National Bureau Of Investigation

The National Bureau of Investigation of the Philippines (NBI) is where you, or your spouse/fiancee, will go for the NBI clearance. If you are lucky, that is the only reason you will ever have to visit with them, as they are also the top enforcers of Filipino laws, much like the FBI in the USA.

Here is a link to the official NBI FAQ, which contains a lot of good information on getting an NBI Clearance.

When you go to the NBI compound, make sure you wear the proper clothes. Short pants or sleavless shirts will keep you from entering their compound! I suggest a decent shirt, long pants, and shoes.

Don’t forget to bring a pen. But, if you do forget, there will probably be people outside the gate willing to sell you one.

All of my visits to the NBI have been in Cebu, where I have gotten my own NBI clearance, as well as helped my wife and her sister to get theirs. It’s best to go there early morning, as it is first come first served. If too many people are ahead of you, the guard might ask you to come back later. The first step is to wait in line for an application. This step is important, as they also give you a number, which determines your place in line, for future steps. After you have filled up your form, you go to fingerprinting. Cebu still uses the old ink system, so it’s probably not a good idea to wear white clothes. The next step is the long wait. There will be several rows of seats, which you will move along one seat at a time. The guards will call out the numbers, that you got in step 1, giving you a seat. Once you finally get your turn, you pay the cashier, get your picture taken, and turn in your form. After this you will be told when you can get your clearance, and where to wait for it.

There are also “fixers” in the NBI compound, and signs urging you to avoid them. I find this part of the system very strange, as there do appear to be advantages to using the fixers. People I have talked to, who used a fixer, spent much less time getting their clearance, and only had to pay a small “extra fee” to the fixer.

If you have had experiences with getting the NBI clearance, feel free to leave your comments below.

Disclaimer: Expat2Phils is not in any way connected to the Government of the Philippines, nor are we lawyers. What we offer are personal experiences, not legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer!

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