Here’s a few tips on how to apply for extension of passport validity with the new advisory.
I am maybe one of the many people who rushed to the DFA upon learning about the latest advisory on passport renewal and extension, and I must say that the application process for the latter was swift and easy.
I am flying to Taiwan on October 5 in response to Taiwan’s government invitation to do a media coverage of their e-commerce expo, but my passport is exactly 6 months valid by then. While the general rule states that one cannot travel outside the country if passport’s validity is less than 6 months, I opted to apply for an extension to be sure. I have booked a schedule for renewal at DFA ASEANA on September 10 but because I’ve read so much about complaints on delays and backlogs in releasing new passports, I decided to rush all the way to the DFA headquarters on August 26. It does not require you to schedule an appointment anyway.
It turned out to be a wise decision.
While waiting in queue, I’ve heard a lady in her 50s complaining about her passport with holes punched through it when she applied for renewal a month ago. She said that she was supposed to receive her new passport last week just in time for her upcoming trip in the first week of September. Unfortunately, she received a notice from the DFA that she has to wait for probably another month as the government is having technical problems with their printing machines. She learned about the new advisory from the DFA but how would she be able to apply for a validity extension when her old passport now have holes punched through it?
“Dapat di muna nila binutasan hangga’t hindi pa binibigay bagong passport ko,” she said.
I wonder how DFA will handle such cases. Given this, I strongly suggest that for those planning to renew their passports, apply first for validity extension. This is specially for those with urgent travels. You can apply for the renewal of passports after your immediate flight. I am actually planning to cancel my scheduled date of renewing my passport as I am afraid they’d punch holes through it. The government has already admitted that they are having backlogs in producing new passports. It is taking months before your new passport is delivered at your doorsteps.
Anyway, to cut the long story short, I had my passport’s validity extended to two years in just one day. I went to DFA as early as 7 in the morning. The operation starts at 8am and I had my passport released a few hours after. I prepared all the necessary supporting documents based on what I have found out from other blogs – like my appeal letter, the formal letter from Taiwan government, certificate of employment, and a photocopy of my passport. Based on my experience however, they only asked me to attach a photocopy of my passport to a form handed by a DFA personnel. For some, it was distributed to them by a guard at the Passport’s Division. I was expecting for an interview as mentioned by other bloggers but there was none. When my name was called, my passport was already stamped with two year extension. I presume that they have also relaxed the rules with the new advisory. They only asked me to sign anywhere on the form that I filled up to indicate that I have already received my passport. As mentioned in the advisory, the application for the extension of validity is free of charge.
For those planning to apply for extension, here’s a few tips:
1. Have your passport details photocopied. There is a photocopier inside the DFa but as expected it has a long queue. Also, it’s a bit costly – Php3 per page and Php6 for a back-to-back copy.
2. Enter Gate 3. Arrive at the DFA at 7am atleast as a lot of people are already on queue even earlier than that.
3. For uncertain reason, I was told to enter Door 1 but I noticed that others went directly to Door 3 leading to Director’s office. At Door 1 somebody assisted me, checked on my documents, and advised me to go to Director’s Office and look for the Passport Division.
4. Only those Filipinos holding a passport with less than 6 months validity can apply for the extension.
5.There is no need to submit ID photos.
6. Ignore the manongs and manangs who would call your attention by asking asking if you’re applying for a passport. They are not related to DFA. They will offer you to buy their pricey brown long envelopes for Php25 each. You don’t need it.
7. Bring black pen so you would not need to buy from the manongs and manangs outside. For sure, their pens are as pricey as the brown envelopes.
8. Bring a sweater or a jacket. It’s freezing cold inside the building.