earrings and colored contact lenses are not allowed during data capturing. Smiling with visible teeth is also not allowed.
  • Check all the data in the computer monitor and in the Enrolment Certificate before signing it.
  • Only immediate family members are allowed to get the passport on behalf of the applicant. Immediate family members include father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, and children of legal age.
  • Passport shall be released to an immediate family member only with proper authorization letter. Passport of a minor applicant shall be released to parents only or to an authorized representative with Special Power of Attorney and Affidavit of Support and Consent.
  • Passports unclaimed after six (6) months will be cancelled per Department Order No. 37-03.
  • Check all data in the received e-passport upon release.
  • Number of processing days may vary depending on the location of the Regional Consular Office where the application was filed.
  • The Department may require additional supporting documents as may be necessary, especially for applicants with dual citizenship and with foreign-sounding family names to prove citizenship.


For FIRST TIME passport applicants:

  • Regular Processing (15 working days) – Php 950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days) – Php 1,200.00

For RENEWAL of passport:

  • Regular Processing (15 working days) – Php 950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days) – Php 1,200.00


  • Regular Processing (15 working days)– Php 950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days) — Php 1,200.00


  • Regular Processing (15 working days) – Php 950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days) – Php 1,200


  1. Your Pose

Your frontal pose looking directly at the camera lens and showing your full face must be used.  Rotation or tilting of the head either in an up/down or left/right direction must be avoided.  The mid points of the mouth and the bridge of the nose should lie on an imaginary vertical line in the center of the image.

  1. Expression

Your expression should be neutral with both eyes open and mouth closed.  There should be no hair covering the eyes.  Contrived expressions such as raised eyebrows, squinting, or frowning are not acceptable.

  1. Smiling

When having photos captured, applicant may smile but without showing their teeth and gums.  The ‘Mona Lisa’ smile is recommended.

  1. Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

Eyeglasses should always be removed before capturing the applicant’s photo.  The use of contact lenses for medical reasons is accepted, provided that the contact lenses do not change the applicant’s true eye color.  Therefore, applicants are advised to take off their contact lenses before having their photos captured.

  1. Ears should be visible

As much as possible, both ears of the applicant should be visible.

  1. Earrings and hair accessories

These accessories should be removed prior to photo capturing.  Frizzy/afro hairstyles should be neatly arranged showing full frontal facial image.  Earrings as not allowed.

  1. Infants

Infants or very small children who are unable to support themselves should be assisted by either parent or their guardians.  Hands, arms, etc., used to support the child should not be visible.  Highchair for minor applicants may be used, if needed.

COURTESY LANE FACILITY AVAILMENT AT ASEANA: Who are allowed to use the Courtesy Lane?

  • Regular government employees / with GSIS / appointed by Civil Service Commission
  • Dependent of government employee
    • Legal spouse
    • Parents
    • Unmarried children
  • Retired government employees (one year availment)
  • Incumbent elected officials
  • For barangay level, only the following are entitled:
    • Barangay Chairman
    • Barangay Kagawad
    • SK Chairman
  • Endorse from House of Representatives must be endorsed by DLLU before lodging their applications to Courtesy Lane
  • Media personnel must first secure endorsement from Public Information Services Unit (PISU) before going to Courtesy Lane.
  • Referrals made from DFA employees (limited to 3 referrals per month) and Head/s of other government agencies must secure proper endorsements duly signed by authorized signatories of their respective offices. Only original copies will be accepted for verification purposes. Photocopy of DFA employee’s valid I.D. / government agencies official’s Department I.D. must be attached for verification purposes.
  • Minor (7 years old and below)
  • Senior Citizens (60 years old and above)
  • PWD (genuinely disabled) / with PWD I.D.s
  • Pregnant (genuinely pregnant) / with medical certificate
  • Passport fees:
    • Php 1,200.00 – 10 working days
    • Senior citizens have an optional processing fee of Php 950.00 – 20 working days

If you have questions about passport applications and renewals, send us a message and we will do our best to find the answers for you.

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

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04 - 06 (1)

When a person changes his name, whether due to marriage, adoption, or corrections on birth certificate entries, the rest of his identification documents, such as passports, should also be updated.  Here is a list of name amendments allowed by Philippine laws and the specific requirements when applying for a new or renewed passport due to change in name.

  1. Change of name due to marriage.
  2. Change of surname of a legitimated child by virtue of a subsequent marriage of parents.
  3. Change of name due to adoption.
  4. Change of name due to death of spouse or annulment of marriage.
  5. Change of name due to divorce (valid only for those Filipinos who did not act as Plaintiff in the divorce proceedings, i.e. the Filipino spouse did not initiate the divorce proceedings; not valid for couples who were both Filipinos at the time of the marriage).
  6. Change of name as duly ordered by Philippine courts or the Civil Registrar General.

General Requirements

  1. Duly accomplished passport application form, typed or printed legibly in black or blue ink.
  2. Latest original passport and one photocopy of data page of passport (original will be returned).
  3. Proof that applicant has not applied for foreign citizenship, e.g. resident alien card.

Requirements for Change of Name DUE TO MARRIAGE:

  1. If marriage was solemnized in the Philippines, bring your PSA certified original copy and one photocopy or marriage certificate.  The original copy is for verification only and will be returned to the applicant. Applicant may order a copy of the PSA Marriage Certificate online at www.psahelpline.ph.  Copies will be delivered to their address.
  2. Original and one photocopy of marriage certificate The original copy is for verification only and will be returned to the applicant. Applicant may order a copy of the PSA Marriage Certificate online at www.psahelpline.ph.  Copies will be delivered to their address.
  3. If marriage was solemnized abroad, bring a duly accomplished Report of Marriage Contracted Abroad form.


  1. For widowed applicants, authenticated death certificate of husband, authenticated court order of presumptive death.
  2. If marriage was annulled, PSA Marriage Certificate, with annotation reflecting the annulment of marriage.  Applicant may have a copy delivered by ordering online at www.psahelpline.ph.
  3. If applicant is divorced, submit an original and one photocopy of Divorce Decree (original will be returned).
  4. Number 3 is applicable only when the applicant is the Filipino spouse; if both parties were Filipino citizens at the time of marriage, this will not apply.

Requirement for change of name DUE TO LEGITIMATION UPON SUBSEQUENT MARRIAGE OF PARENTS (or as ordered by Philippine courts or by the Civil Registrar General):

Requirement for change of name DUE TO ADOPTION:

Changes in name allowed under Republic Act 9048:

These are changes in name entries that did not have to undergo a judicial order:

  • Correction of clerical or typographical errors in any entry in civil registry documents, except corrections involving the change in sex, age, nationality, and civil status of a person.
  • Change of a person’s first name in his/her civil registry document under certain grounds specified under the law through administrative process.





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Different people have different ways of viewing things.  What may look beautiful to one person may look misplaced to some; a worn out piece of item could either be thrown out or kept for its sentimental value.

This may be the reason some people find it strange when they are told that their legal documents, IDs, and other personal effects are no longer acceptable because of its work-out state.  Nababasa pa naman ang pangalan ko ah is a most common defense, and in that context, disagreements and misunderstanding arise.

Our passports are one of our most important identification; when traveling, it is THE most important document you must have in your possession.  It could get worn out over time, a loose page here, a minute tear there.  The problem is, what we may see as a nondescript stain in our passport may mean that it has been damaged and therefore, cannot be used by the owner and needs replacement.

So how do we know that the slight crumple and mindless ink mark left by the ground stewardess on our passport already rendered the document invalid?

Here are insights shared by the DFA on damaged passports and what can be done to resolve the issue:

a. Damaged passports would include the following:

  • A ripped cover
  • Detached pages
  • Gone through a washing machine or recovered from a flooded house
  • Bears bite marks (by your dog or cat)
  • Crumpled but without tears
  • Has obvious food or drink stains
  • Burnt edges

b. What to do if your passport has been damaged?

  • Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation
    • Include detailed explanation on when, where, and how the passport got mutilated or damaged
  • Original and photocopy of first and last pages of mutilated or damaged passport.

The DFA advised that there will be a 15-day clearing period before the processing of the application of replacement.  It is also strongly advised that Filipino passengers make sure their passports are in tiptop shape before booking a ticket.  There have been cases in the past when passengers were offloaded from their flight because their passports were found to be damaged or mutilated.





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Filipinos who wish to work (legally!) in the United States must have a valid Work Visa issued by the U.S. Embassy.  There are several types of work visas available for Pinoys; these are based on the kind of job they applied and qualified for.

Keep in mind that work visas are applied and processed only after a petition from the Pinoy’s prospective U.S. employer has been approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This means that you should have already complied with and satisfied the requirements of the U.S. employer.

These are the different types of U.S. work visas and the unique qualifications of each job type:

  1. H-1B (specialty occupation)
    • Applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree, an equivalent or higher degree.
    • Degree must be specific for the type of employment in the U.S.
    • Apart from the U.S. employer, the USCIS will determine if the applicant is qualified to perform the services being required.
    • The U.S. employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the U.S. Department of Labor stating the terms and conditions of the Filipino applicant’s contract of employment.
    • Types of jobs under H-1B are Accountants and Auditors, Architects, Budget and Management Analysts, College and University Educators, Graphic Designers and Artists, Physicians.
  2. H-2A (seasonal agricultural workers)
    • Temporary agricultural jobs.
    • The U.S. Employer or the association of U.S. agricultural producers must file a Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) on your behalf.
  3. H-2B (skilled and unskilled workers)
    • Temporary or seasonal job where there is a shortage of U.S. workers.
    • The U.S. employer must secure a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor that there are no qualified U.S. workers for the job on which your petition is based.
  4. H-3 (trainee)
    • Filipino applicant will undergo training in the U.S. from an employer.
    • No specific field or endeavor.
    • Training may be up to two years.
    • Filipino applicant shall be paid for his training and hands-on work is authorized.
    • The training must not be used for productive employment in the Philippines.
  5. H-4 (dependents)
    • May be filed by a Filipino who holds a valid H visa (work visa).
    • Spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) may receive an H-4 visa to join the Filipino worker to the United States.
  6. L-1 (intra-company trasnferees)
    • Applicable to employees of international companies.
    • Filipino employee needs to secure this if the international company will be temporarily transferring him to a parent branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same company in the United States.
    • Filipino applicant must be at the managerial or executive level or have specialized knowledge and be destined to a position within the U.S. company at either of these levels.
    • He must have been employed outside the United States with the international company continuously within the three years preceding the visa application.
  7. L-2 (dependents)
    • Derivative visa of dependents of an L visa holder (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old).
    • Spouse may seek employment authorization too.  He/she must enter the U.S. on his or her own L-2 visa and then submit a completed Form I-765 (from the USCIS) and pay the application fee.
    • Children are not authorized to work in the United States.
  8. O
    • Visa issued to people with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, and athletics.
    • Those who can prove extraordinary achievements in motion picture and television production, and their essential support personnel.
  9. Q
    • Required from Filipinos who will be participating in international cultural exchange programs.
    • Petition must be filed on the Filipino applicant’s behalf by the program sponsor and duly approved by the USCIS.

Important reminders:

  1. The H, L, O, P, and Q visas are processed by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate up to 90 days prior to the beginning of your employment status as noted on your I-797 (Notice of Action or Approval Notification – sent to your U.S. employer after your I-129 form has been approved by the USCIS).
  2. Federal regulations suggest that you can only use the visa to apply for entry to the U.S. starting 10 days before the beginning of the approved status period stated on your I-797.  (This is an important reminder when purchasing your plane tickets and making travel plans).

Tomorrow we will feature the documentary requirements and application process for all U.S. work visa types.

Source: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-typework.asp

Other related articles:

  1. Basic Reminders for Philippine Passport Holders Part 1
  2. Basic Reminders for Philippine Passport Holders Part 2
  3. New Requirements When Renewing Green and Machine-readable Passports
  4. Dedicated Passport Center for OFWs
  5. Can A Married Woman Use Her Maiden Name On Her Passport?


New Requirements for Green Passport Renewal

Para sa lahat ng naka-schedule at nagbabalak pa lamang magpa renew ng kanilang Green o Machine Readable Passports, importanteng malaman na may bagong patakaran ang Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sa prosesong ito.

Simula noong Lunes, June 6, 2016, lahat ng domestic applications para sa renewal ng nasabing Green o Machine Readable Passports (MRP) ay mangangailangan ng mga karagdagang IDs at documentary requirements:

  • Ang aktwal na MRP o Green booklet passport
  • PSA Birth Certificate
  • At least one (1) valid identification document.
  • Iba pang supporting documents (i.e. PSA Marriage Certificate kung married ang aplikante at ginagamit ang married name sa passport.)

Siguraduhing dala ninyo ang mga dokumentong ito sa araw ng inyong appointment para maiwasan ang delays sa inyong application for passport renewal.

Tandaan din na simula noong June 1, 2016, ang sino mang hindi sumipot sa araw at oras ng kanyang naktakdang appointment for passport application and renewal ay hindi mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na mag set ng panibagong appointment sa loob ng 30 araw.  Kaya’t markahan ang inyong mga kalendaryo ayon sa appointment na inyong hiniling online para maka-iwas sa abala.

Source: http://www.passport.com.ph/info/requirements/for/renewal


Married Woman Passport.jpg

When Gemma and PJ got married in 2008, they had to wait until 2009 before they were able to spend their honeymoon in the U.S. Gemma’s passport had to be renewed. She decided to wait until she has all her marriage documents with her because she wanted for her married name to appear on her new passport.

Her mom advised her that she actually has the option to use her maiden name in her Passport, but being the starry-eyed, brand new wife that she was then, she opted to use Geraldine Marie M. Gomez – Gomez being PJ’s last name. Before they celebrated their first wedding anniversary, they flew off to Florida for their much-awaited honeymoon; Gemma brandished her newly updated passport with her newly updated name on it. And since then, she and PJ would make it a point to explore a new country at least once every year.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon fever waned a bit too early for Gemma and PJ and in less than nine years of being married, they both decided to go their separate ways. It did not take long for PJ to find a new relationship while Gemma enjoyed the “single and ready to mingle” lifestyle she sorely missed.

The highlight of her new-found freedom would have been a week-long sojourn with her friends in Bali except that her passport was once again due for renewal. It was at this point when she realized that she wanted to begin dropping her husband’s last name and revert to her maiden name. She remembered her Mom’s advise that women have the option to use their maiden name in their passports and this was exactly what she tried to do when she applied for a passport renewal.

She was terribly surprised when the Department of Foreign Affairs told her that changing her name in her passport is not as easy as she thought it to be.

“But I thought I had the RIGHT to use whatever name I wanted on my passport, whether my maiden or married name?” Even while recovering from shock and disappointment, Gemma managed to listen intently to the DFA’s explanation:

Gemma was clearly referring to Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines which states that:

A married woman may use:

  1. Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or
  2. Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname or
  3. Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

Unfortunately for Gemma, her decision to use her married name when she had her passport renewed disqualifies her from using Article 370 as basis to change her name on her passport. If she so wishes to use her maiden name, she will have to present a court decree to prove that her marriage to PJ has been annulled or they have been granted legal separation. (Other cases would be that the husband passed away, in which case she would have to present a valid PSA Death Certificate, or the husband obtained a foreign divorce against her.) Article 370 would have only worked in Gemma’s favor had she decided to retain her maiden name in her passport in spite of being married to PJ.

Gemma got her passport and used it to travel the world. It was her way of recovering from her failed marriage while contemplating on her next move. Her wish was granted when, on her 33rd birthday, PJ asked to see her to talk about legalizing their separation. They both decided to go for annulment and mutually agreed to cooperate to make the process easier for both of them. In less than three years, their annulment was granted and Gemma finally got to change her name in all of her identification cards and documents – she is now, once again, Geraldine Marie T. Mendoza.

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