Renew your expiring Philippine passport even if intending to naturalize
US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - July 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Today we shall feature a couple of questions posed by our readers:

Q: I am planning to submit my application for US naturalization about three months from now. Should I renew my Philippine passport which is expiring in less than six months? It would be a waste of money if I renew it since I will be applying for a US passport once I am a naturalized citizen already.

A: Yes, you have a point of being concerned about spending additional money for renewing your Philippine passport. However, keep in mind that anything can happen between now and the day you receive your US passport. There might be a situation in the Philippines that necessitates your urgent presence, such as death or sickness of a family member. Your expiring passport might pose some problems in your entry and exit in both countries, so better have a passport that is not soon to be expiring. A passport also serves a valid government-issued form of ID. And in case of your own personal emergency, your passport also serves to identify that you are a Filipino so that your family and the nearest Philippine Consulate can be informed.

Q: Why is it that I was asked by the US Consulate to submit a photograph of my petitioner-father holding a recent copy of a newspaper?

A. Your father may have petitioned you years ago and he may also be at an advanced age now. The US government just wants to know if your father is still alive at the time your visa application is being adjudicated. We note from previous columns that death of a petitioner automatically revokes an I-130 petition, so in cases where there may be a reasonable ground to suspect that a petitioner may have already passed away, such proof asked is often a way of verifying whether or not the petitioner is still alive.

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This column is not a substitute for professional legal advice obtained from a US licensed immigration attorney. The information contained herein does not constitute a warranty or guarantee or legal advice regarding a reader’s specific immigration case. No attorney-client relationship is and shall be established with any reader.

For any questions, comments and observations, please contact Atty. Marco Tomakin at

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