The Urban Roamer’s ePassport Guide – 2015 Edition

More than five years ago, the Urban Roamer wrote the ePassport Guide, one of the first entries written here which aims to share to the reader how to go about applying for the Philippine ePassport. At that time, it was a fairly new “product” which was only introduced months before it was written. It also coincided with the time I needed to renew my passport, so I decided to renew my passport with the ePassport one as I noted my experiences for the blog.

During those five years that I’ve gotten to travel with my passport, much has changed in the ePassport application system. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened a separate consular facility and a number of satellite offices to facilitate passport applications, making it convenient for people who live far from the DFA office. Even passports have changed as well during that timeframe with the “not valid for travel in Iraq” note no longer appearing in passports since 2011.

Fast forward to this year as it was the time once more for me to go through the process of renewing my passport. Continue reading


the Urban Roamer’s updated ePassport guide

In case you have not heard, some significant developments came up since my last post “the Urban Roamer’s ePassport guide.”

First significant development is the good news that the ePassport is now available even for first-time passport applicants. The catch is though if you’re looking to get just the more affordable machine-readable passport, (MRP)  sorry to say that the DFA has ceased issuing MRP’s since early this year. That leaves you with no choice but to shell more money to spend the more expensive, yet most technologically advanced ePassport. Continue reading


The Urban Roamer’s ePassport Guide

In case you haven’t heard (or if you were too busy/distracted with the reemergence of Cory magic at that time) the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs launched back in August 2009 the ePassport, a biometrics-based paper-electronic passport which is considered to be most advanced type of passport being adapted by many countries around the world. With advanced recognition features embedded in a thin electronic microchip located within the passport, it was specifically designed to be forgery-proof in the wake of terrorism threats in recent years.


the Philippine ePassport; the symbol below the word “Pasaporte” is the international logo for the ePassport

While my old passport does not expire yet for another couple of years, looking at that green passport with those hand-written entries makes the bearer feel embarrassed especially if you look at the other travelers who bear at least machine-readable passports and worrying about how the immigration officer looking at your passport. While I was fortunate of being spared from much immigration scrutiny during my recent trip overseas using a green passport, my mind was made up on updating my password early in light of recent policies put forward by the International Civil Aviation Organization promoting the use of MRP’s (machine-readable passports) and ePassports. So you can imagine my excitement when news that ePassports are now available. Continue reading