Traveling abroad 101: How to get a passport

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and if that journey is to a foreign country, your first step will likely be getting a passport from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Before the DFA can give you a passport, it needs to know who you are and whether you are who you say you are.

You will need to have a National Statistics Office-certified copy of your birth certificate which could now be requested online.

You will also need a government-issued ID like a Voter's ID or driver's license. Students can use their school IDs when applying for a passport.

The DFA also requires the submission of supporting documents that prove your identity. Among those listed on its website are marriage contracts, land titles, transcripts of records, or "other documents that show the full name and birth details of applicant." If you don't have those, your driver's license will do.

You should have all your documents and IDs photocopied before heading to the DFA.

Setting an appointment

If all your papers are ready, you can set an appointment with the DFA so your application will be processed. This can be done over the telephone, through (02) 737-1000 or online.

If setting an appointment over the telephone, Customer Care Officers will ask you for your personal information and remind you of what you need to bring. They will also give you the code that you will need to download and print your application form.

You can also set an appointment via DFA's dedicated passport website. You can choose the date and time of your appointment, then get your reference number and a link for the application form through e-mail. Never ever rely on fixers to do these things for you. Better safe than sorry, right?

Getting your passport

On your appointment date, go to the DFA Consular Office at the Aseana Business Park at the corner of Bradco Avenue and Macapagal Boulevard in Paranaque City. The DFA says you need to be there, with all the required documents and IDs, 30 minutes before your scheduled time. If you come late, you will need to set another appointment.

Also remember to dress appropriately: No sandos, spaghetti straps, shorts, or slippers.

Once at the consular office, you need to head to the processing area so the DFA can check your papers. When that is done, you will be told to head to the Passport Enrollment Section, where you will pay P950 for regular processing, which takes 15 working days. If short on time, you can pay P1,200 for rush processing and get your passport after seven working days.

The DFA will also take your picture for your passport. Since this is an official government document, you are expected to look directly at the camera with a neutral expression. "Contrived expressions such as raised eyebrows, squinting or frowning are not acceptable," DFA says.

You can smile but you are not supposed to show your teeth and gums. "The 'Mona Lisa' smile is recommended," the DFA says.

After paying, you will be told to head to the Encoding Section for data capturing and you're done. You can either come back on the release date to pick up your passport or pay them to have your passport delivered to you.

Getting a passport used to involve standing around at the DFA for at least half a day but the system that the DFA is using now has cut down that time significantly. That means you'll have more time and energy for bigger challenges: getting a ticket during a seat sale, and going through Terminal 1 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.


Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

  • Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative
    Negotiations on TPP in 'end-game', says US trade representative

    Negotiations to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade zone are in the "end-game", US Trade Representative Mike Froman said Sunday. Asked about a timetable, Froman said: "We agreed to conclude (the TPP talks) the moment that we have an agreement on an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement." "The focus will now shift to the US House of Representatives when they come back from recess and we look forward to working with them to get it passed as soon as possible," he …

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options