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.
Secondly, setting up of appointments online for the ePassport are now being served exclusively through the DFA Passport Appointment System site at www.passport.com.ph. All information on documentary requirements for the ePassport are on that website. As always, the DFA is encouraging online appointment reservations as the queue for passport processing has often been a hassle, especially now that the processing the DFA does now are all ePassports. (though the process itself of passport application has been somewhat smoother these days)
Which brings to the third development: passport applications are now being processed at a separate facility. The DFA’s Office for Consular Affairs (the office that handles passport applications) has moved to a newer facility, albeit a farther distance away from the DFA main building along Roxas Blvd.. It is located also in Pasay City, but it is along Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. corner Bradco Avenue, a few blocks south from the Macapagal-EDSA intersection, near ASEANA Powerstation.
Most definitely, the steps I’ve gone through in getting my ePassport last year will no longer apply in this case. That being the case, the procedures in ePassport application are basically the same, though expect the processing time may be longer than usual due to hundreds of other ePassport applicants you might bump into at any given work day there. I have also heard there have been some issues experienced though regarding delays in ePassport release, something I did not experience on my end, fortunately.
Here’s hoping for a smooth ePassport application process to those who will procure the new ePassport.
© The Urban Roamer