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 Zealand Among the Top 10 Most Peaceful Countries | PH Among the Lowest | Global Peace Index

New Zealand has made it again to the Top 10 Most Peaceful Countries according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) report by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). GPI ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness using indicators such as violent crime, terrorism, militarisation, safety & security, to name a few.

 

Global Peace Index - New Zealand Ranking
Global Peace Index – New Zealand Ranking – Source: www.visionofhumanity.org

 

In contrast, our beloved Philippines is in the bottom 25 of the list among other countries like Mexico, India, Venezuela, and Turkey. Aside from North Korea, she is at the bottom in Asia Pacific region, and also the least peaceful among South East Asia. 🙁

 

Global Peace Index - Philippines Ranking
Global Peace Index – Philippines Ranking – Source: www.visionofhumanity.org

 

Apparently, as far as the PH is concerned, this is really the case. Just turn on your TV and listen to daily news. In the Philippines, a big chunk of airtime is spent covering violence, crime and terrorism. Whereas, NZ news spend lots of airtime covering international, business and sports news. And sometimes to make up for excess airtime, some kind of stories are being aired which in my opinion would not make it in a PH news setup. Not saying that New Zealand is perfect, it has its own problems too, but comparison of peacefulness is a no-brainer.

We really hope that our new President-elect can do what he claims he can do and next year’s report will show an improved ranking for the PH.

 

Global Peace Index Map - Source: www.visionofhumanity.org

Global Peace Index Map – Source: www.visionofhumanity.org

 

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.