First things first: if you don’t live in Kanto, Hokkaido, Tohoku, or East Chubu, you don’t need to go to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to have your passport renewed – unlike someone I know who actually went all the way to Tokyo from Kyoto. I swear though, the Philippine Embassy should indicate on their website that you can renew your passport in Osaka too.
Now that I got that out of the way, renewing your passport is pretty straightforward:
Step 1: Gather all the requirements
1. Fully- accomplished application form
2. Passport for renewal (i.e. old or current passport)
3. Copy of passport photo/data page and amendment page, if applicable
4. One (1) self-addressed Japan Post ¥510 Letter Pack envelope (make sure you write your address)
5. Passport fee of ¥7,800
6. Additional requirements (if passport is green or was issued before 01 May 1995, if applicant is a minor or has dual citizenship, and if applicant is a married woman who wishes to change her name)
Step 2: Take them to the embassy or consulate nearest you (personal appearance is mandatory)
Step 3: Follow the instructions
1. Show your documents at the first window (Window 5, if I remember correctly) you see upon entering
2. Pay at the cashier
3. Show the same documents again at the first window (I have no idea why they do this) to get a number
4. Go in through the door beside the window and wait for your number to be called
5. Have your picture taken
Step 4: Wait for your passport to be delivered via post mail
Easy, right? But you can make it even easier and, believe me, you’ll want to because, unfortunately, the officers in the Embassy are just like many civil servants back at home: rude and not at their desk. So even if there weren’t a lot of people when I was there, it took an hour and a half before my number was finally called.
How to avoid this grim reminder of government service in the Philippines? Do the application online. You will still have to go to the embassy but you’ll be prioritized; your number will be called before walk-in applicants. Trust me, you’ll want to get out of there as soon as you can.
Have you been to the embassy to renew your passport? How was your experience?