How to Apply for a Philippine Passport for the First Time

Apply Philippine Passport (3)

The Philippine passport is an important document needed by Filipinos who wish to travel overseas. It is a document that proves your citizenship and that you entered a foreign country through legal means.

In the past, getting a Philippine passport was very complicated. It’s good that the process has become simpler, and even the step of getting an appointment can now be done online.

If you’re a first time applicant, here’s how you can apply for your Philippine passport. Tip: plan ahead of your trip as it may take several weeks to a couple of months to actually get your passport.

1. Prepare all the required documents for first time applicants.

  • At least one valid (government-issued) ID (Refer to list of valid IDs here)
  • At least three supporting documents (Refer to list of supporting documents here)
  • Original copy of your birth certificate issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) (Order online here)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable, may be required)
  • Additional documents if under 18 years old (if applicable, may be required)
  • Certificate of Tribal Affiliation from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) (if you are a Muslim applicant)
  • Proof of Philippine citizenship (if you have dual citizenship)
  • NOTE: You should make at least 2 copies of each document. If you didn’t bring the original and photocopied documents to your DFA, the DFA will not continue with your appointment. Based from experience, there are photocopying services inside or in the vicinity of DFA offices however price of photocopying your documents may be higher than usual.

2. Make a passport appointment with the DFA online. There are two ways to do this.

  • Call DFA’s customer service hotline at (02) 737-1000. Follow the instructions of the customer care representative. Provide all necessary information. The customer care representative will let you know if you are required to submit any additional documentations. Select the DFA site nearest you where you will go to make a personal appearance. Choose a schedule as early as possible to avoid delays. A reference number and Print Code will be provided afterwards. Use it to access and print your completed application form here.
  • Go directly to DFA’s passport application online. Select the DFA site nearest you where you will go to make a personal appearance. Fill up the form. Choose your appointment date and time. A reference number will be sent to your email with a link to print your application form.
  • NOTE: Whichever way you choose to make an appointment, make sure to bring the printed application form. Based from experience, it’s best to choose the earliest time possible for an appointment, when the office just opened because it can help you avoid falling in long lines. Remember, if you made multiple appointments, all previous appointments will be automatically cancelled.

3. Go to your appointment.

  • Remember to bring valid IDs and all required documents.
  • Remember to make at least 2 copies of your IDs and documents, and bring those too.
  • Remember to bring the printed passport application form.
  • Observe proper dress code.
  • All applicants (from 0 years old onwards) are required to make a personal appearance.
  • If you are a minor, you and your parent or guardian must be present at the appointment.
  • Go to the DFA site where you made your appointment. Arrive 30 minutes early because late arrivals may not be entertained.
  • Bring cash for the processing fee. Regular processing (15 days) costs P950 while express processing (7 days) costs P1200. Bring extra cash in case there are additional fees. Please be advised that appointments during Saturdays will be considered express processing and will be charged P1200.

4. Present your printed application to the Application Counter.

5. Get a number and fall in line at the Information Counter. Based from experience, falling in line is now more convenient since you actually sit in line. When it’s your turn, present your documents for verification.

6. Pay the fees at the Passport Enrollment Section. There are signs that point where the next section or step is so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

7. Go to the Encoding Section. This is where your photo and biometric information will be taken. This is technically the last step in the applying for your passport. All documents should have been submitted after this point.

8. This is an optional step. Before leaving the DFA premises, you can choose whether you want your passport delivered at home or picked up at the DFA office. There is a Delivery Counter where you can specify this.

Now, you just have to wait for your Philippine passport to arrive.

Any tips when applying for a Philippine passport for the first time? Share them with us!