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Processing an NBI Clearance request has always been a headache. Waking up early to spend half of the day in a slow-moving line was what one could expect.
Before, processing one’s NBI Clearance involved six steps: Fill up the Application Form, Data Check, Payment, Encoding, Photo and Fingerprint Scanning, and Clearance Printing.
After the 2014 introduction of online processing, however, you can now apply for your NBI Clearance from your computer. This has removed four of the tedious steps from the previous process, then cut it down to three more convenient steps. These are:
Step 1: Online Registration
Step 2: Appointment
Step 3: E-payment
After accomplishing these three steps, you then finish your application process by going to your closest NBI branch and completing the following:
Step 4: Photo and Fingerprint Scanning
Step 5: Clearance Printing
If you’ve never processed your NBI Clearance or are processing your NBI Clearance for the first time since online application and renewal were implemented.
Read on to brush up on what you need to know, what you need to do, and what you need to bring.
What Is An NBI Clearance?
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance is a government document released to an individual upon request. It certifies that the said individual, at the time of request, is not involved in any ongoing criminal cases in the Philippines.
Unlike a Police Clearance (which is only limited to a particular area), an NBI Clearance covers the entire Philippines. A person’s NBI Clearance is valid for a year upon its request, and should be used before then.
What Is An NBI Clearance Used For?
An NBI Clearance has many uses, but is most often required by potential employers as proof that you aren’t involved in any pending criminal cases. It will also show if you have a criminal record.
Hiring managers will use this information when considering your application. Here are some other examples of where your NBI Clearance is required.
1. Local uses for your NBI Clearance:
- Business Requirement
- Enlistment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police
2. International uses for your NBI Clearance:
- Visa Applications
- International Travel
These are just some of the possible applications for an NBI Clearance, and there are many more. Generally, it’s a good idea to always have a valid NBI Clearance on hand, as you’ll often need to take some time off to process requesting for one.
What Are The Requirements For An NBI Clearance?
1. Valid IDs
You’ll need at least two (2) of the following Valid IDs:
- Valid passport
- Voter’s ID
- Driver’s License
- PRC License
- SSS ID
- GSIS UMID
- Postal ID
- School ID
- TIN ID
- Philhealth ID
- Authenticated Birth Certificate
- Alien Certificate of Registration
- Senior Citizen ID
- Previous Copy of NBI Clearance
Note that these are the only Valid IDs that will be accepted for your NBI Clearance request. Any other ID not on this list will not be accepted.
Some pointers you need to take note of regarding your valid IDs:
- Your ID should be a government-issued ID or provided for by the school you currently attend. Do not bring a school ID for a school you are not currently enrolled in.
- It should be an original document. Photocopies of your ID will not be accepted.
- Your IDs must be valid and current. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
- It must state your full name.
- It must bear a recent recognizable photograph that clearly matches you.
- It must be in good condition, with clearly legible text and a clearly visible photograph.
2. Application Fee (P130)
As of March 2018, the current application fee for an NBI Clearance is P130. Make sure to bring this amount in cash.
Bring extra money as well in case you need to buy water (stay hydrated!) or snacks while processing your request. You should also bring your own pen.
3. Wear proper attire
As a general rule when going to government offices, it’s a good idea to wear something smart but casual. Wear clean, neat clothes. Here’s a guideline you can follow.
- T-shirts (Avoid shirts with offensive material)
- Polo shirts
- Closed shoes
- Sleeved shirts/blouses
- Dresses not shorter than an inch above the knees
- Skirts not shorter than an inch above the knees
- Closed shoes
Clothes to AVOID:
- Tank tops
- Clothing with offensive designs/statements
- Sports clothing
- Revealing clothing
- Soiled/dirty clothes
As part of the application process, your photo will be taken for identification purposes. For this photo, you’ll be requested to remove all accessories, such as earrings, necklaces, and piercings. You’ll also be asked to remove cosmetic contact lenses.
For your convenience, consider leaving your accessories at home, and wearing glasses instead of your contacts if they have cosmetic colors.
Where Can I Find NBI Branches?
Currently, there are 63 Clearance Centers nationwide where you can process your NBI Clearance.
Below is a list of NBI satellite offices, which are mostly found in shopping malls or city halls, for convenience:
- NBI Clearance Center – U.N Avenue, Ermita. Manila
- Robinson’s Place – Basement 1 Ermita, Manila
- Robinson’s Otis – Level 2 Guanzon St., Paco, Manila
- Ever Gotesco Recto – Level 3 Cinema 3 Recto Ave., Manila
- Quezon City Hall – Makatarungan St, Diliman, Quezon City
- Robinson’s Galleria – Basement 1 Ortigas Ave., Quezon City
- Robinson’s Novaliches – Novaliches, Quezon City
- Montalban Rizal Municipal Hall – Ground Flr., Rizal
- Robinson’s Cainta – Level 2 Junction Cainta, Rizal
- Victory Shopping Center – Alabang, Muntinlupa City
- Mandaluyong City Hall – Maysilo Circle, Mandaluyong City
- Las Pinas City Hall or SM Center Las Pinas – Las Pinas City
- Robinson’s Metro East – Level 4 Marcos Highway, Pasig
- Duty Free Fiesta Mall – Ninoy Aquino Ave., Paranaque City
- Empire Mall – EDSA, Pasay City
- Marilao Municipal Hall – Beside PNP Station, Marilao, Bulacan
- Lipa City Hall – Lipa City, Batangas
- Robinson’s Dasmarinas – Dasmarinas, Cavite
There are many other sites where you can process your NBI Clearance. Click here to check NBI’s website for the complete list of sites and find the nearest one to you.
How to Apply For NBI Clearance Online?
As mentioned earlier, instead of immediately heading to your nearest NBI Clearance Site, you can start with applying online from the convenience of your own home and at your own time.
Below is the complete process for applying for your NBI Clearance online.
Step#1: Registering Online
1. To apply for your NBI Clearance online, you’ll need to set up an account.
Go to the NBI Clearance Online Services website. You’ll see the “REGISTER” section on the right side of your screen.
Click the “YES” check box if you have an old NBI Clearance, or click the “NO” box if you do not. If you clicked “NO,” the required fields will change.
Fill in these fields. Note that the NBI website only allows one email per user.
Make sure you have access to this email, and ensure that all information you’ve entered is complete and correct, as you won’t be able to change this later.
2. Once finished, click the “I ACCEPT TERMS OF SERVICE” checkbox, and click the “SIGN UP” button.
A new window will appear with the description of the service and information on privacy.
After reading, click the “I AGREE” button.
3. A new window will appear with the details you’ve entered.
Ensure that all information is correct, as this is the last time you’ll be able to edit it.
When done, click the “YES” button to proceed and finish your registration.
Step #2: Filling up your Online Application Form
4. Log in using the email and password you entered during registration.
5. Complete all the necessary details in the APPLICANT INFORMATION page.
After filling up the NBI Clearance Application Form, click the “SAVE INFORMATION” button.
You’ll be redirected to a summary of the personal information you just input.
You can edit this by clicking the “EDIT” button if you see any errors.
Step #3: Scheduling your NBI Clearance Online
6. Once finished with the previous step, click on the “APPLY FOR CLEARANCE” button.
7. A new window will appear asking you for the valid ID you’ll bring for verification.
Choose your preferred ID from the drop-down menu.
Though the website only asks you for one, remember to bring two during your actual appointment.
8. A new window will appear. Read and understand the Important Message and click the “CLOSE” button.
9. You’ll now have to schedule your appointment for your NBI Clearance, and choose the branch where you want process it.
At the top of the window, choose your preferred branch from the drop down menu.
This will be the branch where your photo and biometrics will be taken, and where you will claim your NBI Clearance.
10. Then, choose your appointment date and time (AM or PM) for your NBI Clearance Appointment.
Blue colored boxes are vacant slots, while red colored boxes show slots that are already taken.
Step #4: Paying for your NBI Clearance Application Fee
11. There are six ways you can pay for your NBI Clearance Application Fee. These are the following:
- Banks (Over the Counter) – Pay in cash over the counter at a nearby bank
- Banks (Online) – Pay the fees through online banking partners
- Mobile Payment (GCASH) – Pay using GCASH
- MultiPay – Pay using your MultiPay Wallet
- ECPay – Pay through ECPay or ECPay affiliates/partners
- 7-Eleven – Pay at any 7-Eleven branch near you
12. Once you pick your preferred payment method, a new window will appear showing your total fee for your NBI Clearance.
Additional fees may appear for e-payment services.
Once you click “PROCEED TO PAYMENT,” a new window will appear showing you your Reference Number.
13. Use your Reference Number to pay for your NBI Clearance Fee using the selected method you chose.
Note that this Reference Number is also your pass to enter the NBI Clearance Center for the final steps of your application.
14. Check the status of your NBI Clearance Online Application under “TRANSACTIONS” on the left side of the website.
After payment, its status will change from “PENDING” to “PAID.”
15. Wait for your scheduled appointment.
On your appointment day, bring all necessary requirements, including your two (2) Valid IDs, your printed NBI Clearance Application form, your NBI Clearance Reference Number, and your payment receipt.
Follow the appropriate dress code, and arrive on time.
16. Ask for assistance and show that you are an online applicant.
Complete photo capture and fingerprint scanning, and claim your NBI Clearance.
NBI Clearance FAQs (with Tips)
Where Can I Find My Application Form And Reference Number?
When applying online, your Application Form and Reference Number are important for completing your NBI Clearance process.
It’s easy to forget to print out your form, which includes your reference number—which is then needed to enter any NBI Clearance Center.
If you’ve lost track of your Application Form or your Reference Number, don’t worry; you can easily access these two.
Follow the steps below:
- First, log on to the NBI Clearance Application website.
- On the left of the page, you’ll find a link called “TRANSACTIONS.” Click this link.
- A new page will load showing all the previous transactions you’ve made using the website, including information such as reference number, payment status, and appointment date. You can copy your reference number from here.
- On the right side of the page, click the “DETAILS” button for the transaction you want to see.
- A new window will appear showing the payment status of your application, the reference number, and appointment schedule. You’ll also see a button “PRINT APPLICATION FORM.” Click this to print your form.
What Is A HIT?
When claiming your NBI Clearance, you may sometimes hear about someone having a “HIT,” or find out that you yourself have a “HIT.”
A “HIT” is the term used by NBI Clearance Centers if the applicant has the same or similar name with another person who has a pending criminal case. This requires the NBI to verify your identity further before they can release an NBI Clearance to the applicant.
Possible reasons for a “HIT”:
- You have a pending criminal or administrative case before the court, Ombudsman, Sandigan Bayan, or another administrative or quasi-judicial body.
- You have the same or similar name with another person who has a pending or ongoing case.
- You have a previous criminal or administrative case, and the status of this case needs to be further verified by NBI personnel.
- Your NBI Clearance has been held by request of other government agencies.
- All NBI Clearance applicants with a “HIT” are subject to further verification of the applicant’s identity with the Identification and Records Division at NBI Manila.
Applicants are usually told to return after eight (8) to ten (10) working days to claim their NBI Clearance after verification has been completed.
What Is An NBI Clearance Quality Control Interview And What Do I Do?
An NBI Clearance Quality Control Interview is a process held at the NBI Clearance Main Office.
During this interview, NBI personnel will review and verify your identity as an NBI Clearance applicant.
You’ll be asked questions about your identity and your recent whereabouts. These interviews are scheduled for certain applicants who have had a “HIT.”
If you’ve been requested to undergo an NBI Clearance Quality Control Interview, remember the following:
- Don’t panic. This is a routine interview needed to verify your identity.
- Be on time.
- Bring two (2) Valid IDs that are accepted for NBI Clearance. Government-issued IDs are best.
- Follow appropriate dress code.
- Bring your NBI Clearance Receipt.
What to Expect During the Interview
While tedious, the interview is free and will not cost you anything, except your time. Below is an overview of what happens during the interview:
- You’ll be asked certain questions to help verify your identity.
- After answering these questions, you’ll be given an Affidavit of Denial, which you’ll be required to fill out.
- After filling out this form, you’ll then take an oath with the NBI Clearance Resident Lawyer.
- Next, your Affidavit of Denial will be notarized, and you’ll give the Affidavit of Denial to the staff who interviewed you.
- They will provide you with the new releasing time of your NBI Clearance.
- Proceed to the Printing and Releasing section to claim your NBI Clearance.
What If I Can’t Claim My NBI Clearance In Person?
Sometimes, your schedule will keep you from being able to claim your NBI Clearance in person, especially if your request came up with a “HIT.”
Luckily, you can have someone else pick it up for you, with the use of an Authorization Letter.
An Authorization Letter is a document you write giving explicit permission to your chosen Authorized Person to claim your NBI Clearance on your behalf.
These are the basic information you should include in your Authorization Letter:
- Your Name
- Name of your Authorized Person
- Personal details of both you and the authorized person, such as age, address, and contact numbers
- Explicit consent to have said Authorized Person claim your NBI Clearance
- Signatures (You and the Authorized Person)
Things your Authorized Person should remember:
- Observe proper dress code.
- Bring an original valid ID of the person whose NBI Clearance you are picking up.
- As the Authorized Person, they must bring their own one (1) valid ID, or two (2) to be sure. Government-issued IDs are better.
- Proceed directly to the releasing window and present the signed Authorization Letter, your Valid ID, and the Authorized Person’s ID.
- If there are no issues in verifying identity, the NBI Clearance Releasing Personnel assigned should release your NBI Clearance to your Authorized Person.
With the new online application and renewal process for NBI Clearance, it’s much easier and less time consuming to get your copy of this important document.
Still, it has strict requirements that have to be followed to the letter. Make sure you’re prepared when you go to process your NBI Clearance, so your experience will be hassle-free.
What happens if I get a “hit” on my application?
Getting a “hit” status means that either you or a person with the same name has a link to derogatory records or information that are criminal in nature. When this occurs, another verification process will occur later on.
As a note, the NBI Clearance database is comprised of criminal records taken from the following:
- Courts (MTC, MTCC, MCTC, and RTC)
- Prosecution Service (City and Provincial Prosecution Services)
- Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan
- PNP and AFP records
How long will the verification process take if you have a “hit?”
Applicants with a “hit” status are given a five to 10-day waiting period, as NBI researchers look deeper to check if the “derogatory records” do indeed belong to you or your namesake.
Should the investigation result in nothing incriminating, the applicant can simply return to the NBI office after the waiting period and claim the clearance absent of any additional fee.
What if this “hit” is caused by a criminal case?
If it’s found that the “derogatory records” belong to you, you’ll be required to attend an NBI Clearance Quality Interview.
Essentially, the interview enables NBI Agents to have a closer examination of your identity. If you’ve been absolved of your past criminal case/s or committed no crimes at all, you need not worry.
Before going to the interview, you’ll need to bring the following:
At least two valid IDs or documents that prove your identity
The NBI Clearance Official Receipt and printout of your online registration/application form
If the “derogatory records” belong to you, you need the original and photocopy of the Court Decision/Certification from the Court that shows the criminal case has already been dismissed.
If the “derogatory records” belong to a namesake, you need an Affidavit of Denial (to be provided by the NBI Agent) attesting that you only share the same name as the one involved in the criminal case/s.
By executing the affidavit, you are declaring under oath that you have nothing to do with any of the cases filed against your namesake, clearing your name and preventing another “hit” in the future.
The interviews are held at the Quality Control Section of the NBI main office on UN Avenue. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a first come, first served basis.
If you applied at any of the NBI offices below, you can simply proceed to the designated interview room in these offices:
- NBI Quezon City Satellite Office
- NBI Muntinlupa Satellite Office
- NBI Las Pinas Satellite Office
All offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those with pending cases will be issued an NBI Clearance with the cases reflected in the clearance.
How long does it take to apply for or renew an NBi Clearance?
Unfortunately, this cannot be guaranteed as this largely depends on the number of applicants on any given day. As such, it is advised that you pick the earliest possible morning schedule for your appointment.
Be at the NBI Office at least 30 minutes in advance. If you’re lucky, you can get your clearance in just 15-30 minutes.
If you pick an afternoon schedule, there’s a possibility that your clearance will be released the following day, especially if there’s a high volume of applicants.
The NBI also offers the NBI Clearance Quick Renewal, which you can do online. With this, you can expect to get your NBI Clearance to be delivered to your address in 3 to 5 working days from the time of payment.
For those who do this abroad, the process takes 20 to 30 days.
What if there are errors on my NBI Clearance?
Unfortunately, if there are any errors (typos or incorrect information) on your NBi Clearance, you’ll need to reapply for a new one.
This is why you need to be careful when filling up the “Applicant Information” page.
What happens if I miss my NBI Clearance Appointment?
If you were able to pay the NBI Clearance fee on time, you have 15 days from your original appointment date to show up at your chosen NBI Clearance branch and process your application.
However, if you secured an online appointment but were unable to pay the fee on time, your appointment will be cancelled and you’ll be required to choose another date.
What if I wasn’t able to claim my NBI Clearance on the date I was told to return?
Fortunately, an unclaimed NBI Clearance is valid for one year from the date of issuance. You can claim it anytime within that time frame.
All you need to do is go back to the NBI Office where you originally applied and present the reference number (you can get this from the email confirmation sent to you or by logging in to your NBI Clearance account and clicking on “Transactions” on the menu.
Can I reschedule my NBI Clearance Appointment?
If you’ve already paid the fee, you can no longer change the date of your appointment. However, if you haven’t paid the fee yet, you can move the appointment date as you please.
Can I change to another branch from the one I originally chose for my appointment?
You will need to call the branch originally chosen and request for your records to be transferred to your new branch of choice.
However, it’s important to note that a branch change is dependent on the original branch selected. So you’ll need to call first to see if this is possible.
How can I get an NBI Clearance if I’m abroad?
There are a couple ways to go about this:
- With an authorized representative – Simply send a signed authorization letter along with the other requirements to someone in the Philippine and secure an online appointment.
- Without an authorized representative – If you don’t have anyone in the Philippines you can trust, you need to go to the Philippine Embassy in your host country to secure all the necessary requirements and secure an online appointment. Then, send the documents to the NBI Main Office.
How do I get an NBI Clearance if I’m a foreigner?
The process is basically the same for foreigners as it is for Filipinos. Although it’s important to note that foreigners in the National Capital Region can only apply at the NBI Main Office.
For those outside of the NCR, you can apply at your respective host province, albeit with a longer wait time of 10 to 15 working days.
Jason Acidre – Marketing