Many Filipino fiancés who marry in the US have to deal with piles of paperwork on immigration to make their US legal and their records current. Although many arrive with an active Philippine passport, a slew of fiances sget here with expiring passports (I belong to this group). My passport expired last August and I'm in the process of renewing it. The problem is I don't know where or how. I had to search online for information on how to change my marital status (report of marriage) in the Philippines, renew my passport, and even apply for absentee voting. On top of that, I had to go through the process of adjusting my status with USCIS, getting identification cards from various government agencies, learn how to drive and even look for a job. The first few years in the US are hard! The whole thing seems like a test of your endurance and patience.
The PDOS seminar that CFO provides should have also covered topics on passport renewal, absentee voting, and report of marriage applications. These are important aspects in our lives as immigrants, especially within the first 3-5 years as permanent residents (we don't just magically become US Citizens, what about those who don't want change citizenships?). Anyway, after several hours of Googling, I decided to go to the Philippine Embassy website (why didn't I think of that from the get go?).
Sure enough, I found the different Philippine Consulates in the US with their respective state jurisdictions. The Consulate processes all report of marriage applications and passport renewal. Remember that you have to apply for both to change your marital status and last name (if applicable) in the Philippines. You have to make sure you go to the consulate which has jurisdiction over the state where you live. I live in Washington State so the Consulate office I go to is the one in San Francisco. If you're unable to apply in person (like me), you can send your application documents along with the payment by mail! Just had to download the forms online (at the website), have the application forms notarized (it should say in the form) and send it to them.
Beware that not all consulates have websites so you actually have to call to inquire, and some process by personal appointments only (you have to be physically present). Do take note that every Consulate has different requirements, forms and fees. Be sure to follow the instructions closely (usually found in the second page of the form).
The SF Consulate has jurisdiction over these states: Jurisdiction: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Utah, Washington State, Wyoming. If you live in one of these states, you'd want to send your application to them. For other Consulates, please check the link I provided above.
Requirements for the Report of Marriage application are (submit 3 sets):
- The Report of Marriage application form
- Marriage Certificate
- Photo ID of both husband and wife (state ID or Driver License, or data page of a valid passport)
- Birth Certificate of the female applicant
- Processing fee of $25.00 (nonrefundable and payable by money order, cashier’s check or bank draft only. Pay to Philippine Consulate General if applying by mail.)
- For applicants who were previously married and later on were divorced by their foreign spouse: Copy of the Divorce Decree to determine who petitioned for the divorce.
- For widowed applicants who have remarried: Death certificate of former spouse
- For applicants presently married to a widowed individual: Death certificate of the widowed individual’s former spouse.
Requirements for Passport Amendment on name due to marriage are: FOR UNEXPIRED PASSPORTS ONLY
- Duly accomplished application form for amendment
- Valid Philippines passport (send your actual passport) and 1 photocopy of passport data page
- All applicable requirements stated above if changing name due to marriage
- Original and 1 back to back photocopy of Resident Alien Card, Temporary Resident Card or Employment Authorization Card, if a US Permanent resident.
UPDATE: Processing of passport by mail is no longer accepted. You must apply in person at your respective consulates. Please check your consulate's website for more information. My understanding is that personal appearance is needed for biometrics, photo and identity verification.
UPDATE: If your passport is expired before applying for amendment you have to renew your passport using the Passport Application form (as if you're applying for the first time but check the RENEWAL OF PASSPORT box in Question 9a).
Be sure to check the Consulate website for your state or call them for updates and information. I heard processing takes somewhere between 3-6 months because they have to send it back to the Philippines.
You should be able to download the forms you need at the applicable Philippine Consulate website (visit the Philippine Embassy for a list of these consulates). I hope this helps!