Getting a police clearance in the Philippines while abroad is an essential part of applying for permanent residency in countries such as Canada, US, Australia, and New Zealand.
The purpose of the police clearance is to ensure that every Filipino who lived in the Philippines for a period of time and is now applying for a permanent residence or immigrant visa to another country has good moral character.
However, what other countries refer to as police clearance or certificate is actually equivalent to Philippine NBI clearance, a similar certificate with more comprehensive coverage. In fact, even charges that were taken to the court including traffic violations that were later dismissed can also appear on an NBI clearance.
In other words, if you’re being required to obtain a police clearance from your country of nationality (i.e., the Philippines), it simply means you need to get an NBI clearance.
Where to get police clearance or certificate while abroad.
The answer to the question of where to get a police clearance while you’re abroad depends on whether your destination country requires police clearance from your current country of residence, country of nationality, or both.
For instance, the US State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual1 explains that applicants who are 16 or older are required to submit a police certificate from his/her current country of residence where he/she has lived for more than 6 months. These same applicants are also required to present a police certificate from his/her country of nationality (if different from the country of current residence), where he/she also lived for more than 6 months.
In this case, the applicant must obtain two police certificates–one from the current country of residence and another from the country of nationality.
For example, if you’re an OFW who has been working in Saudi Arabia for many years and who is now applying for an immigrant visa to the US, you need to obtain a police certificate (or its counterpart) in Saudi Arabia. Since you’re originally from the Philippines before going to Saudi Arabia, you also need to apply for an NBI clearance (the Philippine equivalent of police certificate).
Again, what other countries refer to as police certificate is the same as what Filipinos know as the NBI clearance.
How to get a police certificate (NBI clearance) in the Philippines while abroad.
Now that we’ve clarified the difference between police certificate from your country of residence (for OFWs, this is the country where you currently stay or work) and police clearance from your country of nationality (i.e., the Philippines), let’s now discuss how to obtain the latter.
The process of getting an NBI clearance depends on whether the person applying for permanent residence/immigrant visa currently resides in the Philippines or outside the Philippines2.
If you’re in the Philippines, the process of getting an NBI clearance is relatively easier and more straightforward. Just follow the instructions in this guide and you’ll get the NBI clearance exactly when you need it.
If you’re abroad, on the other hand, you may still get an NBI clearance in the Philippines with or without an authorized representative. For more information, read this.
Go back to the main article: How to Get a Police Clearance in the Philippines: An Ultimate Guide
- Aranda, C. (2020). Police clearance for visas. Retrieved 4 August 2020, from https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/07/27/opinion/columnists/police-clearance-for-visas/746355/
- How to get a police certificate – Philippines. (2018). Retrieved 4 August 2020, from https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/medical-police/police-certificates/how/philippines.html