Before, applying for and renewing National Bureau Investigation (NBI) clearance requires you to visit offices personally and wait in line. For others especially those who don’t have enough time in waiting for the process of the document, it causes them inconvenience and trouble. In response to this problem, the agency decided to transform the traditional way of applying and renewing clearance into a more convenient and hassle-free way by maximizing the use of technology and digital literacy.
NBI had launched its online portal where we, applicants, can easily create an account and register for our clearance. In this way, it is easy for us to apply for and renew NBI clearance even we are just inside our homes or working at our offices.
NBI clearance is really important since it has various purposes. The multi-purpose clearance may be used in proving our identity wherein we can present this as a valid identification card which is a requirement on applying for business permits, or other licenses, creating changes in legal papers like for example, you have some mistakes in your birth or marriage certificates, you can use this clearance as your valid ID on applying for corrections, local employment since most companies are obliging their applicants to submit NBI clearance as part of the requirements to prove that they don’t have committed any crimes or violations, and travel documents because it can be used to secure a visa to selected countries in traveling abroad.
In addition – NBI clearance is also necessary for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and fresh graduate students for their jobs.
- The main job of NBI is to undertake the efficient detections and investigations of crimes and other violations against the law
- NBI clearance is really important since it has various purposes. The multi-purpose clearance may be used in proving our identity
- When applying for an NBI Clearance, applicants should prepare all necessary documents and requirements.
- Only original, primary, and valid IDs will be accepted.
- An NBI Clearance is different from police clearance and barangay clearance.
- Always be extra careful when answering the Applicant Information page because once there is a mistake, the only choice is to reapply for a new one.
- An NBI Clearance is valid for only 6 months to one year.
- You can reschedule your NBI Clearance Appointment ONLY if you haven’t paid the fee yet.
- Do not forget to bring your reference number during your scheduled appointment.
- Every applicant or authorized representative should follow the proper dress code before coming to NBI branches.
- All applicants that have a ‘hit’ should undergo additional authentication of identity with the Identification and Records Division at NBI Manila.
- There are 2 ways of applying or renewing NBI clearance for OFW’s: with and without an authorized representative.
- Only the main NBI branch at UN Avenue in Manila processes applications and renewals from Filipinos Abroad.
- NBI clearance is not only for Filipino citizens but also for foreigners.
- Applicants cannot claim their NBI Clearance without personal appearance unless the applicant is an OFW or a person abroad.
- NBI has 7 payment options available for the online application of clearance.
What is NBI Clearance
The main job of NBI is to undertake the efficient detections and investigations of crimes and other violations against the law established by the Philippine government upon its initiative and as public interest may involve. Moreover, the agency also renders technical support upon demand in the probe and detection of serious crimes and offenses, coordinates with other authorities from national and even local agencies in maintaining peace and order in the country. They also establish and sustain up-to-date scientific crime laboratories. All in all, NBI is responsible for the competent quality of investigation since it is the National Bureau of Investigation.
The Uses of NBI Clearance
An NBI Clearance has many functions and is certainly essential, especially when I am applying for a job. Potential employers use this to validate if I have a previous criminal record.
I also find it necessary for the following instances:
- Identity Confirmation
- Business Transactions with different Private Companies and Public Agencies
- Enlistment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police
- Traveling Abroad
An NBI Clearance is valid for only a year, making it better to always have one at hand since it surely takes a long process to request for it.
How to Get NBI Clearance Online (Step-by-Step)
Let’s go through all the steps one by one:
- Visit the website of NBI. The first step in applying for NBI clearance is to go to the agency’s official website. Open your web browser and type into your search engine the link https://clearance.nbi.gov.ph. This will bring you to the online portal of NBI.
- Register a new account. When you are already on the official website, you need to register for a new account. Check the box indicating NO next to “Do you have an old NBI clearance?” then fill up the prompted form. This form will require you to give your personal information. Avoid committing errors in filling up the form. After completing the necessary details, click the SIGN-UP button.
- Fill up the application form. After signing in, you need to fill up another form for the application. This will also require you to give your data. Be honest and accurate in answering because it will reflect your NBI clearance. If you’re done, click the SAVE INFORMATION button.
- Click APPLY FOR CLEARANCE. The next step on applying is by clicking the APPLY FOR CLEARANCE button. Meanwhile, if you want to edit your applicant information form, click the EDIT INFORMATION button.
- Input valid ID. You need to prepare one valid ID upon registration. It might be a BIR, SSS, GSIS, UMID, Postal, Passport, Voter’s, Driver’s license, Senior citizen’s, PRC, Philhealth, or school. The next step would be entering the ID number of the chosen valid ID. Take note that this chosen valid ID must be with you during the date of your appointment. If you’re done, click the I AGREE button.
- Read and understand the reminder. After step 5, your screen will be prompting an important reminder. Read and understand carefully the note. After reading and understanding, click the CLOSE button.
- Choose the NBI branch. You need to select the most convenient NBI office for you. This branch would process your documents using the drop-down box. Take note that this branch would be your appointment’s location. After selecting the branch, choose your desired appointment date by clicking those buttons in the color blue. Then, there will be a confirmation of your appointment schedule on the right portion of the screen.
- Choose payment options. There are several payment selections that you can see on your screen, pick only one. You must choose the most convenient way of paying to avoid trouble. The options are bank over-the-counter, online banking, Bayad Center, MultiPay, Mobile Payment, ECPay, and 7-Eleven. After this, a payment reminder will pop on your screen, just click the PROCEED button.
- Proceed to payment options. After the selection of the payment option, there will be a summary of your transaction. Just click the PROCEED TO PAYMENT button. Currently, NBI has many payment options available for the online application of clearance.
I listed below these payment selections:
7-Eleven – it is the most common and easiest way of paying your fees. You can visit the nearest 7-Eleven store and provide your reference number. Based on my experience, you will be using the Cliqq machine kiosk on processing your payment.
Bayad Center – it is another payment option where you can visit either any Bayad Center Outlets or their partners such as Cebuana Lhuillier, SM Savemore, LBC, Robinson, eBiz, Petnet, Landmark, Waltermart, Isetann, Sta. Lucia East Mall, and USSC.
ECPay – you can also choose to pay through Electronic Commerce Payments, Inc. (ECPay) partners like Express Pay Inc., RD Pawnshop, H Lhuillier, Auto Top-Up Ventures Inc., Viaexpress Inc., Petron Corp., San Mig Food Avenue, Global Access Financial Services, RFC, Shopwise Wellcome, Metro Gaisano, Prince Warehouse Club, Inc., NCCC-LTS Supermarkets, Enterprise Bank Inc., and Magic Appliance Center, Inc.
Mobile Payment– you can also pay through mobile payment Globe Gcash.
MultiPay – it is another channel of Bayad Center. In this option, you must have your Multipay Wallet Account.
Bank Over-the-Counter – there are different banks such as BDO, BPI, Metrobank, and Unionbank that offer over-the-counter payment for your NBI clearance.
Online Banking – aside from over-the-counter options, you may also pick online banking through Dragonpay Mobile App, BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, Unionbank, or UCPB.
- Write down the reference number. The screen will prompt your reference number which you are going to use during your payment. Write this down and bring it upon doing the payment.
- Check transactions. Click the TRANSACTIONS button on the upper left portion of your screen to check your transaction. The status of your payment is still pending.
- Proceed to payment. Make sure to settle your payments as soon as possible. Once that you have already paid the fee, check the transaction status by clicking the TRANSACTION button. If your payment is successful, the status is indicated as paid.
- Check the details. There would be a DETAILS button once your payment is successful. Click this button and check the details. It is not necessary to print this form; you can just easily write it down or screen capture it using your mobile phone then bring it during your appointment.
After your online application, you may now proceed to your chosen NBI branch on your scheduled appointment, and don’t forget to bring with you your requirements such as reference number, payment slip or receipt, chosen valid ID, and printed application form if you have. Also, make sure that you are wearing a decent and casual dress during your appointment to prevent inconvenience.
Claim Your NBI Clearance
Go to your chosen NBI office on your scheduled appointment date. These are the things you need for your appointment at the NBI:
- Reference number
- Payment slip or receipt
- Valid ID (see below for the list of valid IDs)
- Printed application form (optional)
Requirements for NBI Clearance
In applying for an NBI Clearance, I must be ready to present the following:
- At least two of my valid IDs are original, valid, and current because they are not accepting expired and photocopied IDs. I submitted mine in good condition − with my full name in a very readable text and a recognizable photograph of me. It’s a good thing that I have lots of valid IDs like:
|Voter’s ID||Authenticated Birth Certificate|
|PhilHealth ID||GSIS UMID|
|Driver’s License||TIN ID|
|Senior Citizen ID||Postal ID|
|PRC License||Alien Certificate of Registration|
|SSS ID||Previous Copy of NBI Clearance|
- I also provided a ₱130 cash for the application fee per clearance certificate.
- Most importantly, I was informed to wear proper attire (t-shirts, polo shirts, pants, and closed shoes for men while sleeved shirts/blouses, pants/slacks, dresses/skirts not shorter than an inch above knees, and closed shoes for women) to make me look neat and decent. Revealing clothes, sports clothes, shorts, dirty clothes, clothing with an offensive statement, and slippers are not accepted. I am also requested to remove my accessories like piercings, earrings, and necklaces for identification purposes.
How can I Renew NBI Clearance Even If I’m Abroad?
There are two different ways of applying for NBI clearance while we are abroad. We can choose either through an authorized representative or without an authorized representative. For the first option, we can let our relatives or friends represent us during the appointment. Meanwhile, the second option is just for those who don’t have any trusted person to represent them. I have listed down below the process of applying for both with an authorized representative and without an authorized representative.
With an Authorized Representative:
- Accomplish all the needed documents.
You need to acquire the required documents such as NBI Form No. 5 also known as Fingerprint Form, 2 by 2 passport-sized photos with white background, photocopy of passport, and letter of authorization.
- Set an appointment.
Follow the step-by-step guide on how to apply for NBI clearance online above.
- Proceed to the NBI office.
Your authorized representative should go to the selected NBI office during the scheduled appointment date and time. Your representative must submit all the necessary documents including the reference number, his/her valid ID, and your valid ID.
- Obtain the NBI clearance.
After all, your authorized representative may return to the NBI office on the scheduled date and time to claim your NBI clearance. He/She can now send your clearance to you.
Without an Authorized Representative:
- Accomplish all the needed documents.
The requirements for the application are just the same with option 1 such as NBI Form No. 5 also known as Fingerprint Form, 2 by 2 passport-sized photos with white background, photocopy of passport, and letter of authorization. Also, you need to prepare and attach 200 pesos in the form of a money order or bank draft. This must be addressed to the NBI director Ms. Sandra P. Sobida, Mailed Clearance Section 3rd Floor, NBI Clearance Bldg., UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila.
- Set an appointment.
Just like on option 1, you need to set your appointment through online registration. Follow the step-by-step guide on how to apply for NBI clearance online above.
- Wait for the release of NBI clearance.
It may also take around 5 working days before NBI can process your application. When you already claimed your clearance, check for an embossed dry seal of the agency to verify its authenticity then attach your right thumb mark on the provided area.
NBI FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I forgot/lost my Application Form and Reference Number, where can I find it?
Since online registration is already available nowadays, applying is much easier than before. However, there are still instances when I forget to print out my form, including my reference number, which is truly essential when entering any NBI Clearance Center. During these situations, I always do the following:
- The first is to visit and login on the NBI Clearance Application Website. On the left side of the page, I always click a link called ‘transactions.’
- A new page then starts to load, showing my data such as reference number, payment status, and appointment date. I then copy my reference number from there.
- To check the transaction I want to see, I then click the ‘details’ button on the right side of the page. Once a new window appeared, a ‘print application form’ button will show.
What does it mean if I have a ‘hit’ in NBI clearance?
I often hear the term ‘hit’ from other claimants but never really knew what it meant, not until I had one. This word implies that the NBI needs to confirm my identity before releasing clearance. These are the probable reasons I know:
- If there is a pending criminal or administrative case filed against me before the court or other quasi-judicial body.
- If I have an identical name with someone who has an ongoing case.
- If the NBI personnel needs to check the status of my previous lawsuit.
- If other government agencies requested to check my clearance.
Like me, all the applicants that have a ‘hit’ should undergo additional authentication of identity with the Identification and Records Division at NBI Manila. After the verification process, which usually takes 8 to 10 days, we can finally claim our NBI clearances.
What is an NBI Clearance Quality Control Interview and what should I do?
An NBI Clearance Quality Control Interview happens at the NBI Clearance Main Office. It is what NBI personnel do to help verify the identities of applicants, like me, who received a ‘hit.’ Once I am requested to undergo the said interview, I cooperated and did not panic. I also brought two of my government-issued IDs and my NBI clearance receipt. I arrived there on time while also complying with their proper dress code.
This are a quick overview of what happened throughout the interview:
- An officer asked me questions that helped me confirm my identity.
- They required me to answer the Affidavit of Denial they gave.
- I took an oath with the NBI Clearance Resident Lawyer.
- I submitted the affidavit to the officer who interviewed me. He then notarized it.
- They gave me a new releasing time of my NBI clearance. Correspondingly, I went to the Printing and Releasing section to claim it.
Can I get NBI clearance without appearance?
It is required for us to make a personal appearance if we are applying for NBI clearance. If we do not make an appearance on the scheduled appointment, we cannot claim our clearance. Meanwhile, there are some exemptions to this. If you are in another country or you are an OFW, you may have your NBI clearance without any personal appearance.
What if I am not able to claim my NBI clearance in person?
There came a time when I am not able to pick up my clearance on its issuance date. Luckily, I have a reliable relative/friend who I trusted to come and get it with the help of an Authorization Letter.
The authorization letter I provided contains my full name as well as the name of my permitted relative/friend. Our ages, addresses, contact numbers, and signatures were also included in it together with the content, which proves that I am allowing him/her to claim it in my stead.
I also gave a heads-up to my authorized representative that to possess the clearance, he/she must wear proper and decent attire, and remember to bring my valid IDs as well as his/hers. If there are no issues in verifying his/her identity, the personnel-in-charge will release my NBI clearance to him/her.
How long will the verification process take if I have a ‘hit?’
It usually takes 5 or 8 to 10 days for the NBI personnel to verify my records since they are conducting a deep examination to find out whether certain criminal cases belong to me or to someone who has the same name as me. After authenticating my identity, I can directly return to their office to claim my clearance.
What if this “hit” is caused by a criminal case?
If I have a ‘hit’ because of my previous case, I will be required to attend an NBI Clearance Quality Interview. Despite that, I need not worry. I only have to bring at least two valid IDs of mine or any document that proves my identity. I also need to bring the official receipt of my NBI clearance, the printout of my registration form, and the original and photocopy of the Court Decision/Certification from the Court, which proves that the case filed against me was previously dismissed.
How long does it usually take to apply for or renew my NBI Clearance?
Honestly, it depends on how many claimants applied on the day I chose. Still, it is much better if I will choose a morning schedule and at the NBI office earlier that whats planned. And if luck is with me, there’s a possibility that I may get my clearance within 15 to 30 minutes. However, if I chose the afternoon schedule and, unfortunately, there’s a big load of applicants during that time, there’s a chance that my appointment will move on to the next day. I also found out recently that NBI offers online quick renewal, in which, my clearance can be brought to my address within 3 to 5 days. On the other hand, the process takes up to 30 days for those abroad.
What if there are errors in my NBI Clearance?
We must be extra careful when answering the Applicant Information page because once there is a mistake, our only choice is to reapply for a new one, which means hassle and another payment. Let’s be more cautious to avoid these errors.
What if I missed my NBI Clearance Appointment, what will happen then?
If there is an emergency that unfortunately made me miss my clearance appointment, I still have 15 more days from my original engagement date to show up at the NBI branch I chose, but that is only if I already paid the fee in advance.
If I am not able to pay the fee until my original appointment date, my application will be dismissed, requiring me to select another appointment date.
What if I wasn’t able to claim my NBI Clearance on the date I was supposed to return?
During these situations, I can directly go back to the NBI Clearance Center I applied to anytime since an unclaimed clearance is valid for a year. If I returned within that time frame, I am still able to get it despite not showing on its issuance date. I merely need to present my reference number to the personnel in charge, then the problem solved.
Can I reschedule my NBI Clearance Appointment?
Yes, I can reschedule anytime if I have not paid the fee yet. However, this is not applicable if I already paid in advance.
Can I change to another branch from the one I initially chose for my appointment?
Yes, but this is only if the original NBI branch I selected permitted my files to be transferred to another one. I should call them first to give them a heads-up and to request if they will agree.
How do I get an NBI clearance if I am a foreigner?
NBI clearance is not only for Filipino citizens but also for foreigners. If you are a foreigner and want to apply for NBI clearance, follow this step-by-step guide:
- Register online The process of registering online is almost similar to the process for Filipino citizens. Just follow the steps indicated above.
- Make an appointment you need to fill up and provide the needed information on the APPLICANT FORM. Then click SAVE INFORMATION button. Next, click APPLY FOR CLEARANCE button. The screen then will prompt a page asking for a valid ID that you will also present during your appointment. You can use your passport or Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR I-Card). Then click the I AGREE button that will prompt another page where you can set your appointment and select the NBI branch and date.Take note that foreigners in the National Capital Region (NCR) can only request at the NBI Main Clearance Processing Center while for those outside the NCR, you can apply at your province’s branch. After this, you need to select your desired payment method and then proceed to payment.
- Proceed to the appointment to the proper NBI office on your scheduled appointment date and time. Wear casual and decent attire and bring the original copy of your passport or original and photocopy of your ACR I-Card, print-out of your application form, and the official receipt of your payment. Follow the instructions that will be given to you by the authority.
- Obtain the NBI clearance different from Filipino citizens applicant, you need to wait for about 3 to 5 working days before you can claim your clearance. Return to the office on the scheduled date of receiving. In some instances, some foreigners are not available on the scheduled date. If this might happen, you can send your representative to get your clearance. Just provide an authorization letter and a copy of your passport.
Complete NBI Branches with MAPS
I recently found out that NBI has a lot of branches, offices, and outlets nationwide. All in all, they have 63 fully operational Clearance Centers in the Philippines. Some of these are in shopping malls and city halls for better convenience. It is necessary to be aware of which NBI Clearance branch is near us, especially when we applied online or paid via 7-eleven.
Here is the list of branches I have gathered upon researching:
WITHIN METRO MANILA
- NBI Clearance Center – UN Avenue, Ermita. Manila (Map)
- Quezon City Hall – Makatarungan St., Diliman, QC (Map)
- Montalban Rizal – Ground Floor, Municipal Hall (Map)
- Muntinlupa City – Victory Shopping Center, Alabang (Map)
- Mandaluyong City Hall – Maysilo Circle, Mandaluyong City (Map)
- Las Pinas City – Las Pinas City Hall or SM Center Las Pinas (near and in front of Las Pinas City Hall) (Map)
- Robinson’s Place – Basement 1 Ermita, Manila (Map)
- Robinson’s Otis – Level 2 Guanzon St., Paco, Manila (Map)
- Robinson’s Galleria – Basement 1 Ortigas Ave., QC (Map)
- Robinson’s Metro East – Level 4 Marcos Hi-way, Pasig (Map)
- Robinson’s Cainta – Level 2 Junction Cainta, Rizal (Map)
- Robinson’s Novaliches – Novaliches, QC (Map)
- Ever Gotesco Recto – 3rd Floor Cinema 3 Recto Ave., Manila (Map)
- Duty-Free Fiesta Mall – Ninoy Aquino Ave., Paranaque City (Map)
- Empire Mall – Edsa, Pasay City (Map)
OUTSIDE METRO MANILA
- Marilao Municipal Hall – Beside PNP Station, Marilao, Bulacan (Map)
- Ormoc Gaisano – Gaisano Capital Mall (Map)
NBI FIELD OFFICES
- Cordillera Administrative Region – Upper Session Road Baguio City (Map)
REGION I – ILOCOS REGION
- Ilocos Regional Office – Aguila Road Sevilla Norte San Fernando City (Map)
- Dagupan District Office – A. B. Fernandez West Dagupan City (Map)
- Laoag District Office – Brgy. 10 P Gomez St, Laoag City
REGION II – CAGAYAN VALLEY
- Cagayan Valley Regional Office – Government Center Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City (Map)
- Bayombong District Office – Capitol Compound, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (Map)
- Isabela District Office – National Highway Brgy. Osmena Ilagan Isabela
REGION III – CENTRAL LUZON
- Central Luzon Regional Office – Capitol Compound City of San Fernando Pampanga (Map)
- Bulacan District Office – Capitol Compound Guinhawa, City of Malolos, Bulacan (Map)
- Cabanatuan District Office – Llanera St., Old Provincial Capitol Compound, Cabanatuan City (Map)
- Olongapo District Office – 17 Kentucky Lane Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City (Map)
- Tarlac District Office – Brgy. Macabulos Drive San Roque, Tarlac City (Map)
REGION IV-A CALABARZON
- Lipa City Hall – Lipa City, Batangas (Map)
- Robinson’s Dasmarinas – Dasmarinas, Cavite (Map)
- Capitol Site Capitol Hills Batangas City (Map)
- Cavite District Office – J.P. Rizal St. Kaybagal South Tagaytay City (Map)
- Lucena District Office – NIA Compound Genes Aguilar St., Lucena City (Map)
- Laguna District Office – Rizal Blvd Brgy. Tagapo City of Sta Rosa, Laguna (Map)
REGION IV-B MIMAROPA
- Sitio Cuadro Aguas, Brgy. Sta Isabel, Calapan City
- Puerto Princesa District Office – Taft St., Brgy Liwanag, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan (Map)
REGION V – BICOL REGION
- Bicol Regional Office – Maria Cristina St., Naga City (Map)
- Legazpi District Office – Quezon Avenue Legazpi City (Map)
REGION VI – WESTERN VISAYAS
- Western Visayas Regional Office – Duran St., Fort San Pedro Iloilo City (Map)
- Bacolod District Office – Aguinaldo St. Bacolod City (Map)
REGION VII – CENTRAL VISAYAS
- Central Visayas Regional Office – Escario St., Capitol Site, Cebu City (Map)
- Dumaguete District Office – Capitol Area Daro Dumaguete City (Map)
REGION VIII – EASTERN VISAYAS
- Samar District Office – Old Health Bldg., Capitol Site Catbalogan City
REGION IX – ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA
- Western Mindanao Regional Office – 19 Corcuera St., Zamboanga City (Map)
- Dipolog District Office – Quezon Avenue Sta. Isabel, Dipolog City (Map)
- Pagadian District Office – BALGU Bldg., Capitol Compound, Pagadian City (Map)
REGION X – NORTHERN MINDANAO
- Northeastern Mindanao Regional Office – Capitol Compound, Cagayan de Oro City (Map)
- Iligan District Office – IBP Bldg., Badelles St. Pala-o, Iligan City (Map)
REGION XI – DAVAO REGION
- Southeastern Mindanao Regional Office – J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City (Map)
- Tagum District Office – Door 5 Duson Apt. National Highway Visayan Village Tagum (Map)
REGION XII − SOCCSKSARGEN
- Central Mindanao Regional Office – 2nd Floor South Cotabato Gymnasium, Koronadal City (Map)
- Saranggani District Office – San Petco St. Lagao, General Santos City (Map)
REGION XIII − CARAGA REGION
- 2nd Floor FCB Bldg., J Rosales Ave Butuan City (Map)
- Governor Gutierrez Avenue. Cotabato City (Map)
The local government buildings stated above are open every Monday to Friday at 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, while the Shopping Malls and Duty-free are open at 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Shaving an NBI Clearance at hand is convenient since it can be useful in numerous ways. Fortunately, whatever our situation may be, there is and will always be an available method to apply or renew our clearances. However, if we are not yet aware of these, it doesn’t hurt to seek help and approach others who are knowledgeable about it.
I also want to remind everyone that “Patience is a virtue,” that’s why if we were requested to undergo interviews, or if there is a delay in our appointment due to a vast amount of applicants, we should be considerate.