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DFA ePassport Extension of Validity for Seafarers & OFWs

Below is the copy of a Letter from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Office of Consular Affairs to the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) about the DFA’s policy on the extension of validity of passports for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), specifically for seafarers who are onboard ships trading internationally.

According to the letter, in view of prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, DFA-OCA has put in place temporary measures to address the concerns of OFWs, including seafarers, by authorizing the extension of validity for expiring ePassports. Please note that the practice of passport validity extension has been discontinued as a matter of Department policy; this exception is made in light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department has likewise allowed applications for passport validity extension to be sent by mail or courier, or in the case of seafarers, by a person authorized by the seafarer or the concerned shipping company/manning agency, without the need for the passport holder to physically present themselves at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.

The Department is open to other options relating to the extension of passports, subject to acceptance by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and/or recognition by immigration or border authorities.

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