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Renew your PH passport 2 months before traveling

/ 08:47 AM January 30, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO—Is your Philippine passport still valid? If the answer is no, don’t wait until you have travel plans. Apply for your passport renewal at the earliest opportunity.

Check if your passport is expiring in six months, as it is a standard requirement among immigration checkpoints worldwide that passports must be valid for at least six months for the traveler to be allowed entry.

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There are instances when Filipinos troop to their embassy or consulate thinking that they can wait for their new passports, only to discover that it takes six to eight weeks to arrive.

Since 2010, the Department of Foreign Affairs has implemented the ePassport, making the Philippines in line with global standards as prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It is maroon in color with the ePassport square logo on the front cover.

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As all passports are manufactured in Manila, there is a longer waiting period for the new ones (compared with the previous process where the details in the passports are manually handwritten at the consulate or embassy).

What if you have an urgent travel?

Your recently expired or expiring passport can be extended, provided you apply simultaneously for a new passport. However, extensions are not given automatically and are approved only under meritorious cases. You must show proof of:

— Death in the family or

  • ·

— Medical emergency

Is there no “expedite service”? I am willing to pay.

Currently, there is no “expedite service” in consulates and embassies. “Express processing” is only available when you apply in person in Manila. Remember, the best strategy for “expedite service” is not to need it at all. Applying for or renewing your passports early on is the best first step to a stress-free journey.

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To help with passport renewal and other consular services, your consulate has stepped up the Consulate-on-Wheels/Wings (COW) Program, which sends out consular outreach teams to various areas under its jurisdiction. To find out when or where the next or nearest COW will be, visit http://www.philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-outreach-sf/.

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TAGS: documents, issuance, Passports, Philippines, renewal, Travel, US, waiting period
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