How to Get NBI Clearance Abroad: An Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on 10/22/2020 by FilipiKnowOpens in a new tab.

Even if you secure an online appointment, there are instances when a personal appearance at the NBI clearance center is impossible.

We’re talking about OFWs or Filipinos who have left the Philippines to work or live permanently in another country.

Perhaps you need NBI clearance for your impending residence visa application. Or maybe you’re a foreign national who lived in the Philippines for a while and just returned to your home country.Opens in a new tab.

Whatever your circumstances may be, it’s possible to get NBI clearance even without your physical presence in the Philippines. This article will teach you how.


Who can get a Philippine NBI clearance abroad?

An NBI clearance is tangible proof that a person has no criminal convictions in the Philippines. It can be obtained by any applicant, Filipino or foreigner, for the purpose of citizenship, immigration/permanent residency, school requirements, or employment, just to name a few.


Requirements in processing NBI clearance abroad.

For new applicants, here are the things you need:

1. Online appointment.

Due to the pandemic, most of the embassies abroad now require NBI clearance applicants to secure an online appointment with them before coming to the Consular office.

This is only applicable to you if you prefer to accomplish the NBI Form No. 5 (see next item) and have your fingerprint impressions taken at the Consulate. Otherwise, you can opt to have the form mailed to you so you don’t have to personally go to the embassy.

Should you choose walk-in application, the embassy may also require you to secure other requirements like a Health Declaration form for safety reasons. For more information, please also check the official website of the Philippine Consulate General in your host country.

2. Two 2×2 passport-sized photos.

The colored photos must show a clear full front view of your face, with a white background, and taken within 3 months before the application.

In addition, the photos must not show you wearing sleeveless attire. Make sure the photos are high quality and not blurred otherwise they will be rejected.

Depending on the embassy you’re transacting with, you may or may not be required to write your name and signature at the back of the photos.

3. Photocopy of passport data page and another valid ID.

Most embassies require applicants to present a minimum of 2 valid IDs and their photocopies. Acceptable valid IDs include, but not limited to, the following:

4. NBI Form No. 5.

Also known as fingerprint form, you can get this for free at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. As stated in the previous section, however, you may be required to secure an online appointment in advance to ensure social distancing measures are observed in the Consular offices.

The advantage of personally applying at the Consular office is you can obtain the consularized/authenticated NBI form on the same day and at a lower cost.

Related Article: How to Authenticate Documents in DFA: New and Updated GuideOpens in a new tab.

NBI Form Number 5 or fingerprint form

Alternatively, you can request to have a blank copy of the NBI Form No. 5 to be mailed to your address. All you need to do is send a letter of request and a self-addressed prepaid return envelope to the embassy. Take note that requirements for a mailed-in request may vary so make sure to check with the Consular office in your host country for the latest details.

After receiving the envelope containing the blank NBI Form No. 5, fill it out with the required details. If you’re a married woman, please write your name in the following order:

  • Maiden surname (father’s surname);
  • Husband’s surname;
  • First or given name;
  • Maternal surname (mother’s family name).

Next, proceed to the nearest police station to have rolled impressions of your fingerprint. The person who took your fingerprint impression must sign on the form.

You will then mail back to the Embassy the accomplished NBI form together with a photocopy of your passport data page, money order/bank draft payable to the Philippine Consulate General (the amount of which varies according to your host country), and self-addressed prepaid return envelope with a tracking number. Do not enclose cash.

Take note that if you still have the original copy of your old NBI clearance issued from 2014 to 2019, you no longer have to submit the fingerprint form (NBI Form No. 5). The old clearance is enough to provide them with your biometrics, provided that there are no changes that have been made on your personal data.

Upon receiving your mailed-in application, the Consular office will process your document/s and have the authenticated NBI form sent back to you within 2 to 3 days.

5. Letter of AuthorizationOpens in a new tab., if applicable.

You will need this to authorize your representative to file your NBI clearance application in the Philippines on your behalf. This document must be authenticated by the Philippine Consulate.


How to Get NBI Clearance in the Philippines While Abroad: 2 Ways.

There are two ways to apply for NBI clearance abroad without flying back to your home country:

  • With an authorized representative – Especially if you’re pressed for time, a relative or a friend in the Philippines can be the best person you can count on to do everything on your behalf. All you need to do is send that person a signed authorization letterOpens in a new tab. along with the requirements.
  • Without an authorized representative – Only choose this route if you really don’t have anyone in the Philippines whom you can trust to do the application/renewal for you. Basically, this option involves going to the Philippine Embassy in your host country, securing all the needed requirements, and sending the documents to the main NBI clearance center at UN Avenue in Manila.

The succeeding sections provide a rundown of the procedures you’d expect for each of these two options.


Option 1: Through an Authorized Representative/Relative.

  1. Complete all the requirements as listed earlier.
  2. Send the accomplished and authenticated NBI Form No. 5 together with the supporting documents as well as the notarized authorization letterOpens in a new tab. to your chosen representative in the Philippines.
  3. Secure an online appointment Opens in a new tab.(or have your representative do it on your behalf) and choose the NBI Clearance Center, U.N. Avenue, Manila as the application venue. Only the NBI Clearance main office in U.N. Avenue processes applications from abroad. I repeat: secure an online appointment first before having your representative go to the NBI Clearance Center; walk-in applicants will not be entertained. When filling out the online registration form, the personal information of the applicant based abroad, not of the authorized representative, must be entered. Should you have any concerns, you or your representative in the Philippines may contact the NBI Helpdesk through any of these numbers: 09179999421 or 09204129999
  4. Have your representative submit your requirements on the day of the appointment. After receiving your NBI clearance, have your representative send it to you via airmail.
  5. Upon the receipt of your NBI clearance from the Philippines, check it meticulously and ensure that there’s an embossed NBI dry seal at the lower left portion which is proof of authenticity. Affix your thumbprint on the appropriate space with the help of the local police in your area before submitting the document to the intended receiver.

Option 2: Without an Authorized Representative/Direct to the NBI.

  1. Complete all the requirements as listed earlier.
  2. Send the accomplished NBI form with fingerprint impressions together with the supporting documents (except the authorization letterOpens in a new tab. since you’re sending them directly) and payment of Php 200 to the NBI by mail. It should be addressed to:

Ms. Sandra Sobida
Mailed Clearance Section
2/F NBI Clearance Building
United Nations Avenue, Ermita
Manila, Philippines 1000

Mailed Clearance Section at NBI Clearance Bulding in UN Avenue Manila

However, requirements and the preferred courier may change without prior notice so I recommend calling Ms. Sandra Sobida, the officer-in-charge, first before you proceed.

As of October 2020, the following are Ms. Sandra Sobida’s phone numbers:

  • 09156893113
  • 09267152001

To save you time, we tried to reach out to Ms. Sobida via phone and she told us that they only accept cash (Php 200) for the NBI clearance application. But since you can’t send cash via courier, Ms. Sobida said that they usually ask the applicants to find someone in the Philippines (a representative) to pay the amount to the NBI Clearance Center on their behalf, which defeats the purpose of this option that is supposed to be available for applicants without any representative (and making the option 1 easier and more practical).

After a processing time of a minimum of 3 days, the NBI will send you the clearance certificate by airmail.

As before, make sure that you’re receiving a genuine NBI clearance by checking the embossed NBI dry seal at the lower left portion. Go to the nearest police station to affix your thumbprint on the space provided before sending the clearance certificate to the intended receiver.

Go back to the main article: How to Get NBI Clearance Online in the PhilippinesOpens in a new tab.

Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder and chief content strategist of FilipiKnow, a leading online portal for free educational, Filipino-centric content. His curiosity and passion for learning have helped millions of Filipinos around the world get access to free insightful and practical information at the touch of their fingertips. With him at the helm, FilipiKnow has won numerous awards including the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2013, the 2015 Globe Tatt Awards, and the 2015 Philippine Bloggys Awards (nomination).

48 thoughts on “How to Get NBI Clearance Abroad: An Ultimate Guide

  1. Pano po ang authorization letter? DOon po ba s bansa nya ipapa notarized? Thank u
    I hope ma answer nyo po

  2. Hi po, wala po akong kakilala sa Manila. Pede po bang any branches ng NBI? For me po Davao lang akong meron. Pede po ba sa Davao I renew yung NBI ko ng aking representative??

    1. The NBI Help Desk made it clear when we called them that they only accept applications from abroad at their main branch in UN Avenue.

    1. If you’re referring to Option 2 (applying without a representative), you need to coordinate with Ms. Sandra via phone first in order to learn what to do next.

    1. Hindi na po as far as I know but you need to contact Ms. Sandra Sobida first to learn about the latest process of applying via mail.

  3. Sir, clarify ko lang po. So yung representative ko po kung gaga ng online appointment and it’s her details po yung ilalagay niya sa online form ni NBI? Or would it be my details po? TIA

    1. Pwedeng kayo or yung representative nyo ang magsecure ng online appointment but the information/personal details that will be entered should be those of the applicant na nasa abroad, not of the representative. The representative is just there to present the requirements on the day of the appointment.

      1. the auhorization letter po ? paano po ipapanotorized lang po ba uyn? pwede po bang scanned copy saka ipanotarized?

  4. If I change my civil status into marriage and did not change my last name yet. Do I need additional requirements or just Change civil status online?


  5. Hi FilipiKnow. I just wanna ask something. Is it necessary to have an updated or renewed nbi clearance abroad before the flight date?

    But the japan embassy didnt say anything about me about nbi clearance abroad.

    1. Only if you’ll need it in the next few months. NBI clearance is only valid for one year. Should you need to secure an NBI clearance and you’re already abroad, you can still apply for one by following the procedure above.

  6. My husband sent his finger print card from Saudi but he still has his expired (2019) nbi clearance. Pwede po kaya renew na lang ang nbi nya kahit nakapagpa finger print na rin sya sa Phil. Consulate doon?
    My second question po is kahit po ba during this pandemic na mahirap lumuwas manila, sa main office lang talaga pwede kuhain ang clearance pag ofw?
    Thank you po.

    1. Yung fingerprint na lang po since you have already obtained it and the process is almost the same, whether new or renewal. Yes, according to the NBI Clearance Helpdesk we talked to, sa main office lang po talaga yung mga applications from abroad.

  7. Hi, I am a foreigner residing outside of the Philippines. I have done all the steps but can’t seem to find any information of the NBI certificate needs to be apostilled to be used abroad? Please advise!

    1. I believe this is the information you’re looking for:

  8. Is it really necessary to apply for an appointment in Manila? I already processed my SPA for my representative but we are in Pampanga and right now we can’t travel to Manila. Is there a possibility to apply and get it from NBI clearance centers in Pampanga?

    1. NBI clearance applications from abroad are only processed at the main office in Manila. The NBI Clearance Helpdesk has confirmed this.

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