I mentioned in my last post that it’s ideal to renew a passport around 8-12 months before the expiration date. I advise this to anticipate any unplanned travel or work transfer, as I myself experienced last year.
My passport was still valid for more than seven months when I decided to change job. It was still possible for me to get an employment visa then. But due to a series of processing delays, I found that my passport is no longer valid for visa processing. So, I applied for Philippine passport extension.
If you are facing the same problem now or you are foreseeing the need to extend your passport validity, here are the steps that you need to take:
1. Renew your Passport
The first thing you need and will be asked to do is to renew your passport. There are two places in the UAE where you can have your passport renewed, the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Philippine Consulate General in Dubai. If you will process the renewal in Dubai, you can read the step-by-step renewal process here. If you are in Abu Dhabi, visit the Philippine Embassy website to schedule an appointment and find out the required documents. Keep the official receipt once you are done with the passport renewal.
2. Check your Eligibility
The Philippine passport extension can only be done in the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Note that only those with urgent reasons or emergency situations will be allowed for extension, because the Embassy is now encouraging Kabayans to renew their passport early. The reasons that are applicable to us here in UAE are:
- New employer – you need to extend your passport so the new employer can apply for your employment visa
- Death in the family or medical emergencies – you need to extend your passport so you can travel back to the Philippines
- Going home on final exit visas – you need to extend your passport so you can go home to the Philippines
There might be some other reasons for which you want to extend your passport, for that I suggest that you visit the Philippine Embassy website or Department of Foreign Affairs website for any updates about Philippine passport extension. You can also call the Embassy (Abu Dhabi) to check if your own reason will be acceptable.
3. Prepare the requirements
The following are the requirements for Philippine passport extension:
- official receipt of your passport renewal
- fully accomplished extension form which is downloadable here
- Proof of your reason to extend (Ministry of Labour Offer Letter, Death Certificate or Hospitalization Papers)
- your original passport
- photocopy of passport details
- photocopy of the visa page
- ID Picture (passport size or 2×2)
- Renewal Fee
4. Go to the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi
There is no need for an appointment to process the extension of your passport. If you renewed your passport in Abu Dhabi, you can proceed right away on the same day after the renewal process. However, if you processed the renewal in Dubai, I suggest that you go to Abu Dhabi the following day that you are free. I advise to go there early so that there will still be few people in line.
The Embassy in Abu Dhabi is located at W-48, Street No. 8, Sector 2-23, Plot 51, Al Qubaisat. If you are coming from Dubai, ride a bus going to Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal either in IBN Battuta Bus Station or Al Ghubaiba Bus Station. The bus ride will be a little over two hours long and will cost 25 AED. Once you reached the terminal, ride a taxi to go to the embassy. Taxi fare in Abu Dhabi is cheaper than in Dubai but if you want to save a little more money, I suggest that you find a Kabayan who will go to the Embassy as well and share the taxi ride. Taxi drivers in Abu Dhabi are familiar with the Philippine Embassy, so don’t worry if it’s your first time. It will take around 10-15 minutes to reach the place.
5. Process your Philippine passport extension
The passport extension counter is in the same room as the passport renewal encoding. Before you enter the room and fall in line, the guard will make sure that you have complete requirements first. There are usually just a few people processing for extension. When I went to process my passport extension, there were just 5 persons in line and it barely took me 30 minutes to finish the whole thing.
At the counter, the clerk will ask for your passport and other requirements. Then he/she will tell you to paste your ID picture in the extension form (there is a glue stick available) and ask if you want to get your extension right away. I suggest that you pay the extra 40 AED expedite fee and save the bother of going back to the embassy, especially if you are from Dubai or other emirates. The clerk will give you two separate payments forms for the extension fee and expedite fee.
Go to the cashier and pay for the fees. Once you are done, go back to the passport extension counter and give the payment receipt. If you chose the normal processing time, the clerk will tell you to come back and claim your passport the following business day. However, if you opt to expedite, the clerk will give right away your passport with the validity extension stamped on the amendments page together with the receipts marked as released.