With the number of times I have traveled and booked tours for my family and friends, I guess I have somehow mastered the joy (and pain) of traveling. I have two scheduled trips for this month; Singapore with my friends and the Holy Lands (Egypt, Israel and Jordan) with my mom. Yet on these two trips, I have two companions whose passports are due for renewal but has lapsed their eyes when they checked on them prior to booking our trip.
I had my passport renewed in DFA Pampanga (my passport was due for September 2011 so I had it renewed last January) since it would take gazillion days to renew your passport in Manila, considering the time of appointment you need to file prior to going there; while it only took me 20 days to renew my passport in Pampanga (the price you have to pay is double when you want it rushed though). So there, I had my passport a few days after, and was saddened to see how bad I look in my photo. “Parang ayoko na tuloy mag-travel” LOL (I feel as if I no longer want to travel LOL).
Now going back to my two friends, I found out that there’s a way to extend your passport’s validity just in case you really need to go out of the country but your Philippine passport is past the 6-month due. So here’s what you need to do.
If you really need to go out of the country but your passport is past the 6-month allotment (but not expired), all you need to do is to write a letter addressed to the Director’s Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and state your reason for extension. (NOTE: You can only extend your passport’s validity if it has not been punched for renewal and is not yet expired)
As I’ve read, there are only three reasons for extension: medical (with supporting documents that you need immediate treatment abroad), incident of death (again with supporting documents) and OFW’s who needed to go back to their employers by demand. While aside from these, there are also good people in the Director’s Office that extends your passport’s validity even though your reasons do not fall on these three categories. Again, your letter must be supported with documents such as plane tickets, hotel and tour arrangements, etc. For parents, traveling with a minor, and your passport is no longer valid; you can show proof that you’re traveling with a minor. As for my friend, she requested for an extension for she’d be traveling with her cousins who need to be with her. A little dramatic though but at least her reason was valid. Then after writing, have your passport’s first and last two pages photocopied.
After writing a letter and attaching your supporting documents, here’s what you need to do:
1. Relax and never panic, there’s a solution in every problem. LOL
2. Wake up early and go to the Department of Foreign Affairs to queue. DFA opens at 7 in the morning.
3. Bring your request letter, supporting documents, photocopy of your passport and your passport.
4. Proceed to Gate 3 and tell the guard that you’re going to the Director’s Office to request for a passport extension. After a little interview (wala lang ito LOL), he would give you a number to queue.
5. Then another guard will get your number and directs you to the interviewer. Often, there’s a pre-interview (again, wala lang ito LOL I guess the guards are just concerned about your reasons -whether they’re valid or not, and if your documents are complete).
6. The interviewer will then check and keep your documents, and ask you questions. (NOTE: Please do not cry LOL I guess these people do understand you especially if your reasons are valid) Photocopy your documents for the interviewer will not return them to you
7. Pay the Php200 fee for passport extension. Processing takes two working days and you will be given a schedule on when to pick up your passport.
8. Get your stamped and now valid passport on the date scheduled.
9. Thank God for this. LOL
10. Fly like a G6 LOL
Usually, they would extend your passport for another two years. But I suggest, you renew it as soon as you get back from your trip. Besides, there are countries that do not honor extended passports, and I guess you would not want to get the heck of worrying about having to leave the country when you need to again just because your passport is no longer valid.
I hope this helps. =)