4 Passport Appointment Scams You Need to Avoid

One of the basic requirements of working overseas is passport. In fact, our passport should not be less than six months prior to expiration; otherwise, you will be asked to renew it. Many countries overseas are also strict about this six-months validity rule and won’t issue you Entry Visa or Work Permit if your passport is about to expire in six months.

Here’s the thing: applying for a passport is not that easy. In fact, some would take months before they can even book for an appointment. Because of this and the immediate need to fulfill requirements to be able to work abroad, some Filipinos turn to fixers, hoping to expedite the process and get their passports earlier than usual. Some are even pure scam and meant to extort money from you.

Save yourself from that by knowing these appointment scams you need to avoid:

Scam No. 1: The False Bar Code 

When you schedule an appointment online to either apply or renew a passport, you will notice the bar code on the top right of the application form. This is automatically generated from the DFA system.

Apparently, scammers would go the extra mile by printing false bar code on your application to make it appear that your passport application was submitted and accepted by the DFA system.

Scam No. 2: Applying on the Applicant’s Behalf

This is how it works: you approached a fixer because you need to get your passport pronto. The fixer will apply on your behalf and tell you that you can use the courtesy lane.

Don’t get too excited. Before you can proceed to the submission of your passport application, DFA representatives will check your application form and documents to see if you are qualified for the exemption. If you’re not, then you wasted money for nothing.

Scam No. 3: The Fixer’s Fee

The truth is DFA accepts endorsements from other government agencies as a form of courtesy or by way of accommodation.

Sadly, there are fixers who would go as far as falsifying or giving you fake endorsements from government agencies or officials just so you could process your passport. There are also some who got authentic endorsements from government agencies and sell this to passport applicants.

We understand the urgency of applying and getting your passport, but you don’t need to shell out thousands to be able to get one in an illegal manner.

Scam No. 4: Slot Not Under Your Name

Some fixers apply for a passport and get a reservation slot. Apparently, they won’t be renewing or applying for their own passport, rather said reservation slot will be sold to another person who is in need of a schedule.

The problem with this is that the slot is NOT reserved under your name. This could be problematic since even if you have a slot, the person in the given schedule is different from you and has different details. This will prompt DFA representatives not to allow you to enter and proceed with the passport application.

These forms of scam are frowned upon by the DFA and encouraged Filipinos to go legal. Yes, they admitted that it could take time before you’re able to get a slot but be patient. It is better to wait legitimately than process and get your passport fast but with accompanying dangers like fake passport.

Still, don’t worry. Per DFA website, Overseas Filipino Workers (both land- and sea-based) do not need passport appointment. You may avail of the Courtesy Lane anytime from Monday to Friday, which means no appointment needed. This will make application or renewal easier and more convenient for you.

You just need to bring the following documents or proof of your OFW status such as:

  • Valid iDOLE card
  • Valid employment contract
  • Valid Work Visa
  • Seaman’s book (for sea-based applicants) stamped at international border less than 365 days from date of application

You may also choose between regular or expedite processing, depending on how soon you need it.

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