Today, I got my new passport. It smells gooood! My old one will expire in May and I have an upcoming trip so I needed to go ASAP to DFA to get it renewed.
The passport renewal process at DFA is so different from way back in 2008, when I visited the main DFA office in Pasay. So many huge improvements. Talk about strides!
The passport renewal process has improved so much:
- Faster and more efficient
- No friggin’ fixers!
Yay for correctly using taxpayer money!
Below are the steps to securing an appointment for passport renewal at DFA SM Megamall. Please note that the process and requirements will be slightly different for new passport applications:
2. Click “Set an appointment” from the left menu.
3. Choose your DFA location. Note that this online process is only applicable to these DFA offices.
4. Input the 2 words in the reCaptcha area near the bottom of your screen.
5. Click on “Start individual appointment process”.
6. Fill in your details correctly then click “Submit”
7. The next page will show you the documents that you need to bring with you on your appointment. Take note of these and click “Continue” at the bottom.
8. Choose an appointment date and time. You need to click on the calendar until you find a date with available slots. The screen will show which schedules are available. Select one.
9. After submission, you will get a confirmation screen like the below:
You need to click the link in the DFa confirmation email to finalise your appointment. Print your DFA form on long bond paper.
After that, you just have to wait for your appointment date and head to DFA Megamall with your documentary requirements (including photocopies) and printed appointment confirmation. Note that you do not need to bring passport pictures.
On the day of your appointment, make sure that you are at SM Megamall at least 30 minutes before your schedule.
Step A: Verification – present your printed appointment form to the desk labeled Step A. The officer will scan the bar code on your form and will instruct you to get a number from a ticket machine and to proceed to the Processing Section.
Step B: Processing – This section is a big air conditioned room with several rows of seats. Pick a spot and wait for your number to be flashed on the screen. In the meantime, watch whatever show they have on the TV. When I was there, they had this Indian show on. I don’t know why.
If, while waiting, you realize you forgot to photocopy your documents or you need to have something notarized, don’t worry. They have a photocopy and notary area at the back.
When it’s your turn, present your old passport and documents to the officer, who will then check for completeness and validity.
I had to wait for more than 15 minutes because there were only 3 people behind the windows. It was Friday, maybe everyone else went on an extended lunch hour.
The officer only made a cursory check of my docs and in less than 5 minutes, I was out of there and headed to the cashier.
Step C: Payment – This is probably the fastest step. Pay Php 950 for regular processing (15 working days) or Php 1,200 for express processing (7 working days).
Step D: Encoding – After paying, you need to wait again at the Encoding area, which is a room as large as the Processing area. At the encoding desk, the officer will input your details into the computer and you need to verify it before you electronically sign. He/she will also take your picture. Take note that your ears must not be hidden and your hair should be swept away from your forehead. You will also be instructed to remove large pieces of jewelry that may be seen in the photograph. You may smile but don’t show your teeth.
Just a personal opinion…the people in this section are the least nice. Some of them are very crabby. Not unlike those encoding people from back in 2008.
This is the last step if you are coming back to personally pick up your passport. If otherwise, head over to the Courier section.
Step E: Courier – line up and present your courier slip and pay P120 for delivery. The lady at the counter was really courteous. Even if she probably does this every single day, she makes it a point to politely explain the delivery schedule to you. If only the people at the Encoding section were as nice as her
That’s it! All you have to do is sit pretty at home and wait for your nice smelling passport.
While waiting, why not…Google some new places to visit? It only makes sense to fill up your new passport with stamps and visas.