Tag Archive: Passports and Visas


9 Sept 30

My friend’s dog tore his brand new passport apart, three months before he was scheduled to leave for Singapore.  He cried like a little boy while collecting the scraps of paper that was once his primary travel document.

How do you get a replacement for your damaged passport?  Read this.

First off, we need to define what damaged passport means.  According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, your passport is considered damaged or mutilated when:

  • The data page or any information on it is torn or damaged to the point of unreadability.
  • A damaged passport microchip that is no longer machine-readable.
  • One or more pages have been torn out or missing.
  • Passport cover no longer attached to the booklet.
  • The booklet is unstitched, severely damaged by water, or with visa stamps that have bled out.
  • Passport picture is tampered and no longer clear/visible.

If your passport exhibits any of the above descriptions, you can consider it as damaged and therefore, needs to be replaced.  The DFA treats the replacement of damaged passports as new applications and so anyone seeking to have a damaged passport replaced must go through the same process as when you are applying for a new one.  Here’s how:

  1. The first thing you need to do is to get an appointment online and pay the corresponding passport fee to confirm your slot.
  2. Submit a notarized Affidavit of Explanation as to how, when, and where your passport was damaged or mutilated.
  3. Bring an original and photocopy of the first and last pages of the damaged passport.
  4. Prepare P350 as a penalty fee for the damaged passport.

You are also encouraged to bring an original copy of your PSA birth certificate especially if your personal details are hardly recognizable in the damaged passport.  You can get a copy online and have it delivered to your home at www.psahelpline.ph.

There shall be a 15-day clearing period within which your application will go through verification and your old passport records will be tracked and reviewed.

There you have it.  The process and requirements may be a bit different but rest assured that the DFA can have your damaged passport replaced.

Just the same, take care of your passport and other important IDs and documents.  Keep them in locked drawers or plastic containers to keep them safe from pets, pests, flood, and maybe even fire.  Always have duplicates available in your office as well so you would have a ready reference in case you lose the original ones.

Thanks for dropping by!

References:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

www.filipiknow.net

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3 Mar 12

The sooner you are able to secure a passport for your child, the easier for you to take him on trips overseas and make traveling a part of his formative years.  A passport is also a valid ID that your child must have while growing up.  There are, however, cases when getting a passport for a child may prove to be challenging, especially when important documents are missing or when his parents could not personally appear before the DFA during the child’s passport appointment.

This week’s series on the passport application for minor children shall include the required documents for the following cases:

  1. The child has no PSA Birth Certificate or Report of Birth yet.
  2. The child is not accompanied by the parent/s during the application process.
  3. The child is not traveling with the parent/s.
  4. The child is an illegitimate child in custody of the mother.
  5. The child is illegitimate and the mother is deceased/absent and the father is unknown.
  6. The child has undergone the process of domestic adoption.
  7. The child is undergoing or has undergone the process of foreign adoption/Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAP) adoption process.
  8. The child is a foundling and NOT for adoption.

Visit us every day to get the complete list of additional supporting documents and acceptable valid IDs that the DFA will require in case your child falls under any of the above-mentioned cases.  The lists were lifted from the www.passport.gov.ph website.  If you missed the general or core requirements for minor child’s application, you can read our article on that topic here.

 Remember that you have to have fulfilled the Core Requirements before you work on the supporting documents that correspond to your child’s case.

What are the Supporting Documents when:

  1. The child has no PSA Birth Certificate/Report of Birth
  • If born in the Philippines:
    • Submit a Certified True Copy of the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) Birth Certificate authenticated by the PSA.
  • If born abroad:
    • Submit an original copy of the child’s Report of Birth or first endorsement from the Consular Records Division.
  1. The child is not accompanied by the parent/s during the application process,
  • The applicant must submit a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) executed by the parent/s designating the minor’s companion to assist in the application process.  The SPA must be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate if executed abroad.
  • A Passport or a valid government-issued ID of the authorized adult companion.
  • The SPA or Affidavit of Support and Consent must have a copy of the parent/s valid ID and/or passport attached.

Tomorrow we shall feature the required supporting documents inc as the child is not traveling with the parents and if the child is illegitimate and is in the custody of the mother.

See you again tomorrow!

 

References:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.passport.gov.ph

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Place your PSA birth certificate orders online at http://www.PSAHelpline.ph or through our FB Chat Messenger at @PSAHelpline.ph

3 Mar 04

Due to the recent updates in the documentary requirements for passport application and renewal, my relatives (especially the seniors!) had a hard time figuring out whether they should bring copies of their PSA birth certificates and PSA marriage certificates on their appointment date.  Some were saying they must bring their PSA civil registry documents, while others were saying they may skip that part and just bring their valid IDs.

The best place to get the best answers would, of course, be the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs.  So in today’s blog, I will be sharing with you the most updated list of documentary requirements, accepted IDs, and supporting documents that the DFA accepts for FIRST TIME PASSPORT ADULT APPLICANTS.

ADULT NEW APPLICATION

  1. CORE REQUIREMENTS
  1. Confirmed Online Appointment
  2. Personal appearance
  3. Accomplished Application Form
  4. Original copy of PSA Birth Certificate on Security Paper
    • Married Females (who are using their spouse’s last name) must also submit an original copy of PSA Marriage Certificate on Security Paper or Report of Marriage.
    • Local Civil Registrar copy may be required if PSA Birth Certificate is not clear or cannot be read.
  5. Any of the following valid IDs with one photocopy.

Note: If the female applicant opts to retain her maiden name, the PSA Marriage Certificate is no longer required.

*Additional requirements may be required.  Please refer to the section below for additional requirements for Adult New Applications.

 LIST OF VALID IDs

  1. Social Security System (SSS)/Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Unified Multi-purpose Identification (UMID) card.
  2. Land Transportation Office (LTO) Driver’s License.  Student Permit may be accepted if in card format.
  3. Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID.
  4. Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)/Integrated Department of Labor and Employment (iDOLE) card.
  5. Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Voter’s ID or Voter’s Certification from the Election Officer with Dry Seal.
  6. Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms License
  7. Senior Citizen ID
  8. Airman License (issued August 2016 onwards)
  9. School ID (if applicable)
  10. Current Valid ePassport (for Renewal of ePassport)
  11. For applicants based overseas, they may use their host government-issued IDs showing their Philippine citizenship. (Example: Residence Card)

Important Reminder: The Department may require additional supporting documents as may be necessary.

The DFA requires various supporting documents depending on the applicant’s case.  For example, you do not have a PSA birth certificate and could not retrieve a Report of Birth from the LCR of your birth certificate.  Or yours is a Late Registered birth certificate or a female applicant’s marriage has been dissolved and she wants to use her maiden surname in her passport.

To get the list of supporting documents based on these differing cases, follow our blog and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MasterCitizen/

See you again tomorrow!

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This blog is sponsored by PSAHelpline.ph.

Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PSAHelpline.ph/

Place your PSA birth certificate orders online at http://www.PSAHelpline.ph or through our FB Chat Messenger at @PSAHelpline.ph

 

1 jan 10

Denied US visa… again?  We know it could be truly disappointing to be told you are not permitted to leave for a US state and without telling you why.  But take heart, there are a lot of other countries you can tour that are visa-free or have visa-on-arrival policies.

We have the latest list of Asian countries that you can visit without the need for a visa but have a number of days when a tourist can stay.  During my recent trip to Hong Kong last December, I was given a total of 13 days by the Hong Kong Immigration; I stayed for four.

But before we feature the list, let us first share with you the different types of visas that Pinoys need to secure when traveling abroad.  Actually, it should only be counted as three, as the first entry is ‘visa-free’; but based on my experience in Hong Kong last month, I would like to count the visa-free as well since I was only given a particular number of days to stay in the country.

So here it is:

  1. Visa-free

These are countries that do not require a visa but you may only be given a certain number of days to tour the place.  Your ticket must have a return date on it, and you must have a valid booking at a hotel and enough cash to sustain your visit.  Of the three, it is your ticket that the Immigration might scrutinize the most so have it handy all the time.

  1. Visa-on-arrival

There are no pre-application (of visa) required to land at these country’s airports.  You will be granted your visa upon appearing before an immigration officer and after you have duly settled any associated visa fees.

  1. Visa-required

These countries require that you apply for and are granted a visa in the country’s embassy, consulate, or approved travel partner.  The requirements for visa application may vary and may include your financial records and history, medical records, employment documents, and proofs of your previous travels abroad.

  1. e-Visa

Visa applications are done online and should your application be approved, your e-visa shall be linked or electronically associated with your passport number.

In Philippine Star’s latest feature news, the following Asian countries are visa-free for Filipinos, with the corresponding number of days’ stay for tourists:

  1. Brunei – 20-day stay
  2. Cambodia – 21-day stay
  3. Hong Kong – 14-day stay
  4. Indonesia – 30-day stay
  5. Laos – 30-day stay
  6. Macao – 30-day stay
  7. Malaysia – 30-day stay
  8. Mongolia – 21-day stay
  9. Myanmar – 14-day stay
  10. Singapore – 30-day stay
  11. Taiwan – 14-day stay Taiwan will be visa-free until July 31, 2019)
  12. Thailand – 30-day stay
  13. Vietnam – 21-day stay

These countries follow a visa-on-arrival policy and or e-Visa for Pinoy tourists

  1. Kyrgyzstan – 30-day stay
  2. Maldives – 30-day stay
  3. Sri Lanka – 30-day stay
  4. Timor-Leste – 30-day stay

So where do you plan to travel this year?  Share your stories with us!

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Oct 1

The long wait is indeed, over!  Today, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announces the shortened releasing period for regular and express passport processing.  This is good news to Pinoy travelers who rely on the speed and efficiency of DFA to produce and deliver their passports on time.

Beginning today, October 1, 2018, passport applicants who pay the regular processing fee of P950 will receive their passports after 12 working days, instead of 15 working days.  If you are in a rush and need to get your passport earlier than 12 days, you can choose the Express Processing option for P1,200 and you can get your passport after 6 working days, instead of the usual 7.

Provincial applications normally take 20 working days for regular processing and 10 working days for the express option.  The DFA has reduced these wait times to 12 working days and 7 working days respectively.

Below is a comprehensive guide lifted from the DFA’s website, for our reference:

passport_releasing_schedule_3

Apart from these updates, the DFA is also working on reducing the wait time for passport applicants who wish to secure online appointment slots.  Their goal is to bring the wait time down to two weeks to a month, instead of the current two to three months waiting period.

For more information on passport applications, authentication, and other consular inquiries, you may call the DFA through the following numbers:

02-556-0000, 02-234-3488, 02-834-3000, 02-834-4000

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

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Jan 31

Securing a passport appointment online with the DFA has become a laborious task for Filipinos as of late.  It has become close to impossible to snag a date and time to visit your preferred DFA branch for your passport application or renewal to be processed.  Pinoys, especially those who travel frequently for work and business, could not help but vent their frustration (and desperation!) through social media, blogs, and random television and radio interviews.  And why not, when one’s right to travel abroad is practically hindered simply because the Department of Foreign Affairs could not accommodate the volume of applicants.

This practice, however, of airing grievances in public opens doors to more problems than solutions.  While the DFA heeded the public’s clamor to open more appointment schedules (and soon!), scalawags also found an opportunity to earn fast, dishonest cash out of the public’s desperation to get their travel documents.  It wasn’t long before social media channels became tools for fixers to start working their charm to unassuming Filipinos who could not wait to get an appointment with the DFA online.

Of course, the DFA was quick to respond to the alarming number of scams happening right under its nose.  Through the help of investigators, they were able to uncover four types of scams that fixers employ to pick on passport applicants.

To spread awareness and warn the public from falling into the traps of these heartless crooks, we lifted some important information about passport appointment scammers and fixers and are sharing it in our page.  We still believe that awareness and vigilance will help us get ahead of these criminals and save us the trouble of wasted time, money, and effort.

Types of Passport Fixers

  1. Fixers who offer slots for a fee but do not actually get the promised appointments.

Applicants will be asked to pay a certain amount that supposedly buys them an appointment slot with the DFA.  They are given application forms to fill out, complete with barcodes and other appointment details.  Everything looks authentic except that the entire process is a hoax.  Come appointment date, the poor applicant is informed by the DFA that he or she does not have an appointment and the documents given to her by the fixer are fake.

  1. Fixers who sell courtesy lane passes.

The DFA accommodates Senior Citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, children 7 years old and below, Solo Parent ID holders, and migrant workers in its Priority Lanes.  These applicants no longer need to set an appointment online and can simply visit any DFA office anytime for their passport application.

Crooks sell this privilege to people who cannot get an appointment online.

Of course, the trade is illegal and the privilege is non-existent.

  1. Obtaining endorsements from government agencies.

This is more commonly known as an inside job where the fixer (who stays outside the DFA offices) are in cahoots with a government employee who supposedly has access to the appointments.  They sell these endorsements to passport applicants – endorsements could be genuine, but the fact that it is being sold makes it illegal.

  1. A fixer fills out an online application form using the personal information of their clients.

No one should apply on your behalf, not even fill out your online application form.  If anyone offers to do this for you for a fee, know that you are already being scammed.

Ultimately, the idea is to make the applicant believe that he or she has been given a confirmed appointment with the DFA, minus the hassle of waiting for dates and times to be freed up online, in exchange for a few thousands of pesos.  The DFA does not sell these appointment slots and so anyone who does is automatically considered a fixer.  And any transaction made with these crooks will not be honored by the DFA, no matter how much money you spent to get the appointment confirmed.

As the famous saying goes, walang manloloko kung walang magpapa loko. 

Don’t be any of the two.

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Jan 30

The Philippine Passport’s strength ranks 72nd in the world as more foreign countries open their doors to Pinoys without the need for a visa.  Last year, we were 75th among 199 passports, so there is definitely some reason to celebrate the three notches we climbed this year.

Have you been granted a 10-year validity in your passport?  Well, then it’s time to whip out that to-visit countries checklist and see if your dream destinations may now be visited without a visa!

We are not just simply sharing the list of countries, mind you.  We included a bit of information on the best places to visit in the Asian countries, just to tickle your fancy some more.

Asia:

  1. Brunei

Visit the largest museum in Brunei where you can see the Islamic Art Gallery – a magnificent collection of Islamic art belonging to the sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

  1. Cambodia

The Angkor Wat temple.  End of story.

  1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong Disneyland and endless night markets for the insatiable shopper in all of us!

  1. Indonesia

Fine combination of sandy beaches and rolling surf, while basking in the ancient culture known for its warm hospitality.

  1. Kyrgyzstan

Stand on top of the world by climbing the Lenin Peak – a 7,134-meter peak in the country, summited by amateur and professional climbers.

  1. Laos

Explore historical war-shelter cave complexes in Vieng Xai and marvel in its beautiful gardens.

  1. Macao

From Hong Kong, you can book for a day trip to Macau or stay overnight so you can enjoy its extravagant casinos and bustling nightlife.

  1. Malaysia

Visit the Petronas Towers and pay homage to the country’s Hindu temples.

  1. Maldives

If you’re the type who can never be without sand between your toes, head on to Maldives and check in one of their famous water bungalows.

  1. Mongolia

See the world’s largest statue of Genghis Khan!

  1. Myanmar

Go to Shwedagon Paya and visit the 325ft zedi, one of Buddhism’s most sacred sites.  It is adorned with 27 metric tons of gold leaf, wlong with thousands of diamonds and other gems! Truly spectacular!

  1. Nepal

Visit the breath-taking landscapes of the Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu.

  1. Singapore

If you’re traveling with the kids, do not fail to take them to the Universal Studios for some kiddie fun!

  1. Sri Lanka

Do you love elephants and want to see them up close?  Go to the Uda Walawe National Park while you’re in Sri Lanka!

  1. Thailand

Whatever you do, do not miss the Chatuchak Weekend Market for the cheapest deals on clothes, shoes, and bags!

  1. Timor-Leste

On your way down to the beach, do not miss the rock art caves and cliffs that depict ancient practices such as people hunting!

  1. Vietnam

Visit the ruins left by the war in Ho Chi Minh City.

Africa

  1. Cape Verde
  2. Comores Island
  3. Cote d’Ivoir
  4. Djibouti
  5. Gambia
  6. Guinea-Bissau
  7. Kenya
  8. Madagascar
  9. Malawi
  10. Mauritania
  11. Mauritius
  12. Morocco
  13. Mozambique
  14. Rwanda
  15. Seychelles
  16. Somalia
  17. St. Helena
  18. Tanzania
  19. Togo
  20. 20. Uganda

Oceanic

  1. Cook Islands
  2. Fiji
  3. Marshall Islands
  4. Micronesia
  5. Niue
  6. Palau Islands
  7. Papua New Guinea
  8. Samoa
  9. Tuvalu
  10. Vanuatu

Carribean

  1. Dominica
  2. Haiti
  3. St. Lucia
  4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  5. Trinidad and Tobago

Americas

  1. Bolivia
  2. Brazil
  3. Colombia
  4. Costa Rica
  5. Ecuador
  6. Nicaragua
  7. Peru
  8. Suriname

Middle East

  1. Armenia
  2. Iran
  3. Israel

Gustave Flaubert said this about traveling: Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

Yes, there is a whole wide world out there waiting to be explored.  And you do not always need a visa to see the rest of our gorgeous planet.  Start off with these countries that welcome Pinoys without too much fuss (i.e. waiting in line at embassies, tons of documents to be submitted) and then tell us about your unique experiences in these visa-free countries.

Safe travels!

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Jan 25

The quickest answer to this question is yes.  In fact, it is highly advisable to have your passport renewed before it expires as most countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your departure.

Here are a few more pointers that frequent travelers need to know about passport renewals:

  1. Frequent travelers must not wait until their passports are nearing expiration before they have it renewed.  If your work or business requires you to travel often, you must renew your passport once you have used up half of its pages.
  2. In urgent cases when you need to travel but only have less than six months validity on your passport, the Consulate may extend its validity under the following circumstances:
    • If your passport expired within the last calendar year;
    • If your current passport is not an e-passport (it does not have the symbol for a microchip on its front cover);
    • You have already applied for the renewal of your passport and are just waiting for its release;
    • The reason for your travel is an emergency such as the death of a relative or sudden illness of a family member.  Such cases must be supported by documentary proof (doctor’s certification, emails, and other correspondences).
  3. If your passport expires while you are abroad, you may apply for a temporary travel document to allow you to travel back to the Philippines and have your passport renewed.  You may get this at the Philippine Embassy in the country where you are located.
  4. Newly married women have the option to change their last name upon renewal of their passports; however, this is not mandatory.  A married woman may keep her maiden last name in her passport if she so wishes. Should she decide to change her last name to her husband’s, she will have to retain this name until her husband passes away or when her marriage is legally dissolved (as in an annulment recognized by Philippine laws).
  5. Filipinos who are naturalized as US citizens lose their privilege to renew their Philippine passports.  If their passports are still valid at the time of their oath-taking in US soil, these are automatically invalidated.  They may apply for a Philippine passport upon reacquisition of their Filipino citizenship.

 

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Jan 24 (1)

A basic requirement for passport renewal is the submission of the expired (or expiring passport) so the DFA can cancel its validity.  But what if the old passport has gone missing?

Here’s how you can renew a lost and expired passport:

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Personal appearance.
  • Confirmed appointment.
  • No need to submit a passport size photo.
  • Submit same documents required for first-time passport applicants.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS in case the passport was lost and cannot be found:

  • Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Loss (with detailed explanation on when, where, and how the passport got lost).
  • If the lost passport is still valid, submit a Police Report.
  • If available, bring a photocopy of the first page of the lost passport.

Take note that there will be a 15-day clearing period prior to the processing of an application for replacement of a lost valid passport.

IN CASE PASSPORT WAS ALREADY DECLARED LOST BY THE APPLICANT BUT EVENTUALLY WAS FOUND AND RETURNED TO THE APPLICANT:

  • Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Retrieval (with detailed explanation on when, where, and how passport was found).
  • Original and photocopy of the first and last page of the passport.

IN CASE OF MUTILATED OR DAMAGED PASSPORTS:

  • Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Mutilation (with a detailed explanation of when, where, and how the passport got mutilated or damaged).
  • Original and photocopy of the first and last page of mutilated or damaged passport.

IN CASE APPLICANT WAS ISSUED A TRAVEL DOCUMENT:

  • Original Travel Document
  • Submit a Notarized Affidavit of Explanation Regarding Issuance of Travel Document (with a detailed explanation of when, where, and why the applicant was issued a travel document).
  • Original and photocopy of the first and last page of canceled passport (if the passport is still in the possession of the applicant).

It is not advisable to pose as a first-time passport applicant if you lost your passport.  The DFA will see your previous passport details anyway and you will be required to submit the same documents (affidavit of loss, etc.) as listed above.  Your appointment will be wasted and you may run the risk of being placed under questionable applications.

Source:

www.dfa.gov.ph

www.officialgazette.gov.ph

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Jan 22 (1)

Now that you have finally set an appointment for your passport application, it is time to begin preparing the requirements you need to bring.  Here’s a summary of all the things you need to know when applying for a Philippine Passport at any DFA office:

  1. Personal appearance is required for all applicants.
  2. A confirmed appointment is required for all applicants except senior citizens, infants, and minors below 1-year-old and OFWs. For OFWs, sufficient proof must be submitted such as a valid employment contract or OEC.
  3. Earrings and contact lenses are not allowed during data capture. Smiling with visible teeth is also not allowed.
  4. Check all the data in the computer monitor and in the Enrolment Certificate before signing it.
  5. 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.
  6. The passport shall be released to an immediate family member only with the 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.
  7. Passports unclaimed after six months will be canceled per Department Order No. 37-03.
  8. Check all data in the received e-passport upon release.
  9. The number of processing days may vary depending on the location of the Regional Consular Office where the application was filed.
  10. 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.

PASSPORT FEES:

For First-time Passport Applicants:

  • Regular processing (15 working days): P950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days): P1,200.00

For Renewal of Passport:

  • Regular processing (15 working days): P950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days): P1,200.00

For Replacement of a lost expired passport:

  • Regular processing (15 working days): P950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days): P1,200.00

For replacement of lost valid passport:

  • Regular processing (15 working days): P950.00
  • Express Processing (7 working days): P1,200.00
  • Please take note that there is an additional fee of P200 for a lost valid MRRP/MRP or P350 for a lost valid e-passport.

Source: www.dfa.gov.ph

Do you need more information about Philippine passports?  Check out our previous blogs, we just might have the answers you are looking for!

How to apply for a passport for the first time.

Passport Application: What You Need to Bring to the DFA Consular Office

How to Apply for a Minor Child’s Philippine Passport?

How to Apply for a Passport if You do not have a PSA Birth Certificate?

What are the requirements for a New Passport Application? 

DFA Passport Appointment: No Show, No Refund

Birth Certificates No Longer Required for Passport Renewal (and why you still need to get a copy of your PSA Birth Certificate!)

List of Valid IDs for Passport Application

When is the best time to get a passport appointment online?

Who may use the DFA’s passport courtesy lanes? 

The four kinds of passport appointment fixers and why you should avoid them.

Can I Renew My Passport Before It Expires?

How to Renew a Lost and Expired Philippine Passport?

7 Things to Remember When Having Your Passport Photo Taken

Solo Parents May Now Use the DFA’s Passport Priority Lanes

How to Apply for a Philippine Passport if you do not have a Birth Certificate


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