The Philippines

Police Clearance Certificates

No country wishes to "import" trouble. Most do their best to keep out those with a criminal record. This is done by requiring prospective immigrants to provide Police Clearance Certificates from all countries in which a person has spent an appreciable length of time. This is often as short as six months. Some countries require a clearance certificate only from the current country of residence others need certificates from all previous countries of residence.

Australia, in common with many other countries, including the U.S.A., will now provide police clearance certificates to applicants (on a state and federal basis) depending on the purpose for which they are needed. Not all countries will provide proof of the lack of a criminal record. Judgements in civil matters are usually not recorded so far as police certificates are concerned.

Useful web links are provided under the "Resources" tab on this site and in the book "How to Retire in the Philippines" by Les Johns which is available from this site.

Application Requirements

The Philippines is not so severe in its requirements for police clearance certificates as is, say, the United States of America. The P.R.A. web site specifies just what is required. A clearance certificate from the country of current residence is all that is required. The issuing authority in the current country of residence may have its own additional requirements so far as proof of identity is concerned. Once obtained the clearance certificate must be authenticated by the nearest Philippine embassy/consulate. This is a simple and quick procedure although it may take longer than is usual if translation is required. Certificates in English are perfectly acceptable

The minimum information that must be supplied is proof of identity, dates of residency and a set of finger prints. The identity requirement is usually satisfied by a notarized or certified true copy of the identity page of a current passport. A set of fingerprints can usually be supplied by asking a local police station to make up their usual card bearing your finger prints. This may include not just prints of the fingers and thumbs but also of the palms and the sides of the hands. If birth or marriage certificates are required it is often the case that "original" copies issued by the recording authority are needed. Notarized or certified true copies are frequently not acceptable. For British birth and marriage certificates application can be made to the General Register Office.

It is difficult to generalize but countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America are easy to deal with and are efficient in providing police clearance certificates. Third world and newly independent countries are often not so well organized.

The web links provided at the "Resources" tab of this site and the book "How to Retire in the Philippines" by Les Johns will add to the information given here. The book can be bought from this site.