It’s the brr months once again, the most popular months to travel within and outside the country for a family holiday, honeymoon or for the happily single, a great time to get to know oneself - or to meet that most elusive fish.
If you are traveling outside the country, you will need a passport. Some countries require visitors to get a visa.
I hope these tips help you get your Machine Readable Passport really fast.
TIP No. 1: APPLY FOR A PASSPORT WELL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. Plan your trip well. A passport takes 7 working days to process.
(A visa, if necessary to enter the country you want to visit, also takes time to process. Some countries do not require a visa if the stay is less than 21 days. For more info, you may call your travel agent or the Visa Section of DFA or call the Consular Information Center at 556-0000.)
TIP No. 2: GET A PASSPORT BEFORE YOU GET YOUR TICKET. Having a ticket does not guaranty that you will get your passport in time for your flight.
Tip No. 3: USE THE DFA APPOINTMENT SYSTEM. All you need to do is log onto our website www.dfa.gov.ph. Key in the information required and we will block off an appointment schedule for you- no extra charge! Print out the email we will send you and bring it to DFA on the day of your scheduled appointment.
If you would rather walk in, you can also set an appointment at our Appointment Desk during office hours.
Tip No. 4: BRING THE RIGHT PASSPORT PHOTO. The right passport photo is the one that complies with DFA standards and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations for Machine Readable Passports.
Basically, it’s your usual passport photo but instead of a white background, it has a royal blue background. As much as possible, your beautiful ears should be visible but please do not prop them up to make them visible if they really lie flat on your head. The ideal photo should be as close to your real image as possible. No reflection from earrings, glasses or shiny faces.
Don’t forget there should be enough room for cropping. For more info go to ww.dfa.gov.ph.
Tip No. 5: FILL OUT YOUR APPLICATION FORM PROPERLY. We need all these details to determine your citizenship, status, and
personal details. Don’t worry, your records are kept confidentially
unless there is a court order or with your consent. Just in case something happens to you abroad, we have full details on how to contact your next of kin.
Tip No. 6: BRING ALL THE ORIGINALS AND PHOTOCOPIES OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS. The basic source document is your Birth Certificate - the one in Security Paper from the National Statistics Office. If what you have is a Certified True Copy of your Birth Certificate issued by your Local Civil Registrar, you need to go to NSO to have it authenticated. You also need to bring all your documents of identity.
If you are renewing your passport, you need to bring your passport and photocopy of the 1st page, the last page and if you used your passport, the photocopy of the page on which the Bureau of Immigration Departure and Arrival Stamps appear. We will just invalidate your old passport and return it to you.
Tip No. 7: CHECK YOUR NSO BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Make sure your NSO Birth Certificate can be read and has all the information such as your correct first, middle and last name, date of birth, and place of birth. This is really your official name. We can not change it. If you want another name, you have to go to Court to have it changed or your Local Civil Registry to have it changed as the case may be. If your NSO Birth Certificate is not readable, please request the Local Civil Registry for a transcribed copy.
For married women, don’t forget your NSO Marriage Certificate in Security Paper.
Tip No. 8: COME ON TIME FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT. If you arrive late, you will need to set another appointment.
Tip No. 9: HAVE YOUR PASSPORT DELIVERED SO THAT YOU DONT HAVE TO COME BACK. This is an option available to you. If I were you, I would avail of it. It really is value for your money.
Tip No. 10: TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR PASSPORT. A passport is not only a travel document, it is a symbol of our country and a good proof of your citizenship. If you lose your passport, you have to start all over again plus pay a penalty and wait for fifteen days until we could write all the authorities and countries to report your lost passport.
So, when you have that birth certificate and all your documents of identity, set that appointment immediately and get your new Machine Readable Passport!
HAVE A SAFE TRIP!