March 30, 2010

ePassport Renewal Processing

Learning my lesson. I need to renew my passport for my Hongkong-Macau trip this May. My passport is valid until September this year.. no worries, since HongKong government allows entry for passport holders who have one month validity. HOWEVER, I don't want to miss the Macau trip, and it is a requirement that passport should be within 6 months of validity.

I got no choice, but go online and set an appointment. I thought it was an easy process. Well, the whole online process is easy. You just enter your details and pick the schedule. I tried the mock booking last Monday, and the earliest appointment date is April 14th. Come, Wednesday I tried booking for our appointment and the earliest date is April 21st! I have no choice but to get that date. Checked rush processing which is 7 business days.

I was feeling hopeless that I won't not make it before my flight date. Even went and consulted a Travel Agent, and they can't even commit on the processing time (rush is 6 to 12 business days after appointment).

I checked the DFA website and was shocked with their announcement:

We would like to inform you that your passport could not be released as scheduled due to technical adjustments in the production process.
The Department will either contact you directly once your passport is available for release or you may refer to our website ( for the list of passports ready for release.
Thank you for your understanding.

So this is how my taxes work.

DFA is going techie and migrating to the new ePassport thing, in line with DFA's migration to the new site (I am not certain where exactly, but near Mall of Asia). Just goes to show that we are not yet ready for this.

I checked the DFA website yesterday, and they just updated the website and processing time. 10 working days for rush processing! What the?! And there might even possibilities of delays! I was lucky when I called the DFA call support, and was able to get a schedule on April 8 (think of chance passenger).

But everything could go wrong, and I could just say good bye to my friends as they board the plane to HongKong this May.

Hoping everything work okay.