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Success! How to get your passport validity extended :)

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DFA has some good news for us! According to this public advisory, they're waiving the passport validity extension fee until end of this year! It's usually 200 pesos. :D

Posted on DFA Passport Division
I (could be) US bound sometime this year and my passport will be expiring on February 2016, which makes me ineligible for travel based on the 6 month validity rule. Luckily, I learned that I could have my passport extended (for free!) instead of renewed (for over a thousand bucks, a month of waiting, and complimentary badtrip) so I went for that route and was pleased that I was able to get my extended passport in less than a day!

It's pretty overwhelming to learn there's a government agency that can deliver in a day and with very few hassles. Would you believe it. Even the one day processing of clearances in the city hall requires a lot of walking and moving from building to building. Anyway...

Here's how it went:

Getting to DFA Aseana:

Passport extension can only be applied at DFA Office of Consular Affairs in ASEANA Business Park, Pasay City. From my office at UP Technohub, I rode a bus labeled "MIA-611 Tambo" and asked to be dropped off at DFA. It's across McDonald's and is pretty hard to miss because of the long lines outside the complex. :)

I left at 5:30am and arrived around 7am. Traffic wasn't so bad (note: understatement) considering it's too early but if you'd like to take the train with a bonus death wish, ride the buggy MRT and try to get off alive at Taft station (last station). Then you can board the same bus wishing you had taken it in the first place :P That's not even to say buses are better but at the cost of this turning into a rant about the horrible horrible traffic situation, just go freaking early and take the friggin bus okay? You're welcome!

Enter at Gate 3:

The lines will snake around the block but entry is usually fast naman. Just a bag check with the guard and you're good. Don't buy any of the long brown envelopes being sold outside, you won't need it. You should bring a black ballpen though.

Enter at Door 1:

This is where I was ushered when I asked where to apply for extension. It's the entrance across the photocopying machine. I was asked to wait until the information desk opens at 7:30, so I killed the 30 minutes alternating between 2048, 2Fuse, and reading Harry Potter. :) I was 10th in line.

Actual requirements:

When the desk opened, the information personnel asked for my:

- Passport
- Photocopy of my passport's front and back page. When they say front page, that means the glossy profile page. Although strictly speaking it should be the one with the Philippine flag diba, though common sense would probably tell you that's useless and stupid haha. Ma-judge ka pa so wag mo na i-try lol. I was sigurista so I included the real front page (them with the seal and the flaaaag) plus my US Visa page haha

He also asked why I wanted to extend my passport. Here you may have to show a confirmed booking of your flight.

After the super short interview he gave me two forms to fill out, an application form and a request letter, and instructed me to head to the Passport Division via Door 5.

Passport Division:

It opens at 8am so I had another 30 minutes to kill waiting, buti na lang there's airconditioning inside :D.

When it opened, everyone rushed in and tried to take the front seats lol. There's no line or number, just sit closest to whoever's gonna collect your passport and stuff. After a while, the guard started collecting our documents and piled them at one of the desks.

After an hour and a half of waiting and mentally condemning those who were using their phones (which is strictly prohibited according to a sign inside), I finally got my passport with two years extension yeyy!

Don't forget:

To stand by the promise you signed at the request letter saying you shall renew your passport as soon as you get back here in the country! :) Let's be good citizens even though our government is not. :P

Blah:

I'd just like to note that there was an applicant there who tried to extend a super expired passport. Her passport expired 2011 so naturally the guard denied her saying she has to file for renewal instead. I was thinking, true enough, the term "extension" wouldn't hold true if there's a gap in her passport's expiry. Nakaka-bahala yun diba haha. Then I listened to her ask for consideration cos she has a flight scheduled soon daw.

I personally wasn't able to follow up on what happened, but I saw her coming back and forth to the office so I thought they must be considering her case. Either they decided to extend her passport or they gave her an instant renewal appointment so she could apply that day. I personally wish they gave her a renewal appointment na lang cos it might look off to immigration to see her passport is still the old version, it's still the green type pa nako.

Case in point:

Once you get a passport, do not let it expire. I only realized it now, but think of it as an ID you need to renew every now and then. Even if you have no plans of going overseas, make it a habit (habit talaga haha) to renew it at least a year before it expires. You'll never know when you're heading out eh diba? haha Chaka look, hassle parin the entire process so yeah don't let this happen to you. It's nice to have a passport anyway cos It's one of the validest (???) IDs you can present, so invest on it. :)

Tbh, I wish they'd just issue passports with 10 years validity!