DFA: What You Need to Know about Department of Foreign Affairs

It is essential that you have a strong understanding of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) if you are a Filipino. It is the department of the government that is in charge of handling our nation’s diplomatic affairs. This involves ensuring the safety of dignitaries from other countries, providing assistance to people working overseas, and even promoting tourism. Therefore, in the event that you have any immediate or pending concerns with this organization, it is in your best interest to be familiar with the numerous services it offers and what to anticipate from them.

Are you one of the millions of people working around the world who have the title of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW)? It’s possible that you’ve run into some challenges in your professional life, or that you’ve been wary about relocating abroad after hearing an overwhelming number of horror stories. However, there are undeniably a great number of advantages associated with working in a foreign country. To give you an idea of the breadth of services that are available to you through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), here are just a few examples: What exactly is DFA stand for? Continue reading so that you can find out more.

DFA: What You Need to Know about the Department of Foreign Affairs

What is the Meaning of DFA?

DFA stands for Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines.

What is the Purpose of DFA?

The role of the Philippines’ representative in international negotiations is carried out by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is a government department. Its primary objective is to preserve the nation’s independence and unbroken control over its territory. Additionally, it encourages the country to take part in international debates and conversations.

Enrique Manalo, the current Secretary of Foreign Affairs, is in charge of the organization. He is an official in the President’s Cabinet of Advisors. The DFA offers a wide range of services, including the authentication of passports and visas.

After the establishment of the First Republic of the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs was created. Apolinario Mabini was appointed by President Aguinaldo to serve as the nation’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs in the year 1898.

To make the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) services more accessible to the general public, 21 regional consulate offices and five satellite offices were opened across the country in January of 2016.

Functions and Responsibilities

The Department of Foreign Affairs, sometimes known as the DFA, is responsible for maintaining and managing the Philippines’ diplomatic and consular ties with other nations and international organizations. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) provides a number of services and manages a variety of transactions that would otherwise be a nuisance for certain Filipinos. The Department of Foreign Affairs provides assistance to Filipino migrants who wish to or are required to make use of specific government services, such as sending money to their families in the Philippines or applying for citizenship.

The DFA objectives are outlined as follows.

  • Make a contribution to the improvement of national security, as well as to the preservation of territorial integrity and national sovereignty;
  • To make a contribution to the national effort to maintain development and to strengthen the Philippines’ competitiveness in the international market;
  • To increase global knowledge of Philippine culture in order to facilitate the development of connections with other countries that are advantageous to both parties;
  • To enhance the performance of the Department, as well as to expand and make the most of its available human, financial, technological, and other resources;
  • To defend the rights and welfare of Filipinos residing abroad and to engage them as active contributors in the development of the nation; and
  • To present an accurate and favorable image of the Philippines.

List of Programs and Services

It is the responsibility of the Department of Foreign Affairs, sometimes known as the DFA, to provide an extensive range of services and activities to Filipinos living abroad. In addition to this, it works to protect and improve the rights of Filipinos who have left the country and are now residing in other countries.

There are not a lot of individuals who are aware of the different programs and services that are offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, but those people who are aware of them are very few (DFA). Because of this, it is vital to do in-depth research on the services given by the agency in order to guarantee that you are obtaining the highest quality counsel. This can be done by reading reviews written by previous customers of the agency.

AUTHENTICATION

The process by which a person or organization demonstrates that they are who they say they are and that they have the authority to carry out a specific task is referred to as authentication. Authentication can be carried out manually or digitally, depending on the specifics of the situation in which it is being carried out. [Case in point]

It is more likely that documents that have been validated will be considered as valid than those documents that have not been authenticated. For instance, if you approach to a court in your home country with a document that has been verified by the government of another country, then the document will most likely be accepted by the court as real evidence.

CONSULAR RECORDS / CIVIL REGISTRY (REPORT OF BIRTH / MARRIAGE OR DEATH)

Philippine nationals and residents who wish to get certified copies of their civil registration records or enquire about the status of their civil registry documents may make use of the Consular Records / Civil Registry services. These services are open to anybody in the Philippines.

Foreign nationals who have petitions for citizenship, naturalization, or other concerns connected to their Philippine citizenship can also take advantage of the Consular Records / Civil Registry services. These services are offered to foreign nationals.

COURTESY LANE

The Courtesies Lane program is intended to provide assistance to senior citizens, people with disabilities, and other qualified individuals who are eligible for special parking privileges in the process of acquiring the necessary documents to apply for the Disabled Person Parking Placard and/or Disabled Person License Plates. Other qualified individuals who are eligible for special parking privileges may also receive assistance through this program.

Courtesy Lane Online Appointment System (CL-OAS)

The Courtesy Lane Online Appointment System (CL-OAS) makes it possible for citizens of the Philippines to submit an application for the renewal of their passports online using their mobile phones or other electronic devices such as PCs or tablets. In January of 2015, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III signed Executive Order No. 180, which established an Executive Order with the title “Providing for a more responsive and efficient passport application process through the establishment of a Courtesy Lane Online Appointment System.” This was the first time that this system was made available to the public.

Online Passport Application System (OPAS)

The Online Passport Application System, or OPAS for short, is a system for submitting applications for passport services online. It is a web-based application that gives individuals the ability to submit their passport applications online.

Applicants in the following categories may make use of OPAS:

For applicants who are applying for their first passport, including adults, children, and senior citizens, as well as those who are renewing their passports.

If an applicant has their passport stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair, and they require a new one within twenty-four hours of applying for one, they are eligible for this service.

DIPLOMATIC AND OFFICIAL PASSPORTS

The issuance of official passports is one of the responsibilities of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), which is the agency of the Philippine government in charge of all things pertaining to the country’s foreign policy. Other diplomatic offices, such as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, are managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in addition to the Philippine Embassy and Philippine Consulates located all over the world (POLO).

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) can issue the following three varieties of passports:

Diplomats and other officers of international organizations that have been accredited to the Republic of the Philippines are eligible to apply for and receive diplomatic passports. It can be renewed at any point within its five-year duration of validity.

Official passports are issued to individuals who will be representing the United States of America on an official mission overseas or who will be travelling overseas with their families. These individuals include ambassadors, consuls general, and other high-ranking officials from a variety of government departments and agencies. It can be renewed at any point within its five-year duration of validity.

Citizens who are in need of travel documentation for personal purposes, like as business trips or vacations abroad, are eligible to apply for and receive ordinary passports. This passport has a validity period of ten years, after which it cannot be renewed under any circumstances.

PASSPORT

The Philippine Government provides its nationals who intend to travel outside of the country with an official travel document known as the Philippine Passport. They are exempt from the requirement to get visas prior to travelling, which enables them to enter and leave foreign nations freely. Additionally, it grants the holder the ability to freely travel within and between countries that recognize it as an acceptable form of identity.

The Philippine Passport can be used for travel to all places, with the exception of countries that require visas for admission or countries that do not have a Philippine Embassy or Philippine Consulate General present.

VISA

Applications for visas to enter the Philippines are handled by the Philippine Embassy or the Philippine Consulate General. The applicant is responsible for making an appointment with the consular officer, who is the one who will decide whether or not the applicant is eligible for a visa in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Philippines.

Visitors to the Philippines can apply for various sorts of visas, such as tourist, business, or other visas, depending on the purpose of their trip to the Philippines. At any Philippine Embassy or Philippine Consulate General overseas, applicants can submit their visa applications either through a representation or agent, or directly by the applicants themselves (where allowed).

ASSISTANCE TO NATIONALS (ATN)

The Help to Nationals (ATN) program is run by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and its purpose is to make certain that Filipinos living outside of the country have access to the appropriate assistance in the event of an emergency. When Filipinos find themselves in difficult situations while travelling outside of the country, the program’s primary objective is to ensure that they are able to receive the necessary assistance and treatment.

OVERSEAS VOTING

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) offers help to overseas Filipinos who wish to participate in elections held in the Philippines. This is accomplished by way of the Overseas Voting Assistance Office (OVAF), which is housed within the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, District of Columbia. The OVAF is a resource that may be utilized to obtain information on how to register to vote, as well as where and how to go to request absentee ballots. The OVAF also provides information addressing issues relating to voter registration and absentee voting, including eligibility requirements, deadlines, and processes for registering to vote or seeking an absentee ballot. This information may be found on their website.

This office also assists Filipinos who are already registered to vote but want to change their address or other personal information. This is done by contacting various government agencies such as the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the National Statistics Authority (NSA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Social Security System (SSS), and the Postal Office, amongst others.

Online Services

  • Schedule a Passport Appointment – When applying for a Philippine passport, the first thing you need to do is make an appointment at one of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) consular offices located everywhere in the country. You will have the opportunity to select an available date and time for an interview with an agent after filling out the booking form on the DFA website, which will allow you to carry out the aforementioned step. After submitting your request, the majority of the time, an appointment will be set for you within the following three business days.
  • Valid IDs for Passport Application – A Philippine passport is a vital piece of identification since it opens the door to travel to a great number of nations all over the world. When applying for a passport, the requirements that must be met vary according to the kind of passport that will be issued to the applicant, such as an ordinary passport or a diplomatic passport.
  • Passport Requirements – The applicant’s present citizenship status will determine the specific requirements that must be met in order to submit a passport application for the Philippines.
  • Apply through Courtesy Lane

Requirements for Courtesy Lane Eligibility

The following may avail of the Courtesy Lane Facility:

Senior citizens

  • A senior citizen applicant may be accompanied by one (1) adult. The adult companion may also avail of Courtesy Lane privileges, provided they are the senior citizen applicant’s immediate family member or traveling companion.
  • An immediate family member (i.e., spouse, adult children, or adult sibling only) must present proof of relationship to the senior citizen applicant (e.g., birth certificate).
  • A traveling companion must present proof of travel with the senior citizen (e.g., confirmed flight or hotel booking) and must also state the reason or justification for travelling (e.g., the travelling companion is a medical escort or nurse).

Persons with disability (PWDs)

  • A PWD applicant must present a valid PWD Identification Card.
  • A PWD applicant may be accompanied by one (1) adult. The adult companion may also avail of Courtesy Lane privileges, provided they are the PWD applicant’s immediate family member or traveling companion.
  • An immediate family member (i.e., parent, spouse, adult children, or adult sibling only) must present proof of relationship to the PWD applicant (e.g., birth certificate).
  • A traveling companion must present proof of travel with the PWD applicant (e.g., confirmed flight or hotel booking) and must also state the reason or justification for travelling (e.g., the travelling companion is a medical escort or nurse).

Pregnant Applicants

  • A pregnant applicant must present medical certificate/records as proof of pregnancy.
  • Minors aged seven (7) years and below
  • A minor applicant must be accompanied by his or her parents, legal guardian, or their authorized representative. The adult companion may also be an applicant.

Solo Parents

  • A solo parent applicant must present a valid Solo Parent Identification Card.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

  • An OFW applicant must present proof of their OFW status, such as:
  • Valid OWWA E-card;
  • Valid employment contract;
  • Valid work visa;
  • Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB) stamped at an international border not more than three hundred sixty-four (364) days from the date of application;
  • Expired or cancelled working visa or employment contract, and a Philippine passport with an immigration arrival stamp of not more than three hundred sixty-four (364) days from the date of application.

Exceptional and emergency cases

  • In exceptional and emergency cases, Courtesy Lane privileges may be extended to applicants upon due approval of his or her written request by any of the following Department officials:
  • The Secretary of Foreign Affairs;
  • The Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns; or
  • The Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs.

NOTE:

  • Senior citizens and PWD applicants may choose either regular or expedited processing of their passport application during regular hours from Monday to Friday
  • All other applicants including companions must pay for expedited processing.
  • All applications outside regular hours must pay for expedited processing.
  • Consular Offices are authorized to set their own daily maximum number of applicants based on operating capacity of the CO and the safety and convenience of the public.
  • Access to the Courtesy Lane may be restricted in emergency or extraordinary circumstances such as in the present Covid-19 public health emergency.
  • Consular Offices Directory – Assistance and services are made available to Filipinos living in other countries through a global network of consular posts maintained by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). This directory includes a listing of all of the Department of Foreign Affairs consular offices, as well as the contact information for those offices and the services that they provide.
  • Download Consular Forms – On the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs, you will find the consular forms that you will need for your forthcoming trip, and you may download them there (DFA). The forms are provided in a portable document format (PDF), and users have the option to either print the forms out or save them on their computers for future use.
  • Registering Birth, Marriage or Death – If you need to register a birth, marriage, or death in the Philippines, you can do so electronically using the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) website. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The procedure is straightforward and hassle-free, and you may do it without leaving the coziness of your own home. You will only need a computer that is connected to the internet.

Quick Facts on Apostille – The issuance of an apostille, also known as an authentication certificate, verifies the place of origin of a document. Documents that will be utilized in another country often require this type of certification. The Apostille certificate is something that can only be obtained from the Secretary of State.

To start the process of obtaining an Apostille for a document, you must first take the document to the Secretary of State to have it authenticated. The document needs to be notarized or signed by another type of authorized official before it can be considered valid. After the document has been validated, you have the ability to submit an application to the Secretary of State for an Apostille certificate.

  • Verify your Apostille – After obtaining an Apostille from the Secretary of State, you are required to take it to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) so that it can be validated. The Department of Foreign Affairs is going to check to make sure that the apostille came from the Secretary of State and that it was issued for the document that you are currently submitting to them.
  • Getting a Philippine Visa – You will be required to obtain a visa in the event that you intend to travel to the Philippines. The good news is that the procedure is not overly complicated, and the Philippine embassy or consulate will be able to provide you with any assistance that you require for any aspect of the process. The first thing you need to do is obtain an application form from either the embassy or the consulate and fill it out completely. Once you have the form in your possession, the next step is to compile the necessary documents, which include a photo, a passport, and evidence that you have travel intentions. When you have completed all of the necessary steps, you can then submit your application and wait for your visa to be processed.
  • Feedback/Complaint – The DFA is continually looking at new methods to enhance the level of service that it provides. In order to provide you with a higher level of service, the government agency would be grateful for any comments, suggestions, or complaints that you may have.

Video: Philippine Passport DFA – Requirements

Citizens of the Philippines are required to have a valid passport in order to enter and depart the country. The Philippine passport is a travel document that is granted to citizens of the Philippines. The passport has a lifespan of five years before it needs to be renewed because it will become invalid. Passports are obligatory for Philippine nationals who are 16 years old or older and who are a citizen of the Philippines.

You must present yourself in person at a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office in order to submit an application for a Philippine passport. You will be required to bring in an application form that has been filled out, two current pictures that are passport size, your birth certificate, and a valid ID. The cost of a new passport is PHP950, which is equivalent to approximately $20 USD.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common FAQs about the DFA:

1. What is the DFA email address?

OUMWA email addresses are:

  • For apostillization/authentication of a Philippine-issued document: authentication.inquiry@oca.dfa.gov.ph
  • For civil registration or filing of a Report of Birth/Marriage/Death: oca.crd@dfa.gov.ph
  • For government officials/personnel applying for a diplomatic or official passport: oca.dops@dfa.gov.ph
  • For visa renewal for accredited representatives of Foreign Missions and International Organizations: oca.visa@dfa.gov.ph

For other concerns and general inquiries: oca.concerns@dfa.gov.ph

2. What is the DFA hotline?

You can reach the DFA via their hotline:

  • Authentication Concerns Hotline: 0966-410-8465(Globe),0967-307-3111(Globe)
  • For Passport Appointment Concerns: (02)8234 – 3488
  • For Passport, Authentication and other Consular Inquiries: (02) 8651 – 9400
  • Passport Releasing Hotline: 0939-320-0569 (Smart)
  • Visa Hotline: 0955-852-3251(TM)

3. Can I go directly to DFA?

Due to the amount of personnel affected by COVID-19 in comparison to the daily volume of applications served, the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – Office of Consular Affairs at Aseana Business Park will follow the following daily operation hours and schedule until further notice:

  • Authentication Services – per appointment basis from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; no walk-in is allowed
  • Passport Application Services – per appointment basis from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; no walk-in is allowed.
  • Passport Releasing Services – 8 am to 12 noon
  • Passport Status Inquiry/ Special Concerns/ Follow-up – maximum of 75 applicants daily

4. What is the purpose of DFA?

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is responsible for providing the President with recommendations and assistance in the areas of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, integrating, and assessing the comprehensive national effort in the realm of international relations.

5. How do I make an appointment at DFA?

Schedule an appointment at https://www.passport.gov.ph.

6. How long will it take to obtain a passport?

When a standard application is submitted, it takes between 30 and 45 days for the applicant to receive their passport, however when an application is submitted using Tatkaal mode, it only takes between 7 and 14 days for the applicant to receive their passport.

7. How long does a Philippine passport last?

According to Department Order No. 010-2017 or the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10928, the validity period of the Philippine passport is ten years for those awarded to Filipinos who are 18 years old or older. This information can be found in either document (2017). Passports with a validity term of five years will continue to be issued to Filipinos who have not yet reached the age of 18.

8. What is the limitation period for registering a vital event (birth, marriage, or death)?

In general, a crucial event such as a birth should be recorded at the Local Civil Registrar of the City or Municipality where the birth took place within thirty (30) days of the birth. This is the case even if the birth took place outside of the City or Municipality. Nonetheless, essential events that took place overseas are required to be notified within twelve (12) months after the date that they took place. It needs to be sent to the Foreign Service Post (either an embassy or a general consulate) that oversees the area in which the crucial event will take place.

9. How much does an Apostille cost, and how long does it take to get one?

A fee of Php100.00 is required for conventional processing (issued after three working days), while a fee of Php200.00 is required for accelerated processing (to be released the following working day).

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, expedited document authentication processing has been temporarily suspended.

10. How to Apply for Report of Birth, Report of Marriage, or Report of Death?

Step 1: Complete all of the necessary paperwork.

Step 2: Send an email to the Consular Records Division to request an appointment before visiting the local Consular Office. Send an email with scanned copies of the required documentation attached (for initial verification and appointment schedule).

Step 3: When your documents have been pre-evaluated and an appointment has been scheduled, bring them to the Civil Registration Window.

Stage 4: The Civil Registration Unit Processor stationed at the Window will evaluate the given documents and ensure that they are complete before proceeding to the next stage.

Step 5: The applicant must pay the consular charge of USD25 in Philippine currency at the Cashier.

Step 6: Following payment, the applicant must photocopy the receipt five (5) times and present it at the Window. The applicant will be given the original receipt as well as a copy of the Request Form.

Step 7: The submitted Report and supporting documentation will be delivered to the relevant Foreign Service Post (Embassy/Consulate General) for registration.

Reminders before going to the DFA

Because the patient’s health is in such a precarious position at the moment, it is imperative that ALL TRANSACTIONS BE CARRIED OUT ONLY BY APPOINTMENT. Send them an email with your resume attached, as well as any questions or concerns you might have. Following that, you will be sent an email that confirms the day and time of your appointment to submit the necessary documents at DFA Aseana (for applicants in Metro Manila) or the DFA Consular Office that is most convenient for you.

Fees to be paid: The charge to enter the consulate is 25 US Dollars in Philippine Pesos, which is equivalent to about 1,200 Pesos (depending on the daily exchange rate). In Japan, there are fees that must be paid in addition to the application fee for certain events, such as weddings and births.

Summary

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is in charge of verifying documents that are going to be used overseas as well as providing passports and other travel documents. In addition to this, the Department of Foreign Affairs provides assistance to Filipinos who are in need while living outside of the country. For more information, you can get it by looking at their website or calling their support line.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was one of the first government agencies to be founded when the First Philippine Republic was established. It was named after its original founder, Jose P. Diokno. Services such as passport issuing and authentication are both provided to Filipino citizens by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). In an effort to make consular services more accessible to the people of the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has opened around 21 regional consulates across the country.

READ NEXT: How to Apply DFA Foreign Service Officer Philippine Diplomat

Contact Information

Address: ASEANA Business Park, Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. cor. Bradco Ave., Brgy. Tambo, Paranaque City 1700 PHL
Telephone Number
:
Authentication Concerns Hotline: 0966-410-8465 (Globe), 0967-307-3111 (Globe)
For Passport Appointment Concerns: (02)8234 – 3488
For Passport, Authentication and other Consular Inquiries: (02)8651 – 9400
Passport Releasing Hotline: 0939-320-0569 (Smart)
Visa Hotline: 0955-852-3251(TM)
Email:
For apostillization/authentication of a Philippine-issued document: authentication.inquiry@oca.dfa.gov.ph
For civil registration or filing of a Report of Birth/Marriage/Death: oca.crd@dfa.gov.ph
For government officials/personnel applying for a diplomatic or official passport: oca.dops@dfa.gov.ph
For visa renewal for accredited representatives of Foreign Missions and International Organizations: oca.visa@dfa.gov.ph
For other concerns and general inquiries: oca.concerns@dfa.gov.ph
Website: https://dfa.gov.ph/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dfaphl

Google Maps Location

Below is a map guide to the location of DFA office in Metro Manila:



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