Philippine-born immigrant visa applicants 16 years and over are required to submit certificates issued by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that are less than a year old. The green NBI certificate annotated for travel abroad is the correct certificate. Other colors are for local use only.
Foreign-born applicants who have resided in the Philippines for six months or more can also be issued NBI clearances in person or by mail. Applicants residing outside the Philippines should send requests for certificates, as well as money orders or bank drafts for the fees and postage, to the IRD-Mailed Clearance Section, National Bureau of Investigation, Taft Avenue, Metro Manila, Philippines. Philippine Embassies abroad can also assist Filipinos in obtaining NBI police clearances.
The NBI has its own fingerprint charts and personal data forms that it will send to the requesting applicant for execution. Most applicants abroad find it more useful to have a relative or friend in the Philippines assist them in obtaining their certificates from the NBI. In that instance, a letter of authorization is required. The applicant may also submit a copy (“personal copy”) of a prior NBI clearance to facilitate the processing of a new clearance.
Not all arrests and convictions that occur outside Manila are reported to the NBI, and the NBI’s criminal records database is not foolproof. Manila and major Philippine cities have computerized records.