Before you read any further, please take note that this article specifically talks about the passport renewal process at the Courtesy Lane of DFA Aseana. For any other passport processes, you may reach DFA through their website.
Time went by so fast and I had to renew my passport again. I had decided to renew my passport right after my China trip last June 2017 which was 7 months prior to the expiration of my passport. Being a government employee, I was confident about renewing my passport as a walk-in applicant since I had done that in 2013. But my sister told me that walk-in applicants, even those entitled to use the courtesy lane, are no longer entertained in any DFA office without a confirmed appointment. I wanted to insist (lakas maka-kontrabida) that walk-ins are still accepted without any proof at hand but, I told myself maybe she was right. It’s been over four years after all and situations must have already changed.
After I came home from Beijing, I tried to make an online appointment with DFA with great confidence that I would secure a schedule either at Robinsons Calasiao or Marquee Mall (both near my hometown) at my preferred date and time. Pero sabi nga sa Star Wars, “overconfidence is the most dangerous form of carelessness.” And boy, they were right, the next available schedule in any of the DFA offices near Tarlac is November 2017! That means I would have to say goodbye to three upcoming trips abroad because of my failure to look into my passport renewal. However, I tried searching online and found a few articles that mentioned that it is possible to renew as a walk-in applicant in DFA Aseana, with the most recent one published last February 2017 (Thanks to Ma’am Meanne of Pinoy Road Trip for the update on her website). I wanted to make sure if the policy still applies so I also checked the DFA website. Unfortunately, I did not see any information confirming such.
I shared my dilemma with my officemate who then told me he saw a recent FB post of his friend, also a government employee, who was able to renew her passport in DFA Aseana as a walk-in applicant. Also, two days before my intended date of visiting DFA Aseana, I saw my former student’s IG post about applying for a passport as a walk-in applicant. She is also a government employee. With the information I had obtained, I had regained my confidence and knew that I would be able to renew my passport and push through with my trips. 🙂
Fast forward to the day of my passport renewal, I went to DFA Aseana at 10AM since Google told me that the office opens at that time. I presented my UMID/GSIS ID to the guard on duty at Gate 3 and told him I was a government employee. He instructed me to head to the second floor. Passing through the first floor, I saw a huge crowd busy with their applications and thought to myself I must be so blessed because I have access to the courtesy lane. But karma seems to travel at the speed of light because as I was moving up the escalator, a sea of people unfolded before my eyes. The office had just opened and the crowd was already that huge? I asked a DFA employee what time the office begins entertaining applications and he told me that they open at 8AM, while some employees who arrive early start processing applications at 7:30AM. Kaya naman pala! Hahaha. At least now you guys already know. Thank me. You’re welcome. Haha.
Certain groups of people are allowed to renew passports at the Courtesy Lane of DFA Aseana without any appointment. Aside from REGULAR government employees, DFA allows the following people as walk-in applicants:
- Parents, legal spouse, and unmarried children of government employee
- Retired government employees (must avail within one year after retirement)
- Incumbent elected officials
- Barangay Chairman, Kagawad and SK Chairman
- Those with endorsements from the House of Representatives and endorsed by the DLLU
- Media personnel with endorsement from the Public Information Services Unit
- Those with referrals from DFA employees and head/s of other government agencies (must secure proper endorsements duly signed by authorized signatories of their respective offices. Only original copies will be accepted for verification purposes. Photocopy of DFA employee’s valid I.D. / government agencies official’s Department I.D. must be attached for verification purposes.)
- (Genuinely) pregnant women (preferably with medical certificate) (Natawa ako sa geniunely. Baka daw kasi may pumuntang may unan sa tiyan. Haha)
- (Genuinely) disabled persons (with PWD ID)
- Senior Citizens (60 years old and above)
- Minors (7 years old and below)
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
When applying through the courtesy lane, bring document/s that will prove that you belong to one of the groups enumerated above. In my case, I simply presented my UMID/GSIS ID to prove that I am a regular government employee. Also, bring your expired (or about to expire) passport, photocopy of the passport bio page, 1 valid ID and a photocopy of the front and back of the ID. Easy, yeah? By the way, it’s way better if you already have photocopies of the documents prior to going to DFA because the lines at the photocopying stations can get long at times.
I also brought and presented my PSA birth certificate and another valid ID (with photocopy) but the attending personnel did not bother to take a look at them.
Just to be sure, you may refer to the list found in the DFA website for the required documents for renewal: https://www.dfa.gov.ph/renewal-of-passport-requirements
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RENEW?
By default, the passport fee at the courtesy lane is 1,200 Pesos and processing takes 10 days. It’s a bit more expensive compared to the regular fee of 950 Pesos but processing is faster by 5 days. However, 7 days express processing is only 1,200 Pesos at the regular lane, but only given that you are able to book an appointment. Senior citizens at the courtesy lane may opt to pay only 950 Pesos but processing takes 20 days.
The process is pretty easy and straightforward. What makes the application lengthy is the number of people renewing during the day. I remember when I renewed my passport back in 2013 at DFA Aseana—no exaggeration here—but I was the only person at the courtesy lane at 9AM! The entire application only took me 15 minutes, photocopying of documents included! Anyway, the following steps outline the application process:
- Fill out the application form available at the concierge and submit to attending personnel (DURATION: 3-5 minutes)
- When your surname is called by the attending personnel at the concierge, present your documents for checking for completeness and to verify if you are allowed to use the courtesy lane. Once verified, you will be given a queue number. (DURATION: 1-2 minutes)
- Once your number is flashed on the monitor, proceed to the specified counter at the Validation Section and submit your documents for validation. Once validated, the attending personnel will hand out a slip with the required payment amount indicated and another queue number. (DURATION depends on the number of people in the queue, but the actual validation process takes less than a minute)
- Pay the required amount at the Cashier. (DURATION depends on the number of people in the queue)
- Once your new queue number is flashed on the monitor, proceed to the Encoding Section to have your photo, biometric data, and personal data taken and encoded. (DURATION depends on the number of people in the queue but the actual encoding process takes about 3-5 minutes). And you’re done!
But wait, there’s one optional step:
- If you are not available to pick up your passport on the specified date, you may have it delivered to your doorstep via LBC by paying a fee of 150 pesos at the designated counter.
It took me 3 hours to complete the renewal process and I was told that my passport will arrive after 11 days instead of 10 para daw ‘di ako magexpect na exactly 10 days just in case. Haha! By the way, they do not allow delivery services if you have an upcoming trip for fear that the passport might not reach you on time. So, if you have a travel brewing soon and you still prefer to have your passport delivered, you may take the risk and tell a lie that you don’t have a trip happening in the coming weeks. Hehe. Lastly, the encoding personnel now encourage applicants to smile a bit in the photo so it won’t look like a mug shot. Just make sure your teeth do not show up and that your face is not too contorted.
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS
Bradco Avenue corner Macapagal Boulevard
Aseana Business Park
Barangay Tambo, Parañaque 1714
Metro Manila, Philippines