Dubai: The new 10-year Philippine e-passport has triggered a big rush among Filipinos in Dubai in the last few days, Gulf News has learnt.
Almost 2,000 Filipinos have applied for their new 10-year passports at the Philippine Consulate-General in the first five days since the roll out of the 10-year passport began on Tuesday, an official said.
Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said an average of around 390 people showed up daily at the Consulate for their passport applications, a 26 per cent spike from the 310 average daily applications received daily in 2017.
The Philippine government began issuing passports with 10-year validity on Wednesday (January 3) for Filipinos 18 years and above.
Those below 18 will get passports that are valid for five years.
The new validity came into effect through Republic Act 10928, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last year. The previous passport was valid for five years.
Cortes said because of the new validity, the number of “no shows” or people who don’t show up for their appointment schedule decreased.
“More people kept their passport renewal appointments this time. They used to not take their appointments seriously before,” Cortes explained.
Most Filipinos applying for passport renewal are required to book an appointment and come on their appointment schedule.
Failing to do so means others waiting in the virtual queue or people with emergencies who walk in at the consulate will be prioritised.
The next appointment can be booked after a day with an average waiting period of two months.
Filipinos can apply for passport renewal even eight months before their existing passports expire.
Filipinos holding five-year validity passports do not have to worry as their passports are still valid until their expiry as stated on their passports.
But they have the option to get the new passports even now, Cortes clarified.
The cost for renewal of passports remains the same at Dh240, Cortes said.
To apply for passport renewal, visit https://dubaipcg.checkappointments.com