Because we’re already planning our HK trip this summer, Z needs a passport to join us. So, last Tuesday, we trooped to the DFA for his passport appointment. I was surprised at the efficiency of the DFA’s new system. Here’s how our trip went:
- We got an appointment through this website. All of the information is there, including the documents needed and the time that you should be at the office. You just need to print the application form in a long bond paper and bring it with you on your appointment date.
- I set our appointment time at 3:30 in the afternoon. As in the reminder, we were there 30 minutes before. I suggest you park in S & R and just take a short walk to the DFA office.
- Only one companion is allowed to go in with a minor applicant. Luckily, both me and my husband were given the go signal to accompany Z. Maybe because there weren’t a lot of people; Z was charming; or it’ll be hard for one person to hold a baby and sign papers. I could have went alone if I was wearing Z in the sling. By the way, there is a dress code observed when entering the premises, even if you’re just a companion.
- There is a special lane for minor applicants. We didn’t get to use it because there weren’t a lot of people in the normal lane. Step 1 was to get the documents checked. My tip to all applicants: bring photocopied documents in case you need to submit them.
- Step 2 was to pay for the passport. It costs P950 for the regular processing time (15 working days) and P1,200 for the rush processing (7 working days).
- The last step was to have the picture taken. We got a number and waited for less than 5 minutes before proceeding to the booth. We were told that infants need not be dressed in a collared shirt, but we want Z to look formal in his passport picture 🙂 Z was put on top of a juice box so that his face could be seen in the camera. And just after 2 takes, we got it!
- If you don’t want to travel back to claim your passport, there is a P120 courier fee so that it’ll just be delivered to you, hassle-free.
I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures because we were there for just 20 minutes. Easy-breezy! I didn’t get to use the restroom as well, so I cannot comment on that, though I didn’t see any sign for it inside the building.
All in all, it was a happy experience in a government agency related to a lot of stressful and horror stories! Thanks to technology, getting a passport need not take one whole day anymore. The staff we encountered were also in a happy and friendly mood, maybe because we were applying a baby.
See you soon Hong Kong!