IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Beginning June 2008, the Philippines will be issuing Machine Readable Passports, which contain greater

security measures in compliance with international standards. For the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, the target date of implementation is 9 June 2008.

Please take note of the following important changes in the application process: Renewed passports will be released one month from the date of application. All passports will be processed in the Philippines. The new date of release will allow ample time for processing. Photos should have a background color of royal blue. Size is 4.5 x 3.5 cm. Kindly check the attached document on the new photo requirements for details. Personal appearance is required in all applications. Children 8 years old and below, as well as senior citizens 65 and above are exempted from this rule. The applicant may authorize a representative to claim the renewed passport by issuing an authorization letter.

There is no change in the passport fee. Should you have inquiries not covered by the following list of Frequently Asked Questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Philippine Embassy at (02) 796 7387 to 89 or via email at More information can also be found at the website What is a Machine Readable Passport? A Machine Readable Passport (MRP) is a passport where the personal details of the applicant is printed in such a way that it can be read by the naked eye while also containing a “machine readable zone.” This zone contains the personal data of the passport holder that can be read by a machine or computer. What are the other features of the Machine Readable Passport? The new MRP is now maroon in color while the old Philippine passport (Non Machine Readable) is green. The MRP consists of 44 pages while the old one has 32 pages. The data page of the MRP is now fully printed while the data page of the old green passport is manually scripted. The MRP also has the following security features: watermarked paper; colored UV fibers; UV creative inks; special designs; micro-texts; laser perforated numbers; ultra thin laminates resistant to forgery and chemical, thermal and mechanical attacks; letter screen; invisible personal information; and holograms among others. Is there a new photo requirement for the issuance of a Machine Readable Passport? Yes, you must have your passport photo taken against a Royal Blue color background instead of a white background. This new requirement is necessary because the security feature encoded in the Printed Photograph of the holder is more pronounced against a royal blue background. Must I appear personally at the Philippine Embassy? Yes, all applicants whether for the renewal of a passport or those applying for the first time MUST appear personally before a Consular Officer at the Philippine Embassy in Seoul to affix his/her thumb mark and sign the application form. The signature and thumbprint will be stored in the new passport database.

What are the benefits of a Machine Readable Passport? Since a Machine Readable Passport has a machine readable zone that can be read by a machine or computer, the processing of travelers at ports of entry and exit is faster. The data in the passport can be stored automatically in the database of immigration offices. In the past, the information is manually encoded in the database. The new passport means greater convenience and security for the traveler. How can I get a Machine Readable Passport? You need to personally apply at the Philippine Embassy in Seoul. The Embassy is located at the Jinsong Building., 34-44, Itaewon1-dong, Yongsan-Ku, Seoul 140-201. Those in the Philippines may apply at the DFA Main Office in Pasay City or its satellite office at the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency in Mandaluyong City. What will happen to my current green passport? The current passport will remain valid until its date of expiry. New Photo Requirements for Machine-Readable Passports General Rule: Photo must allow the Immigration Officer to identify the Passport Holder, therefore, as long as the Photo submitted by the applicant satisfies this primary criteria, the photo is acceptable, provided the following requirements are met: 1. RECENT PHOTO: Photograph should have been taken within the last six months. 2. SIZE: Photograph size is 4.5 x 3.5 c.m. 3. BACKGROUND COLOR: Background color should be Royal Blue. 4. POSE: Full Frontal 5. IMAGE SIZE: Image of the applicant should occupy approximately 70-80% of the photograph. 6. CROPPING: There should be at least 5mm-10mm space at the top of the photo between the edge of the photo and the crown/head of the person to allow for “cropping”of the photo at PICC. 7. MATTE PAPER PREFERRED: Photograph should be printed on good quality photo paper, preferably MATTE. 8. CLEAN PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph should be free from ink marks, dirt, grease, finger prints and paste stains. 9. DO NOT USE ERASER/APPLY CHEMICAL ON THE PHOTO TO CLEAN IT. 10. USE OF COLLARED SHIRT: Applicant’s photograph should show him/her wearing decent attire, preferably with collar. For women, as long as applicant is shown with decent attire (No short sleeves/plunging neckline), the photo is acceptable. MORE REMINDERS ON PHOTOGRAPHS: 1. 2. 3. 4. EYE GLASSES: Use of eye glasses is acceptable, provided there is no glare from the glasses. DARK GLASSES/SHADES: Use of dark/tinted glasses is not acceptable, except for the medically blind, provided the person can still be recognized through his photo. EARS SHOULD BE VISIBLE: As much as possible, both ears of the applicant should be visible. HEAD SCARF/VEIL: Use of head scarf for religious and medical reason is allowed, (i.e. Muslim women/Nuns/Cancer patients with hair loss/Alopecia) however, the scarf should not cover the eyebrows/eyes. Remember, the photo should allow the Immigration Officer to recognize/identify the passport holder. It is all right if the ears of the Muslim woman applicant or an applicant who is a member of a Religious Order (Nun) is not visible in the photograph. Rule: Photo is acceptable. CAPS/HEADGEAR: Use of caps or head gear is not allowed SMILING: When having their photos taken, applicants may smile. However, the features (eyes, mouth, cheeks) of the applicant must not appear distorted or too different from formal/non-smiling pose. RECOMMENDED: The “Mona Lisa” smile is recommended. Photos showing applicant smiling with teeth or gums showing is

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acceptable, provided the applicant’s features are not distorted and they can be identified at borders using the photograph submitted. USE OF CONTACT LENSES: Use of contact lenses for medical reasons is all right, provided the contract lenses do not change the applicant’s true eye color. USE of EARRING: For Women: Acceptable, provided earrings are small. For Men: Reject photo

The following Photos will be REJECTED: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Photo with Red Eye Effect Dirty photos Image of the face too big Image of the face too small Wrong color background Poor quality photo (Washed out image/Unnatural skin tone) Photo does not resemble applicant Applicant does not look directly into the camera. (Exception: Applicant has a Medical/Physical Condition)