An alternative, off-site passport renewal center will soon open in Los Angeles to address the huge demand for ePassport renewal applications. The said alternative passport renewal center will be operated by VFS Global, a private outsourcing company, pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and that company in 2019.
According to Consul General Edgar B. Badajos, “The opening of a VFS Global Philippine Passport Renewal Center (PaRC) in Los Angeles is a continuation of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)-VFS Global Agreement that began in 2019.”
“The DFA reached the agreement with VFS Global in line with President Duterte’s directive for Philippine agencies to streamline procedures and to make ePassport renewal services faster and more convenient, especially for Overseas Filipinos,” the Consul General added. VFS Global PaRCs are now present around the world, including in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in UAE.
Having consular jurisdiction over Southern California, Southern Nevada and the State of Arizona, the Consulate General serves an estimated 1.3 million OFs. Since May 2021, the Consulate General has been processing the maximum number of passport, dual citizenship and other consular services applications that its limited office space and personnel can accommodate and process daily. With the demand for passport renewal services surpassing the operating capacity of the Consulate by a wide margin, it was felt that the opening of a VFS Global PaRC in Los Angeles will help address the problem.
It may be noted that in addition to its regular weekday consular services, the Consulate General has been conducting consular services on Saturdays since March 2021. It also resumed its post-pandemic consular outreach missions in May 2021 and has so far visited Las Vegas, NV (twice), Phoenix, AZ, and San Diego CA. In spite of these extra services, the huge demand for passport renewal applications still cannot be fully met.
VFS Global is a private third-party outsourcing service provider and will be tasked with processing passport renewal services, specifically, only those that have non-complex, non-sensitive and non-discretionary elements. As a third-party service provider, VFS
Global will charge an additional fee for its services. VFS Global is the same company that operates a Visa Application Center in Los Angeles to receive and process applications for Schengen Visa, Canadian Visa, and UK Visa.
“Passport renewal through the VFS Global PARC is not compulsory. It is up to the applicant to decide whether to apply through VFS Global or through the DFA-Global Online Appointment System (GOAS),” the Consul General stressed.
Appointments slots to be rolled out by VFS Global for passport renewal will be separately announced through its website, with a link to be provided on the Consulate General’s own website.
The public may visit the Consulate General’s website https://www.philippineconsulatela.org/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PHLinLA/ for future announcements on the location of the VFS Global Passport Renewal Center in Los Angeles and when it will become operational