All You Need To Know About The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Guidance And Counseling Program for Filipinas with Foreign Fiance/ Spouse

A lot of Filipinos are dating foreigners. I think they are particularly allured by our dark skin, dark hair, and of course, our bubbly personality. Everyone is dating for different reasons but we all know that this relationship could possibly lead to the altar, especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a while.

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If you’re a fiancé(e), a spouse or a partner of a foreign national (even a former Filipino), then this article will be very helpful for you. Apparently, there’s a Commission On Filipinos Overseas Guidance And Counseling Session that you’re required to attend prior to moving to another country with your foreign spouse/future spouse. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

The certificate of attendance is usually being asked at the Philippines Immigration before you can depart the country. SO please make sure you know this!

What is the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO)?

CFO is a Philippine Agency that is tasked to promote migrant welfare and interest. Its main task is to register and provide pre-departure orientation to emigrants.

What is the Guidance and Counseling Session and why is it required?

Moving to another country is very difficult physically, mentally, financially, and even emotionally. Not to mention that there are so many cases of human trafficking. Uso din ngayon yung mail to order spouse. Minsan iniisip natin na sobrang hassle neto pero para din po sa inyo to. Hindi po madali mamuhay sa ibang bansa. Mahirap mawalay sa nakasanayan.  

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The main objective of this counseling session is to assist the integration of Filipinos in their host countries by teaching them the realities of international migration, and preparing them to meet the practical, cultural and psychological challenges in cross-cultural marriage and migration.

It is required pursuant to the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 8239 or the Philippine Passport Act for Filipino fiancé(e)s, partners and spouses of foreign nationals or former Filipino citizens who are applying for a passport for the first time or adopting the surname of the foreign spouse. It is also required under Republic Act 10906 (“Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act of 2016) and Republic Act 10364 (“An Act Expanding the Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2012”) which require the conduct of mandatory pre-departure counseling services for Filipinos in intermarriages.

Who needs to attend this CFO Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP)?

  • Those who are leaving as fiancé(e) of a foreign national or a former Filipino;

  • Those leaving as a partner of a foreign national or a former Filipino; or

  • A spouse of a foreign national or a former Filipino.

Where can I attend these seminars?

They have GCP Seminars in CFO Manila, CFO Cebu, CFO Clark and CFO Davao.

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REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CFO GUIDANCE & COUNSELLING PROGRAM

Here are the things you’d need for the CFO Guidance & Counseling Program.

  1. Two (2) original valid IDs;

  2. Duly completed guidance and counseling form to be secured at the CFO;

  3. If married in the Philippines, original Certificate of Marriage on security paper from the Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA);

  4. If married overseas, original Report of Marriage duly registered by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate or the Department of Foreign Affairs; and

  5. Payment of Php 400.00 counseling and registration fee.

Additional documents may be required in the event that the counselor determines it to be essential to complete the guidance and counseling process. It is also advised for all the GCP applicants to prepare the following documents (if applicable to them) in advance and bring these documents when they come to CFO:

  1. Divorce decree/certificate (of Filipino spouse or foreign spouse, if previously married)

  2. Annulment paper (of Filipino spouse or foreign spouse, if previously married)

  3. Proof of residency/Alien Registration Card-ARC (of foreign spouse)

  4. Proof of relationship (picture together, e-mails, among others)

  5. Death certificate (of Filipino spouse or foreign spouse, if widow/widower)

  6. Certificate of Family relations/registration (of foreign spouse)

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THOSE WITH A VISA

  1. Original valid passport;

  2. Original valid visa

  3. Original Immigrant Data Summary (please do not detach from the yellow packet) for US-bound emigrants, except for K visa holders;

  4. Original Confirmation of Permanent Residence for Canada-bound emigrants;

  5. Original Visa Grant Notice for Australia-bound emigrants;

  6. Original Certificate of Eligibility for Japan-bound emigrants;

  7. Original CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate (if already attended the GCP); and

  8. Duly completed emigrant registration form.

All You Need To Know About The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Guidance And Counseling Program

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR THE CFO GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM

STEP 1: Set an appointment online using the following links:

STEP 2: Answer the questions to know if you need to attend the GCP.

STEP 3: If eligible for the GCP, you can now proceed by indicating your email address and verifying it using the link sent on your email address. You can now choose your preferred date of appointment wherein you also have to provide personal information of yourself and of your fiancé(e)/spouse/partner.

STEP 4: Print the confirmation form or save a digital copy (PDF format) in your mobile phone or tablet.

STEP 5: Go to the CFO Branch of your choice on the date of your appointment. Be there at least an hour and a half before the appointment and bring the complete set of required documents.

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THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT THE CFO GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING PROGRAM

  • Sessions are based on your foreign fiancé(e)’s /spouse’s /partner’s citizenship. You can’t join the session for Australia when your spouse/future spouse is Japanese.

  • Only 15 attendees per session will be accepted in CFO-Manila, while only 12 attendees for CFO-Cebu.

  • The session will automatically close when all allocated slots are taken.

  • Only those with confirmed slot/appointment and complete requirements will be admitted to the counseling session so it is important that you book your slot. Walk-ins are not allowed.

  • Those with a confirmed appointment should bring the printed barcoded confirmation form or present the digital copy (saved PDF form) in their mobile phone or tablet PC (copy must show name and reference number).

  • Your slot will be forfeited if you don’t show up on the date of your appointment. In that case, you’ll have to register again online.

  • You need to secure the Guidance and Counseling Certificate (GCC) and the CFO sticker. Otherwise, you can’t leave the country without it.

  • The session lasts for more or less 4 hours.

For more information, please visit the CFO Website.  

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