March 16, 2022

LOOK: DFA Opens Courtesy Lane for Walk-in Applicants

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  • LOOK: DFA Opens Courtesy Lane for Walk-in Applicants
  • Earlier this week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) started to accommodate qualified walk-in applicants such as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), senior citizens, persons with disability (PWDs) among others.

    The DFA took this initiative to expedite applicants who are in need of immediate assistance for passport transactions. Moreover, the DFA will only accommodate walk-in applicants until 1 p.m. with a maximum of 300 applicants per day.

    Philippine Passport/IMAGE from Unsplash

    Meanwhile, DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay warned the public about individuals who have been selling passport appointment slots on social media. He clarified that passport appointment is free of charge.

    The department is already investigating the reports with the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP). Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also gave orders to stop allocating passport appointment slots to recruiters in order to prevent suspicious and malicious passport transactions.   

    IMAGE from the Department of Foreign Affairs  

    Starting March 16, all consular offices of DFA will have courtesy lane except for TOPS (Temporary Off-site Passport Service).

    Also read: Passport Application 101: Requirements to Get a Philippine Passport

    “Following the accommodation of walk-in applicants at the Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of Consular Affairs (DFA-OCA) in Aseana Business Park, Paranaque City, the Department informs the public that the Courtesy Lane in all of its Consular Offices nationwide will start accepting fully-vaccinated and qualified applicants effective today, to reach Filipinos, especially those outside Metro Manila, who are in need of passports,” DFA said.

    The courtesy lane will only accommodate the applicants listed below upon presentation of the core passport application requirements along with the following requirements.

    The following may avail of the Courtesy Lane Facility:

    1. Senior citizens
      • A senior citizen applicant may be accompanied by one (1) adult. The adult companion may also avail of Courtesy Lane privileges, provided they are the senior citizen applicant’s immediate family member or traveling companion.
      • An immediate family member (i.e., spouse, adult children, or adult sibling only) must present proof of relationship to the senior citizen applicant (e.g., birth certificate).
      • A traveling companion must present proof of travel with the senior citizen (e.g., confirmed flight or hotel booking) and must also state the reason or justification for travelling (e.g., the travelling companion is a medical escort or nurse).
    2. PWDs
      • A PWD applicant must present a valid PWD Identification Card.
      • A PWD applicant may be accompanied by one (1) adult. The adult companion may also avail of Courtesy Lane privileges, provided they are the PWD applicant’s immediate family member or traveling companion.
      • An immediate family member (i.e., parent, spouse, adult children, or adult sibling only) must present proof of relationship to the PWD applicant (e.g., birth certificate).
      • A traveling companion must present proof of travel with the PWD applicant (e.g., confirmed flight or hotel booking) and must also state the reason or justification for travelling (e.g., the travelling companion is a medical escort or nurse).
    3. Pregnant Women
      • A pregnant applicant must present medical certificate/records as proof of pregnancy.
    4. Minors aged seven (7) years and below
      • A minor applicant must be accompanied by his or her parents, legal guardian, or their authorized representative. The adult companion may also be an applicant.
    5. Solo Parents
      • A solo parent applicant must present a valid Solo Parent Identification Card.
    6. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
      • An OFW applicant must present proof of their OFW status, such as:
        • Valid OWWA E-card;
        • Valid employment contract;
        • Valid work visa;
        • Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) stamped at an international border not more than three hundred sixty-four (364) days from the date of application;
        • Expired or cancelled working visa or employment contract, and a Philippine passport with an immigration arrival stamp of not more than three hundred sixty-four (364) days from the date of application.
    7. Exceptional and emergency cases
      • In exceptional and emergency cases, Courtesy Lane privileges may be extended to applicants upon due approval of his or her written request by any of the following Department officials:
        • The Secretary of Foreign Affairs;
        • The Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns; or
        • The Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs.

    NOTE

    • Senior citizens and PWD applicants may choose either regular or expedited processing of their passport application during regular hours from Monday to Friday
    • All other applicants including companions must pay for expedited processing.
    • All applications outside regular hours must pay for expedited processing.
    • Consular Offices are authorized to set their own daily maximum number of applicants based on operating capacity of the CO and the safety and convenience of the public.
    • Access to the Courtesy Lane may be restricted in emergency or extraordinary circumstances such as in the present COVID-19 public health emergency.

    Source: DFA and PNA

    Written by Cedie Salido.

               
               
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