San Francisco Consulate launches ‘FAQ Friday’ about services
SAN FRANCISCO—The Philippine Consulate’s Facebook page will feature Frequently-Asked-Questions Friday (FAQ Friday) on the fourth Friday of each month, to answer some of the most-asked questions about its services.
Each FAQ Friday will focus on one topic—like passports—and is interactive. Users can leave questions, or send private messages for sensitive or confidential issues. Consulate staff will respond accordingly.
To suggest a topic for FAQ Friday, leave a message in the inbox—or Like the page on Facebook. The consulate reserves the right to moderate comments, and will delete any abusive or obscene posts. Posts containing sensitive or confidential information will be deleted as well to protect privacy.
Questions included in this Friday FAQ:
1. When should I renew my Philippine passport?
2. My passport is expired/valid for less than six months, but I need to travel next week! Can I extend the validity of my passport?
3. What do I need to bring if I am renewing my passport? Replacing a lost or damaged passport? How much will it cost?
4. Is there a dress code for my passport photo?
5. How long does it take to renew my Philippine passport?
6. I applied for a passport on ____, but may need to claim my new passport earlier than the indicated release date. How do I follow up on the status of my new passport?
7. I won’t be able to collect my passport in person. May I authorize someone else to collect my passport?
8. Can I apply for renewal of my passport by mail?
9. I recently got married. Do I have to use my husband’s surname in my Philippine passport?
10. I recently got married, and would like to use my married name in my Philippine passport. What will I need to bring?
11. I am now a US citizen, but my Philippine passport is still valid. May I still use this passport?
Q: When should I renew my Philippine passport?
Most countries require you to carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date you leave their country. To avoid inconvenience or delays in scheduled or emergency travel, we recommend that you renew your passport at least one year before it expires.
If you are a frequent traveler, we recommend that you renew your passport once you have used up half of its pages.
Q: My passport is expired / valid for less than six months, but I need to travel next week! Can I extend the validity of my passport?
The Consulate can only extend the validity of your passport under the following circumstances:
– (If your passport is expired) Your passport expired within the last calendar year;
– Your current passport is not an e-passport (it does not have the symbol for a microchip on its front cover);
– You have already applied for the renewal of your passport;
– You have already purchased tickets for your travel, or urgently need to travel for an emergency, such as the death or sudden illness of a relative, AND can present documentary evidence to support this fact (purchased tickets, emails, doctor’s certification); and
Subject to international travel and immigration agreements, the Philippine passport may be extended up to NOVEMBER 1, 2015 ONLY. The Consulate cannot extend the validity of a Philippine e-passport.
In the event the Consulate cannot extend the validity of your passport, you may apply for a temporary travel document, which will allow you one-way travel to the Philippines where you may then renew your passport. Expedited processing is available in the Philippines! For more information on passport renewal in the Philippines, visit http://www.passport.com.ph.
If you urgently need to travel, but cannot fulfill the above requirements, send us a message!
Q: What do I need to bring if I am renewing my passport? Replacing a lost or damaged passport? How much will it cost?
It costs $60.00 to renew a Philippine passport; $100.00 to replace a lost green (machine-readable ready) passport, and $160.00 to renew a brown (machine-readable or e-) passport.
The requirements for passport renewal, or for replacement of a lost passport, are on the Consulate’s website at http://philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-services-sf/faq-sf/#passport.
You may opt to pay an extra $20.00 to have your passport shipped to you via priority mail, or bring your own priority/express mail envelope. Passport applicants on consular outreaches are automatically charged the mailing fee, unless they inform the passport officer that they will be opting to collect their passport at the Consulate in person.
Q: Is there a dress code for my passport photo?
Not necessarily, but please remember that your passport photo will be your identifying photo to immigration officials for the next five years! Dress appropriately, and please remove all ear/neck jewelry, facial piercings, and/or colored contacts prior to coming for passport renewal.
Note: we cannot retake your passport photo once it has been captured, so please prepare accordingly for your passport renewal!
Q: How long does it take to renew my Philippine passport?
Since all Philippine passports are printed in the Philippines, it may take up to 8 weeks before you receive your new Philippine passport. Your passport may arrive earlier, but you are advised to allocate at least 6 weeks’ lead time before making any plans to travel with your new passport.
The data capture process itself takes five to ten minutes. To avoid unnecessary delays or inconvenience in processing your application, please make sure that your requirements are complete before you proceed to the Consulate or to our consular outreaches for passport renewal. You will need to remove all ear and neck jewelry, facial piercings, and eyeglasses or colored contact lenses for your passport photo, so please do so prior to approaching the passport officer.
When visiting the Consulate office in San Francisco, please keep in mind that the waiting time may be longer on Mondays and Fridays, since more people visit the Consulate on these days.
Q: I applied for a passport on ____, but may need to claim my new passport earlier than the indicated release date. How do I follow up on the status of my new passport?
Check your claim stub! The contact details of the Consulate’s passport section are indicated on the top, and provide you with various ways to contact us and follow up on the status of your passport:
– By telephone: (415) 433 6666, ext. 340
– By email: [email protected]
– By fax: (415) 788 7953 / 421 2641
To help us look up the status of your new passport, make sure you have the following details ready:
– Full name of passport applicant;
– Date / Place you applied for a passport; and
– Your contact number (If leaving a message – so we can return your call.
Q. I won’t be able to collect my passport in person. May I authorize someone else to collect my passport?
Of course you may! Please make sure that the person you are authorizing to collect your passport can present the following documents:
– Your old Philippine passport (if it was not cancelled at the time of application);
– A letter of authorization, signed by yourself, or the claim stub and receipt for your passport; and
– A valid photo ID.
Q: Can I apply for renewal of my passport by mail?
Unfortunately, no – the personal appearance of the applicant is now required for ALL passport applicants, regardless of age. This is because the passport application process now includes the capture of certain biometric details, such as your photograph and fingerprints, which require you to be physically present at the time of application. These biometrics are included in the electronic chip embedded in your passport, and are part of the additional security features of the new electronic passport, or “e-passport”.
Due to this additional requirement, the Consulate has stepped up its 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/.
Q: I recently got married. Do I have to use my husband’s surname in my Philippine passport?
The use of your husband’s surname is optional under Philippine law. However, once you opt to use your husband’s surname in your Philippine passport, you will have to retain this name until either your spouse’s death or the legal dissolution of your marriage as recognized in a Philippine court of law.
Q: I recently got married, and would like to use my married name in my Philippine passport. What will I need to bring?
If you were married in the Philippines, bring an original NSO copy of your marriage certificate. You may order one online from http://www.ecensus.com.ph.
If you were married outside of the Philippines, you will need to report your marriage to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the state or country where you were married.
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco has jurisdiction over Alaska, Northern California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington State, and Wyoming. To report a marriage that took place in these states or areas, visit http://philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-services-sf/faq-sf/#marriage for a list of requirements.
If you were married elsewhere, let us know and we’ll help you find the Consulate or Embassy with jurisdiction over that place!
Q: I am now a US citizen, but my Philippine passport is still valid. May I still use this passport?
Your Philippine passport was automatically invalidated on the day you were naturalized as a US citizen. You will have to apply for reacquisition of your Philippine citizenship, then apply for a new Philippine passport. The requirements for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, or the Dual Citizenship Act of 2003, may be found at http://philippinessanfrancisco.org/philippines-sf/consular-services-sf/faq-sf/#dual.
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