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First Time Application Or Renewal of Philippine Passport Explained Thoroughly

Planning a perfect travelitinerary begins with getting your passport in hand. Whether you’re applying for a passport for the first time or renewing an existing one, it’s absolutely crucial for a Philippine citizen to have a passport if they wish to travel abroad.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has made it quite simple to get a passport through its website. You can make an appointment online through the DFA website and opt for doorstep delivery of your passport. The process takes up to 6 to 12 weeks, so it’s best to be well-prepared much in advance.

Read these comprehensive steps listed below to make the process of getting a passport, for the first time, a lot easier.

1.    Photo ID

Throughout the process of acquiring your passport, you will have to present an acceptable government-issued photo ID, such as,Driver's license, Digitized Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), etc.  

2.    Up to 3 supporting documents

Other than the Photo ID you will also require to produce documents that prove your identity and citizenship. You can get in touch with the customer support of DFA and find out in detail about the required documents. Supporting documents can be your Voter’s ID, NSO Marriage Certificate, Land Title, etc.

3.    Birth certificate from NSO

For first time applicants, producing a birth certificate is mandatory. However, if you’re renewing your passport it is not required. Getting your birth certificate is easy; you can request for the same on NSO’s website, pay for it online, and get it delivered to your home.

4.    Marriage certificate

Getting a passport depends a lot on who you are or who you have married. You may have to submit a marriage certificate along with your birth certificate and other supporting documents. The DFA website gives you all the details about the necessary documentation in this case. Obtaining a marriage certificate is the same as getting your birth certificate. 

Here’s a list of things to bear in mind if you’re married.
-Married women are expected to submit a marriage contract issued by the NSO or a Certified True Copy (CTC) issued by your Local Civil Registrar (LCR); authenticated by the NSO.

-If you’re married to a non-citizen of the Philippines, you’ll also have to report the marriage to the NSO, and present an original and photocopy of Commission of Filipino Overseas (CFO) Guidance and Counseling Certificate of Attendance.
-Those who married overseas must submit a Report of Marriage authenticated by the NSO.

5.    Additional documents required for individuals under 18 years of age

Parents or guardians of these young individuals will need to submit additional documents along with the birth certificate,such as, marriage contract or passport copy. Supporting ID documents like School ID will also be required along with birth certificate and parent’s marriage certificate. The DFA website lists out all the additional requirements, in case a minor is an orphan or an illegitimate child. 

Generally the documents required are as follows:

  • -NSO issued birth certificate.
  • -Photo ID, such as, a School ID or Form 137 with a readable dry seal.
  • -Parents of minorswho’ve never attended school, must submit a Notarized Affidavit of explanation as to why the child is not in school.
  • -Minor's parents, if married, must produce a marriage certificate issued by the NSO.
  • -A photocopy of any identity proof needs to be submitted by the parents of the minor.
  • -Original and photocopy of the valid passport of the person travelling with the minor.
  • -For an illegitimate child, all documentation responsibilitiesneed to be fulfilled by the child's birth mother.

6.    Muslim applicants need to obtain a Certificate of Tribal Affiliation from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).

The applicant will need to makea personal appearance at the Bureau of External Relations (BER) and submit an application, along with a passport sized color photo. In case, you would like to use your Muslim name on the passport, you need to obtain an Annotated Birth Certificate from the NSO that states your Muslim name.

7.    Dual citizenship

If you have a dual citizenship, you must provide proof of Philippine citizenship to prove your allegiance and citizenship to the Philippines.These documents are issued and obtained from the Bureau of Immigration Office. Find below the basic requirements:

  • -Identification Certificate
  • -Oath of Allegiance
  • -Order of Approval
  • -Report of Birth (if you were born outside Philippines).

8.    Renewing an old passport has a very similar procedure to first-time application. Photo ID and 3 supporting documents will need to be submitted again while renewing. In addition to these identification certificates, you may have to present some specific documents in special circumstances, such as, a few certificates by the DFA to change your surname if you’re married, or provide an NSO issued birth certificate if you wish to revert your married surname to your maiden name.

In addition to this, there are some more requirements for renewal of passport. Read below for further information on renewing an old Philippine passport.

9.    Bring your expired passport or one that is going to expire soon.
Make photocopies of the data pages of your passport as well. Key things to remember while photocopying are;

  • -For brown passports, photocopy pages from 1 to 3.
  • -For green passport, photocopy only page 1.
  • -In case you have a Machine Readable Passport (MRP) or an electronic passport, only photocopy the first and last page of your passport.

10.    Change your name to your Muslim name

If you are a converted Muslim, and you wish to use your Muslim name, you must obtain an Annotated Birth Certificate from the NSO that states your Muslim name clearly. In addition to this you also need a Certificate of Conversion fromthe National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) or Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA).

11.    Photocopy all IDs and original documents. 

Ideally you shouldmake at least 2 copies of each document and be prepared.If you fail to bring the original and photocopied documents to the DFA, your appointment will be discontinued.

12.    Prepare For your DFA appointment

The process of getting your passport is not restricted only to furnishing the right set of documents. There are a few things to keep in mind while you’re at the DFA Consular Office.

  • -Find out about the “Passport Fees” on the DFA website, and also select the branch you want to make an appointment at. Be prepared with all your documents and arrange them in an orderly manner.
  • -It’s better to reach 30 minutes in advance than missing your scheduled slot. The DFA will not entertain late-arrivers and rescheduling is next to impossible, and should be avoided.
  • -Dress sensibly and present yourself with dignity.
  • -Minors should be accompanied by their parents or guardians, along with all the necessary documents.

The DFA website clearly states that in case of unforeseen circumstances like; power failures, technical breakdowns, and natural calamities, there may be a delay in releasing passports. Applicants must be prepared for such situations and only book flight tickets after securing their passports.

You can find out all the necessary details about the process of getting a passport, whether applying for the first time or renewing an existing one, on the DFA website.

Author: Tanya Michael   

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