How to properly obtain a Philippines Passport.
Getting a Philippine passport is necessary if you are a Filipino or a dual citizen who wishes to travel with the privileges of a Filipino citizen. For instance, many Southeast Asian countries waive visa fees for Philippine passport holders.
Also, if you are petitioning a Filipino spouse or relative to migrate to your country (such as the US), you want to know how he or she can obtain a Philippine passport.
Note that Filipinos who are naturalized citizens of other countries may have lost their Philippine citizenship and must apply for its reacquisition. Consult your local embassy on how to apply for dual citizenship.
Here is how you can apply for a new passport or renew an old one.
- Personal appearance (for first-time applicants)
- Proof of citizenship (e.g. birth certificate)
- Three 4.5cm x 3.5cm ID photos
- Passport application form
- Valid identification cards
- Old passport and photocopy (if a renewal or replacement)
- Affidavit of Lost Passport (if a replacement)
- Additional documents (e.g. proof of name change, late birth registration, etc.)
PREPARE ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
Get pictures of yourself taken.
All first-time applicants must present three ID photos sized 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm with a royal blue background. Make sure the pictures are neither over nor under-exposed. If your face or clothes look too bright, the new passport machine may reject it (or at least it would be refused). The background must have no shadows. Your photos must be no more than 6 months old by the time you use it in your passport application.
Get an NSO Birth Certificate on security paper.
Get this one by going to the National Statistics Office in person (if you are in the country) or order on-line via the eCensus web site. The eCensus web site is convenient for those who are outside the Philippines.
If your NSO birth certificate is unreadable, get a Certified True Copy of your birth record from the Local Civil Registrar where you were born. (You may need help from a relative in the Philippines for this if you are overseas.)
Get a criminal record clearance.
Obtain this from the NBI or National Bureau of Investigation. For first-time applicants, you must apply in person at an NBI office with valid ID cards. If you've gotten an NBI clearance before, you can get a new one by mailing back the personal copy of your last clearance. If you are outside the Philippines, you can also apply for a renewal by filling out a form at the nearest Philippine consulate. They will give you the form in an envelope which you must mail to the NBI in the Philippines.
Obtain a police clearance from all other countries you have lived in as well.
Fill out the passport application form.
You can download this from the DFA or Department of Foreign Affairs web site or your local Philippine embassy. Attach your passport photos to the form with a glue. If you don't, your pictures may get lost in the office where it's received.
Get additional documents, if needed.
Depending on your case, you may or may not need to submit additional documents. Married women who want to use their husbands' surnames, persons with late birth registration, persons who changed their names, minors, etc. have special requirements.
A) GET YOUR PASSPORT WITHIN THE PHILIPPINES
Apply in person at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
There is always a long queue here, and the authorities may be unfriendly. Be patient. Come early in the morning, or after lunch, to avoid the crowd. If the office is still closed (before 8am), you might want to sit outside. You'll be charged for the chair!
Get your passport pictures taken inside the DFA building.
That is if you didn't bring any photos with you or they were rejected. Prices are a rip off, of course. Avoid people outside making all kinds of offers to you. Go straight to the building.
Follow the crowd when the office opens.
You will be directed to the passport application area by the basketball court. You will need to sign some paperwork at the tables. There will be a brief interview as well. Present your documents. Some of your documents will be returned to you; others, such as your criminal record clearance, will be retained.
Pay the fee and get your receipt.
You can go to the air mail booth if you want your passport delivered to you. You will need to pay an additional fee for this. If you choose not to have your passport delivered to you, you must return to the DFA to claim it. Your passport receipt should show the date you paid and the release date.
B) GET YOUR PHILIPPINE PASSPORT OUTSIDE THE PHILIPPINES
Apply in person at the Philippine embassy.
You will need to provide the same documents as for applying in the Philippines. Go to the Philippine consulate with jurisdiction over your place of residence. Ask what their application fee is beforehand since this will be different from the DFA's rates. The embassy will process your passport for you. You will be told when to pick it up or expect it in the mail.