Here’s our updated step-by-step guide to NEW Philippine passport application, with list of DFA requirements and tips to secure a DFA APPOINTMENT easily. Again, this is for NEW applications (first time applications). For passport renewal, read: PASSPORT RENEWAL PROCESS.
Every international journey begins with a passport. It’s the most important document you need when traveling abroad. Fortunately, while it is often difficult to get an appointment, the application process in general is simple and not complicated at all. Here’s how to apply for a passport!
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
PHILIPPINE PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
- Confirmed online appointment. I’ll be explaining the process in detail below.
- Accomplished application form. Often, the application form is to be filled out online. When trying to schedule an appointment, you will be asked to complete the application form, which you can print out after payment confirmation. But if for whatever reason you need a blank copy (i.e. those who will use the courtesy lane), you’ll find a PDF file here. Print it out on A4 paper.
- Birth certificate. PSA-authenticated. Original copy, printed on PSA security paper.
- Valid ID. Original copy and photocopy. Here are the accepted IDs.
– SSS/GSIS Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID)
– LTO Driver’s license
– Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) ID
– OWWA or iDOLE card
– Voter’s ID or Voter’s Certification from the Officer of Election with Dry Seal
– PNP Firearms License
– Senior Citizen ID (if senior)
– School ID (if student)
Here are some additional documents you might need:
- If you’re a married female using your spouse’s last name, an original copy of Marriage Contract. Must be PSA-authenticated and printed on security paper.
- If the PSA Birth Certificate is not clear, a copy from the Local Civil Registrar.
For specific cases like those who are late registered, have no birth certificate, are naturalized Filipinos, or are dual citizens, additional documents are required. For a more accurate list, visit the DFA consular website.
Please note that the above list is for applicants of legal age. There is a separate list of requirements for minors.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A PASSPORT
1. Schedule an appointment online.
The first thing you should do is set an appointment. Do it early. Don’t apply a month before your target travel date. Because of the volume of applications, the schedule that they might give you is way too far away. For example, if you apply online in early July, they might give you a slot in late August (if you’re lucky) or September.
- Go to the DFA Appointment System website.
- Choose whether you want to start an INDIVIDUAL appointment or a GROUP appointment. Don’t forget to tick the box saying that you have understood the terms.
- Select a DFA office. Ideally, choose the site that is most convenient for you. Don’t think about whether or not they have slots yet. Just choose one. You’ll be able to change it and scan other sites later on. Click next.
- Pick a date and time. You’ll be shown a calendar. The earliest open date is displayed on top of it. The dates in green are up for grabs. Those in red are full.
Now here’s the tricky part. It might be hard to see empty slots. You can try other sites or come back later. The DFA has done measures to improve the system, of course, but it can still be tough. Here are some tips:
- Keep refreshing. Just because you don’t see an open slot now doesn’t mean there are no slots forever. The system refreshes regularly. Slots that were held for applicants who failed to pay in time open up eventually.
- Try searching at around 12nn and 9pm. Slots are usually made available at these times, Mondays to Saturdays except holidays.
- Search other sites. In Manila, there are six sites: DFA Central (ASEANA), DFA NCR East (Megamall), DFA NCR North (Robinsons Novaliches), DFA NCR Northeast (Alimall), DFA NCR South (Alabang), and DFA NCR West (SM Manila). If you’re really desperate, you can also try regional offices.
- Be decisive. Slots can go away in an instant. You might be eyeing a date one minute, but it’s gone the next. When you see an open slot and you like it, take it fast. Morning slots are usually the last to fill.
- Make sure you have reliable internet connection. Because the slots will not wait for your page to load. They can disappear fast.
Once you have chosen a slot, the system will reserve it for you for 15 minutes only so make sure you finish the next steps quickly!
Note: Online appointment is FREE. What you’re paying for isn’t the appointment but the passport processing fee.
2. Accomplish the online application form.
You will be automatically taken to the online application form, which has four pages:
- Personal information. Your name, birth date, contact details, etc.
- Family information. Your parents’ and spouse’s names and citizenship.
- Application information. Your application type, citizenship, and emergency contact person’s contact number.
- Contact information. Your home and office addresses and numbers.
Again, the system will reserve your chosen slot for only 15 minutes so you have to fill out the form fast. Make sure you have the information you need ready before choosing a schedule so you can enter them quickly.
IMPORTANT: When entering an email address, use your free Gmail account. The system seems to be incompatible with custom addresses (even if it’s also Gmail). I first tried using my business email but I did not receive any email (which should contain the reference number). It was not in my Spam folder either. I couldn’t pay for it or cancel without it. I had to wait 24 hours for that schedule to expire so I could try to schedule again. I used my Gmail account and got the email finally. I dunno what the issue is exactly, but that’s the only thing I did differently this time around was change the email address, so that might be it.
You will be asked to review all the information you entered. Make sure everything’s right and then submit the form.
3. Pay the processing fee.
After submitting the form, you will be automatically directed to the Payment segment of the process.
You’ll be asked whether you want regular processing or express processing.
- Regular Processing. 10-15 days in Manila. P950.
- Express Processing. 5-7 days in Manila. P1200.
They say that the processing time in the regional offices are much longer (20-30 working days), but I haven’t confirmed that yet.
Here’s how to proceed:
- Choose regular or express processing.
- Click on PAY NOW.
- A pop up will appear, tick the “I agree” box, and click PROCEED TO PAYMENT.
- You will be led to the PAYMENT page. It will display a list of your payment options, some reminders, and the total amount that you need to settle. Usually, a convenience fee of P50 per person is added to the processing fee. Click on PROCEED.
- Check your email. You should receive an email containing your Payment Reference Number and payment instructions. Take note of that reference number.
- Pay for the total amount. You have 24 hours to settle it. You will need the reference number and the exact total amount.
- Check your email again. You should receive an appointment confirmation. Attached to that email is a PDF file containing three things: reminders, your application form, and the receipt. Print them all out on an A4 paper.
When paying, please take note of the following:
- Pay in CASH only.
- Pay the exact amount. If it’s not the exact amount, the payment will either be forfeited or not processed.
- One transaction per reference number only. If you make a mistake, don’t try to pay again using the same reference number. Contact the DFA helpdesk immediately at (02) 234 3488.
I paid via 7-Eleven, using one of their electronic machines. I just chose bills payment and searched for DFA, entered the reference number and total amount (including the P50 convenience fee), printed out a slip, and headed for the cashier. Easy breezy beautiful, covergirl. Char.
Now, you just need to wait for your appointment.
4. Show up at your chosen DFA Office for your appointment date.
Of course, make sure you have all the requirements with you, including the printed out application form and appointment receipt.
Here are other important things you must remember:
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. Latecomers are not entertained.
- Bring the original copy and a photocopy of the requirements.
- Look your best. Haha. You will be taken a photo for your passport. That photo will be with you for 10 years! But don’t apply too much makeup.
- Come in proper attire. In order to ensure entry to countries with stricter dress code, arrive in decent clothing. The following are prohibited: plunging necklines, spaghetti straps, sleeveless tops, sando, tube tops, see-through tops, halters. Eyeglasses, contact lenses and jewelry pieces must be removed.
- The “No Escort” policy is in effect. Companions are not allowed to enter the DFA premises unless when the applicant is a minor.
The process inside the office is smooth. Just follow the signs inside and you’ll be fine. I applied at the DFA ASEANA office. My appointment was at 7:30am. I arrived at 7am. After entering the DFA complex, I fell in line four times:
- Stop 1: Document verification. This is where they’ll check if you really have an appointment and if you have complete requirements. Most applicants forget to bring a photocopy of their old passport (renewal) or valid ID (new application).
- Step 2: Processing. Here, they will check your requirements and tell you the tentative date of release. Some offices provide claims stubs. Some just write down or stamp the claim date on the receipt.
- Step 3: Data encoding and biometrics. Here, they will encode your name, birth date and other details. You’ll be asked to confirm that every bit of information is correct, so pay attention to spellings and other details. Your photograph, digital signature, and fingerprints will be taken here too. When you’re done, that’s it.
- Step 4: Delivery. If you want your passport to be delivered, you will need to queue again and sign up. Delivery fee is P150. They will take the application receipt and give you their own delivery receipt.
If you don’t want to avail of the delivery service, you can skip Step 4 and just go home. Return to the site on the date of release to claim your brand new passport.
The whole thing took less than 1 hour.
Note: If applying at ASEANA office, some touts will tell you that you need a long brown envelope or that you need a pen inside for you to purchase from them. Don’t believe them. They don’t require an envelope. If you accomplished the form online, you won’t even need a pen to write down anything.
Tip! Signal reception within the DFA vicinity is BAD. (They might be using a jammer or something, haha.) If you’re using Grab to book a taxi or car, go to the nearby Petron Station.
5. Claim your passport.
Return to the DFA office on the date given to you when you applied. Proceed to the Releasing window and show your receipt.
Before leaving the counter, make sure all the details on your passport is correct. Pay extra attention to the spelling of your name and birth date, so you can easily raise concerns while you’re there.
If you can’t claim the passport yourself, you can authorize an immediate family member to pick it up for you. Keyword is IMMEDIATE. Only a parent, brother, sister, husband, wife, or child of legal age is allowed to claim it for you. They need to bring the following:
- authorization letter
- original receipt
- applicant’s valid ID (original and photocopy)
- representative’s valid ID (original and photocopy)
If the person who will claim isn’t an immediate family member, they will need to bring the following:
- a Special Power of Attorney.
- original receipt
- applicant’s valid ID (original and photocopy)
- representative’s valid ID (original and photocopy)
If you signed up for the delivery service, expect your passport to arrive 2 days after the date of release of the passport.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Is personal appearance required?
Yes. All applicants MUST show up at the DFA office because your photograph, signature, and biometrics will be taken.
Does everyone need to get an appointment before applying?
No. There are some exceptions. The following are exempted and can apply without appointment by using the courtesy lane.
- Senior citizen and 1 companion. Companion must be an immediate family member. Otherwise, companion must show proof of travel arrangements with the senior (plane ticket or hotel booking showing they’re traveling together).
- Person with disability and 1 companion. Companion must be an immediate family member. Otherwise, companion must show proof of travel arrangements (plane ticket or hotel booking showing they’re traveling together).
- Pregnant woman. If pregnancy is not visible yet, medical certificate or records must be presented.
- Minor 7 years old or below, plus their parents and minor siblings
- Solo parent and their minor child. Valid solo parent card must be presented.
- OFW (both land-based and sea-farers). Must present any of the following: valid iDOLE card, work visa, employment contract, or seaman’s book stamped at international border less than 365 days from date of application.
If you’re eligible, just head straight to the Courtesy Lane or OFW Lane at the DFA office.
Can I apply in the province even if I don’t live there?
Yes, you can. Just make sure you have an appointment. Take note also of the processing days, which may be different and will be displayed when you reach the payment part of the online appointment process.
I made a mistake or misspelled something on the form, can I change it?
The bad news is, no, you can’t change it online.
The good news is, you will have a chance to correct it at the DFA office. When you show up for your appointment at the DFA office, you’ll be asked to double check information on the form to proceed with the application. Raise it and have it corrected there and then.
I didn’t receive an email when I secured an appointment. I don’t have a reference number. What can I do?
First, check your Spam or Junk folder. If it’s still not there after waiting a while, call the DFA hotline: (02) 556-0000.
This happened to me. The system seems to be incompatible with custom addresses (even if it’s also Gmail). I first tried using my business email but I did not receive any email (which should contain the reference number). It was not in my Spam folder either. When I called the hotline, they were not open because it’s the weekend.
I couldn’t pay for it or cancel without it. I had to wait 24 hours for that schedule to expire so I could try to schedule again. I used my Gmail account and got the email finally. I dunno what the issue is exactly, but that’s the only thing I did differently this time around was change the email address, so that might be it.
Can I reserve multiple appointment slots for myself?
No. Even when you try again, the system will prompt an error telling you that you have an existing application and you must cancel that first to reserve another.
Can I change my appointment schedule?
Yes. Just visit this page, click on View Appointment, and enter your email address and reference number.
Once logged in, click on RESCHEDULE.
I can’t make it on my appointment time. What should I do?
You can either reschedule or cancel your appointment at least 3 working days before your schedule. Otherwise, you will be penalized by the system.
I didn’t make it to my appointment schedule. What should I do?
Nothing. All you can do is wait for 30 days to make another appointment. “No show” applicants are barred for making another appointment for 30 days to discourage non-appearance.
How long does the application process at the DFA take?
One hour. Based on my experience, the whole process took less than one hour from the time they let us in for STEP 1 up to signing up for delivery service.
How many days does the passport processing take?
On my most recent application, my appointment was September 11. I was told to return on September 20 to claim the new passport. That’s 9 calendar days.
If you’re availing of the delivery service, add 2 more days.
I’m applying for a DSWD Clearance, a visa and a passport for the child. What should I work on first?
The DSWD Clearance first. You can’t apply for a passport for a minor without the DSWD Clearance.
Then work on the passport because you can’t apply for a visa without the passport.
In summary: DSWD Clearance, then Passport, then Visa.
I don’t have a Voter’s ID and the COMELEC Office said they don’t issue Voter’s ID anymore. What can I do?
Yes, it’s true that local COMELEC Offices no longer issue Voter’s ID. I just tried getting one and that’s what the staff told me.
What you can do instead is get a Voter’s Certification from the Officer of Election instead. Make sure it has a dry seal.
Where can I find more info about Passport Application?
Although we try to try to update this post regularly, it would still be best to visit the DFA website or call their office to make sure that there are no changes to this list of requirements..