Renewing your passport nowadays is easy. All you need is an internet connection, proofs of identity and a little patience. Gone are the days when you have to endure long and crowded queues just to get to the first window at the passport office of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Now, you can actually start the process by using the internet. By making an appointment, you can plan ahead and control your itinerary to the new DFA consular affairs office at the Aseana Business Park in Paranaque City (DFA Aseana). How to Set an Appointment To renew your passport, you have to start with this website.
All you have to do is to scroll down, type the two captcha words and then click the Start Individual Appointment Process button.
Then, you will be directed to the Individual Application page. Fill in all the required fields, review all your answers and click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
After submitting the form, you will be directed to the Appointment Date page, wherein you will be allowed to choose, at your own convenience, the date of your appearance at DFA Aseana. Sometimes your preferred date could be full already, so you have to select another. You may have to select a date a number of times, since there are thousands of other people setting for an appointment on a particular date. When all is set and done, an email will be sent to the address that you have provided. Open and print it, so that you will have a hard copy of the instructions on what to do next. The email also contains a confirmation link, which will make your application official. Click it. But before doing that, make sure that your computer has PDF reader installed. After clicking the confirmation link, you will be directed to your confirmed application form. Print it on a long (legal) size bond paper. Your confirmed application form contains the following:
- 1. Your reference number 2. Your appointment date and time 3. Other instructions
Congratulations! You have completed the first step in renewing your passport at the DFA Aseana.
Your Required Documents
Before your appointment date arrives, make sure that you have all the required documents with you, which include the following:
- 1. Your confirmed application form 2. Your old passport 3. Proofs of identity:
- a. Your birth certificate (in NSO secpa) b. One or two acceptable ID/IDs with photo, such as: digitized SSS ID, driver’s license, GSIS E-card, PRC ID, IBP ID, OWWA ID, digitized BIR ID, Senior Citizen’s ID, school ID, alumni ID, company ID, etc.
(For a more detailed list of documentary requirements, click here. But for passport renewal purposes only, the list above is enough.) Be sure to photocopy the first and last page of your passport, your birth certificate and also your ID/IDs, and staple them together with your confirmed application form. Except for your old passport, you only need the photocopies of your other documents for your passport renewal application. Keep your other original documents safe in your folder and/or bag.
Your Appointment Date
Now that you have all your documents ready, it is time for you to attend to your appointment. Whereas before, passport applications and renewals are processed at the DFA main office in Pasay, now it is being done at DFA Aseana (complete address: Aseana Business Park, Macapagal Blvd. corner Bradco Ave, Tambo, Paranaque City. The usual way to the DFA consular office in Aseana is by going through Roxas Blvd. If you are already in the vicinity of Tambo (if north-bound) or near Baclaran (if south-bound), the landmark to watch out for is the S & R Membership Shopping building. It is very visible from Roxas Blvd. DFA Aseana is just behind the S & R building. Remember, you have to be at the vicinity of DFA Aseana at least 30 minutes before your appointment time.
But don’t be too early. I have heard of people getting wet outside in the rain, because the guards would not allow them inside the compound for being too early. The DFA Aseana compound could only accommodate a certain number of people at a given time. So, 30 minutes before it is, not too early. But if you couldn’t help to arrive too early, you could hang out at the McDonalds across the street, while waiting for your appointed time.
Once within DFA Aseana, proceed to Gate 2, as Gate 1 is reserved for representatives of agencies. Present your photocopied documents and old passport to one of the tables just outside the main door of the building. The receptionist will check with their records if your application is confirmed. Once confirmed, the receptionist will direct you to a row of seats tagged with your appointment time. No priority numbers are given. Instead, you move along the queue by moving along the seats. Applicants are allowed in by batches. So pay attention to the ushers.
Once inside, you sit down again on lined seats and still move along the queue by moving along the seats. This could test your patience, but at least, you are sitting. 😀 When you are at the head of the line already, an usher will direct you to one of the windows where your papers will be evaluated. If everything is in order, you will be directed to proceed to the cashier at the second floor of the building. Again, no priority number is given, so you have to be at the cashier’s window as fast as you can.
After paying, PHP 950 for regular processing or PHP 1200 for rush (with an additional amount if you want your new passport delivered), you will be given a number and directed to biometrics, where your photo and fingerprints will be taken. And this is where your patience will be tested further. When your number is flashed on one of the electronic displays, go to your assigned booth to complete the process, which will not take the whole day, by the way. For my part, I was at reception at 9:00 AM for my 9:30 AM appointment, and was out of the exit gate a few minutes before noon.
Your New Electronic Passport
Congratulations! You will be having a new passport, soon. All you have to do now is to wait 15 working days for regular processing, or seven working days for rush, before you can claim your new electronic passport. Here’s mine. 🙂