National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance Online Application Goes Live! Faster and More Efficient!

I still remember the first time I tried to get an NBI Clearance. It was five years ago when I needed that document to apply for my Philippine Passport. The nearest NBI Clearance Center to my residence then was located near LRT Carriedo station (not sure if it's still there) and it took me the whole afternoon just to get that sheet of paper. Long queues galore! The whole process was not only time consuming but also very stressful.

NBI Clearance Online Application

Fast forward to 2015, the National Bureau of Investigation finally did something to address all the hassles that clearance applicants go through and decided to shorten the process by letting them accomplish half of it online, in the comfort of their own homes.

According to NBI, "The big problem with the manual processing of NBI Clearance is that it is too slow (a perfect venue for Red Tape). The majority of the applicants is ranting about the long queue lines and it’s driving them crazy! [Starting this year,] NBI Clearance can be easily done online and [applicants can] skip a few steps of the old manual way. It also eliminates the manual filling out of application forms [...] No more long queue lines. No more wasted time waiting for your turn. The NBI clearance online application eliminates 3 steps of the process, namely: Data Verification, Payment to the Cashier and Filling out the Application Form!"

The whole NBI Clearance Online Application Process is very easy. You can do it in five simple steps:

1. Fill out the online form via the official website, filling out all the necessary fields.
2. Print out the form, taking note of your unique Application Code.
3. Bring the form to any NBI clearance center for image capture and fingerprint biometrics.
4. For “no hit” applicants: Proceed to Releasing section, for the printing and issuance of NBI clearance certificate.
5. For applicants “with hit”: You will be advised to come back on the release date written at the back of your official receipt (O.R.). When advised to proceed to Quality Control Section for interview, your clearance will be issued upon evaluation and cleared by the Quality Control interviewer.

As of April 2, 2015, the regular fee for an NBI Clearance is Php 115 but it can go as high as Php 415 depending on your purpose for getting it. If you need it for travel or visa application, I believe you just need to pay the standard fee. But if you're getting one for naturalization, repatriation, Student Visa, or as an SSS and ACR requirement, that's when you need to shell out Php 415.

Online is definitely faster -- but is there a downside to this new procedure? Well, NBI said that one draw back is that it delays you for a day because of the 'Scheduling Task' or setting up an appointment with your selected NBI Clearance Outlet where you will wrap up the process and get the document. Other than that, I think the whole thing is indeed more efficient and a clear step forward for the agency.