Routine passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, and notarial services are limited as of March 18. Individuals with appointments after March 18 may be asked to reschedule their appointments for a later date.
While the United States Government does not maintain records of marriage and therefore cannot produce the “certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage” required by the Philippine Family Code, Philippine authorities have accepted affidavits by the U.S. citizen to be married in lieu of that certificate.
The U.S. Embassy is aware of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Memorandum Circular No. 2023-15 (effective July 31, 2023) requiring that these affidavits be notarized by the Embassy or the Consular Agency in Cebu. Please note that implementation of this requirement has been suspended through October 31, 2023, according to PSA Memorandum Circular No. 2023-16. Affidavits of legal capacity to marry continue to be valid if notarized by Philippine notaries during this period, and U.S. citizens may find this option significantly more convenient than notarization at the Embassy. While the Embassy will honor existing appointments for this type of notarial service, no new appointments will be offered for notarization of affidavits of legal capacity to marry.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila and the U.S. Consular Agency in Cebu are providing limited notary services for the following types of documents only. We cannot accommodate requests to notarize other types of documents at this time. The fee is U.S. $50 per seal, except where noted:
Notary appointments are available in Manila between 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Cebu between 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, except for U.S. and Philippine holidays. You can schedule an appointment via Manila’s online appointment system and Cebu’s online appointment system.
DS-3053: To notarize a DS-3053 Statement of Consent: Issuance of a U.S. Passport To a Minor Under Age 16 (PDF, 345K), please review the instructions listed on the form, the information fields that must be completed, and bring your original, valid, government-issued photo ID as well as a photocopy of both sides. As the U.S. Department of State requires that this form be notarized, this service is performed free of charge.
Power of Attorney (in conjunction with U.S. passport applications): When both parents are unable to be personally present to apply for a minor’s U.S. passport, and they wish to designate a third party to do so, they may sign a power of attorney (POA) before a notary public. This POA must contain specific data fields; see a sample. Note that photocopies of both sides of each parents’ original, valid, government-issued photo ID must be included with the POA. As the U.S. Department of State requires that this form be notarized, this service is performed free of charge.
At the Direct Request of a U.S. Municipal, State or Federal Entity
At the Direct Request of a Foreign Government
For other notary services, or documents that require notarization for use in the United States, several other options are available.
Electronic notarization is currently authorized in 36 of the 50 states. Many of these states allow remote notarization over videoconference. Refer to your specific State Notary Handbook for more information. Please verify with the intended recipient of your documents that this form of notarization is acceptable before engaging an online notary. The U.S. Embassy and Consular Agency will accept electronic notarization of form DS-3053 (Statement of Consent for the Issuance of a Passport to a Child under the Age of 16), provided the notarization was completed in accordance with the policies of the state that commissioned the notary public. More information concerning remote notarial and authentication services is available on the Department of State’s website.
The Philippine Supreme Court allows the notarization of documents via videoconference in cases where the notary public holds office in an area under community quarantine. Please visit the Philippine Supreme Court website or contact the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for more information and for a list of local lawyers who are providing this service.
An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document. Philippine authentications are accepted and recognized for use in the United States in compliance with the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Hague Apostille Convention). Documents that carry a Hague apostille are entitled to recognition in any other convention country without further authentication. The United States and the Philippines are both parties to this convention. U.S. federal courts and state authorities should accept documents with the Hague apostille. For private transactions, please confirm with the other party first to make sure they will accept foreign authentications.
Philippine public documents, such as National Bureau of Investigation clearances, birth certificates, and marriage certificates, among others, can be used abroad once authenticated with an apostille from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Notarization under the Philippine system is a three-step process:
Step 1: Sign the document in front of a notary public.
Step 2: Obtain a Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by an Executive Judge/Vice-Executive Judge/or any other office authorized as signatories for notary services; this designation is issued by the Regional Trial Court. Contact the Office of the Court Administrator to determine who may sign a CANA in your region.
Step 3: Next, visit the Philippine DFA website and follow the instructions to have a Hague apostille affixed to your document.
Keep in mind that if your document is written in a language other than English, you may need to have it translated by a certified/sworn translator.
Affidavit of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage: We encourage U.S. citizens to inquire with the Local Civil Registry Office where you plan to be married to specify what information must be included in your affidavit. Generally, an “Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry” must contain: a sworn statement in which the U.S. citizen attests they are free to marry; information regarding any prior marriage(s); and a copy of the evidence of U.S. citizenship presented to the notarizing agent. Click here for a sample blank affidavit. For specific questions on marriage in the Philippines, please check with the appropriate Local Civil Registry Office or consult an attorney.
Certificate of Legal Capacity to Adopt/Affidavit of Legal Capacity for Local Adoption: Please check our website for information on adoption in the Philippines. The U.S. Embassy and Consular Agency in the Philippines do not issue Certificates of Legal Capacity to Adopt. Neither do we notarize Affidavits of Legal Capacity for Local Adoption. American citizen prospective adoptive parents should contact the Philippine National Authority for Child Care to satisfy requirements for “foreign domestic adoption law” or any similar document, as the U.S. Embassy does not provide authenticated copies of U.S. law.
Authentication and Certification of Federal Records: The U.S. Embassy and Consular Agency cannot provide certification or authentication services. Apostille and authentication services are provided by the Department of State in Washington, D.C. For more information, see the Office of Authentication’s website. If the document for which you require authentication was issued by a U.S. state, such as a birth certificate, contact that state’s secretary of state. Information for each state can be found on the internet.
Notarization of U.S. Government Forms: Notary appointments are available in Manila between 12:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Cebu between 9:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, except for U.S. and Philippine holidays. You can schedule an appointment via Manila’s online appointment system and Cebu’s online appointment system.
Notarization of ITIN applications: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has designated acceptance agents around the world that can assist with ITIN applications. You can find the acceptance agent for the Philippines on the IRS website.