One of my bucket lists is to travel in South Korea. Guess what? Someone invited me for a 3- 5 days trip to Seoul and experience the cherry blossom season. Whoah! My excitement is up in the sky, ha ha! But wait, the problem is I don't have a passport yet so I checked on dfa.gov.ph and check on how to apply for passport.
On my first attempt, I set for a DFA appointment through this link but was so frustrating that all slots are full until the end of March. Well, I heard that there's an issue about it and I give up. Good thing someone told me that DFA is reopening the slot and I have to get it ASAP if I want to catch up.
The system is really slow and there are times that I have to repeat the process. Good thing, I was able to get the appointment after an hour of trying it.
I checked the appointment email (let'see if I really read it 🙂 ) and prepared the following passport requirements :
- Printed Application
- NSO Marriage Contract
- NSO Birth Certificate
- Photocopies of Marriage Contract, Birth Certificate, and ID.
Great, I prepared everything and arrived on time with confidence (lol). DFA South is on 4th Floor of Metro Town Center Alabang. As you enter, the guard (on the escalator entrance to 4th floor ) will check if you have the DFA appointment and that's when you come up to the 4th floor. Another person will ask on your time of appointment and you will be grouped in your respective schedule. When I arrived, I was the 20th and was advised to wait first. After 5 minutes, we were asked to fall in line to start the processing.
Upon entering, another guard will check if you have brought all documents. I never thought that this is going to be my big problem, the guard was asking for the barcoded application form. I was confident and insisted ( yes, because I know I always follow instructions) that this is what I received. Of course, the lady guard insisted, she knows the rules 🙂 ! I was advised to go downstairs and ask for that bar-coded form.
Wait, I realized why will go back downstairs, it seems there is something wrong, so I opted for another way and since I saw someone roaming around checking the applicants, I asked the person instead. She advised why would you go downstairs when the Information is there. That feeling of gigil over myself and to the lady guard on why things go wrong when you know you prepared everything beforehand and the lady guard with mislead information.
I asked the lady guard to let me step in and ask the validating area ( this is actually the 1st step of the whole process) and again I insisted that I received this "blank application" and I just write on it.
Oy my, I found out my mistake, yes I downloaded passport application form but that was not the link I am supposed to download and I failed to notice it. With this one mistake, it cost me more time and work since I have to look for an internet cafe where to print the said form. Anway, after that trouble I was able to get one and proceeded to next step.
I went back to the document verification section and documents were verified.
What's next? The processing section. I was asked if it's my first time, a little on the personal info and on the processing time. There are two options : (1) Regular - 7 working days for 950 (2) Express - 15 working days for Php1,200.00. I opted for regular and was given a slip for the payment.
Next Step: The Cashier Section. I paid for the Regular Processing fee of Php950.00.
Next Step: The Encoding Section. This is the process where all your information is encoded and take photo. You will be ask to take off colored contact lens, eye glasses and earrings. You will also be asked whethere you want to pick up the passport or you want it to be delivered. I opted for delivery.
Next Step: I paid for the Courier Delivery which is Php150.00
Okay, everything is finished and it took me 2 hours to process everything.
That's it, there's always the first time what matters most is I learned from my mistake. I hope you learn the basic steps on how to apply for passport, know the passport requirements and yes, sometimes you will need patience.
Hurray! I am still waiting for my passport and I am excited to visit South Korea soon when God permits 🙂 .