Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CFO seminar -- My Experience

I went to St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation - Center for Overseas Workers (SMEF-COW) Cebu branch which is located almost infront of the University of San Carlos (USC) North Campus' gate. Prepare an entire day if you plan to attend the seminar.

3rd Flr. Aya-ay Arcade
General Maxilom Avenue (mango avenue)
 Cebu City
Tel #235-3745 to 46
When you arrive at the building, go to the guard and have your name listed. Their maximum per day is 20 people. Have all the necessary documents photocopied. There is a nearby store who have a photocopier and they charge 2php per page. You can ask the guard about this.

On my case, my partner & I are both single and have no children. We are both of legal age and are not yet married. We are going to marry here in the Philippines. I decided to take the seminar in advance (yes, I am a living proof that this can be done).

I was ask to bring the ff. documents in Original & 1 photocopy (unless specified):
--- My Passport (front & back)
--- My NSO Birth Certificate
--- My Valid ID(s) with picture in it
     Note: If you bring your passport, you only need 1 Valid ID, otherwise, need 2 IDs.
--- Some  sweet pictures of you and your partner (no need to photocopy).
     Note: They will only pick one and will include it in their file.
--- His Passport (front and back) --- photocopy only
--- His Singleness & Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage --- photocopy only
--- FEE: 250php

Certificate of Attendance
(Blue Copy)
You will be ask to fill up a registration form of you and your partner. Basic information needed are Home address including zip codes, Mother's maiden name (surname while they were single), Educational attainment, Occupation, Name of workplace and address, his kids name (if applicable) and the likes. If you do not know the answer, they will insist that you contact your partner immediately to get the needed information.

During the seminar, they showed us 2 clips from a local TV show. We have a group discussion afterwards. It is like a marriage seminar and I personally find it important for those who have short courtship with their partners. After the seminar, we were ask to come back after lunch for our interview. The one-on-one interview will depends on the information you wrote.
They have different handbooks that specialize
in your Country of Destination
This is mine.

When they have no more additional documents to ask from you, they will release your Certificate of Attendance (blue copy). At this point, they will give you an option to buy a handbook with a compilation of basic things you needed to know of your Partner's country. This costs 100php. I choose to get it not because I felt I needed it but because it is my way to show them I support them.

Congrats and you can now proceed to Cebu's CFO office which is located near Cebu's DFA. When reaching there, you just need to present the SMEF-COW certificate (blue copy) and a photocopy of this. Just present these along with 400php and viola! You are done and now have your CFO (green copy) certificate. My waiting time is only 5 minutes. If during this time you already have your visa with you, you can claim the sticker as well.

The CFO Certificate
(Green Copy)
I still do not have the visa so I have 3 option to choose from for next time:
-- Go back CFO Cebu for it
-- Go to CFO Manila
-- Go to NAIA when about to leave/ride plane
You do not need to pay again. Just need to present your CFO certificate.

Other important facts:
--- Seminar schedule in Manila are dependent on what country is your destination. Be sure to check on their website. For Cebu, there is no segregation of destination. Just be sure to arrive early to list your name at the guard.
--- They will NOT allow you to leave the country without the sticker and the green certificate. Be sure to get them prior your departure.
--- Keep your green copy in a safe place. It will be costly if you lose it.
--- The certificates have no expiration date.

And there you have it! It wasn't so hard, isn't it? Have fun with yours!

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