The Philippine passport: what you need to know

FAQ Friday on Facebook will discuss the Philippine passport

The Philippine Consulate’s Facebook page is featuring Frequently-Asked-Questions Friday (FAQ Friday) every fourth Friday of each month, where it will answer questions about the services it offers.

Each FAQ Friday will focus on one topic. This Friday, it’s all about your Philippine passport.

Here are some questions:

Q: When should I renew my Philippine passport?
A: Most countries require you to carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date you leave their country. To avoid inconvenience or delays in scheduled or emergency travel, we recommend that you renew your passport at least one year before it expires.
If you are a frequent traveler, we recommend that you renew your passport once you have used up half of its pages.

Q: My passport is expired / valid for less than six months, but I need to travel next week! Can I extend the validity of my passport?
A: The Consulate can only extend the validity of your passport under the following circumstances:
- (If your passport is expired) Your passport expired within the last calendar year;
- Your current passport is not an e-passport (it does not have the symbol for a microchip on its front cover);
- You have already applied for the renewal of your passport;
- You have already purchased tickets for your travel, or urgently need to travel for an emergency, such as the death or sudden illness of a relative, and can present documentary evidence to support this fact (purchased tickets, emails, doctor’s certification); and
subject to international travel and immigration agreements, the Philippine passport may be extended up to Nov. 1, 2015 only.

In the event the Consulate cannot extend the validity of your passport, you may apply for a temporary travel document, which will allow you one-way travel to the Philippines where you may then renew your passport. Expedited processing is available in the Philippines! For more information on passport renewal in the Philippines, visit
If you urgently need to travel, but cannot fulfill the above requirements, send us a message!

Q: What do I need to bring if I am renewing my passport? A: Replacing a lost or damaged passport? How much will it cost?
It costs $60.00 to renew a Philippine passport; $100.00 to replace a lost green (machine-readable ready) passport, and $160.00 to renew a brown (machine-readable or e-) passport.
The requirements for passport renewal, or for replacement of a lost passport, are on the Consulate’s website at

You may opt to pay an extra $20.00 to have your passport shipped to you via priority mail, or bring your own priority/express mail envelope. Passport applicants on consular outreaches are automatically charged the mailing fee, unless they inform the passport officer that they will be opting to collect their passport at the Consulate in person.

Q: Is there a dress code for my passport photo?
A: Not necessarily, but please remember that your passport photo will be your identifying photo to immigration officials for the next five years! Dress appropriately, and please remove all ear/neck jewelry, facial piercings, and/or colored contacts prior to coming for passport renewal.

Q: How long does it take to renew my Philippine passport?
Since all Philippine passports are printed in the Philippines, it may take up to eight weeks before you receive your new Philippine passport. Your passport may arrive earlier, but you are advised to allocate at least 6 weeks’ lead time before making any plans to travel with your new passport.

Q: I won’t be able to collect my passport in person. May I authorize someone else to collect my passport?
A: Of course you may! Please make sure that the person you are authorizing to collect your passport can present the following documents:
- Your old Philippine passport (if it was not cancelled at the time of application);
- A letter of authorization, signed by yourself, or the claim stub and receipt for your passport; and
- A valid photo ID.

Q: Can I apply for renewal of my passport by mail?
A: Unfortunately, no – the personal appearance of the applicant is now required for all passport applicants, regardless of age. This is because the passport application process now includes the capture of certain biometric details, such as your photograph and fingerprints, which require you to be physically present at the time of application. These biometrics are included in the electronic chip embedded in your passport, and are part of the additional security features of the new electronic passport, or “e-passport.”

Q: I recently got married. Do I have to use my husband’s surname in my Philippine passport?
A: The use of your husband’s surname is optional under Philippine law. However, once you opt to use your husband’s surname in your Philippine passport, you will have to retain this name until either your spouse’s death or the legal dissolution of your marriage as recognized in a Philippine court of law.

Q: I recently got married, and would like to use my
A: married name in my Philippine passport. What will I need to bring? If you were married in the Philippines, bring an original NSO copy of your marriage certificate. You may order one online from
If you were married outside of the Philippines, you will need to report your marriage to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the state or country where you were married.

Q: I am now a US citizen, but my Philippine passport is still valid. May I still use this passport?
A: Your Philippine passport was automatically invalidated on the day you were naturalized as a US citizen. You will have to apply for reacquisition of your Philippine citizenship, then apply for a new Philippine passport. The requirements for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship under RA 9225, or the Dual Citizenship Act of 2003, may be found at

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