UAE suspends good conduct certificate, Philippine Consulate continues to offer service
It may not be mandatory for now but it is safe for job-seeking Filipinos to acquire one.
Despite the temporary suspension of the good conduct certificate as a requirement for employment visa across the UAE, some Filipinos in Dubai who have applied for the said document will still continue with the application, lest it be required by their prospective employers.
"It will be up to them (job-seeking Filipinos)," Philippine consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes told Khaleej Times on Monday when asked if he will advise his kababayans (compatriots) to hold the application for a good conduct certificate or NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) clearance - the Philippine equivalent of police clearance certificate.
"They may still submit an NBI clearance to their employer. It may not be mandatory for now but some employers may still require the document so it is safe for job-seeking Filipinos to still acquire one," Cortes added.
Cortes welcomed the recent instruction by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFA) to embassies and consulates across the UAE confirming the news of the postponement.
"But we will still continue to provide services for Filipinos in securing an NBI clearance as it is a staple consular service. In fact even before the good conduct certificate was announced this year, we had already been issuing the NBI clearances to our kababayans who are seeking jobs or planning to migrate abroad," Cortes explained.
"With the announcement, however, we hope that long queues at the Consulate will ease up in the coming days," he added.
Filipino expat and Dubai resident Bryant Jim Blancia, said that he will still continue with his NBI clearance application. He has already paid at least Dh200 for the Special Power of Attorney to have his NBI clearance processed by a relative in the Philippines.
"The news is clear that it's just a temporary suspension. It will still be required and it's better to get a police clearance now as I may need it in the future," he added.
Another Filipino expat Lyn Mendoza, a Dubai resident for three years, said she wants to be on the safe side. "It was earlier made mandatory then got recently suspended; rules are changing quite frequently but I would like to be prepared and will still get an NBI clearance," she said.
A staff member at the Philippine Consulate General Dubai told Khaleej Times that an NBI clearance has a validity of one to two years.
Another Dubai resident, Ace Aller, said that he is still confused about the good conduct certificate but will still get one. He, however, would like to have the cost of getting an NBI clearance reduced. "I have already paid Dh200 and I need to shell out another Dh750 for the courier services - it is too much especially for those working in the F&B (food and beverage) sector who usually earn an average of Dh2,000 a month," he said.
"I also hope that there will be clear cut guidelines and a timetable for getting a good conduct certificate," he added.
John Cloyd Viernes, 20, who arrived in Dubai last December and will be joining as a bank collection agent, said that he is definitely required by his new employer to submit an NBI clearance. "I just got an SPA and will submit my documents for processing to a courier," he said.
Long-time Dubai resident Jimmy Robinos, meanwhile, benefitted from the temporary suspension as his employer told him that he will no longer need to submit a good conduct certificate. "Thankfully, the suspension came at the right time as it will enable me to save time and a couple of hundred dirhams too," he said.