When we need it, DFA passport appointment can be though. Passport is a travel document, being issued by the Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA, that certifies the nationality and identity of the holder of the passport. In the Philippines, DFA issued passports may contain information such as the full name of the Filipino, photograph, birth date, birth address, signature, passport number, and DFA office that issued the passport. Many passport applicants undergo appointment and submission of DFA passport requirements. We book our passport appointment in the DFA passport appointment system, which is web-based. The DFA appointment system can be filled up of appointments for the current month, oftentimes the next 60 days, and worst that happened is not available for appointment schedule in 90 days. This happened in the past, and can be problematic as passports are primarily used for the purpose of international travel. International travel is somewhat short-term in terms of planning, and not planning ahead might include not being able to book at DFA passport appointment system ahead of time. Passport is a travel document, and the Philippine government’s issued identification document and is a requirement when staying abroad. Going out of the country through the airport will definitely prompt for the presenting of your passport at the Bureau of Immigration. To ease the burden and have the passports ready before flight, we arrive at the proven tips on DFA passport appointment.
Flights and travel abroad is growing. In a 2017 PSA report, there are 245,000 who Filipinos travelled outside the country between April to September of year 2016 with age 15 years old and above. Therefore, 245,000 passports or less (due to repeat travel) would have been needed and issued via DFA passport appointment since passport is a requirement to international travel. That is why DFA passport appointment can be challenging in securing schedules, since appointments available can be far from the preferred date of the DFA passport application. If we would ask passport appointment seekers, we will get an answer such as “ASAP” or as soon as possible when asked about their preferred passport appointment date. We saw again from the 2017 PSA report between April to Setember 2016, that the number of female travelling abroad is same as male travellers. Interestingly, the median age or the midpoint of travelling Filipino in the age lists shows the typical international travellers was 45 and 1 in every 5 Filipino overseas travel belonged in both the 35 to 44 and 55 to 64 age category.
It is an effort worth taking when booking for a DFA passport appointment since the use of passport has enabled the passage and proof of identity/nationality of our modern heroes – our OFWs or overseas Filipino workers.
There is also a need to obtain a passport when travelling abroad for leisure. Statistically, a typical overseas traveller shells out around Php 50k in one trip, and stayed outside the country for 17 nights/ days on average. The top countries visited included China and Hong Kong attracting 28.1% of the total outbound travellers int he Philippines. Next countries on the list are Malaysia, Japan, USA and Singapore.
Tips on DFA Passport Appointment
1. Schedule DFA Passport Appointment ahead of time.
As much as possible, get an appointment date booked at DFA passport appointment system ahead of time. If travel is anticipated within a year, take the liberty to book for appointment. The passport appointment system booking is free, and it is online. Maximize the online facility being provided by DFA to book appointment, by going to their site here.
2. Check available DFA Passport appointment slots outside Metro Manila.
On PSA report (2017), 19% of the outbound travellers originated at Metropolitan Manila region select cities. This number just shows that in the entire Philippines, around 1/5 came from NCR. It is logical and realistic to believe that the congestion of passport request at NCR DFA offices for passport appointment is due to the undeniable sheer volume of passport applicants in the Metro. There are other DFA offices in Luzon where we could setup a passport appointment. Going to other distant DFA offices that are less crowded and less booked regional offices can prove time efficient than waiting long.
On our example, shown above are DFA passport appointment made on the same day. One is an appointment for NCR at DFA NCR – West, while another one is for La Union DFA appointment. For a La Union passport applicant, it is a win-win situation since they are near the office and they will first get their passport as compared to the situation for NCR -West office, that such applicants in that office will wait for the available schedule 1 more month than the appointment made for provincial DFA office. Since the date difference is big which is around 1 month or more, a Metro Manila passport applicant can avail an appointment in the province, and just travel there on their appointment date. Is it worth the travel? Yes, it means the earliest passport application will result to the earliest release of pasport if it is critical for the traveller. Also, being able to get earlier appointment will lessen the hassle and pending application status which can be susceptible to an appointment being forgotten. It is also less wait if the applicant of passport will travel for few hours via bus than wait 30 more days. If time is not critical, then waiting for the appointment of 2 months versus the 1 month wait time in the province can save money due to bus fare (Php 500 to Php 1400 in Luzon)
3. Prepare the needed requirements for passport application
Passport application at DFA office requires documents or presentation of identification cards. The applicant of passport can utilize the days before DFA appointment to gather all needed documents such as PSA birth certificate, etc. than rushing at the remaining days near the appointment schedule. Rushing the requirements and then not being able to submit the documents needed can result to the need to take another appointment, which means the passport applicant goes to square one. In this tip, we encourage maximizing the time to prepare for the appointment, like filling the appropriate vacation leave when the schedule of DFA appointment falls on a working day if the applicant is a daytime employee.
4. Read information about Passport Application process
It is important to know the process of the passport application process. For example, if the DFA passport applicant did not show up on the selected appointment for some reasons, then they will face a 30 day appointment ban in the DFA system. Take note of the DFA dress code, which means passport applicants must look presentable by dressing up properly. Do note to avoid wearing tank tops or sleeveless shirts, shorts, sandals or slippers at the DFA office to be entertained on your day of passport application. Delay may result for not following DFA rules on passport application. This can be avoided by reading the information about DFA passport application process
5. Learn where the DFA branch is located
Sometimes, the rushing of the passport application at DFA can result to delay due to events the applicant of passport processing do not know how to go to the DFA office they have an appointment. Learn where the DFA branch is located to avoid being late and tagged no-show.