NEW!!! UPDATE AS OF 28.03.2017 READ OUR LATEST BLOG POST HERE
The last Blogger’s Confession in Qatar further solidifies the purpose of why I do what I do. And for some of my posts, I have already mentioned that I got more and more inspired whenever people would interact with me by asking questions and even assistance on their situations. Then I realized that I am taking the right path towards “finding my voice as a blogger” – BEST LIFE QATAR aside from serving as a journal of our family adventures, also aim to help the community by sharing information, ideas and tips from our very own experiences.
And recently, my wife renewed her passport at the Philippine Embassy in Qatar and even applied to change it to her married name. And for some who are asking about the procedures, you may read along and comment below if you have further questions.
Renewal and/or Change of Status (to Married)
- Personally visit the Philippine Embassy in Qatar (click here for location). It is advisable to come before it opens at 7:30am since the procedure will take a long time to finish.
- Get a number for Document Assessment at Counter 1 (the ticket dispenser is usually located near the counters).
- Fill-up an Application Form available at the guard (click here for sample format). Make sure to write all information clearly and correctly as it is the same information that will appear in your passport.
- Wait until your number is flashed (electronic queuing system) for the assessment. Make sure you have the following: Properly Filled-out Application Form, Original Photocopy of Your Old Passport, and copy of Marriage Contract (for Change of Status)
- Pay to the Cashier at Counter 2 (Passport Renewal costs QR 240) and the expected delivery time is stamped at the back of the receipt.
- Proceed to the Passport Processing Room (it is the first room after coming out from the counter area).
- Submit your papers to the processing officer and wait for your turn.
- Once name is called, be ready for finger print scanning and picture taking
- There are two options to receive your passport: pickup at the Embassy or delivery to your home or office address via Q-POST (for an additional QR25 only). Pickup can be monitored via the official Facebook page of the Embassy usually around 3-4 weeks after the date of application. Q-POST will deliver the passport at the same time to your appointed delivery address.
For security purposes, we have to understand why the embassy preferred personal application and receiving of our passports. Nowadays, we have to take extra care of our personal documents and information. But on extreme cases, receiving the passport by a representative may be allowed thru an authorization letter with copy of the owner’s QID and original receipt.
Application of New Passport (esp. for babies born in Qatar)
Upon the release of the child’s Birth Certificate (watch out for our next article here), follow the above procedures (Part 1 & 2) but know that at step 7, you can asked to be prioritized to cut-short the waiting time. All other procedures are the same.
Note: Application of Philippine Passport at the Philippine Embassy in Qatar is strictly for Filipino babies born in Qatar only.
When is the best time to renew the Passport?
If you are going to travel, eight (8) months before the passport expiration is the ideal time to apply for renewal. International aviation rules state that passport is deemed valid up to 6 months prior to expiration when travelling to countries except if going back to your own country / country of residence. In the case of the Philippines, even coming home on the last date of validity is permitted since we are resident of the country. This idea is true for countries where you have an existing/valid work or residence visa/travel visa*. You can still return to Qatar, for example, even if the Philippine passport validity is less than 6 months and have the renewal afterwards.
The difference between RENEWING here in Qatar versus in the Philippines is the convenience of not having to go through the following processes:
- Online Appointment System – which usually requires you to wait for a minimum of 1-2 weeks
- Personally visiting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office – esp. for those coming from far places.
Depending on the situation, a valid passport is necessary when you travel out of Qatar and back. So the most convenient option is to have the renewal done in the closest embassy office (PE-Qatar, for example). Also, before for your travel itineraries, check if you have the necessary documents (valid passport and/or visa – if required). Stress usually come after knowing of our passport expiry at the last minute, when all the travel dates are already fixed, tickets purchased and hotels already booked.
Side Note: *Travel Visa
I traveled to Tokyo last April 2016 with less than 6 months passport validity and i didn’t have any problem at all. I was also able to go back to Qatar using the old passport. It is because some countries like Japan only require up to 3 months passport validity in order to apply for a tourist visa. And so long as you have a valid tourist visa and a valid passport, you can still travel.
See also related blog posts: OFWs can travel even with less than 6-mos valid passport
Credits: The Philippine eagle is just one of the images shown in the new e-passport. Lia Mañalac Del Castillo