Of the many things in common I have with the hubby, one of which is being adventurous. For as short as one year, we have had our fair share of adventures.
We have cycled around Singapore’s Pulau Ubin, savored organic vegetables at Malaysia’s Cameroon Highlands while having a taste of the savory Boh Tea, frolicked with the sand and sun at Indonesia’s Bintan Island Resorts, discovered one of Singapore’s Southern Islands, explored the historical Malacca, discovered bustling and vibrant Kuala Lumpur, had a relaxing staycation at Furama Hotel Singapore and enjoyed the Rock and Roll vibe of five star Hard Rock Hotel.
So when I was pregnant with LO, the hubby and I have made a resolution that having a baby would not hinder us from being wanderlust, after all it is already in our system, being “la-ag” (Visayan term for wanderlust) .
So now we are enlisting LO into our adventures. As early as now, we want him to catch the travel bug. A prerequisite for him to catch the bug is to have a passport. Infants as young as one month can already acquire a passport. Maybe even younger as long as you can bring them to DFA office for an appearance, they would be issued a passport.
Here’s how we do it.
1. Prepare all the necessary documents.
a. Personal appearance of the minor applicant (for minors below one year old, no confirmed appointment is needed).
b. Personal appearance of either parent (if minor is a legitimate child) / of mother (if minor is an illegitimate child)
c. Original Birth Certificate of minor in Security Paper issued by NSO or Certified True Copy of Birth Certificate issued by the Local Civil Registrar and duly authenticated by NSO.
The latter is what we used since LO’s birth certificate in security paper is not yet issued since it is still unconverted. Don’t forget to bring along with you the receipt issued by NSO.
d. Certificate of marriage, NSO certified (original copy)
e. Passports of parents (original and photocopy)
f. Application fee of P1200 (expedite). For regular processing application fee of P950 applies.
2. Go to your nearest DFA office.
In our case, we went to Cebu Regional Office located at 4th Level Pacific Mall-Metro Mandaue, UN Ave. cor. MC Briones St., Brgy. Estancia Mandaue City. For a complete listing of regional office you may refer to this link.
3. Accomplished passport application form. This form can be downloaded at the DFA website or this is given by the guard manning the gates at DFA office.
4. You just inform the person in charge that you have a baby below one year old and they will direct you to the courtesy lane.
5. When you get to the courtesy lane, you will be directed in the steps you have to take
a. Submit the documents
b. Pay for the passport fee
c. Have your baby’s picture taken (This was the challenging part for us J)
d. Passport delivery service (LBC courier)
Some Tips on the things we have learned especially with those processing for their infants:
1. If you are not from Cebu, in our case we come from Dumaguete, it is best to take a plane to Cebu early in the morning, so when you arrive, you can directly go to the DFA office.
2. Even if the whole passport processing can be accomplished in an hour’s time, it would be best to book overnight in a hotel to ensure that baby is not so stressed of the whole process. You can fly back to Dumaguete early in the morning after both parents and baby have rested and have a nice dinner and stroll at Ayala. J We booked at Allure Suites in Mandaue.
3. Make sure to bring some toys (e.g. rattles) or be prepared to make funny faces to make sure, LO is showing his passport perfect picture. They require that your baby’s eyes are wide open in his passport picture. We fail on this, LO was wailing when his passport was taken. No toothless grins but at least his eyes are wide open.
4. Avail of the LBC courier service located inside the DFA office especially if it requires that you travel long distance to get to the nearest DFA office. For as little as P120, your baby’s passport will be delivered at your doorstep.
5. Make sure that you get your passport way before your scheduled travel dates. Even though the website says that express delivery is 7 to 10 working days, but for regional office, in our case in Cebu DFA, it takes 15 working days for it to be released. Add the 2 to 3 days lead time for the courier service. We had his passport application on 5th April, but the expected released date is 29th April. So another 2 to 3 days of courier, so probably we will be receiving it 2nd or 3rd May.
So we are now waiting for LO’s passport before he is officially enlisted to our travel adventures.