Jul 05 2015

Commission on Filipinos Overseas Program

Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) or the Peer Counseling Seminar

  • CFO = Commission on Filipinos Overseas
  • The Guidance And Counselling Certificate of Attendance = Seminar Attendance Certificate needed for the CFO Certificate.
  • The CFO Certificate = The Stamp in the Passport, needed to leave Philippines as an Emigrant.

Why do you need a CFO clearance ?

Who needs the CFO Seminar Stamp?

An emigrating Filipino, or one who has been granted an immigrant-class visa, is required to register with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas before leaving the country to settle in a foreign land. They need to attend a seminar to help in understanding what their new life may be like.
Note: Emigrants attending the PDOS or Peer Counseling Session must be at the CFO office at least 1 hour before their schedule to complete the registration requirements.

Starting 30 January 2017, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) will be strictly implementing the ONLINE RESERVATION AND REGISTRATION requirement for J1 visa holders or Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) participants attending the mandatory pre-departure orientation seminar.

Does a Tourist Visa holder need to attend the CFO Seminar?

No. Only those who are leaving the country to settle in a foreign land will need to attend this seminar.

The CFO website now shows this statement:

If you are fiancé (e)/ spouse/partner of a foreign national or a former Filipino and you hold a visitor/ tourist visa, you only need a guidance and counseling certificate from our office. Kindly present the CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate (GCC) to the port of exit and show them your temporary/ visit visa and other requirements asked by your host country.

What is the CFO Seminar?

The Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) or the Peer Counseling Seminar, is a brief, two-hour seminar on settlement issues and concerns such as finding employment, rights and obligations of immigrants as well as policies and procedures on how to secure foreign citizenship.

Exemptions from attending the PDOS include: Those who are 60 years old and above

One of the requirements for the CFO is to show proof of the relevant of Visa Grant. However, they seem to be not very strict on this, as I know of at least one person who went there with a Tourist Visa grant.  She got the CFO stamp but didn’t actually need it.  Another, also on a Tourist Visa, went for the seminar, but was turned away saying it wasn’t needed for her.

How long is the CFO stamp valid

The CFO Guidance and Counselling Certificate is a lifetime copy and has no validity dates. (see image below [click for larger picture])
However, if you change your partner, you do need to re-attend.

CFO Stamp Lifetime Validity


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    • Argelyn B on August 21, 2017 at 11:17 am
    • Reply

    Good day admin
    I am now applying a Unmarried settlement visa to Uk, am I required to get a CFO certificate?

    1. I am pretty sure that anyone going on a permanent visa needs to get the CFO.

    • Argelyn B on August 21, 2017 at 8:30 am
    • Reply

    Good day

    I am applying Unmarried settlement visa to United Kingdam
    Do i need to apply CFO?

    • mrs.b on March 9, 2017 at 11:07 pm
    • Reply

    do i need to get cfo appointment? is its hard to get a apointment,thanks

    1. You can do it online at http://www.cfo.gov.ph/rnr-pdos.html

    • Ma.Atelna on February 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm
    • Reply

    I got married to an austrian citizen in Austria 6years ago already..I stayed there for almost 3years..And now im staying in Philippines also for almost 3years now..And now deciding to go back to Austria for settling down as my 4years old son is going to start his schooling by this year.Do i need to attend CFO again?The Austrian embassy granted me a single entry visa in order that i could enter Austria again,,,as I have an approved residence permit to be pick up once i get there..

      • admin on February 9, 2017 at 7:55 pm
      • Reply

      With proof of having the CFO you should not need to do it again.

    • ellie rose maravilla on October 19, 2016 at 6:26 am
    • Reply

    i am offloaded immigration they said they need CFO i want to my meet partner and tour only there should i need to follow?

      • admin on October 19, 2016 at 6:41 am
      • Reply

      To leave the Philippines on most partner visas, you need to attend a CFO course and get the sticker in your passport.

      What visa were you using?

    • JJ on July 5, 2015 at 10:14 pm
    • Reply

    I went to Australia in November 2014 on a Tourist Visa and I did not need this. My friend told me I did need it, but the CFO website said I didn’t need it as tourist visa holder, and I didn’t.

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