How to Apply for NBI Clearance From Overseas | NBI Clearance in NZ

As mentioned in our earlier posts, we came here in New Zealand with a work visa. After settling here for a few months, we realized that we want to stay here longer and decided to apply for Resident Visa. One of  the requirements for resident visa application is Police Certificate. In the Philippines, this is issued by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Immigration New Zealand (INZ) requires police certificates to be less than 6 months old at the time application was lodged. Unfortunately, my NBI clearance is already 9 months old, so even if it is not expired (NBI clearance expires after a yar) I still have to get a new one. Here’s a guide on how to apply for NBI Clearance if you are in New Zealand. The procedures are similar if you are getting NBI Clearance anywhere overseas.

Step 1:  Secure NBI Fingerprint Form Card (NBI Form No. 5) from the PH embassy/consulate by sending the following:

  • A request letter with signature
  • Photocopy of valid passport
  • Self-addressed prepaid courier bag – You can buy the bag from NZ Post. You need to include this bag in your mail so they can send back the form to you.

Here is the address of Philippine Embassy in Wellington.

                 50 Hobson Street, Thorndon
                Wellington, New Zealand 6011

When you receive the form, below is what it looks like. It should have the unique serial number on the upper right corner and embassy seal on the bottom right corner of the form.

NBI Form No. 5
NBI Form No. 5

Step 2.  Fill out the NBI Fingerprint Card on both sides;

Step 3. Have your fingerprints impressed rolled impression on the appropriate space in the form.  Bring your form and a 2″x 2″ photo (white background taken within three months) with you, and go to the nearest police station or embassy/consulate to assist you in capturing your fingerprints. Note that in Auckland area, fingerprint capture is now being pushed to be electronic thru NZ Post which means you have no choice but to ask help from PH consulate in Auckland to assist you with fingerprinting. Anyway, I still recommend you to go to the consulate/embassy to prevent wrong or incomplete impression/signature.  The witness (police or embassy/consulate officer) should sign his/her name and state his official designation in the space for “IMPRESSIONS TAKEN BY”.

Notes for married woman application: Name should be written in the following order

  1. a)    Your maiden name (family or surname of your father);
  2. b)    Your first name or given name;
  3. c)    Your maternal surname (maiden surname of your mother); and
  4. d)    Your husband’s surname or family name ( space provided, No. 2);

Step 4: Send the accomplished form and payment to NBI. You have two options – you can either

  • Send the accomplished form and payment to your representative, and have him/her process the NBI for you. Your representative will submit the requirements to NBI and then pick up your NBI Clearance once available. You need to provide an authorization letter to your representative. or
  • Send the form and payment directly to NBI. Once available, they will send the clearance to your address abroad. The catch is they will send it via regular snail mail without a tracking number. 🙁

Below is the contact information of NBI for overseas applicants

  • MS. SANDRA P. SOBIDA
    Mailed Clearance Section
    NBI Taft Ave., Ermita, Manila
    Tel Number 5238231 loc 5465

Cost of application is 200 pesos.

In my case, I asked my brother to process our NBI Clearance. He paid 200 pesos in cash for each clearance.

Step 5: Wait for your NBI Clearance result. If you have a representative, he/she will pick up your clearance and send it back to you via your preferred courier. My brother got my clearance after 5 days. It took another 5 days for my clearance to be sent here in Auckland. It will definitely take more time if you let NBI send your clearance to you via regular mail, and again they don’t provide a tracking number which will make you go crazy if you’ve been waiting for so long.

Please note that if you are living near the embassy/consulate, you can go straight to the embassy/consulate with your passport to obtain NBI Clearance Form and have your fingerprints taken (Steps 1 to 3).

Double check for any wrong info on the clearance. Check for the dry seal. Ensure that the signatures are complete.

 

Challenge Encountered – A note to DOST Scholars

I was a scholar of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) when I was in college. Part of my obligation to serve my country  is to work in the Philippines for the same duration I was under the scholarship. My name was in the PH immigration and NBI watch list, which simply means I cannot live or work abroad without completing my service obligation.

Before applying for NZ work visa, I already had this worked out: I completed my service obligation and was cleared by DOST. To do this, I submitted a copy of a letter from DOST to NBI stating that I am already cleared of my obligation. I was granted an NBI clearance with no derogatory records.

Considering this, I was surprised when my brother had issues with my clearance as the officer told him that I  actually still need to settle my DOST obligation again. My brother even submitted my NBI clearance along with the application. So what he did was he went back the next day and brought a copy of my DOST service clearance and another copy of my old NBI clearance. Luckily, I have saved copies or I will have to get a new one (DOST clearance)!

For me this is really a disappointment on the NBI process and a flaw on the integrity of their records.

So if you have any clearance/documents/letters that you think might affect the release of your NBI Clearance in the future, better keep them, you might need them in the future.

NBI-Clearance
NBI Clearance

Note: Notice the dry seal embossed on the left side of the clearance just above the bar code which can slightly be seen in the photo.

 

How to Apply for Certified True Copy of Philippine Passport

My wife’s visa application (Partnership-Based Temporary Visa) overlapped with my departure date so we had to apply for a Certified True Copy (CTC) of my passport. To get one, I went to DFA Manila (in ASEANA) with the following documents:

  1. Original Passport
  2. Proof of Requirement for Certified Copy of Passport – DFA requires a valid reason for application of the certification. In our case, I brought a copy of INZ 1146 Form (Form for Partners Supporting Partnership-Based Temporary Entry Applications). This form lists it as a requirement.

When I got to DFA, I asked for assistance from the guard on duty. I showed him my documents, and he politely directed me to wait in line opposite the window for passport certifications. On my turn, I handed over my documents to the officer. After verification, I was instructed to go to the 2nd floor for payment. Total cost is 100 PHP. Then, I went back to the verification officer to present the receipt.

We could only wish for a faster processing but we had to wait for 10 days before we get the stamped and signed photocopy of my passport. It helps to apply for it in advance.

It is also advisable to go to DFA early and bring photocopies of your documents beforehand (even photocopy services have long queues).

* I used the same Certified True Copy of Passport for my NZQA application.

 

Certified True Copy of Passport
Certified True Copy of Passport
Certified True Copy of Passport
Passport Certification

 

How to Apply for NZQA Assessment | IQA vs PAR

As some of you might know, when claiming points for your qualification (educational attainment) in your residence visa application, you need to obtain an assessment from NZQA – the government entity tasked to assess qualifications. This is equivalent to a World Education Services (WES) evaluation for Canadian resident visa. Unless your school is in the list of Qualifications Exempt from Assessment, then you need to take an NZQA assessment.

Most of the top schools in the Philippines are in the exempt list, but please note that qualification (degree) and the year it was awarded must match with the specifics in the list. For example, a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree holder from University of the Philippines Baguio awarded in year 2000 still need to take NZQA because only BS degrees awarded from 2003 are exempted.

In our case, my wife’s qualification is in the exemption list, but mine isn’t. I had to apply for assessment to claim points for my education. That is a huge 50 points for a Bachelor’s Degree.

 

PAR vs IQA

Which assessment should I take? If you need to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) right away, then you may have your Pre-Assessment Result (PAR). This will cost you 138 NZD (roughly 4,600 PHP), and you can get result in around 20 days. You don’t need to submit your documents to NZQA. They will assess your qualification based solely on the information you provided them. When you received your Invitation to Apply (ITA), the INZ (Immigration New Zealand) will still require you a full assessment through International Qualifications Assessment (IQA).

If you are not in a hurry to submit your EOI and want to save money, then you can apply for IQA straight away. I opted for this one and received the result after 35 days. It’s a case to case basis. According to NZQA, some applications may take up to 10 weeks.

 

Applying for IQA

Applying for IQA is easy. Here’s my guide:

Step 1: Create your account online via Qualification Recognition Services (QRS) online applications.

Step 2: Fill out and submit your online application. It helps to prepare the following:

  • Applicant Details – full name, email, mobile number, address
  • Qualification Details – name/degree, school name, address, year completed
  • High School (Secondary School) Details – high school name, address, year graduated
  • Work Experience – position held, employer name, employer address, date employed
  • Supporting Documents – passport
  • Payment Details – credit card to pay online. I paid 746 NZD (approximately 25,000 PHP)

Once application is submitted, a QRS application number will be assigned to you.

Step 3: Send your documents to NZQA. The documents that you need to submit may vary depending on the answers on your online application. Here are the documents I submitted:

  • NZQA Cover Sheet – You can download this online once you submitted your application. This contains your appilication ID (QRS Number) and a checklist of documents you need to provide to NZQA.

NZQA Cover Sheet

  • Award Certificates and Transcripts (Originals) – This is my Transcript of Records (TOR) and diploma.
  • School Documents (Original) – My high school diploma.
  • Identity Documents(Certified copies) – A certified true copy of my passport.
  • A prepaid courier bag

Send them

  • By Post
    Qualification Recognition Services
    New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    PO box 160, Wellington 6140
    NEW ZEALAND
  • By Courier
    Qualification Recognition Services
    New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    125 The Terrace, Wellington 6011
    NEW ZEALAND

Step 4: Wait for your assessment result to be delivered to you. You can track the status of your application online using your account.

 

NZQA International Qualifications Assessment
NZQA International Qualifications Assessment (IQA)

 

New NZ Visa Application Centers (VAC) | VFS Global to Take Over from PIASI

Just recently, the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has pulled out Philippine Interactive Audio Services, Inc. (PIASI) as their visa application service provider. The job was given to VFS Global, the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments. VFS Global currently serves 50 client governments and has Visa Application Centres (VACs) that cater visa applications to popular destinations like United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. New Zealand is their newest addition to the list.

When we applied for visa last year, we went to the old NZ VAC in Visa Information and Application (VIA) Center Magallanes (which was operated by PIASI).

Starting May 1 2016, visa applicants are advised to get in touch with VFS Global’s VACs in the Philippines for processing.

 

Source: www.vfsglobal.com

New Zealand Visa Application Center – Manila

VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
Mezzanine Floor Unit M01, Ecoplaza Building,
2305 Chino Roces Avenue Extension Makati City, Metro Manila 1231

New Zealand  Visa Application Center – Cebu

VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
9th Floor, Keppel Center, Unit 905, Samar Loop
cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue,
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 6000

Contact Number

632 790 4905

 

Here is an excerpt from Immigration New Zealand’s announcement

On 30 April 2016, the existing Visa Information and Application Centres (VIAs) in Manila and Cebu, which are operated by PIASI, will cease the provision of services on behalf of Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

From 1 May 2016, VFS Global’s Visa Application Centres (VACs) in Manila and Cebu will take over the provision of application submission, and general enquiry services for INZ in the Philippines. VFS Global’s VACs will operate from new premises.

How to Apply for IRD Number | New Zealand

As migrant worker in New Zealand, you will need to apply for IRD number for tax purposes, unless you want your employer to deduct income tax at the highest tax rate of 45%. Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number is equivalent to a TIN number in the Philippines. It is worthy to note that starting 1 October 2015, you cannot apply for an IRD number unless you have a fully functional bank account in NZ. You will know that your bank account is fully functional if you can make withdrawals from it (banks normally will only allow you to withdraw funds after completing their verification process). As mentioned in an earlier post, I applied for a bank account while overseas, and the first thing I did after my arrival was activate my bank account by going to the nearest branch. I actually set up an appointment with them while still overseas. After verification, the helpful bank officer assisted me in withdrawing 10 cents from my account, just to make sure that my bank account is active.

Going to documentation requirements, you need to prepare the following (ideally before you arrive in NZ)

  • Photographic Identification – I used my passport (driver’s licence is also accepted).
  • Proof of Most Recent Address – I provided a copy of utility bill from the Philippines.
  • Proof of Intended Activity in New Zealand – Since my intention was to work in NZ, I provided a copy of my work visa.
  • Proof of New Zealand Bank Account – a copy of statement of account showing my transactions (deposits and withdrawals). Most of the time this is available thru online banking or you may ask your nearest branch.
  • Proof of Tax Identification Number of Your Most Recent Country – I gave a copy of my recent tax form from the Philippines and TIN ID.
  • Completed Application Form IR742 – Complete the form and sign. A more detailed list of requirements can also be found in the form

Scan all your documents and send to offshore@ird.govt.nz. After a day or two, I received a call from Inland Revenue and they gave me my IRD Number. Easy, right?

It is advisable that you register and create an account in Inland Revenue Online Services as soon as you get your IRD Number.