I just survived an afternoon at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) with N to get ourselves a passport through the DFA Passport Application System.
We had a confirmed appointment at their NCR East office located at the 5/F of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. I really am thankful that they opened a branch within the Ortigas area so we need not go to the DFA Office in ASEANA.
Let me give you some tips if you are planning on getting a passport for yourself, child, or with the rest of the family.
Most Important Tip: Get a Confirmed Online Appointment!
Decide where to apply for your passport. As of writing, there are 6 DFA locations where you can apply for a passport.
- DFA ASEANA
- DFA Manila
- DFA Galleria
- DFA Megamall
- DFA Alabang
- DFA Ali Mall (Cubao)
- Since DFA implements a “by appointment policy” before you head to their office, you must first get an appointment at the official website of DFA. http://passport.com.ph/
- To get a passport for more than one member of your family, please visit this link: http://passport.com.ph/family/ . This is to ensure that you and your family have the same appointment date and time. You can choose your preferred day and time from the available slots found on the DFA Passport Application website.
- Getting through this online appointment scheduling is not very difficult because you will be guided through by the website itself. Just make sure to carefully follow the steps and encode the correct information to avoid hassle.
- The DFA website will prompt you to print your confirmed appointment and duly accomplished passport application forms at the end of the online scheduling process. When you see this, it means that you have successfully made an appointment at DFA.
On the Day of your Passport Appointment:
- Be sure to bring the printed copy of your confirmed appointment and application form.
- Bring all the original and xerox copies of the acceptable documentary requirements for your passport application.
- Be at your designated passport application branch at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- Ask the guard-on-duty for instructions and assistance where to wait or fall in line in case you arrived early.
- In DFA SM Megamall, no escorts are allowed inside the building. Only persons with confirmed appointment will be allowed to enter the premise.
There are 3 Mandatory Sections that you will need to go through when you apply for a passport. Since N is already 2 years old, we were not allowed to use the courtesy lane anymore. DFA SM Megamall has courtesy lane though for Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability (PWDs), Pregnant Women, and Infants.
Mommy Power Tip: I suggest if you want to make your life easier, the younger your child to apply for a passport, the better since you can avail of the express/courtesy lane.
- From the entrance door, you will see this labeled as “Step A,” also known as the Verification stage. It is the first counter that you will encounter and in here, you need to show your printed appointment and duly accomplished passport application forms.
- The Passporting Officer will scan the bar code found in your application form to check if you indeed have an appointment with them.
- After successfully passing through the Verification process, you need to get a Priority Number from a DFA machine. Please don’t lose this priority number because you will need this for the whole passport application process.
- As soon as you get your priority number, find a seat, keep an eye on that DFA screen/monitor and wait for your priority number to be called.
- When you see your number flashed on the screen, approach the corresponding counter that will process the documents that you brought.
- When you successfully passed Step B (Processing), you will be given an invoice and you will be directed to Step C — Cashier.
In my experience, though the line is long, this is the fastest step when applying for a passport. Just hold on to your requirements, invoice and your passport application fee.
New Passport Application Fee:
- Regular Processing (15 working days): PhP950.00
- Express / Rush (7 working days): PhP1,200.00
For the rest of the applicable fees, please read, DFA Passport Application Fees
After paying for your application, the guard-on-duty will look for your priority number and be ready to hand it to him quickly. He will encode your priority number in the system for you to be included in the queue or waiting list for the next step — Encoding.
- You will be directed to another waiting area for Encoding or Step D. It is the most exciting processing part because in here, your photo will be taken along with your biometric (thumbmark).
- You have plenty of time to brush your hair, put on a little face powder so you won’t look oily in your passport photo.
- Please be reminded that you also need to remove some pieces of jewelry like earrings and necklace.
*Courier / Delivery
This section of your DFA Passport Application is optional.
If you want to save yourself from going back to your branch, you might want to avail of their convenient Passport Delivery straight to your home for only PhP120.00 per applicant.
I availed of this and I was informed that our passports will reach us 1-2 days after DFA’s release of our passports. I noticed that they use LBC as their courier service provider.
In case of delay, we can go for Passport Delivery Follow-up. We can reach them at DFAMPC-LBC Hotline (02) 567-1111 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
DFA Passport Application Additional Tips / Information:
Heads up, military families! If you or your spouse is a military personnel or a government employee, you can avail of the courtesy lane at DFA ASEANA only.
- No need to set an online appointment because you can go straight to the DFA office located at ASEANA Business Park, Bradco Avenue, Macapagal Boulevard, Paranaque City. DFA ASEANA will welcome walk-in applicants in this category in the morning.
- When availing of the courtesy lane, government Employees including military personnel can also tag along their immediate family members: parents, single children, and legal spouse.
- On top of all the DFA Documentary Requirements, a government employee must present his or her government company ID to avail of this courtesy lane.
In general, our experience in applying for our passports at DFA wasn’t that bad. We started at 3:30PM and ended about 5:30PM, including the booking for passport delivery.
I only have one suggestion to make and that is, I hope DFA SM Megamall would post something about the importance of not losing the priority number somewhere near the machine for everyone to note. I observed that a lot of people are going crazy right after Step B because they couldn’t seem to find or have already lost their priority number.
I hope you find this post helpful, in case I miss something, please feel free to ask questions below, or if you’ve got a nice tip to share, you can use the comment box below to voice it out. I also hope that you learned a thing or two when you go out and apply a passport with your family! ♥
Update: We received our passport in 15 days as promised.
For more information, please go to DFA Passport Official Website: http://passport.com.ph/