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Huge demand for ‘No Criminal Record’ certificate at Philippine consulate

Fingerprinting appointment fully booked until end of March

Gulf News

Dubai: More than 2,000 Filipinos have applied for a “No Criminal Record” certificate at the Philippine Consulate-General, a prerequisite for the issuance of the good conduct certificate required for issuing new UAE work permits since February 4.

The “No Criminal Record” issued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila, popularly known as NBI Clearance, is the good conduct certificate’s counterpart in the Philippines.

The requirement is in line with the UAE’s new rule for all visit visa holders to obtain a certificate of good conduct from their home country first in order to be issued a work permit when applying for a job in the UAE.

The Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai last week set up an online appointment system for those who wish to have their fingerprints taken at the consulate instead of doing it at the Dubai Police Headquarters.

Some 300 people have already availed of the online appointment system for NBI Fingerprinting since Sunday.

“We assigned one staff who is dedicated to do the fingerprinting at the consulate despite our limited manpower for the benefit and convenience of our compatriots. We have 100 slots per day but all the fingerprinting appointments are now fully booked until the end of March,” Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said.

“We used to give out 500 copies of the NBI Form 5 daily when the new rule took effect. We eventually had to raise it to 800 per day due to the high demand,” he added.

Cortes advised Filipinos who wish to work in the UAE to not come here on visit visa but to go through legal channels, primarily through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. This way, all these documents, including the NBI Clearance, are processed prior to their deployment for overseas work.

“Presumably, the majority of the Filipinos applying for NBI Clearance here in Dubai are visit visa-holders. Some are switching jobs. For those who are on visit visa, this new requirement could set them back roughly three to four weeks in their job application process.”

Cortes said the NBI fingerprinting only takes five to 10 minutes at the consulate for those who come on their appointed date and time. It takes one to three working days for their special power of attorney to be issued.

Once all this is ready, the applicant has to send the document via courier to his representative to process the NBI clearance before it can be authenticated at the Department of Foreign Affairs and then attested by the UAE Embassy in Manila. The whole process could take time.

More community engagement

Meanwhile, Cortes said he will be holding an hourly Facebook Live sessions with the Filipino community every week beginning the end of February.

“These FB Live sessions will serve as a platform for the Philippine consulate, and the government as a whole, to reach out to and engage with the community on the forthcoming projects and programmes of the consulate and the government. It will also allow them to ask questions to make them part of the dialogue to make government more inclusive and for us to become a society that is more attuned to each other’s needs,” Cortes said.

The move is in line with the Philippine government’s thrust to use social media, especially Facebook, to connect the public with their government leaders and allow them to see what the government is doing for them.

To book a fingerprinting appointment

Visit http://dubaipcg.dfa.gov.ph/nbi-clearance-appointment-system. Or secure an NBI Form 5 from the Philippine Consulate and then go to the Dubai Police Headquarters to get the rolled impressions and signature by the police officer. Once done, the applicant may return to the consulate to complete the process.

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