Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to Apply for a Philippine Passport

This highlights my experience applying for my first Philippine passport from the Los Angeles Philippine Consulate General office. I have at least 1 parent that is Filipino and I was born in America. I went through this process a while ago, so things may have changed and the fees may have increased. This is mainly designed to give you a general idea of what to expect (what documents to bring, how much money you'll need, and the overall process) since it was my experience that the info on the LA Consulate's website was not up to date when I did it. So, I hope this helps!

U.S. citizens (born to 1 or 2 Filipino parents) applying for a Philippine passport will find this process to be relatively easy. Reporting your U.S. birth to the Philippines actually is the more complicated part. I did both in a matter of 2-3 hours total (most of it was spent in the waiting room) on a very crowded day (Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are apparently the worst). At least, they have a couple flat screen TVs that air The Filipino Channel to entertain you while you wait.

Let's get started!

Reporting Your BIRTH to the Philippines (if you were not born in the Philippines):
  • Costs:
    • ~$25 for the application process.
    • Bring lots of quarters for use on the Xerox machine. The Philippine Consulate makes absolutely no copies for you and you need 4 copies of all documents. There are a several photocopier machines on the same floor as the consulate and on the ground floor, so shop around.
    • Optional: $10-$50 to get things notarized. 
  • Documents you'll need:
    • Report of Birth Form: you can get it at the consulate (or here). You'll need things like your parents' passport info (passport numbers, date issued, date expires), your parents' date of birth, etc.
    • Birth Certificate: you'll need it to prove who your parents were. Also, it gives you the name of your doctor (which they ask for some bizarre reason).
    • US Naturalization certificates or Philippine passports of either (or both) of the parents who claims he/she was still a Filipino during your birth. 
    • Marriage contract of your parents (if married). If not married, and you're using the surname of your father, you'll need an affidavit of paternity of the father.
    • Affidavit of delayed registration: you get the form from the consulate (or here) but you can get it notarized downstairs on the ground floor for like $10.
  • Process: 
    • Go to the window that handles birth registrations to submit the forms. They check to see if you have 4 copies of everything and sort them for you.
    • Pay the $25 fee at another window.
    • Show receipt of payment to the window where you submitted your forms.
    • Wait to receive completed Report of Birth forms.
Applying For A Philippine PASSPORT (after you've registered your birth):
  • Costs: 
    • Fee: ~$70-$100 (depends on how many pages you want your passport to have and how fast you want it mailed to you).
    • Bring quarters for more xeroxing (see note above).
    • They don't validate parking so be prepared to cover that expense.
  • Documents you'll need: 
    • Report of Birth (see above)
    • Passport application form: you can get it at the consulate (or here).
  • Process:
    • Go to the other window that handles passport application forms. Give completed documents listed above and they'll probably ask you to make copies of your documents.
    • Wait. 
    • They call you in groups into the room where your passport photo is taken.
    • More waiting.
    • Get your photo taken. Note: Ladies, they do ask you to remove earrings and glasses, and to cover up your shoulders, if wearing a tank/tube top -- they provide the shawl).
    • Pay fee at window where you also paid to report your birth.
    • Wait 10-12 weeks (for the slowest option) for the passport to come in the mail!
That's it! Congratulations! Now, when your children grow up, they too can go through the same process to receive their Philippine passports.

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