Monday, January 26, 2015

OFWs: How to Renew Philippine Passport in Japan (Tokyo)

2014 was a very memorable year for me. It was a year of change and big decision-making. And now we've just entered 2015 and wow! I can't believe I've been in Japan long enough to have to renew my passport already!

That's right. Renewing my passport was number one on my to-do list for 2015.

Here, I will be writing about my experience during passport renewal and some tips to make your processing faster and easier. Please take note that the steps I will be listing here are for processing in the Tokyo area. The steps in other branches of the Philippine Embassy might be different.

According to the Philippine Embassy (Tokyo) website, the processing can take up to two months so I would recommend you start processing your passport renewal at least 6 months before the expiration, especially if you have plans to travel. Also, personal appearance of the applicant is required, so make sure to arrange your schedule beforehand to avoid conflicts.

What: Philippine Passport Renewal (E-Passport, with the brown cover)

What to Prepare: (as listed on the embassy's website)
1. Passport for renewal
2. Photocopy of the photo page AND the back page (emergency contact page)
3. Filled up renewal form, which can be downloaded/or filled up online
4. Letter-pack 500 envelope, addressed to yourself 
     *Your new passport will be mailed to you using this envelope so make sure to fill-up your address correctly.
5. 6,900yen for the processing fee

Where to go: Philippine Embassy Consular Section (Tokyo)
Address: 5-15-5 Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8537 (More details)
     - The directions on their website are pretty accurate. I didn't have any problems finding the embassy.

Steps:

  1. Fill up the application form by hand or online. I strongly recommend that you fill up the form online because it is easier and more convenient, and you can automatically schedule an appointment.
  2. After you fill up the form, you will be given a choice of dates for your personal appearance. You can choose either from 9:00am or 1:30pm.
  3. When you complete the form and choose a date, a confirmation email with your filled-up application form and priority number will be sent to you. Print out the form and write down your priority number. Make sure to take note of the date of your appointment.
  4. On the day of your appointment, go to the embassy earlier than the appointed time, as there are other people with the same appointment time as you. There are also walk-in applicants.
  5. To avoid hassle and delay, make sure to PREPARE ALL DOCUMENTS AND PHOTOCOPIES. Don't show up without a photocopy of your passport and a letter-pack 500 envelope. Also, remove the cover of your passport, if any, before handing it over to the person at the window.
  6. When you arrive at the entrance, you will have to sign a log book. There will be someone at the entrance who will check your appointment (if you applied online) and your documents. You will not be allowed to enter if your documents are lacking.
  7. Present your documents to WINDOW 6, which is right at the entrance. I say "present", but you don't just walk up to the window and say "here are my docs". Nope. You still have to fall in line along with both walk-ins and those with online appointments. Just follow the instructions of the staff on where to fall in line. In my experience, they prioritize all online applications first (regardless of your priority number, as long as you applied online), and the walk-ins come after all online applications are finished. So I would definitely suggest filling up the form online so that your application will be processed first.
  8. After having your documents checked at Window 6, you will have your picture, fingerprints, and signature taken for the new passport. The staff will punch holes in your old passport so you can no longer use it.
  9. Finally, proceed to Window 9 (Cashier) and pay the processing fee of 6,900yen for passport renewal.

And you are done! Now you just have to wait one to two months until your new passport is delivered to your address.

Sounds pretty easy, right? Yes, it went pretty smoothly for me, as I already had everything ready and I have long patience.

I cannot stress enough the importance of having all documents in hand when you go to Window 6. Have everything ready by the time you step up to the window. Many people only start to organize their documents when it's their turn, which causes unnecessary delay. I mean, you know what documents are needed, so you don't need to have the staff ask for your documents one by one. Have them all ready, but DO NOT STAPLE or CLIP them together.

*For the picture-taking, a collared shirt is required, but if you accidentally came not wearing a collared shirt, the staff will let you borrow a blazer to wear for the picture.

So there you have it. I hope that will help fellow Filipinos in Japan who are going to renew their passport. Best of luck! And remember, "patience is a virtue".

7 comments:

  1. My passport was issued in 2010 and is expiring this year. Do I renew it or apply for a new e-passport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! You do not need to apply for a new one. You can just renew your current passport.

      Delete
  2. Hello, thank you for the helpful info! What if I want to use my passport during the 1-2 month application period? Do you know if this possible? Also, can I can request them not to punch holes so that I can still use the valid visas in my old passport?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hi!!! may I ask how *really long it was until you claim your new passport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't "claim" your passport. It will be delivered to your address using the letter-pack envelope that you submit when you apply.

      During my application, I was told that it will be delivered within 1-2 months. Mine arrived in exactly a month after.

      Delete
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