This is good news! Filipinos can now apply for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearance online, called e-clearance system. Although available only in Metro Manila at this time, the e-clearance system saves time. There is no line so you can do it in the comfort of your home, office or internet cafe. You can do it on your own time.
Not only that. The NBI is doing away with the "paper and ink" and putting into practice the biometric system. This means that a scanner now takes the prints of your ten fingers instead of the old paper and ink method.
This system does not leave stain or ink mark on the fingers. You don't have to worry on how to remove those ink marks anymore.
What does the clearance do? The clearance shows to your future employer that you are in good character. It clears you of criminal records or any brushes with the law.
The POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) may or may not require this document.
That brings us on...
I lifted the steps below from the NBI website and added my comments to make the steps clearer and easier to follow.
Step 1. Send payment to the NBI through GCASH. GCASH is a service from Globe Telecom that lets you make payment or transfer money through your cell phone. You can do this with your GCASH account or pay through Globe Payment Centers.
The cost of NBI clearance for TRAVEL ABROAD is P115 but the NBI e-clearance system only accepts P140, P190, P440. So you must pay P140 (with P25 service fee) to purchase a clearance.
If you pay through your GCASH account, text [amount space MPIN] and send to 28829175638053. For example, [190 1234] (without the bracket) and send to 28829175638053. You will then receive a Payment Reference Number through text. Save the Reference Number.
If you pay through Globe Payment Center, the Payment Reference Number is in the receipt. Make sure also that the date and time of payment is legible. You will need it in the succeeding steps for your National Bureau of Investigation clearance.
Step 2. Fill up the application form online. Use the form at the right or second column and enter your email address, the Payment Reference Number, date of payment and your cell phone number. Choose TRAVEL ABROAD as purpose and enter the two words that you see in the box for the CAPTCHA code. Then click Validate.
This will direct you to the application form. Fill up the form with your personal details. Review the form before clicking Save to Clearance. Make sure to choose the right sex. I had to make another payment when I ticked the wrong one!
You will see your QR (Quick Response) Code on your screen. You can also receive it on your email so this is a good time to check whether you received it. You need to print the QR code as proof of your application. Bring it when you go to the National Bureau of Investigation clearance center.
Step 3. Book an appointment. Text [BOOK space Ref# space LocationCode space MMDDYYY space HHMM space Name] and send to 0917 563 8054. For example, BOOK RTF786 NBIMAIN 02182013 1000 Juan Dela Cruz and send to 0917 563 8054.
Ref# is the reference number you received from GCASH.
MMDDYYYY is the month, date and year and
HHMM is the time you appear at your chosen eClearance center, for example, "1000" for 10AM, "1500" for 3PM.
Name is your complete name.
LocationCode refers to the NBI clearance outlet. Choose one below:
NBI Clearance Outles
NBI MAIN OFFICE
ROBINSONS PLACE ERMITA
ROBINSONS METRO EAST
EVER GOTESCO MALL RECTO
U. N. Avenue, Ermita, Manila
Basement I Ermita, Manila
Level 2 Guanzon St Paco, Mla
Basement I Ortigas Ave QC
Level 4 Marcos Hi-way Pasig
Novaliches, Quezon City
3rd Flr Cinema 3 Recto Ave, Mla
2nd Flr Cinema I Comm., QC
You will receive a text confirmation of your appointment.
Step 4. Go to the NBI clearance outlet on your confirmed booking date and time. Present your QR code and your two valid IDs and wait for your biometric data to be captured. A scanner will take the prints of your ten fingers and a digital camera will take your picture.
If there's no "HIT", you get the clearance right there. Otherwise, you will get your receipt with the date when to get back for your clearance. I got mine after 5 days.
The e-clearance system is limited in Metro Manila and the GCASH payment does not really save you time if you have no GCASH account. But if you do not like falling in a long line, the National Bureau of Investigation clearance online for your Overseas Filipino Worker requirement is worth a good try.