Complete Guide to DFA Passport Appointment, Application, and Renewal in the Philippines

Published: July 13, 2021 | Updated: July 27, 2021 | Posted by: Moneymax | Government Services

DFA passport appointment | Moneymax

A Philippine passport is your ticket to the world. It’s the most important document you’ll need if you wish to study, work, or travel overseas. It’s also a powerful identification card that you can use in transactions with government and private offices.

However, getting or renewing a Philippine passport through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) can be tricky. DFA passport appointment slots are limited. Securing an appointment now feels like winning the lottery due to the shortage of slots in the online scheduling system.

Things have become much more difficult during the pandemic. Because the DFA is limiting the number of applicants that can be physically accommodated, there have been backlogs, which in turn has delayed appointments and schedules.

But a passport is a passport and we all need it to go overseas. Lessen the stress of getting a Philippine passport with our quick and easy guide.

How to Get a Passport in the Philippines

1. Schedule a DFA Passport Appointment Online

All Philippine passport applicants—whether for new application or renewal—must book an appointment with the DFA before going to one of its locations.

Exempted from setting a DFA passport appointment are the following applicants who can go directly to the courtesy lane:[1]

  • Children aged seven and below with their parents and minor siblings
  • Pregnant women (with a medical certificate for those not visibly pregnant)
  • Senior citizens with senior citizen ID and one immediate family member
  • Solo parents with a solo parent ID and their minor children
  • Persons with disabilities with PWD ID and one immediate family member
  • OFWs with OFW e-Card, work visa, or POEA-authenticated employment contract
  • Exceptional and Emergency Cases. There are situations when the Courtesy Lane Privileges may be extended to applicants upon due approval of the written request of any of the following government officials:
    • DFA Secretary
    • Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Undersecretary
    • Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs

Important notes:

  • The adult companion of senior citizens or PWDs may also avail of Courtesy Lane privileges, provided that they are the applicant’s immediate family member or travel companion.
  • The senior citizen or PWD’s immediate family member (i.e., spouse, adult children, or adult sibling only) is required to present proof of relationship with the applicant (e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
  • The senior citizen or PWD’s travel companion is required to present proof of travel (e.g., hotel booking or confirmed flight). Likewise, they are required to state the reason or justification for travel (e.g., the travel companion is a medical escort or nurse).

How to Make a Passport Appointment Online

DFA Passport Appointment Online

Simply visit the DFA passport appointment website (2) and do the following:

  1. Start an individual or group appointment
  2. Choose a DFA consular office for your passport application or renewal
  3. Select your preferred date and time
  4. Fill out the online passport application form
  5. Pick your preferred passport processing type (regular/expedited processing)

Upon submitting the online form, the DFA will email a reference number for paying your passport processing fee.

Things to Remember Before Scheduling Your DFA Passport Appointment

  • Online appointments are available only to Filipinos living in the Philippines. Citizens based abroad can head to the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate to file their passport application.
  • The DFA passport appointment system is free to use. Avoid dealing with fixers. The only payment you’ll need to make is for the passport processing fee.
  • Passport appointments are limited. You’re lucky if you are able to secure a slot on your first try. So, be earnest and don’t give up! Check out this article’s FAQ section to know what you need to do in case there are no slots available.
  • Choose a consular office closest to your place to save time. Check the complete list of DFA sites on the DFA website.[3]
  • Choose an earlier schedule, ideally in the morning, to avoid long lines.
  • Use a valid and working Gmail or Yahoo email address. Other email accounts like MSN, Hotmail, and Outlook are incompatible with the DFA passport appointment system.
  • Double-check your application details. The DFA reminds everyone that incorrect or inaccurate information may result in the forfeiture of their passport application.

2. Pay the Passport Processing Fee

With the DFA ePayment Portal has been implemented, applicants pay their fees before making a personal appearance at the DFA office. Pay your passport processing fee at any of these authorized payment centers:

  • 7-Eleven
  • Bayad Center
  • ECPay
  • PeraHub
  • Robinsons Business Centers and Department Stores
  • USCC (Western Union)
  • Waltermart Department Store
  • Villarica Pawnshop

According to the DFA, it will add more payment channels soon, including facilities for credit and debit card payments.

Once your payment has been processed, the DFA will send you a confirmation email with a passport appointment packet that contains the following:

  • Checklist of passport requirements with your DFA appointment schedule
  • Confirmed application form
  • Two copies of the eReceipt

Print all the documents in A4-size paper and don’t forget to bring them on the day of your DFA passport appointment.

Things to Remember Before Paying the Passport Fee

  • Pay the exact amount in cash (PHP 950 for regular processing or PHP 1,200 for expedited processing).
  • Take note of your reference number and total amount due (PHP 950/PHP 1,200 processing fee + PHP 50 convenience fee per transaction).
  • You can use the reference number only once. Contact the DFA helpdesk immediately at (02) 234-3488 if you made a payment by mistake.
  • Pay separately for each reference number (for group appointments with multiple reference numbers). The DFA allows only one transaction per reference number.
  • Your DFA passport appointment will be confirmed only after paying the required fees.
  • All fees are non-refundable. If you fail to show up on your confirmed appointment, your fee shall be forfeited. The same rule applies to applicants who cancel their appointment, applicants whose application is rejected due to inconsistency and inaccuracy of their information, and applicants who present discrepant and/or fake documents.

3. Prepare the Passport Requirements

DFA passport appointment - accepted valid IDs

Is it your first time applying for a Philippine passport? Secure the following requirements before going to the DFA office. Applicants with incomplete requirements are automatically rejected, so better to keep a checklist of the following DFA passport requirements.

Valid ID (original and photocopy)

You can bring any of the following valid IDs. To secure your application, prepare at least two from the list.

  • SSS ID
  • UMID card
  • Voter’s ID (or Voter’s Certificate issued by the COMELEC main office in Intramuros, Manila)
  • Driver’s License (LTO Student Permit may be accepted if it’s in card format.)
  • Senior Citizen ID
  • School ID (for students and fresh graduates)
  • PRC ID
  • OWWA card
  • PNP Firearms License
  • Airman License (issued August 2016 onwards)
  • Residence Card or any other ID that warrants your Philippine citizenship (for OFWs or Filipinos based in other countries)
  • For minor applicants: School ID or Certificate of Enrolment bearing the applicant’s photo and the school’s dry seal
Apply for a personal loan at Moneymax!

Important notes:

  • Applicants who are based overseas are allowed to use their host government-issued ID, which shows their Philippine citizenship (e.g., Residence Card)
  • The IDs to be presented should be readable and untampered. The information they contain should be consistent with what’s in the documents presented upon application.
  • The DFA requires you to present the original copy and photocopy of the IDs.

Related article: Everything You Need to Know About the PhilSys National ID

Birth Certificate (original and photocopy)

Secure an original copy of your birth certificate authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). You can conveniently order one online and have it delivered to your home or office address.

You can also present a Certified True Copy (CTC) of your birth certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar and duly authenticated by the PSA.

Read more: Need a Birth Certificate? Here’s Your Guide to NSO Online Services

Supporting Documents

Are you a naturalized Filipino citizen? Or maybe you have dual citizenship or have no birth certificate? If so, you need to present additional documents to the DFA.

Married women who want to use their spouse’s surname must submit an original copy of their marriage certificate issued by the PSA. No need to do so for those who’d like to keep their maiden name. For this, ensure you have the complete list of DFA passport requirements.[4]

4. Show Up on Your DFA Passport Appointment Schedule

DFA Passport Appointment Schedule
Instagram photo by @simplykeiem

Arrive at your assigned DFA site 30 minutes before your appointment schedule, as latecomers and those coming in too early aren’t accommodated. Also, observe the proper dress code. Individuals wearing sandos, spaghetti straps, shorts, tubes, sandals, or slippers may not continue their appointment.

Here are some other reminders on your day of DFA passport appointment:

  • Don’t wear earrings and contact lenses. They’re not allowed during data capture.
  • The DFA strictly imposes the “No Escort” policy (unless the applicant is a senior citizen or PWD). Escorts will be kept from entering the DFA consular premises.

DFA Passport Application/Renewal Steps

  1. Present your DFA passport appointment packet and requirements to the Application Counter. You will then receive a queue number.
  2. Wait for your number to be called. Proceed to the Processing Area and present your documents.
  3. Have your photo and biometrics taken at the Encoding Section.
  4. If you prefer to have the passport delivered to your home or office, go to the Delivery Counter and pay an additional fee of PHP 150.

When you’re done with all the passport application or renewal steps, you’ll be issued a stub or receipt that indicates your passport’s tentative release date.

5. Claim Your Passport or Wait for Delivery

DFA Passport Appointment - how to claim passport
Instagram photo by @mollytambulero

Visit the DFA consular office where you filed your application and present your receipt to claim your passport. If you’ve lost your passport receipt, you need to present a notarized affidavit of loss.

You can assign someone else to pick up your passport if you’re not available to do it. The DFA requires an authorization letter (for immediate family members) or Special Power of Attorney (for non-immediate family) and a photocopy of the authorized representative’s valid ID before issuing the passport.

Don’t delay claiming your passport. The DFA cancels unclaimed passports after six months.

If you chose to have your passport delivered, be sure someone is at home to receive it.

Once you get your new passport, check if all details in it are correct and then put your signature on the third page.

FAQs on DFA Passport Appointment, Application, and Renewal

1. There are no available appointment slots. What should I do?

If you don’t see available slots online, it doesn’t mean that they have already been taken up. The DFA advises you to refresh the page, as appointments become available from time to time. Be on the lookout, as slots are made available from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays, except for holidays.

DFA passport appointment - additional slots

You’ll also find some glimmer of hope in the following days, as the DFA has recently announced that it’s opening additional 177,500 slots until the end of September 2021.[5] The DFA said that the slots were made available after the department opened temporary off-site passport services in the following locations:

  • SM Mall of Asia
  • SM City North Edsa
  • SM Aura
  • Robinsons Place Las Piñas
  • Robinsons Place Magnolia

Note that each site has a capacity of 500 slots daily and will also be operational from Monday to Saturday.

2. Can I go directly to DFA without an appointment?

Unfortunately, walk-ins are currently suspended. Following the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) safety protocols, the DFA has limited foot traffic at its offices. To be allowed inside the DFA premises, you’ll be required to present proof of confirmed appointment.

3. How do I cancel my appointment?

Before, the DFA didn’t allow the cancellation of appointments. If you didn’t show up on the day of your appointment, you would be even banned from scheduling a new appointment for a month.

But now, you have the option to cancel your DFA passport appointment. Just visit the DFA’s View Appointment page on its website to view, reschedule, or cancel your application.[6] You’ll be required to input your appointment code and email address to access the records.

DFA Passport Appointment Schedule

Note that when you cancel your appointment, the passport processing fee will be forfeited, and you’ll not receive a refund.

4. Do I still need to book an appointment if I get my passport through a travel agency?

Yes, you’re still required to secure a DFA passport appointment on your own. Travel agencies can no longer get appointment slots for their clients.

Read more: Should You Get Passport Assistance From a Travel Agency?

5. Can I book my appointment via DFA’s Facebook page?

No. DFA passport appointments cannot be booked on Facebook or DFA’s other social media platforms. The DFA reminds everyone that the appointments not made through are not legitimate and will not be honored.

6. How do I renew my passport?

DFA passport renewal has the same process as new passport applications, except that you need to bring your old/expired passport with a photocopy of its data page (the second page with your photo and personal information) on the day of your appointment. Birth certificates and valid IDs are not required for passport renewal.

7. Is NBI clearance accepted as a valid ID for passport application?

No. The DFA considers the NBI clearance as just a supporting document and not a valid ID by itself.

Also, the DFA does not accept the following IDs and documents:

  • Police clearance
  • Barangay ID/Barangay clearance
  • Postal ID
  • TIN card
  • Pag-IBIG ID
  • PhilHealth ID
  • Company ID
  • SSS E-1 form
  • IBP ID
  • Official receipt of the driver’s license
  • LTO student permit in paper format

8. I lost my passport. What should I do?

In case of a lost or stolen passport, you’ll still need to have an appointment with the DFA. You’ll have to submit the documents required of first-time passport applicants. This time, though, you must submit a Police Report (must be in English) and an Affidavit of Loss. In case of a lost expired passport, you’ll only submit an Affidavit of Loss; you’re no longer required to submit a Police Report.

Remember that you have a 115-clearing period prior to the processing of your replacement passport application. The DFA also imposes a penalty worth PHP 350 for lost and mutilated passports.

9. How long does it take to process a passport in the Philippines?

If you’ve applied at the Consular Offices in Metro Manila, the regular processing and releasing of passports take 12 working days and six working days for expedited processing.

If you’ve applied at the offices outside Metro Manila, the regular processing and releasing of passports take 12 working days. For rush or expedited applications, expect your passport within seven working days.

Individuals based abroad should expect their passport in four to six weeks.
Take into account that these delivery timetables don’t include courier delivery time.

10. How long can I use my passport?

New Philippine passports have a 10-year validity,[7] under Republic Act 10928, a law implemented by the administration in early 2018.

Health and Safety Reminders on the Day of Your Passport Appointment

Because there’s an ongoing pandemic, going out comes with a lot of risks. Even if you’re already vaccinated, you shouldn’t feel too confident about your safety that you let your guard down.

Here are some of the safety tips to keep in mind before and during your DFA passport application or renewal:

  • Again, the DFA doesn’t accept walk-ins. So, don’t go to the DFA office if you have not booked an appointment. Otherwise, you’re just exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
  • Plan your trip accordingly, especially if you’re commuting. This will keep you from unnecessary detours that may expose you to the virus.
  • Always wear your face mask and face shield. Bring spares in case your mask or shield gets broken.
  • Bring alcohol or sanitizer. Use it every time you touch something (e.g., door handles, tables, seats, etc.). If soap and water are available, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid crowds and don’t stay too long in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Observe social distancing. Ensure at least one meter between you and the people around you.
  • Follow the protocols and guidelines being implemented at the venue of your appointment.
  • Most importantly, get vaccinated when it’s possible.

Final Thoughts

Applying for or renewing a Philippine passport can be challenging. But it’s gotten trickier because of the changes and adjustments the DFA has to adopt due to the pandemic.

Nevertheless, new slots are being opened to accommodate more applicants. With that, there’s a chance that your application will be smooth and easy. Follow the DFA on Facebook or visit its website from time to time to get updates on passport applications.

Manage your debts with a personal loan from Moneymax!