How to Get an NBI Clearance: An Easy Guide for First-Timers

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated November 23, 2023

Though it's essentially just a piece of paper, the NBI clearance says a lot about your civil standing and reputation in society. As such, a lot of employers and organizations treat this document as a primary and often non-negotiable requirement. 

In the past, obtaining this valid ID automatically meant enduring the long queues at the issuing office. And if you weren’t lucky enough, you'd find yourself waiting for your turn from morning to afternoon. 

Fortunately, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has modernized its workflow by going digital. Its processes are now more hassle-free and efficient. 

Ready to start your NBI online registration? Don’t stress yourself in case the entire thing is new to you. Here's how to get an NBI clearance. 

What is an NBI Clearance?  

An NBI clearance is an official document issued by the NBI proving that you have not committed any criminal offense or infraction in the Philippines.

You can use this clearance for various purposes: 

  • Local employment - Before an employer completely accepts you as part of the organization, the HR team may look into your background to check if you’ve committed any serious criminal offense, hence this requirement. 
  • Foreign trips - Want to work abroad? To secure a work visa, you’ll be required to provide this document. 
  • Proof of identity - Some government agencies may honor your NBI clearance as proof of identity. You can use it to secure other documents or IDs, such as a driver’s license. Likewise, you can use it to correct errors in government-issued documents, such as your birth certificate. 

What are the NBI Clearance Requirements? 

how to get an nbi clearance - requirements

Wondering what to bring when getting or applying for NBI clearance? You need only two valid government-issued IDs. Any of the following are accepted for NBI clearance applications:

Make sure to provide valid IDs that meet the following requirements:

  • Original copy (photocopies are not allowed)
  • In good condition
  • With a clear photo of the applicant
  • Not expired

Also, take note that IDs not issued by the government, such as company IDs and barangay clearance, are not accepted as valid IDs for NBI clearance processing.

Important note: What about NBI requirements for first-time job seekers? You’ll also need to submit a barangay certificate to avail of the waived fee for your application, under Republic Act 11261 or the First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act.[1]

A barangay certificate proves that you’re actually a first-time job seeker and that you’ve been living in your current address for at least six months. Remember that this document should state that you're a resident of the barangay for at least six months and a first-time job seeker. It also should have been issued within the last 12 months and

Read more:

How to Get an NBI Clearance Online in the Philippines

Knowing how to get or apply for an NBI clearance for the first time can be quite confusing for beginners. But don’t worry! We’ve come up with an easy-to-understand guide pf the NBI clearance application process for you.

Step 1: Create Your NBI Account Online

how to get an nbi clearance - create account

The first step is the NBI online registration. For this, visit the NBI Clearance website at[1] On the homepage, you’ll be asked this question: DO YOU HAVE AN OLD NBI CLEARANCE ISSUED FROM 2014 TO PRESENT? Since it’s your first time applying, choose NO

Then proceed with the account registration. After double-checking your details, mark the box that says READ AND ACCEPT TERMS OF SERVICES, check the I’M NOT A ROBOT box, and then click SIGN UP.

Step 2: Log In to Your Account

After you’ve created your online NBI clearance account, sign in using the email address and password you provided during the creation of your account. 

Step 3: Fill Out the NBI Online Registration Form

On the Applicant Information page, you’ll find a form that needs to be completed. Key in your personal details carefully. After that, click the SAVE INFORMATION button, which you’ll find at the bottom of the page. 

A pop-up reminder will ask you to double-check your details. If you’re good with them, click SUBMIT.

Step 4: Apply for the NBI Clearance Online

After turning in your personal information, it’s time for the actual NBI clearance application process. On the upper right corner of the screen, you’ll find the APPLY FOR CLEARANCE button. Click it to start the process. 

A pop-up box will then prompt you to provide the types of IDs (and their numbers) that you’ll present on the day of your appointment. 

To proceed to the next page, click I AGREE

Step 5: Set Your NBI Clearance Appointment

You’ll be prompted to pick your preferred NBI clearance center. After choosing your preferred branch, you’ll then select the appointment date and time. Note that the blue boxes on the appointment calendar are the vacant slots. 

Important note: Decide on your appointment date carefully. Once you’ve paid the NBI clearance fee, you can no longer reschedule your appointment. Nevertheless, if you can’t make it on your appointment date and you’ve already made the payment, the NBI will give you a 15-day grace period to get your clearance at your nominated branch. 

Step 6: Select Your Payment Option

After you’ve booked your NBI clearance appointment online, you’ll be asked to choose a payment option for your NBI clearance fee.

Here are some of your options: 

  • Over-the-counter bank payment – Metrobank, Chinabank, LANDBANK, UnionBank, Security Bank, RCBC, etc.
  • Online bank payment – UnionBank, BPI, etc. 
  • Cash
  • ECPay 
  • 7-Eleven
  • Visa/Mastercard
  • GCash
  • Maya
  • ShopeePay
  • DragonPay

After choosing your payment option, click PROCEED.

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Step 7: Pay the NBI Clearance Fee

The process of settling your NBI clearance fee will depend on your chosen payment option. For example, if you choose online banking, you’ll be directed to a separate banking portal where you’ll complete the transaction. For over-the-counter payments, you’ll receive a reference number.

How much is the NBI clearance fee? Currently, it costs ₱130. You’ll also need to pay an additional ₱30 for the system fee, for a total of ₱160. 

Step 8: Go to the NBI Branch on Your Appointment Date 

On the day of your appointment, head to your chosen NBI branch with the complete requirements. Because you’ve filed your application online, you can go straight to the encoding station where you’ll have your biometrics and photograph taken.

Step 9: Wait for Your NBI Clearance

Your NBI clearance will be released to you in a few minutes as long as there’s no hit. A hit means that you have a namesake who might have a criminal record with the NBI. 

If you have a hit, the NBI will delay the issuance of the clearance. This will give them time to verify if the hit is actually yours or just your namesake's. You may be asked to return to the branch after a few days.

How to Get an NBI Clearance: FAQs  

how to get an nbi clearance - faqs

Got more questions about how to apply for an NBI clearance in the Philippines? Read this section and you may find the answers that you’re looking for. 

1. What is the NBI clearance validity?

Your NBI clearance validity period is six months up to a year from issue. This is to keep your NBI record updated should you get involved in anything criminal within that time. After your NBI clearance expires, you’ll need to apply for an NBI clearance renewal.

2. How do I check my NBI clearance status online? 

On your online NBI account, just click TRANSACTIONS from the menu. There, you’ll see if your payment has been successfully processed. 

3. I’m a first-time job seeker. Do I have to pay the NBI clearance fee? 

No. As mentioned, through the Republic Act No. 11261, first-time job seekers will not have to pay the fees of government documents that are required for employment. 

To skip the payment in your application, click FIRST TIME JOBSEEKERS under NBI Clearance eServices and then proceed with the registration process. 

You must also keep the following in mind: 

  • You can avail of this privilege once and for one copy of clearance only. 
  • As mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to present a Barangay Certificate. 
  • The said Barangay Certificate can be used within one year from its date of issuance. 

4. Can I get a clearance without an NBI appointment application?

No, walk-in applicants are not allowed.[3] Before you can enter the NBI clearance branch, you must present your reference number generated from your online application.

5. Am I required to print my application form?

If you have a printer at home, by all means, print the application form and bring it with you to the NBI clearance center. However, this is not required. You can simply write down your reference number or take a screenshot of it. After all, you’ve already filed your application online. 

6. Is there a dress code on the day of my appointment?

You don’t have to be overly strict with what you’re going to wear on the day of your NBI clearance appointment. However, make sure that you’re wearing decent clothes. Avoid sleeveless tops, shorts, slippers, and anything revealing. 

Final Thoughts

The process of how to get an NBI clearance these days is now easier. Thanks to the online registration process, you don’t have to endure long queues. You can also book your appointment anytime, anywhere! 

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Venus has almost 20 years of combined experience in content marketing, SEO, corporate communications, and public relations. Most of her career was spent creating informative articles on personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she loves bingeing Korean shows on Netflix while bonding with her cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.


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