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.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR, BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early 70s …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during one …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. “By merely asserting the doctrine of condonation, erring elective officials are automatically given a …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options