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New Machine readable passports for Philippine citizens in the United States

Posted by Service Officer on 26th July 2008




IN JUNE 2008

The Philippine Consulate General Chicago would like to inform Filipinos in its consular jurisdiction that effective Monday, 2 June 2008, applications for the new Machine Readable Passports (MRP) will be processed by the Consulate. The new MRPs will provide improved security features at no additional cost. The new MRP will still cost US$50.00.

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 and at the same time, it contains a “machine readable zone” containing the personal data of the passport holder that can be read by a machine or computer.

The MRP allows faster entry and exit of the traveler at airports, as the data and biometrics in the MRP can be read by a machine and stored automatically in the database of immigration officers. This means greater convenience and security for traveler.

The new MRP, which is maroon in color, consists of 44 pages. The data in the MRP is now fully printed. The MRP has superior security features compared to the old green passports, which virtually eliminates the possibility of identity theft and acts of fraud.

Only the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila prints the MRP. Applications received by the Consulate General will be sent to DFA via diplomatic pouch. In view of the transit time, it will now take SIX (6) WEEKS for a passport to be released to the applicant, from the time the application is processed.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE IS REQUIRED. All applicants, whether for the renewal of a passport, or those applying for the first time must appear personally at the Consulate General for data verification, thumb mark/finger-printing and signing of the application form. Application by mail will not be accepted.

Current holders of valid Philippine passports (green passport that has not expired), need not worry as the green passports will still be honored as a bonafide travel document issued by the Government of the Philippines until its date of expiry, even after the roll out of the new machine readable passports.

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