I haven’t gotten to travel abroad since 2019 (?) I didn’t want to take my chances, too, because I have a toddler then and do not want to risk getting COVID-19 (the onset was early 2020, and the vaccine roll-out happened later). With that said, I didn’t bother to renew my passport then and which expired in 2021 (I did local travels with strict protocol. Better be safe than sorry).
I took advantage of the year-end break at work to do errands, relax, and renew my passport. In early 2022, there was no available schedule for passport renewal — borders opened, businesses are too, and so is tourism.
Mid of December 2022, I was already booking the schedule before the holiday festivities, but appointment schedule slots are quick to be taken. I tried booking for a later date and I made it to the cut-off! No pictures on this post because it was not allowed to take photos on the renewal site (remember!). Here are some of the things you need to do and bring:
1. Set an appointment
You may check at www.passport.gov.ph and book an available date on your preferred Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) site (mostly SM Malls) for your passport renewal. Please be aware of the time and come in 30 minutes earlier your chosen schedule (so you are not stressed and can finish at an earlier time).
2. Enter your details accurately
Enter all your details on the Passport Application Form, and please make sure they are all accurate (but do not worry if you have chosen a different option on your address or have a minimal typo accidentally as there will also be an information validation at the site). Your primary details should also match the ones on your current passport.
3. Choose how you want to receive your renewed passport: through courier service or via pick-up
For my two previous renewals, I always choose the courier service option so it can be delivered to my home since I get too busy in the day to be somewhere else than work. You just have to also fill out the Letter of Authority or Special Power of Attorney (SPA) that will also be provided to you via email once you have confirmed your schedule. If you opt for a pick-up, DFA staff on site will tell you when the release date of your passport be and where you can pick it up. Ensure that you all have supporting documents with you for validation purposes.
4. Pay online
When I get on site at SM City North Edsa (near Pet Express – Interior Zone ), I did not see any cashier for application payment, hence all transactions are done online when you confirm your renewal schedule. It is more convenient I must say and you may use your debit/credit card, GCash, and PayMaya.
5. Check your email
During the application, you’d be asked to provide your email address so please make sure that the one you will input is active. After filling out the passport application form and paying online, all details and necessary forms will be sent to you via email. You will be asked to print the files sent to you as those will be the ones you will submit during your schedule for processing.
What to bring:
- The duly filled-out Passport Application Form (sent to you via email)
- Printed Electronic Receipt No. for reference
- Old/current passport
- Valid ID (government-issued IDs) or Birth Certificate (Original and Photocopy)
- Do not wear heavy make-up that will make you unrecognizable
- No sleeveless or any revealing tops allowed
- Make sure your hair is neat and photos shall showcase your ears
- Better to remove all accessories (earrings, necklaces, facial piercings if any)
- No companion is allowed except for minors (a waiting area is also available for your companions)
- Come 30 minutes before your appointment or better, an hour before
Overall, the whole process will take you no more than 30 minutes, depending on the volume of applicants but, usually, if this is already an appointment system, it will be 30 minutes tops. It took me only 10 to 15 minutes for the passport renewal, then you have to wait for its release, to be delivered or be ready for pick-up.