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
- Go to the official DFA https://www.passport.gov.ph/ website. Just read the instructions–it’s all pretty clear and straightforward.
- 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.
- Fill up online application form. Provide your personal information and contact details.
- 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.
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.
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)
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.
When Filipinos think of trips abroad, we usually think of Hong Kong, Singapore or Thailand first. We don’t normally think Taiwan for tourism, but let me tell you: it’s worth skipping the mainstream tourist destinations and try Taipei for a change.
Cebu Pacific is offering more Manila-Taipei flights and a Cebu-Taipei route starting this December 2015! No excuse to skip Taipei now, it’s a totally underrated and beautiful country. A foodie will die happy in Taiwan– the country is best known for its gluttony (I’ll get to this on a future blog post).
To get to Taiwan, Philippine Passport Holders need a Taiwan visa. I was able to bypass application for a Taiwan visa because I was eligible for visa exemption!
I. What is a Travel Exemption Certificate?
You can get a visa-free entry to Taiwan by availing of the ROC Travel Authorization certificate, which allows you to bypass the need for a Taiwan visa. The visa exemption allows travelers to stay in Taiwan for up to 30 days.
The certificate has to be printed out and presented by the foreign visitor upon immigration inspection, along with other requirements ready for immigration inspection. Failure to present the valid documents will not be admitted into Taiwan.
If you are not eligible for visa exemption, refer to my post on How to Apply for Taiwan Visa for Philippine Passport Holders.
- Valid Philippine Passport. Nationals of the Philippines, India, Thailand and Vietnam can apply for the visa exemption if they meet all said requirements
- Valid visa or a permanent resident certificate to the following countries: US, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Schengen countries.
- Online Application form to be filled out here.
III. Waiting Period
What do you mean, waiting period? You immediately get your travel certificate after filling out the online form, in 5 seconds (or, depends on your internet connection)! It is then ready to print out and use for your travels.
IV. Other Important Reminders
- Print out your visa exemption certificate, and in color.
- Expiry of the visa exemption certificate is only valid for one month after application’s approval. Online application and approval is instant, so you can do it a few days before your trip. I applied mine a few months back only to realize during my packing that my exemption certificate has expired. I had to reapply for it a day before my trip–I instantly received it without any problems.
- Make sure to bring your valid US/UK/Schengen visa to present to immigration. I normally only bring my most recent passport, but since my 10-year US tourist visa is in my old green passport, I brought that along as well.
- A single entry visa becomes invalid once it’s already been used. However, it may be deemed acceptable to immigration inspection if: 1., visa holder arrives in Taiwan before the expiration date, and 2., if on the same continuing journey, the visa holder uses it on the issuing country before arriving Taiwan.