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Registration and Pre-Departure Services


Pre-departure registration is a process which generates an information resource on Filipino emigrants, which in turn, provides accurate reference for policy formulation and program development. It is a requirement to all Filipino emigrants or those leaving the country to settle permanently abroad.

Filipino emigrants are required to present the following documents for registration:

* Original valid passport

* Original and photocopy of visa

* One (1) 2x2 or passport-size photograph

* One (1) valid identification card with photograph*

* Original and photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary (for USA-bound emigrant)*

* Original and photocopy of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (for Canada-bound emigrant)*

* Photocopy of Certificate of Eligibility (for Japan-bound emigrant)*

* Original and photocopy of letter of approval for Work to Residence visa (for New Zealand-bound emigrants)*

* Photocopy of employment contract (for immigrant workers)

* Duly completed registration form

* Payment of P400.00 registration fee

* Attendance in the PDOS, guidance counseling or peer counseling session

For youth emigrants aged 13 to 17, the following additional documents are also required:

* Photocopy of parent's passport or valid identification card, if accompanied by parent/s during registration

* Letter of authorization from parent/s authorizing the guardian to register the child on their behalf (if accompanied by guardian during registration)

* Original and photocopy of DSWD travel clearance

For children 12 years old and below, the following additional documents are required if the proxy is not the legal/natural/adoptive parent of the registrant.

* One(1) valid identification card with photograph of the proxy

* Special Power of Attorney or notarized authorization letter from the parent/s/ or guardian/s authorizing the proxy to register the minor children.

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All Filipino emigrants leaving the country to settle abroad permanently are required by law to register with CFO. No one is exempted from pre-departure registration.
But the following are not required to attend the pre-departure orientation seminar and to be personally present during the registration (they can also be registered by proxy):


* Minors 12 years old and below

* Senior citizens 60 years old and above

* Those with mental illness or psychiatric disability, and incapacitated due to permanent or long-term ailments


The same registration requirements for older emigrants apply for children 12 years old and below. The following additional documents, however, are required if the proxy is not the legal/natural/adoptive parent/s of the registrant:


* One (1) valid identification card with photograph (original and photocopy) of the proxy; and

* Special power of attorney (SPA) or a notarized letter of authorization from the parent/s or guardian/s authorizing the proxy to register the minor.

In the registration of Filipino emigrants under other special circumstances (those with mental illness or psychiatric disability, who are incapacitated due to permanent or long-term illness, and 60 years old and above), the proxy is required to present the following additional requirements:


* Medical certificate/report (except for those who are 60 years old and above);

* Letter of authorization from the emigrant; and

* Original and photocopy of a valid identification card with photograph of the proxy.


Republic Act 8043 also known as the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (click here) is a law which allows aliens to adopt Filipino children if such children cannot be adopted by qualified Filipino citizens.
Adopted children leaving the country to live abroad are required to be registered with the CFO. They may be registered personally or by a social worker from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or by a representative of the child caring agency accredited by DSWD.



Following are the requirements for registration of adopted children:


* Original valid passport of the adopted child;

* Original and photocopy of visa of the adopted child;

* One (1) passport-size photograph of the adopted child;

* Original and photocopy of the valid identification card of the person authorized to register the adopted child;

* Placement Authority issued by the Philippine Inter-Country Adoption Board (ICAB);

* Original and photocopy of Confirmation of Permanent Residence (for Canada-bound emigrant);

* Original and photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary (for USA-bound emigrant);

* Duly completed registration form of the adopted child (downloadable at www.cfo.gov.ph);

* Attendance in the peer counseling for those 13-19 years old; and

* Payment of P 400.00 registration fee.

The following Filipino emigrants may be allowed to register with the CFO-NAIA Desk Office:

* Filipino spouses and other partners previously granted permanent residence status in the country of destination

* Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals who have completed the pre-departure counseling requirements, as evidenced by a genuine counseling certificate

* Filipino emigrants exempted from attending the PDOS or peer counseling under special circumstances

* Filipino emigrants with permanent residence visa issued abroad who will be exiting from the Philippines

* Emigrants whose visas will expire within three (3) working days of their issuance

* Other emigrants under meritorious circumstances, as may be approved by the Executive Director or the duly authorized representative


After satisfactory completion of the registration requirements, an emigrant sticker will be affixed to the emigrant's passport as a proof of registration with CFO. The said sticker will be checked by the immigration officer at the airport on the day of the emigrant's departure.



Filipinos residing or working outside the Philippines whose immigrant or residence visas were issued abroad may avail of the remote (on-line registration or by facsimile). Only those residing or working outside the Philippines whose immigrant or permanent residence visas are issued abroad may avail of this registration.



In 2008, CFO registered 70,579 Filipino emigrants with an average of 267 emigrants a day.


There are about 1,607,252 Filipino emigrants registered with CFO from 1981 to 2008.

The top destination countries of Filipino emigrants are USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.


Pre-departure Orientation Seminar is conducted for emigrants to address their adjustment concerns in their destination countries. It is a discussion of various topics such as travel regulations, immigration procedures, cultural differences, settlement concerns, employment and social security concerns, and rights and obligations of Filipino migrants.

For the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar Schedule for Filipino Emigrants, click this link :

http://cfo.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1347:for-filipinos-leaving-the-country-with-an-immigrant-visa&catid=139:pre-departure-orientation-seminar&Itemid=917



Through its guidance and counseling program, pre-departure orientation seminars, peer counseling, and extensive local community education programs, CFO provides emigrants and potential migrants with information on the immigration policies and basic laws of their host countries, rights and obligations overseas, and support services available to them.
To supplement the guidance and counseling program, CFO maintains a CFO Watchlist, which contains information on foreign nationals who have history of domestic violence or involvement in trafficking, serial sponsorship, bigamy, adultery, child abuse, deception and fraud, among others. Through this Watchlist, CFO counselors can extend appropriate counseling intervention to Filipino nationals they may sponsor for travel overseas.


Per Department of Foreign Affairs Orders Nos. 11-97 (Implementing Rules and Regulations for Republic Act 8239, "Philippine Passport Act") and 28-94, Filipinos proceeding abroad as spouses and other partners of foreign nationals, are required to attend the CFO's guidance and counseling program as a pre-requisite to the issuance of passports.
The guidance and counseling program is a country-specific discussion which provides Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals with adequate information and advice on the realities of intermarriage and migration, rights and obligations overseas, available support networks for women in distress, cultural and social realities overseas, and other information which may help them make informed decisions about cross-cultural unions and settlement overseas.

* Two (2) valid identification cards (IDs) with photograph;

* Duly completed guidance and counseling form;

* If married, certified true copy and photocopy of marriage contract on security paper from the National Statistics Office, or Local Civil Registry Offices; or original and photocopy of marriage contract duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate (if married abroad)

* Other documents as may be required by the counselors; and

* Payment of P400.00 counseling fee.

After attending the guidance and counseling requirements, the CFO issues the guidance and counseling certificate. After receipt of the passport and visa, Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals will have to register with CFO prior to their departure. Registration is done either in CFO Manila or Cebu Extension Office, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. An emigrant registration sticker is affixed to the emigrant's passport as proof of registration.

The following are exempt from attending the counseling program:

* Filipino spouses and other partners previously granted permanent residence status in the country of destination; or>

* Filipino spouses and other partners with permanent residence visa issued abroad.

Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals may request for a replacement of their counseling certificate in case of loss. In requesting for a replacement, the following shall be required:


* Affidavit of loss

* Duly completed issuance form

* Payment of P800.00 re-issuance fee

The new certificate will be issued not earlier than five (5) working days after filing of application to replace the lost counseling certificate.

Yes. The following are some of the grounds for non-issuance of Counseling Certificate:

* Submission or presentation of fraudulent documents by the counselees and/or their foreign partners

* Misrepresentation by the counselees' and/or their foreign partners during the counseling

The certificate may also be temporary withheld for the following reasons:

* Counselee may be a prospective victim of mail-order bride scheme, forced prostitution, and domestic violence, among others

* Counselee is a minor or below 18 years of age

* Counselee had earlier attended counseling session(s) but is subsequently petitioned by another foreign partner

* Counselee presents or submits incomplete, or questionable/doubtful documents

* Counselee is believed to be intimidated by other persons to marry the foreign partner

* Counselee lacks background information on the foreign partner

* Counselee has children from previous relationship(s)

* Counselee has not personally met foreign partner

* Counselee is included in the CFO Watchlist

* Foreign partner is included in the CFO Watchlist (e.g. foreign partner is a serial sponsor)

* Foreign partner is believed to be an imminent threat on the counselee's life




The two-day cultural orientation seminar for spouses and other partners of Korean nationals is a special seminar which provides extensive discussion and workshop about the culture, rights and obligations, immigration and labor policies, support networks, and other settlement concerns in South Korea.


Peer Counseling is a program designed for Filipino emigrants aged 13-19 years old which provides information on international travel requirements, immigration policies of host country, coping mechanisms in different situations, and information on teenage concerns like schooling, social support systems, dating and teen trends, among others.

For the Schedule of Peer Counseling Sessions for Filipino Youth Emigrants, please click on this link:

http://cfo.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1347:for-filipinos-leaving-the-country-with-an-immigrant-visa&catid=139:pre-departure-orientation-seminar&Itemid=917


The Community Education Program (CEP) is an annual nationwide information campaign conducted by the CFO in coordination with various government agencies (DOLE, POEA, OWWA, DFA, PNP), non-government organizations, local government units and academic institutions. The program seeks to assist prospective migrants in making informed decisions regarding working or migrating abroad, as well as generate community involvement on migration concerns. It also aims to raise public awareness on various issues concerning migration, intermarriages and existing government policies and programs directed against illegal recruitment, documentation fraud and trafficking in persons, among others.


Post arrival service is a complementary program of the CFO's pre-departure services which aims at providing Filipino immigrants with relevant information that will enable them to adjust and cope with the demands of settlement in the host country. Post arrival services include language courses, orientation programs, and networking or referral services to employment agencies, migrant resource groups, and other Filipino associations within the area of settlement.

Overseas-based Filipino organizations, welfare groups and other private organizations conduct post-arrival services to newly arrived Filipino immigrants of the host country.


The Migrants Advisory Information System (MAIS) is a computer-based information tool that aims to address the information needs of our countrymen who are considering migration as an option. It covers the following specific areas:

* Country Profile of Filipino Migrants' Destination Countries

* Immigration Policies, Social Security Policies and Labor Policies of Filipino Migrants' Destination Countries

* Profile of Migrants Support Groups and Welfare Organizations Overseas

* Profile of Filipino Organizations Overseas

* List of Philippine Embassies and Consulates

New Programs

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Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar