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A certificate of clearance is needed when applying for visas to other countries (especially for long term stays).  Information can easily be found on the Singapore Police website.

BUT! An important note for non-Singaporeans:

  1. The form on the SPF site is only for Singaporeans. We were told there was a different form for foreigners.. so you might as well fill it up at Cantonment.
  2. You will need a letter from the specific embassy whose visa you are applying for, requesting for a COC. Without that, you are just wasting a trip there.

And a note for everyone:

Do not trust the hotline people! Get a second opinion! Before going, we called and asked if a photocopy of our passport is sufficient because R’s passport was at the Philippine embassy.. we were told it was fine, a photocopy is the only thing needed. So that’s what we brought: just a photocopy of his passport details page.

Turns out he was wrong.

For PRs and foreigners, you will need to present proof of your length of stay here: immigration stamp of your first entry on your passport, employment contracts, copies of your old employment pass. Any kind of proof will do as long as you can show that you have been in Singapore for as long as you say you have.

Once you have everything in order, the process is quite fast. You pay the COC fee and a few minutes later your name will be called for fingerprinting on a gigantic fingerprint computer. And this is not a joke: moisturize your hands! Or else your prints won’t be captured.

Also, try to get there early, the queue can be quite long and seats can be scarce at the waiting area.

For work or migration reasons, you might find yourself needing to get an NBI Clearance from the Philippine Embassy. Here’s how we did ours.

Part I - Fingerprint card

  1. Your fingerprints have to be taken by a designated person and he is the only one who does it at the embassy. Call the embassy and ask if the person in charge of NBI Clearances is available. If he isn’t, they will give you his contact so you can check when he will be at the embassy.
  2. Things to bring: your passport and a passport photo.
  3. At the embassy, go to the Inquiry window, tell them you want an NBI Clearance and they will give you a fingerprint card and other forms to fill up.
  4. Once you are done, they’ll let you into an office inside where the officer will verify your identity, take your fingerprints, and place his official stamp/seal on the card.  He will also give you an authorization letter for your representative to submit and claim your clearance in the Philippines.
  5. Mail the card, auth letter, and a copy of any expired clearance you may have to your representative in the Philippines.

Part II - In the Philippines

  1. You representative has to submit the card at the NBI main office.  It takes several days to process so he will have to come back for it. In our case it was a week. The fee for this is P115 for immigration.
  2. Important! When claiming the clearance, make sure that all the information is correct. Our address was completely misspelled and had the wrong country on it so we had to request for a reprint.
  3. After your NBI Clearance has been claimed, you will need to take it to the DFA to have this authenticated. Fee for 1 day processing is P200 and 2-3 days processing P100.
And that’s how you get your NBI clearance overseas.. specifically in Singapore. :)