Because queuing in line for hours is so 2017
It’s already 2018 and yet we’re still hearing people complain about government offices and their processes left and right. Everything takes too long, you’re in line for hours, the system is always down, the appointments are booked for months at a time—the complaint line is long and justified. But everything, even applying for that damn NBI Clearance, can be easier if you know what you’re doing.
Step 1: Make an appointment
There’s no going around this one (unless you’re willing to break the law). Click on over here and you’ll find the below forms on the right-hand side, which differs for new and old applicants.
Heads up, if you say you have an old NBI Clearance, they’ll ask for your old NBI ID Number. If you didn’t think to save a digital copy and lost that piece of paper from when you last applied for a job, there’s no need to fret; just say it’s a new account.
Step 2: Sign in
With your brand new log in details, sign in. You can find this nifty little feature on the upper right-hand side.
Step 3: Fill in your application
You know the drill, kids: Fill her up with all your details. Some of the questions have scroll down options and, for the parents’ name, they only allow “letters and spaces.” So keep it simple and just don’t include their middle initials like I did.
Click on “Save Information” after and you will be automatically redirected to Step 4.
Step 4: Apply for clearance
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You did it—well maybe. If you got all your details right, then you can click on “Apply for Clearance.” If not, then you have to go click “Edit Information” with the other careless people.
Afterwards, you’ll have to let NBI know what type of ID you’ll be bringing to the actual appearance.
Then you’ll be hit with this reminder, which you can just close (after carefully reading it, of course).
Step 5: Appointment schedule + Payment
So you’ll have to pick an NBI Branch to go to and a day to go to it. You’ll be able to see number of morning and afternoon slots they have left right away and you honestly don’t actually have to wait a month to get in the office. This isn’t like applying for a passport.
Here’s a little trick. If you can get to a branch on the basement floor of a mall (ahem Robinson’s Place-Ermita), then book a morning slot as soon as you can. Get there before the mall opens and park your car in the basement, because this means you can fall in line before all the other people that have to wait for mall hours to begin.
Each of the payment options have their own pros and cons, and you just have to choose the easiest one for you. And for those that don't have the option of paying online, there's always the 7/11 payment option. When all that is settled and your payment has been verified, a “Details” button will appear on the right side of the screen. Clicking on this will allow you to print your application form.
Printing isn’t voluntary. You need to bring a physical copy of the file on your appointment day. Do. Not. Forget.
Step 6: Prepare for appointment day
Doing all the online stuff should make appointment day relatively easy. Just keep these things in mind:
- Things to bring: The ID you indicated (and extras if you can) and your printed application form.
- Wear appropriate attire (just in case). No, you don’t have to be in corporate clothes, but you can’t show up in pambahay. Keep in mind that you’re going to be entering an extension of a government office and that should demand some respect. Besides, you don’t want to be denied entry just because you decided to wear shorts and slippers.
- When in doubt, ask around.
Step 7: Biometrics + Picture taking
Find the biometrics window and smile at the person behind the counter to spread some joy. They will take your photo, scan your fingerprints and then you’ll just have to wait for your printed NBI Clearance.
YAAAAY, you’re done!
Step 8 (for the unfortunate ones who get a hit): Make your comeback
If your name rings up a hit in NBI’s system, then you’ll have to return another day for your printed Clearance. They’ll give you a date to return (usually a week), which you’ll have to follow through on. Depending on the branch, you might have to come back with a reference number or just give your name at the Print Out Window.
Congratulations! You are now officially cleared.
Art Ara Custodio