Tag Archive: Passport Validity


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.

References:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.tempo.com.ph

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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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02-20

While we anticipate the approval of the proposed 10-year validity of Philippine passports, we should continue to mark our calendars as to when we should be applying for a passport renewal.  Currently, Philippine passports have a 5-year validity period and most passengers who have less than a year before their passports expire are no longer permitted to leave the country.

This is a dilemma encountered by most OFWs.

So what happens if your passport expires while you are overseas?

Read on:

1.Allow a one year renewal period.

Avoid waiting until you only have a few weeks left before your passport expires.  The process of renewing your passport from abroad takes at least 8 to 12 weeks.

2. Visit the Philippine Embassy / Consulate General in the country where you are currently located.

a. Bring your passport and other pertinent documents related to your travel or stay.

b. The Philippine Embassy will send your renewal application to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office in Manila.

c. Check online if the Philippine Embassy in your area requires applicants to set up an appointment.  Most Philippine Embassies accommodate walk-in applications for passport renewal.

d. All details such as photographs, fingerprints, and signatures will be taken on-site.

3. What are the documents you need to bring?

a. Duly accomplished passport application form, typed or printed legibly on black or blue ink.

b. Latest passport.

c. One (1) photocopy of each of the data page/s of the passport.

d. Photocopy of any valid identification card where the middle name is fully spelled out, such as state4 ID, driver’s license, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, or Baptismal Certificate.

e. Proof that applicant has not applied for foreign citizenship, e.g. resident alien card (green card).

These requirements may vary depending on the host country of the Philippine Embassy you will be applying to.

4. But how about if the passport IS already expired?

If your passport got lost or is already expired and you need to travel back to the Philippines, you have to secure a Travel Document from the Philippine Embassy in your host country.

What is a Travel Document?

  • Travel documents are issued to Philippine nationals returning to the Philippines, who for one reason or another, have lost their passport or cannot be issued a regular passport.
  • It is also issued to Filipino citizens who are being sent back to the Philippines.
  • It is valid for a non-extendable period of thirty (30) days from date of issuance and only for a one-way direct travel to the Philippines.  It cannot be used for re-entry to the host country.

The travel Document can only be issued when:

  • The consular officer determines that its use is warranted by emergency/critical circumstances.
  • It cannot be used as a short cut in complying with the requirements for the renewal of a passport or the replacement of a lost passport.

Renewing your Philippine passport abroad may be the last thing you would want to do while on a trip, whether as a tourist or an overseas worker.  You can avoid this by simply making sure that your passport is kept up-to-date.  Until the law on the 10-year validity period for Philippine Passports has been ratified, we all need to exert a little more effort in making sure that our passports are updated and are not expiring anytime soon.

Sources:

http://www.dfa.gov.ph/2013-04-04-07-00-36

http://bangkokpe.dfa.gov.ph/consular-office/services/passport/travel-document

http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/philippines-dc/consular-services-dc/faq-dc/

http://www.pinoyhood.com/renew-passport-abroad/

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02-14

In June 2016, we shared the news on the government’s proposal to extend Passport and Driver’s License validity from 5 years and 3 years respectively, to 10 years for both.  Fast forward to eight months from the time the news broke out, the House of Representatives have submitted their approval to extend the lifespan of Philippine passports to 10 years!

The amendment of House Bill 4767, Section 10 of the RA 8239 (Philippine Passport Act of 1996) will positively impact OFWs, seafarers, and business people who travel often.  The government aims to help Pinoys save on time, effort, and money by extending passport validity to 10 years; this has also been the public’s clamor for a while now since the U.S. Embassy now grants 10-year multiple entry visas to Filipino applicants.

The bill has been transmitted to the Senate and will undergo three readings before the final decision is handed down.  The entire country awaits the approval and enactment of this proposition.

Tell us what you think about this latest update on Passport Validity.

Source:

http://www.rappler.com/nation/161366-house-approves-bill-extending-passport-validity-10-years?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral

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10 Best Tips to Avoid Getting Offloaded from Your Flight

01-11

One of the worst things that can happen to a traveler is to get offloaded from his flight.  The truth is, there is no definite list of things that one can do in order to completely avoid being barred from boarding his plane.  It can happen to a tourist, a CEO on a business trip, and even OFWs.

This article intends to inform travelers of what they need to have on hand when checking in and boarding their planes.  These are based on actual experiences of other travelers as well as tips from Immigration Officers (who have seen one too many passengers suffer the consequences of incomplete and insufficient documents to corroborate the veracity for their trip).

  1. Be ready with sufficient travel documentation.
    • Your passport must have at least six months before expiration.
    • Your visa must be updated (if visa is required in your destination).
    • Print out your hotel booking confirmation as well as receipts to prove that you have paid your accommodation in full.
    • Be able to present a return ticket to the Philippines, where the date and time of your flight are clearly stated.  The date on your return ticket must not exceed your allowed period of stay.
    • If on a guided tour, print out a copy of your itinerary and familiarize yourself with the places you will be visiting.
    • OFWs must have their work contracts handy.
    • If traveling with a minor who is not your child, or minor is illegitimate and traveling with the father only, be able to present the necessary travel permits secured from the DSWD.
    • Your PSA Marriage Certificate and PSA Birth Certificates could come in handy to verify your age and affinity.
  2. Provide consistent, clear, and confident answers to the Bureau of Immigration officers.
    • Maintain your composure when being interviewed by an Immigration officer.  Listen carefully to his questions and provide honest answers.
    • Avoid saying too much; simply state what is being asked of you.
    • Expect questions such as: “What attractions are you planning to visit in….?” and “Who will be paying for your trip?”  Again, it pays to be familiar with your travel itinerary and be prepared to prove that you can afford the trip.
  3. Dress appropriately.
    • While travelers are free to dress as they please, it would do a first time traveler good to choose clothing that is not too revealing or too casual.
    • If traveling to a country during winter season, you are expected to bring a jacket, beanies, and gloves.  When traveling to the Middle East, you are expected to wear the prescribed clothing in the country, especially for women.
    • Showing too much skin might trigger an impression of a sex worker which is a red flag among immigration officers.
  4. Immigration Officers look out for solo travelers.
    • When traveling alone, be prepared for further questions from Immigration officers as the Immigration is particular on travelers’ safety and security, more particularly for female solo travelers.
    • Any inconsistency in the traveler’s answers and documents, however minor this may be, could be grounds for the passenger to be denied his flight.
  5. Be firm with the purpose of your trip.
    • If you have nothing to hide, you should be able to ace the interview and be allowed to board faster.
    • Immigration officers do not only listen to your answers, they also observe your body language.  Be confident and sincere when talking to them.
  6. Be able to prove that you can afford the trip.
    • Sponsored travelers must be able to provide an affidavit of support and guarantee, including letters of invitation authenticated by the Philippine consulate or embassy in your destination country.
    • Prepare a copy of your financial statements, certificate of employment, proof of salary, credit cards, and other proofs of residency.  Unemployed travelers must be prepared to show how they will be paying for the trip; if someone else is paying for the trip, prepare authenticated letters of invitation and other proofs that someone else will be shouldering your expenses while abroad.
  7. Be able to provide information about your sponsor (if you have one).
    • If someone else is paying for your trip (a friend or relative who resides in your destination country, your school or office), you should be able to support this with documents.
    • Have their complete names, addresses, and contact information handy during the interview.
  8. If traveling as a government worker, secure the necessary clearances and other permits.
    • If you are a public school teacher, barangay councilor, etc., keep your clearance or travel permit handy during your interview.  Failure to present a travel clearance could prevent you from boarding your flight.
    • Private employees must have sufficient documents to prove they are employed and have been granted leave by their employers.
  9. Review your travel history.
    • If you have been traveling for some time, review your old passports and be able to recall your most recent trips.  First time travelers must be consistent in their reason for traveling abroad (will visit parents who live abroad, giving myself a break, would like to experience snow, etc.).
    • Any history of being offloaded in the past could raise red flags.  You need to be able to state the reason why you were denied your flight in the past and how the issue was resolved.
  10. Watch your attitude.
    • Avoid getting into an argument with the Immigration Officer.
    • Answer politely at all times.
    • Do not attempt to bribe the officer in order to get past inspection.

Immigration Officers are there to help keep the safety and security of travelers.  It is our obligation to submit to their inspection and provide them with truthful statements and authentic documents, if only to prove that our trip is what we declared it to be: tour, business trip, emergency, etc.

These are tips that can help travelers better prepare for their flights and be able to enjoy a hassle-free journey to their destinations.  The decision to detain a passenger and prevent him from taking his flight is entirely the discretion of the Immigration Officers or any other circumstances that may arise even if the passenger has met all the items listed in this article.

Source: https://www.pinoy-ofw.com/news/35048-9-tips-to-avoid-offloading-at-naia.html

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10-06

Whether you are a frequent traveler, an Overseas Filipino Worker, or flying out of the country for the first time, there are basic things you need to know about travel documents and IDs essential to a smooth and hassle-free flight.  We’re not just talking about airlines that leave and arrive on time and don’t get your luggage all mixed up.  These are things every Filipino passport holder must know by heart.

Here is a summary of reminders, lifted from the Bureau of Immigration website that every Philippine passport holder must be aware of.  Read on.

  1. Travel requirements for Filipino tourists:
    • Unexpired DFA-issued passport. The passport must not be expiring in the next six months to avoid running the risk of being denied departure from the Philippines.
    • Unexpired visa if traveling to a country that requires tourist visas.
    • A return date on your plane ticket.
  2. Additional required documents and when these are needed.  Consistent with anti-human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal recruitment laws, additional documents shall be required in the following circumstances:
    • Passenger discloses a doubtful, false, or suspect travel intent;
    • Passports and travel documents/visas are counterfeit, fraudulent, falsified, simulated, or tampered, such as:
      • Age;
      • Educational attainment;
      • Financial capability for travel;
      • Travel history, if any; and
      • Final destination.
    • Passenger’s totality of circumstances manifests a well-founded certainty of human trafficking, smuggling, or illegal recruitment.

3.  What documents are required for sponsored travel?

  • Philippine Embassy or consulate-authenticated Affidavit of Support with Undertaking showing:
  • 4th civil degree of consanguinity relationship between sponsor and the passenger. (e.g. pinsang buo) or affinity (e.g. bayaw/hipag/biyenan);
  • Sponsor’s financial capacity and legal status; and
  • Sponsor’s contact information; and/or
  • Philippine Embassy or consulate-authenticated Affidavit of Support with Undertaking showing:
    • Sponsor’s financial capacity and legal status;
    • Sponsor’s contact details; and
    • Sponsor’s corporate registration papers, if applicable.
  • In cases of local sponsor traveling with the passenger, a duly notarized Affidavit of Support and Undertaking which shall contain the following:
    • Sponsor’s financial capacity;
    • Sponsor’s undertaking is for passenger’s tourist travel with intent to return;
    • Sponsor’s complete residential address of the sponsor and contact details; and
    • Sponsor’s corporate registration papers, if applicable.

4. What documents are required of OFW?

  • Unexpired passport (The passport must not be expiring in the next six months to avoid running the risk of being denied departure from the Philippines.);
  • Unexpired and POEA-conforming visa;
  • Validly-issued travel tickets; and
  • POEA/PESO-database issued E-receipt or OEC.

Tomorrow, we will feature the documentary requirements for emigrant Philippine citizens and DSWD requirements when travelling with minors.

Meantime, keep this page as a bookmark and share it to your friends and families.

Source: http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/travel-req

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