How to Apply for your Philippine Passport Online in Cebu

Good news: we aren’t so archaic anymore–you can now apply for your Philippine passport online! Passport application is now made faster and more convenient for everyone. I was never a morning person, nor am I the most patient human being–so this is very good news for me! Horray–no more long queues at midnight!

I. How to Apply Online

  1. Go to the official DFA https://www.passport.gov.ph/ website. Just read the instructions–it’s all pretty clear and straightforward.
  2. Choose a schedule. Go to this link and select whether it is an individual or a group appointment. Afterwards you will need to fill in the DFA Office location, date and time for your appointment.
  3. Fill up online application form. Provide your personal information and contact details.
  4. Once this is done, simply download the accomplished form (it will be sent to you in PDF format) and print out in an A4-sized paper. Bring this along with your other requirements on your scheduled appointment.

II. Requirements

Bring the following on your DFA appointment.

  • Printout of your accomplished application form in an A4 sized paper
  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • valid Picture IDs and supporting documents to support identity (e.g., driver’s license, voter’s ID, SSS ID, etc.) – refer to list of accepted IDs and supporting documents here
  • For passport renewal applicants, don’t forget your most recent expiring or expired passport.

There may be additional requirements for other applicants such as for muslims, minors, etc. For complete information on passport requirements, you can read about it here.

III. Appointment

Yes, after the online application you still have to make an appearance to the DFA office to submit requirements and have your biometrics taken. If you apply online you can skip the queues and just show up during the appointed time.

Starting next month, walk-in applicants will not be welcomed and all applications will have to be made online. Only the following will be allowed as walk-in applicants: military personnel and family, senior citizens, PWD, pregnant women, infants and children 7 years old and below.

(If you would like to know how I applied for my baby’s passport, read my blog post on How to Apply for your Baby’s Philippine Passport)epass-releasing-schedule

Passport fees are as follows:

Express Processing – 10 working days – Php 1,000
Normal Processing – 20 working days – Php 950

(Fees and processing times vary from one DFA office to another!)

You can have your passport couriered to your address for an additional fee of Php 120.

IV. Additional Tips 

  • Come at least thirty minutes before your scheduled appointment. No time for Filipino time!
  • Failure to show up on your scheduled appointment means that you will not be allowed to book another appointment online for the next 30 days.
  • Boycott fixers. It is illegal. Period.

Sample Travel Documents

I am probably aiding in driving travel agencies out of business–but I sincerely believe that applications should be done quick and easy so applicants can do on their own. I get asked a lot how I craft my written letters for travel document requirements, and to be honest I also just refer to my parent’s previous letters as well as sample letters online.

To make it easier for my readers, here are sample travel documents that you can craft and revise for your own applications. As long as you use the letters for personal applications and not for business purposes, you are free to use them. Don’t forget to thank me 🙂

1. Sample Letter of Introduction to the Embassy or Consulate

This is a requirement for Schengen visa applications for most embassies. It must state your travel dates, intention to travel, submitted documents and travel companions. Here is a Sample Cover Letter that can be applied on all EU embassies, and my Letter to the French Consulate to the French Embassy attached.

2. Sample Itinerary

A planned itinerary is a requirement for all tourist applications for whatever country. The itinerary is a supporting document that you are really traveling to the said country for tourism purposes. The following are sample itinerary you can revise to fit your own trip:

3. Letter of Authorization

Being based in Cebu, I often have to fly to Manila to acquire visas (US and most EU countries). I can’t afford to fly back to receive my passport, so I often have to ask someone else to collect it for me. You will need a Letter of Authorization, photocopy of your two valid IDs, two valid IDs of the authorized person, and sometimes the official receipt of your visa processing fee. Here is a sample of Letter of Authorization.

I’ll continue updating this page for more sample travel documents and requirements I will encounter in the future to help you with your applications. In the meantime, I hope my sample letters helped!

How to Apply for your Baby’s Philippine Passport

At some point, a mother will start to worry about applying for their child’s passport. Maybe you needed to see family or friends abroad. Or maybe you just want to take your little one to Disneyland! Summer is around the corner and travel is the best experience you can give to your child. I got my baby’s passport when he was barely two months old so that he can visit family abroad.

caleb at 5 months old, macau to cebu flight

By the way, I applied for his passport more than a year ago so my memory is kinda foggy on details. I do remember that it was quick and easy though–I remember being in the DFA center and leaving for only 30 minutes! I am surprised that the Philippine agency is very baby-friendly and convenient.

Starting this July 2016, the only walk-in applicants allowed will be infants, PWD, senior citizens and pregnant women. Other applicants will have to apply and book an appointment online. To find out, read my blog post on How to Apply for a Philippine Passport Online.

I. Requirements

  • Personal Appearance – you’ll need to bring your baby to DFA as applicant. Either of the parent must also be present (if legitimate) or the mother (if illegitimate).
  • You don’t need a confirmed appointment – minors ages below 7, senior citizens, pregnant women and handicapped can come right in and go to the courtesy lane.
  • Birth Certificate – an original NSO birth certificate will suffice. When I applied, Caleb’s NSO birth certificate wasn’t available in NSO yet (him being born a month or so ago). I had to bring his original birth certificate and had it certified at the Local Civil Registrar.
Local Civil Registrar in Cebu City
Local Civil Registrar in Cebu City
  •  NSO Marriage Certificate of Parents (if married)

    – If the parents are married, minor applicant will need a parent’s consent letter from both parents. If the parents are not married, minor applicant will only need a consent from the responsible parent (usually the mother).

  • Original and photocopy of passport of the person traveling with the minor.

– Original passport and copy of either parent will do or of mother (if illegitimate).

  • Notarized Affidavit of Support and Consent to Travel

– You will need a notarized affidavit from both parents (if legitimate) or mother (if illegitimate). I had the  notarized by my good lawyer friend Atty. Janjan Perez.

Additional Requirements:

  • If the child or minor applicant is not traveling with both his parents, you will need additional requirements:
    • Travel clearance form issued by DSWD. Original and photocopy will be required (blog post to follow on how to secure this)
      • Note that minors will not need to acquire the DSWD clearance if parents are living abroad or are immigrants, or in the Foreign service. Proof needs to be provided that parent/s are living abroad.
    • Affidavit of Support and Consent by either parent (mother, if illegitimate)
    • Passport copy of the person the child will be traveling with.

II. Appointment

DFA in Cebu is located at the 4th Level, Pacific Mall – Metro Mandaue, U.N. Avenue, Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.

Pacific Mall – Metro Mandaue

Since Caleb was still an infant, he didn’t need a scheduled appointment. The perks of being a baby mean that you can bypass the long queues of disgruntled applicants through the Courtesy Lane. It won’t save you from their dagger looks, but cut them some slack for they’ve probably been queuing up since 4am. The courtesy lane accepts babies, senior citizens, pregnant women and handicapped applicants. I haven’t tried this (but I have thought of it), you can push it even further and try to apply for your child’s and your passport renewal. (hehe)

Step 1: Make sure to come to DFA with all the documents complete and organized to make the passport application process swift and hassle-free. Bring original copies and photocopies of all required paperwork. Once you enter, the guard will give you an application form you need to fill up. Just wait inside for a few minutes and once you’re up, submit your documents and form to the official assigned who will review them and make sure documents are in order.

passport-philippine-infant-toddler
Isn’t he big for a one-month-something old?
philippine-passport-cebu-pacific-mall-baby
Big and strong too! 🙂

Step 2: Line up to give payment at the cashier. It’s Php 950 for regular processing and Php 1,200 for 7 days express processing. As of writing, express processing is temporarily ceased and the regular processing takes a minimum 6 weeks. Waiting times will be much shorter and you will be directed to pay at the courtesy lane. After you’re done with payment, you will be given a number and directed to another room where the applicant’s picture will be taken.

Step 3: Picture-taking time. Process is again fast and painless as there were probably 30 or so counters in front–in a few minutes, we were asked to go to a counter to have baby’s picture taken. Being only two months old, he could not sit up on his own yet so he had to be laid down in the table in a blanket. If you’re worried about hygiene issues, you can bring your own light blue blanket.

Picture-taking took a longer time than expected. The applicant had to be looking at the camera with eyes open. That’s not exactly easy for an infant to do (especially if he’s sleepy or hungry!)–so the person in charge had to take several pictures and sighed in frustration.

We finally got Caleb to look at the camera after a dozen attempts. It wasn’t a very flattering photo (he looked like a mochi!) and wanted the staff to try again… but the guy didn’t want to be bothered. We left DFA roughly thirty minutes when we came in–I honestly didn’t expect it would be that easy!

Step 4: Waiting time. I didn’t opt for the delivery service so I came back to DFA exactly 6 weeks after application. I got it as promised. Thank you DFA for a swift and easy process for the little ones!

Doesn't he look like a mochi?
Doesn’t he look like a mochi?