Yay, I am back!
I am very sorry for not being so active in the past few months. A lot has happened with work and life in general that I just didn’t have time and motivation to write any new posts in my blog. However, now I am back to writing again. I am very happy.
I will try to update you guys on what has been happening lately with me here in the UK. But for now, I would like to share with you my experience of renewing my Philippines passport in London In December of last year.
My last post was about me having Covid. I am doing fine now, healthwise, in case you are wondering. Luckily I am not suffering any long-term symptoms, no shortness of breath, or weakness whatsoever, thank goodness. I have also got my Covid booster vaccine after I was cleared which was 28 days.
Expiring Old Philippines Passport
Anyway, back to the main topic. So, my current (second) passport which I had renewed in Bangkok, Thailand in 2017 will expire in May this year. That means starting processing on renewing for a new one last year, at least one year before its expiration, which I did.
Browsing the Philippines Embassy website in the UK, it shows there clearly all the steps as well as the documents required on the appointment day. The only problem at that time was booking an appointment because there were only very limited slots available.
There was this one instance when I was about to click on a slot but maybe because of the high number of people trying to book also at the same time, I was kicked out and got an error message instead. This happened to me five times in total. That was how difficult and aggravating it was last year just to get a slot.
The good thing now is they have opened many slots starting when the restrictions were lifted in the UK.
I booked through this link where I needed to register first. It requires a valid email address then set up a password for your account.
On the Day of Appointment
The Embassy of the Philippines is located at 6-11 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG. The closest tube stations are Piccadilly Circus and Charing Cross. Then from there, we used Google Maps to find the Embassy.
Outside the Embassy there will be people queueing like in the photo. Therefore, I would recommend you go to the Embassy, not too early (especially during winter) on your appointment time because they will not entertain you. They will call people based on the appointment time so make sure you booked in advance online and have printed your booking confirmation as proof.
Inside the Philippines Embassy
There were a lot of people that day so the queue didn’t end outside the embassy. Even inside, we had to stand on the side before we were able to sit down.
The first part is the evaluation/processing of documents. Make sure to bring all the required documents beforehand. According to their website, below are the requirements for adult passport renewal.
- A confirmed appointment
- Duly accomplished application form (Form No. 2—RENEWAL)
- Original, latest passport, and a photocopy of the data page.
- Supporting documents for dual citizens: Original and one (1) photocopy each of the following:
- Oath of Allegiance
- Identification Certificate
- Order of Approval
- Passport processing fee (GBP 55.00)
- Self-addressed, stamped, prepaid registered mailing envelope
About the last item on the list, a few days before my appointment I went to the post office in town and told them about this mailing envelope for my “passport renewal” appointment. I think they already know what I needed, they gave me this. I can’t remember the exact amount I paid but I’m sure it was less than 10GBP.
The stamps should be affixed in the right place which is on the right upper hand of the envelope. A Filipina in front of me had six stamps on her envelope so the number could vary from where you got it from, I guess. It is also advisable to write your information already on the “To” sections including your name and address. It will be where they will send the new passport to.
The second part is the payment of the passport processing fee of 55 GBP. Not sure if they accept cash payment but how I paid was using my debit card (contactless).
The last part is to go upstairs to the Passport Encoding Room where photographs will be taken as well as the biometric data.
However, up until there, people were still queuing. I was sitting on the stairs where this photo was taken while waiting.
Inside the Encoding room, they asked for my details. Make sure to double-check your information on the computer. After that, my photo was taken. If you are not happy with how you look in your photo, you can always say nicely to take another shot.
After that, I was done. In total, it took almost two hours for me for this whole process. There were just many people that day. Probably to catch up with pending requests during the lockdown which is understandable. So in order not to get bored, you can listen to music or bring any sort of entertainment for you.
The processing time is 8-10 weeks. I just got mine this month, yehey! I am so happy because I don’t have to worry about this anymore. And having a new passport means traveling time. My new passport is valid for 10 years. Another thing not to worry about in 10 years.
Overall, although my experience, in the beginning, wasn’t very pleasant in terms of booking an appointment but on the appointment day, the staff were very friendly and accommodating. The processing time in the Embassy was understandable because of the many people and the circumstances. I’m just very ecstatic to have my new passport with me.