Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Philippine Passport Renewal and Application: Hell's Queue!

Queue on the First Floor of the DFA Office
It was the 6th of July 2010 when I made that trip to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) along Gloria Macapagal Avenue near SM Mall of Asia, husband and daughter in tow. Instead of having our passports renewed through an agency, we decided to do it ourselves. We spent a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes in the DFA spending nearly half of that time standing. Whether it was a good decision or not is for YOU to conclude :)

Nowadays, it no longer makes sense to course your Philippine passport renewal or passport application through agencies or third parties. Why? That is because the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) requires a personal appearance. Yes, that means you need to bring your children with you if you want them to renew their passports or apply for new ones. Interestingly though, the guards will NOT let any minor or adult enter the premises if they are just accompanying the person needing a passport renewal or application.

Actual Image Capturing on the Second Floor

From my personal experience, I could tell you that setting up the appointment and gathering those required documents are easy. You will find these instructions listed in an easy-to-follow guide below. The only CHALLENGE - a gross understatement - is the day you set afoot the DFA premises on the day of your appointment.

How to Set Your Appointment for Passport Renewal or Application in the Philippines

You have two options to set your appointment. First, you can call the DFA Appointment System hotline at (02) 737-1000. A customer care officer will ask for your personal information in order to set your date and time of appointment. He or she will provide you with a reference number in relation to this appointment schedule. You will be advised to bring the document requirements that relate to either passport renewal or application. After this step, you will need a computer with internet connection to print your form.

If you already have  computer and internet connection, it would be more convenient to log on to the DFA Appointment Website ( and fill in the required personal information for either passport renewal or application. Choose available dates and times for your appointment. Confirmation will be send via email with a link to print your application form. As an important reminder, DO NOT affix your signatures on the application forms.

Make sure you block out the WHOLE day on the set appointment schedule. Regardless of appointment time, you may enter the DFA facility as early as it opens. The truth of the matter is:  they do not follow those time appointments! Hence, my six-hour horror experience! The only consolation you will have is that they will process all passport applications and renewals scheduled on THAT day, even if it means they end work at 9 pm.

This is just roughly two percent of the total people on the second floor.

Helpful Suggestions on the Day of your Passport Appointment

  • Bring the printed application form WITHOUT affixing your signature.
  • Bring all document requirements, including photocopies of your passport’s amendments, first page, and last page.
  • Process applications for more than one person. This allows the other person to queue on the second floor (which are for passport fees, courier charges, and actual image capturing) while the other is in queue on the first for (which is for document checking).

Passport fees for application and renewal amount to 950 pesos for 20 working days release and 1,200 pesos for 10 working days release. If, like me, you do not wish to experience another hell’s queue, you might as well add 150 pesos for passport delivery. I am happy to report that we received our passports one day ahead of schedule :) 

UPDATE:  (October 28, 2011)

I would like to happily report that when I applied for a replacement of my mutilated passport (which also required a renewal) two weeks ago, it only took me 1 hour and 45 minutes, which included the personal interview.  I booked my appointment through their landline hotline instead of online and they were able to schedule me earlier than usual. :)


  1. hi! how many days after you chose the date & time for appointment thru DFA appointment website did you receive the email with the link to the application form for renewal of passport? I had my passport renewed thru a travel agency 5 working days ago, but they still haven't sent me any emails on when's my scheduled appointment date. i'm having second thoughts of refunding what i've paid for them =(.. thanks =)

  2. Hello Pia,
    After choosing the date, you receive the email INSTANTLY. It is strange that your travel agency has not given you any word on the matter. :)
    I hope this helps.

  3. thanks! =) i hope they can get my money and old passport back and do all the scheduling by myself.

  4. Hi Pia,
    You are most welcome :D I also hope they will return that money.

  5. hi i just want to ask if there's a courtesy lane for minors because i will apply a passport for my 5 month old baby our appoinyment is nov 16, 2010

  6. Hello Irish,

    Sadly, there is NO courtesy lane for minors. :( It comes on a first come first serve basis.

  7. hello just wanna asked if i get a passport express can i get it after 24 hours?

  8. Hello. Nowadays, it is impossible to get passport within 24 hours. The expedite process already takes 10 working days. Sorry to give you the bad news. :(

  9. hello, i need your help i need to renew my passport this november 2010 is there available date.?

  10. Hi Anonymous,

    Sorry for replying so late. You can go to the DFA Appointment Website by clicking the above link "DFA Appointment Website". You can schedule your appointment there. You will know immediately what dates are available. However, it may be too late for this month :D

  11. Very interesting post. Lots of good information

  12. Hello Passport Renewals,

    Thank you for your encouraging comment :D It is always appreciated :D

  13. Thanks for the information regarding passport renewal. I need some more information regarding Nationality status verification form (form 12) in that 12.Period of stay abroad. what information I should fill. It will be helpful if this info is sent ASAP
    passport renewal

  14. Hi Alton,

    I am glad that the bits of information helped. Regarding nationality status verification forms, I am not particular about it. You may contact the help desk of the Department of Tourism via phone or email and ask :D

  15. hi! thank you for the useful information, however i would just want to know if there is still a courtesy lane for government employees? thank you very much in advance :D

  16. Hi,

    I have not been there in a long while. However, I do not think that there is a courtesy lane. I heard that there have been improvements in their services. :)

    Please call the hotline for more information :D

  17. rowena marie samaresApril 21, 2011 at 6:43 AM

    The DFA website for passport application/renewal is a big headache... i tried waking up early in the morning, sLeeping LAte and the time in between - its always retry/new/not available =(
    i ended up caLLing the DFA hotline to set an appointment.
    Its been a year since your blog was written, I hope there is some improvement in the system come june 22.

  18. Hello Rowena!

    I am sad to hear your experience. Yes, it has been eight months since I wrote the article. My friend said that although there has been an improvement, major changes still have to be made.

  19. Im so lucky that I only tried once to set an appointment on their website.
    It took you 6 hours for your passport application? my friend said its just 30mins to 45 mins..

  20. hi can u help? bec. a few days ago i set an appointment to renew my passport and changing my lastname bec im married now. and i want to use the last name of my husband. when i set an appointment cant see the date and time to just continuing the form that i need to fill up all. after that i finished to fill up the form and i click the submit box.. i thought after i finished to fill up the form i have something message come from the site. but nothing, then i looked at my email might they have message there from the site but still nothing.. i dont know if how many days or months i can wait na magreply or magsend sila sa email ko. im just worried might my appointment that i sent might getting trouble or they dont received that is why they wont reply.hope u help me.. ganun ba talaga ung process ng appointment? anyway hope na may sumagot saking tanong.. thank you!!

  21. Hello,

    Apologies for the late comment. If you did NOT receive any email notification or response, most likely your attempt to book your appointment was unsuccessful. In order to make sure, kindly call the hotline at 737-1000. Hope this helps!

  22. How eArly we can renew our Passport?

  23. Dear Cindy, before anything else, thanks for this service to help people who are into passport transaction with the government.

    You say:

    UPDATE: (October 28, 2011)

    "I would like to happily report that when I applied for a replacement of my mutilated passport (which also required a renewal) two weeks ago, it only took me 1 hour and 45 minutes, which included the personal interview. I booked my appointment through their landline hotline instead of online and they were able to schedule me earlier than usual. :)"

    I want to ask you about the interview step: is that after paying up all the fees or before paying up all the fees, so the procedure is like this:

    1. Submit documentary requirements,
    2. Interview (or pay up),
    3. Pay up (or interview).

    You see, if I have to pay up first before interview and the interviewing officer turns me down, or requires me to come back with more documentary requirements, that will be a hell of a trouble should I finally say to yourself, better call the whole business off and ask to get back my money, because from past experiences I have learned that once you hand over your money it will be almost impossible to get it back whether from family, friends, businesses, or and specially government offices.

    I am thinking of getting a passport for the first time because my son working abroad is asking me to visit him.


  24. I apologize for the late replies. The procedure is simple. Renewals do not require personal interviews especially if you are just renewing your passport. The good news is that there is also a DFA satellite branch in SM Megamall. This is truly a good move by the DFA, which should lessen the people applying at the Pasay branch.

  25. Hi, can you please help me the passport of my family was already submitted in candian embassy manila, and it will be expired this coming may. my question is: should they go to dfa and renew it with out the old one with them? if incase, what are the documents they will bring for re-newal? thanks

    1. Hi, I think that this reply may be too late but for the sake of :)others who may have the same problem/issue, renewing one's passport requires that you bring along the old one with you.

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