When I posted about applying for my son’s passport, I got so many questions, so I’m sharing our experience here!
We booked a long-haul flight for March 2017, and I gave birth late October 2016. I have about 4 months to complete both a passport and a visa.
With this in mind, we decided to work on our son’s City Hall Civil Registrar Copy (aka Certified True Copy/CTC of city hall’s birth records) on our own. The day after I gave birth, the hospital released their form for us and we had it submitted to the City Hall (must be the same as the city of your hospital). Two days later, we had our copy.
The City Hall passed the CTC to the Philippine Statistics Authority (aka PSA which is formerly and more known as NSO). I was told you can also process this on your own, but too late, our City Hall already passed it to PSA when we asked for it.
We waited for about a month for PSA to release the birth certificate, the kind that would be accepted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA – the agency you go to apply for a passport). The minute we got his passport, we prepared for our trip to the nearest DFA office from our home – SM Megamall.
PS: I read in a Facebook Group that if you need a passport for your little one asap and NSO/PSA takes a while, you can also request for a “Birth certificate with NSO transmittal/ Security Paper (SECPA)” from the City Hall and you can use this for the passport application. I am not sure if all city halls grant this, so just ask to be sure.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PASSPORT APPLICATION FOR BABIES (NEWBORNS UP TO 12 MONTHS):
- Personal Appearance (no confirmed appointment needed)
- Duly Accomplished Application Form (download HERE and print in A4 paper – do not sign it yet!)
- Birth Certificate issued by the PSA/ Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar AND duly authenticated by the PSA
- Personal appearance of either parent and valid passports of BOTH parents if the child is legitimate, valid passport of the mother if the child is illegitimate.
- Marriage Certificate of minor’s parents duly authenticated by PSA (for legitimate child)
- Original and photocopy of valid passport of the person traveling with the minor
- Transcribed Birth Certificate from the LCR is required when entries in PSA Birth Certificate are blurred or unreadable.
- Report of Birth duly authenticated by PSA is required if minor was born abroad
DFA – SM Megamall opens at 10:00 AM. Since we had no confirmed appointment, we went there early. A courtesy lane is provided for infants, senior citizens, pregnant women, and PWDs. (For a complete list of other persons that may avail the courtesy lane, click HERE).
When we got in, there wasn’t a long line (confirmed appointments make it much more systematic, yey!). After passing our requirements and paying at the counter (we got the express one which cost us PHP 1200), our son was asked to go to Window #18 – the window for infants! When he was called, they prepared a makeshift bed for him so that they could take his photo! I must commend the people who take photos of the babies there — so much patience is needed for a day, I can imagine! I mean, it took a while before they got a decent shot of my son, most especially because he kept following the moving camera (the one attending to him kept moving it to look for an angle). We woke him up for the photo, too, which made him cranky and we had to wait for him to stop crying. I’m sure we’re not the first case – so, kudos to the Window #18 team! You guys rock! Woohoo!
After his photo was taken, I (as the mother) was asked to sign for him, double check the details on his passport (they fill it up there and then and ask you to take a look!), and that’s it! Since we opted to have our passports delivered via courier (rather than pick-up), we were asked to pass by the courier section, give our shipping details, receive our waybill/tracking copy, and then we were out!
This took about an hour or less! Yes, that easy!
We applied for his passport on December 02, 2016 (he was 1 month and 1 week old), and received it on December 20, 2016. Please take note that some things may have changed already, so it’s still best to check their website and call their hotline for specific inquiries.
Next step now, his VISA. Good luck to us!
Here are some questions I had and some people asked me on Instagram. Sharing this, too!
1. Do you need to schedule an appointment online for babies?
No. Infants (according to DFA’s website, up to 1 year old, but in DFA Megamall, I remember seeing up to 18 months for the priority pass – just double check with DFA if you’re baby is 1 year or more) do not need to schedule an appointment. You can do walk-in.
EDIT: From what I heard, rules have been changed now. You can still do walk-in for your infant’s application, but they only have a certain number of walk-in applicants accepted per day, so if you do not make it to the cut, you will not be entertained. For this reason, I recommend scheduling instead. Also, for walk-ins, I think they have changed the rate to the express rate instead of the regular rate automatically regardless of the applicant’s age and/or status.
2. How many adults can apply together with the infant without scheduling an appointment?
One per infant/ priority. One adult may ride with the infant’s priority pass. I actually did this because I finally changed my passport to my married name (blog about it HERE).
3. Can both parents accompany the infant during application?
4. Do I need to print the DFA Application Form?
Well, if you don’t have it, they will provide it for you. Given you’re going with an infant though, you want to be out as fast as possible. I suggest you work on this already even before going there.
5. Do I need to bring a ballpen?
Yes. Black ink, please.
6. Do I need to bring a passport photo of my baby?
No. They will take your baby’s photo.
7. Should I dress my baby with a collared top?
No need. Any decent top will do. No sleeveless allowed, though.
8. I need to apply for my baby’s passport asap. Will the certificate from the hospital do? How about the one from the City Hall (Local Civil Registrar)?
Unfortunately, no. You really need one that is from PSA or duly authenticated by the PSA. Usually, most especially if you let the hospitals do all the work for you, it takes about 6 months for you to get your baby’s birth certificate. If you need it before that, it’s best to ask your hospital how you can make the process faster (tip: just tell them you will do it on your own), and then personally process it with both the City Hall and the PSA. You may ask PSA if you can order online, AND, if they offer express release should you need one asap. Lesson here though: do not schedule an international trip until your baby is about 2.5 or 3 months just to be on the safe side, because getting a copy from the PSA can take a while.
PS: I read in a Facebook Group that if you need a passport for your little one asap and NSO/PSA takes a while, you can also request for a “Birth certificate with NSO transmittal/ Security Paper (SECPA)” from the City Hall and you can use this for the passport application. I am not sure if all city halls grant this, so just ask to be sure. However, just to note also, when I asked the people at DFA if they really need the NSO/PSA copy, they said yes. So I am not so sure, but it won’t hurt to ask the city hall and call DFA to clarify, too!
9. How many years is the validity for passport of infants?
Just like adults – 5 years. Yes, the photo remains the same.
EDIT: Adults get 10 years validity for passports now. Children 7 and below still get a shorter time period of 5 years (because of facial changes, I believe).
10. Can you apply at a DFA Satellite Office, or does it have to be at their main branch?
In Metro Manila, DFA has 4 satellite offices: NCR-WEST (SM Manila) / NCR-Central (Robinsons Galleria) / NCR-East (SM Megamall)/ NCR-South (Metro Mall Alabang). We applied in SM Megamall, so yes, you can definitely apply at a satellite office!
That’s it! Hope I was able to help.
However, I do need to make a disclaimer here: I am not working for the DFA nor PSA, and their requirements may change. Always check THIS should there be changes in the passport requirements. If you have more questions after reading this, I most probably can no longer answer you, sorry! This is all I know for now, so it’s best to inquire with the DFA directly from here on.