Early February Aaron and I went to Manila to process his US passport. A US embassy policy, after 16 years of age just one time, the person has to apply the passport at the Embassy in person. Before going there, we set an appointment on line at the US embassy for the best day for us to go there and give Aaron’s papers for the passport application. You need to get the online confirmation before going inside the embassy so that your time will not be wasted. The guard will not let you in inside the Embassy without the confirmation papers that you made an appointment on the day you go there to the Embassy. It makes sense so that both the person and the Embassy personnel will not be wasting time. Have the appointment confirmation paper printed and bring it along with your application papers.
When going inside the Embassy, if you are a US citizen you don’t have to go through the long lines to go inside. They have another door to go in when you’re a US citizen. Just tell the guard outside that you’re a US citizen, then they will direct you where to enter. Before entering the main building, you have to go through a thorough security check. They will have the x-ray for your belongings and just like at the airport that the person has to go through x-ray and a body pat from the guard. If you have electronic gadgets you have to leave that with the guard. They will have there trays to put your things together with your ID. Then they will give you a claim card when time for you to get your stuff. They really are strict on that. Like Aaron, he had with him on his backpack a small thumb drive. Aaron even forgot that it’s there inside of one of the backpack pocket. The lady told us to get the thumb drive out and put it on the tray. So we had to search the pockets of the backpack and hand the thumb drive to the lady to be put on the tray. No food allowed inside too. They had a snack area at the waiting area just before entering the door at the Embassy.
You can really see how thorough they are. An old lady ahead of us, she had a pretty good size carry on bag, with some clothing inside it looks like from our view. All of a sudden the x-ray lady told the old lady “Ma’am you had bullet on your bag please take it out and put on the tray together with your cellphone and other stuff”. Aaron looked at me and whispered what on earth that old lady do with the bullet? I just smiled at him and told him that the old lady might just came from a firing range and forgot to take out the bullet. I was just being funny to Aaron because he could not fathom an old lady with a bullet. We were giggling after that. Really I think that bullet was used for something else. In an old days some people will put something on an empty bullet. They called that here (habak). Its like to drive away bad spirit or sickness. It’s been along time since I’ve heard of it. That’s another post for me to make here.
Anyway, after passing the thorough check, the guard told us you where to go. He directed us to the entrance of the main building. They have there a waiting area designated for what type of processing you’re in there. Since we are for the US passport application we went to the area for the passport application and waited there until the door for the US passport applicant opened. While waiting for our 7:45 appointment, we bought some drinks just right across our seats. As soon as the 7:30 applicant got inside it didn’t take long for the 7:45 to get in too. It is just a matter of minutes. We went in like around 8 am or just minutes before that. Going inside you go through another check in line again just like in the airport. You showed the lady first your appointment confirmation. Without that you can’t get in. Then she will give you back the appointment paper with the stapled window number to where you will give the passport application, located at the second floor. Have to wait awhile for us since theirs 8 people ahead of us. It will take awhile each person because they will have to be checking the application thoroughly to make sure the application was properly filled.
When it’s our time, it supposed to be quick. But the picture of Aaron that we brought was the incorrect size. It’s not close up enough. The passport personnel thoroughly checked the rest of the papers and told us to get another set of pictures. He told us to go downstairs near the entrance. Luckily there is a Kodak place there and we don’t have to go outside the building. I didn’t even notice of the Kodak being there before when were sitting while waiting for us to get in. Just a few people were there waiting to have their picture taken. Really it just took us like 15 or 20 minutes at the most for us to get the new passport photo. We gave it to the passport personnel, we don’t have to get a number again, just hand the picture to that same personnel as long as he doesn’t have any client with him. If everything is good, he will direct you to pay at the cashier for the passport. He will also give some papers for the courier (Air 21) for you to coordinate and you pay there, it’s just a few feet away, near the cashier. Pay the Air 21 and just save your receipt.
Then, you go back to the sit near the window where you gave your application papers. He will give you another number for another window that you will go to. When your number will be called, the personnel there will ask a few questions, then its oath taking time. Then you’re done. The personnel will then tell you to wait approximately 3 weeks to get your passport. Really, Aaron just waited 13 days and the passport was delivered in our house.
So needed for US PASSPORT RENEWAL APPLICATION:
- US embassy confirmation appointment
- Old passport
- US birth certificate
- Passport photo (2 pcs, make sure its close up)
- Valid Id
- Money to pay the passport $135 in cash (U.S. dollars or in Philippine pesos equivalent of $135)
More info: Click the link below: