My daughter, Faith, was born in Korea on April 9, 2013. She was born in one of maternity hospital in Okpo, Geoje city, Gyeongnam, Korea.
In order for her to travel to the Philippines from Korea, she needs a valid passport or travel document. It is best to apply for a passport because it is a permanent identification that she can use for traveling in and out of the Philippines.
However, applying and getting a Philippine passport will take some time around more than 2 months when you apply in Korea. The application for passport from other countries will be longer because it needs to be sent to the Philippines.
Thus, getting a passport for my daughter will not be possible since we will travel to the Philippines less than 2 months before she was born. Good thing, Korean government does not require an infant to acquire a visa if she will stay less than 90 days in Korea from the day she was born.
To make the story short, the best option for us is to apply her for a travel document as a replacement for a passport. A travel document works like a passport but it can only be used once and is valid only for 30 days from the day it was issued by the Philippine embassy.
A sample travel document of my daughter is attached on the picture below so you can have an idea how it looks like. It has the picture of the baby, her birth date, her parent’s name and the signature and seal of the Philippine embassy.
To be able to have a travel document, here are the steps that you can follow.
1. Get a Birth Certificate from the Korean Hospital
Normally, the maternity hospital will provide you original copies of birth certificate in English and Korean. However, if it doesn’t provide automatically, you should request to the doctor to give you before your wife’s discharge in the hospital.
The birth certificate (in English) is one of the mandatory requirements when applying for a travel document. Without it, you will not be allowed to apply for a TD.
2. Prepare Your Marriage Certificate
If both of you are legally married, you should provide a copy of your marriage certificate proving that you are the parents of the baby. You only need to submit 5 photocopies of the marriage certificate but you need to show the original copy during application.
3. Apply for a Report of Birth
Since your baby was born in Korea, you need to register her birth in the Philippine embassy to prove her identity as a Filipino citizen. Before you can apply for a TD, you must complete first her birth registration but it can be done simultaneously when you are in the embassy.
The birth registration form can be downloaded in the Philippine embassy website. You need to fill out 5 copies of this form before going to the embassy so that you can save time.
You must also submit 5 photocopies of your marriage certificate, 5 copies of passport of both parents, and alien registration card. The payment for birth registration is around KRW 33,000.
4. Download TD Application form in Phil Embassy Website
After completing the birth registration, you can apply now for your baby’s travel document. You can apply for travel document right away after you finished the birth registration of your baby.
You have to download the TD application form and fill it out with the required information. Four (4) 2×2 color ID picture of the baby is also needed.
Normally, the travel document will be available after one week. In my case, the Consul didn’t allow me to use the delivery service that’s why I was forced to travel from Geoje to Seoul to pick-up the travel document of my daughter.
5. Submit your Application form in the Embassy or Mobile Center
If you are living in Seoul, there will be no problem going to the embassy. However, for people living far away from Seoul, it is really hard to apply since you have to travel twice in order to pick-up the travel document.
Good thing, the Philippine embassy in Seoul regularly conducts services like the Mobile Center wherein they will go to certain key cities like Busan or Daegu in order to provide services of the embassy. They provide passport application and renewal, birth registration, application for travel document, and so on.
Make sure you belong to at least one Filipino organization in your area so that you will be able to know some related information and news about the activities of the Philippine embassy.
6. Get your Baby’s Travel Document
As the parent of your baby, your personal appearance is required when getting the travel document of your child. I believe this is a mandatory requirement because you need to sign a document before the embassy release the TD.
If you are living far away from Seoul, you have to be patient since you may need to travel for several hours. When you get the TD, your tiredness will be wiped out.
Applying a travel document from Korea to the Philippines is not easy. You need perseverance so that you have the energy to finish and complete your application.
Before going to the embassy, you may read first the procedures and requirements that you can in the website of Philippine embassy in Seoul. It will help a lot if it’s your first time to apply for a child’s travel document.
Moreover, the procedure I listed in this post can give you an idea on what to expect when applying for a TD. Always prepare the necessary documents and make sure you understand the procedure.