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Non-machine readable passports to be phased out by late 2015 – DFA

Posted On 2014 Jan 05
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Philippine Passport Biometric Data Page from  Wikimedia Commons. The Department of Foreign Affairs said on-machine readable passports to be phased out by late by 2015.

Philippine Passport Biometric Data Page from Wikimedia Commons. The Department of Foreign Affairs said on-machine readable passports to be phased out by late by 2015.

MANILA  (Mabuhay) – The use of all non-machine readable passports will not be extended beyond 31 October 2015 and must be completely phased out by 24 November 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs said recently.

Citing its own regulations and the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), DFA said all Filipino nationals holding machine readable-ready passports (MRRP, green passports) and machine readable passports (MRP, maroon passports) will no longer be allowed to apply for an extension of the validity of these passports after 31 October 2014.

All Filipinos are told to apply for a new e-Passport as soon as possible before the expiry of their current MRRP (green) or MRP (maroon) passports. Those who fail to do so will likely encounter difficulty at immigration checks when traveling through any ports of entry around the world after October 2015, DFA said.

Passport holders are also reminded that there are strict rules for applying for an extension of the validity of expiring or expired passports. Passports that are valid for less than six months or those that have already expired may be extended once only in the following instances:

  1. death in the family requiring the OFW and members of his/her dependent family to urgently travel to the Philippines;
  2. medical emergencies requiring the OFW and members of his/her dependent family to urgently travel to the Philippines or another country for medical treatment;
  3. OFWs returning to their employers abroad with valid employment contracts processed by the POEA; and
  4. those going home on final exit visas (for Filipinos in the Middle East).

In these instances, proof of urgency such as a copy of the death certificate, medical certificate, valid employment contracts processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or any of the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO), along with plane tickets with confirmed flight details, should be presented.  (MNS)

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