US Passport Renewal By Mail (Cebu City, Philippines)

I just got my crisp, 52-page US Passport in the mail a few days ago so I thought I could write about how I had it renewed. My passport will expire on October 2018 but I already have travel plans for next year so I just renewed by passport ahead of time.

Just a little background about me, I am 25 years old and I had my previous US passport renewed at the US Embassy in Manila when I was 16 years old. I had to go to the Embassy that time since it was my first time renewing it as an adult. Now that I’m just renewing my already adult passport, I did not need to go to the Embassy in Manila.

I live in Cebu City so I first looked for options to have it renewed here in Cebu. The only option was going to the U.S. Consular Agency here in Cebu which is located at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug. I called them ahead of time and I found out that:

1. They are only open for one week every month. Info on the dates that they will be opened per month are emailed by the US Embassy in Manila. i think you have to subscribe to their newsletter to be able to receive the emails.
2. Passport renewals coursed through them will take around 1 month.

I didn’t want to wait for a month since I had a trip planned in less than a month. Even though I can just use my Philippine passport when traveling, I needed my US passport to be exempted from the Philippine Travel Tax. I just opted to have my passport renewed by mail.

To be able to apply the same way that I did, your most recent US Passport must be: (I copied this here)

1. Undamaged and can be submitted with the application
2. Was issued when you were 16 years old or older
3. Was issued in the last 15 years
4. Was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change
5. Contains no special endorsement that requires Department of State approval to renew.

If you meet all the requirements above, you may have your passport renewed by appointment or by mail.

By Appointment

I can’t give you exact instructions on how this can be done since I did mine by mail but you can book an appointment here if you are in Manila. If you’re in Cebu, you can just do a walk-in at the US Consulate in Waterfront Hotel. Their normal walk-in hours are from 8:00am to 10:30am. And again they only open for one week per month so you should check if they are open before going.

By Mail

1. Electronically fill out the DS-82 Application for a US Passport Form. Take note that it should not be handwritten. I actually had a hard time filling it up on my laptop (maybe because I’m using mac) so I just filled it up through the DS-81 Wizard Form and then printed it after. It was actually much easier that way.

2. Mail your documents to the following address:

Citizenship and Passport Unit
American Citizen Services, Consular Section
U.S. Embassy
1201 Roxas Boulevard, 1000 Manila

Below are all the documents that I mailed to the Embassy:

1. Completed and signed DS-82 Form (with stapled 2″x2″ photo)
2. My current US Passport and photocopy of the personal data page
3. 2 pieces 2″x2″ colored photo (they actually just returned these along with my new passport)
4. Demand Draft worth USD 110 payable to “U.S. Embassy Manila” and 2 separate photocopies of the demand draft
* You will need a dollar account from the bank to be able to request for a demand draft. The embassy currently only accepts Demand Drafts from Banco De Oro (BDO), Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Security Bank. Good thing I have a dollar account at BDO. The bank charged me USD 5 for the Demand Draft.

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Here are the options in mailing your documents:

a) Air21
They are the partner courier of the US Embassy. You may have your documents picked up by them and they will deliver your new passport to you as well.
To arrange a pick-up, you may contact them here – (02) 879-4747
Rates for their two way service (pick-up and delivery):
Php 160 within Manila
Php 240 outside Manila

b) Other Courier Services
I mailed my documents through LBC because it was more convenient for me. My old and new passports were mailed to me through Air21 and I just paid Php 120 when I received them.

c) Philippine Postal Office

After mailing your documents, just wait for the delivery of your new passport!

Hong long was the wait?
I mailed my documents on August 11, 2017 and a representative at the Embassy received it on August 12, 2017. I received my new passport on September 5, 2017 so the wait was more or less three weeks.

The man from the consulate whom I spoke with on the phone actually told me that if I did a walk-in in Manila, the processing would only take around 2 weeks. There’s a slight delay with mailed applications because the Demand Draft needs to be cleared by the bank before they process your renewal.

So here’s my new 52-page passport along with my canceled passport.Β If you have any questions, just leave it in the comments below! πŸ˜‰

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