Easy Breezy Passport Renewal at SM Megamall
My Rating: ★★★★★
My husband and I have finally renewed our passports last month at the DFA Consular office, SM Megamall branch. We’ve been thinking about traveling together, maybe to see Singapore or take a short visit to Bangkok, so we had our passports prepared just to spare ourselves the hassle when the right moment arrives.
We went through the whole passport renewal application process without having any difficulty, so I’m sharing our experience as a guide to make yours trouble-free. First, here’s a quick FYI to prepare you on the day.
- Personal appearance is a must
- Walk ins are only allowed for special cases (senior citizens, disabled persons, OFWs, and infants and minors below 1 year old)
- Booking an appointment online is recommended
- Wear decent (not trashy) clothing
- Arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment
- Follow instructions and complete all requirements (including fees)
- Renew your passport at least 3 months before your scheduled flight
- You don’t need to bring an NSO Birth Certificate for passport renewals
- Passport Fees: Regular Processing is PhP 950 (15 working days); Express Processing is PhP 1,200 (7 working days)
Passport Renewal Online Application
- Go to www.passport.com.ph. This is the DFA Passport Appointment System. The first thing to do is to read the introductory guidelines, then proceed to the ‘Set an Appointment’ option in the menu.
- Choose a Branch. Click the ‘DFA Megamall’ branch option and start the Individual Appointment Process.
- Fill out the form on the Application page. Choose ‘Renewal’ for the Application Type and fill out all the boxes with your personal information.
- Book an Appointment. Pick a date and time schedule for your passport renewal appointment. Other blogs have suggested that you pick a morning slot for faster transactions. We were unable to get a morning schedule so we took the 1pm slot on the 24th.
- Wait for the confirmation email from DFA. You will be given a confirmation link to download your confirmed appointment sheet and application form. You need to activate it within 24 hours or your appointment will be cancelled. And as always, don’t forget to read the guidelines carefully.
- Print the downloaded documents and complete the requirements. In my case, I only needed the confirmed appointment sheet, application form (unsigned), photocopy of valid IDs, old (original) passport, photocopy of first and last page of passport, and marriage contract (to change to my married surname) issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
Philippine Passport Renewal Process
- Arrive at the DFA office early. We arrived at the office 45 minutes ahead of schedule and we started the application right away. For those who are thinking about coming in late or exactly on time, they weren’t so strict with the schedule (if you have the 1pm sched, you can get in 1pm – 1:30 pm) but it’s better to be there earlier to give way for emergencies.
- Show your Appointment Sheet at the entrance. The guard will ask for your appointment sheet to check if you have really booked an appointment that day. Then you will be directed to enter the premises.
- Go to the Information Counter. You will be asked to show them your documents. Upon approval, you will be given a number stub. They only gave us (hubby and I) one queue number.
- Proceed to the Processing section. The processing area has a photocopier or xerox machine at the back just in case you still need to photocopy your documents. When our number appeared on the monitor, we walked to the corresponding transaction window. The Passporting Officer asked a couple of personal questions (for further verification), punctured our previous passports, returned some of our documents, and asked whether we wanted regular (PhP 950) or Express (PhP 1,200) passport processing. We chose the former then she issued a receipt. The processing time took only 5 minutes because there were only a few people in the processing area.
- Pay at the Cashier. After paying the passport fee, you will be directed to the encoding area.
- Go to the Encoding Area. We were surprised to see the room full of applicants. Our number finally flashed in the monitor after almost 2 hours of waiting. The officer asked for our application forms and encoded our info in the computer. After the encoded data were printed, we were asked to double-check the info in it and sign on the sections marked by the officer. This part is very crucial because you have to inspect each word carefully before signing. Your signature simply means that “all info is correct”, therefore they won’t be held responsible for misspellings and other errors once your passport is already finalized. Our signatures and thumbmarks were also taken using a signature pad/tablet and a thumb mark scanner. Shortly after, we were told to look into the camera in front of us for the photo capture (yes, you don’t need to bring a passport size picture). You can smile but you can’t show your teeth. For ladies, wear something casual or smart casual (with or without shirt collar). Don’t wear colored contact lenses, earrings, and necklaces.
- You’re Done! Unless you want your passport to be delivered to your doorstep, then proceed to the Courier section near the exit. We paid PhP 120 for each. The release date of our passport is February 17 and delivery date is usually 1-2 days after the release date.
So there! Right now I’m waiting for the release of our new passports. We have no plans of travelling abroad anytime soon yet, but who knows? It’s better to be prepared than sorry.
How did your passport renewal experience go? Let me know!
SM Megamall DFA Consular Office
7th Floor Megamall Building C, EDSA corner J. Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City
Published: 2014-02-06 01:10:24