Monday, September 15, 2014

NBI Clearance 2014 in 10 Minutes

Getting an NBI Clearance in the Philippines has always been a dreaded ordeal by the local job hunting community.  You've probably read a lot of awful stories of delays and long queues in the NBI Clearance center near you.

You wouldn't believe it but I actually got my NBI clearance in 10 minutes!  It was that fast.  If you're in Manila I suggest you follow what I did.  All my worries were for nothing!  And a lot of blog posts are actually not updated.  This is the main reason why I'm writing my experience.  I actually got the idea from one of the comments in an old blog post.  Let's just say this is my way of paying it forward.  My only goal with this post is to help all Filipino job seekers out there who just want to land a decent job.

Date: September 15, 2014.

Here's How I got my NBI Clearance in 10 Minutes:  

1. Fill up the NBI Clearance Online Application Form.

In January 2014, the DOJ and NBI launched the NBI Clearance Online Application system to speed up the processing time and reduce the queues at the clearance centers.  

You can fill up the online application form here.  (NBI Clearance Online Application Form)
Simply fill up all the details as indicated in the form.  Click the "Submit" button once you are done.

2. Print the Online Application Form.

After you've successfully filled up the online application form, print the said form bearing your "REGISTRATION CODE."  If you do not have a printer, just write down your "REGISTRATION CODE" in any paper.  You will need to present this code at the NBI Clearance Center.

If clicking on the "Print" button doesn't seem to work, try using the keyboard command "Ctrl + P"  (You need to press the "Ctrl" button and the letter "P" in your keyboard at the same time.  This should bring forth the Print page window.

  • There's an old blog post that says you can pay your NBI Clearance Fee through GCash.  I don't know if that system is still in effect.  According to the official NBI Clearance Procedure page, you can only pay your fees at the Clearance Centers.  So I would suggest that you do not pay in advance.  There's no need to pay your fees in advance.  Be careful with sending fees through GCash or any other unofficial method because this could be a scam.
  • Some old posts also claim that you can actually get a schedule when to go.  I didn't get one and apparently it's not needed as well.  After filling up the online application form you can go to any center anytime and they will honor your application form.  
  • I'm not sure how many days the online application form stays valid.  The site didn't indicate a validity period.  I filled up my online form on a Thursday.  I went to the NBI office on Monday.  It's valid for more than 4 days.  That I'm sure of.

3. Bring the printed form to the NBI Clearance Center in U.N. Avenue (corner Taft Avenue).

The NBI Clearance Procedure page indicates that you may bring your online application to ANY NBI CLEARANCE CENTER NATIONWIDE.  However, I do not have experience with other clearance centers.  If you want to follow what I did, go to their main office in U.N. Avenue corner Taft Avenue.

What time to go?  I went at 3pm!!!  
There weren't that many people in the Clearance Center at this time.  I got the tip from the NBI Clearance helpdesk.  I called the helpdesk in the morning and asked whether they would still be able to accommodate me in the afternoon.  The personnel said that yes they would still be able to accommodate me and that it would actually be better to come at around 3pm in the afternoon.

NBI Clearance Helpdesk
+632-523-8231 Local 5499

  • It might take some time before you can connect to the helpdesk.  I was able to connect using the 2nd number and asking the operator to connect me to the Clearance department.
  • It was actually a bit confusing where to enter the NBI Clearance Center.  The gate where I entered had the sign "Exit Only" outside.  Just ask around.  There will be a lot of vendors selling black ballpens outside the entrance.

4. Follow the signs directing "Online Applicants" where to go.

Inside the NBI clearance center, follow the signs directing "online applicants" where to go.  Filling up your application online will allow you to skip Steps 1 and 2 at the Clearance center.

If you followed the signs, this will lead you inside (ground floor) the clearance building.  Steps 1 and 2 are located at the garage of the main building.  

  • I printed my online form.  If you did not print your form, ask the NBI personnel when you arrive at the clearance center where you need to go first.  

5. Step 3 Payments

At the ground floor, you will see the PAYMENTS section on your right.  Line up at any counter that's open.  The fee will vary on what type of NBI Clearance you are applying for.  You can find a summary of the fees here.  Local employment is 115 pesos.

Keep the official receipt and don't lose it.

6. Proceed to the 3rd Floor.

Once you have finished paying for your NBI Clearance, proceed to the 3rd floor.  Take the stairs near the entrance of the building.  At the 3rd floor follow the signs on where to enter.  You will need to go around the room to reach the Biometrics area.

7. Step 4 Biometrics

At the BIOMETRICS area, there will be a lot of encoders waiting to receive your application!  Look around and choose one that's not busy.  When I reached this area, there weren't a lot of applicants at all!  There were about 3 to 4 encoders vacant.  Sometimes, nobody will be there to assist you and tell you what to do.  If you see an encoder that's free, simply approach him/her, and ask politely whether he/she would be willing to process your application.

Follow the instructions given by the encoder.  They will take your picture and then your thumb prints.  After which, they will ask you to review the data on the monitor.  If everything is in order, they will submit your application for verification.  Right there and then you will discover whether you have a "HIT" or not.  

If you don't have a hit, the encoder will return your OR and instruct you to go to the Printing/Releasing area.

  • Having a "HIT" means you are not ready for clearing.  They will give you instructions on what to do next.

8. Release / Printing

The Printing/Releasing section is also at the 3rd Floor.  It's at the farthest corner from the entrance.  Don't worry, there are a lot of signs indicating each area.  It's not that hard to find.  

Present your Official Receipt at the releasing section.  They will do their magic and your NBI Clearance will come out from their printer in no time.  Get your clearance from the printer.  

You are done!  


I was so surprised that I was able to finish everything in just 10 minutes!  The taxi ride from my place to the NBI Clearance Center took longer.  The longest wait was in the payment section.  After that it was smooth sailing.  If I were to summarize all these in one sentence, the best tip I got would be to apply online and then go to NBI Taft/UN Avenue at 3pm (contrary to the popular belief that you would need to go early like around 4am or even 2am just so you can be processed that day).

I hope this post will also help others out there whose sole purpose in getting an NBI Clearance is to land a decent job.  Good luck!

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