These days, online services have become the new normal. Industries have turned to web apps and sites to reach out to their clientele and offer their products or services. Government agencies have too, and one of them is the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the way to register for a CFO online account, so you may avail of the programs and services offered by the commission in this era of Internet-based services.
What is CFO?
Established by virtue of the Batas Pambansa 79, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), which is managed by the Office of the President, is an agency that promotes and upholds the interests, rights and welfare of overseas Filipinos.
Since it was established in 1980, the CFO has gone through several major changes. These changes resulted from recent decrees enacted by different government bodies in order for the commission to adapt to the changing needs of Filipino emigrants.
Despite its numerous evolutions resulting from new laws and decrees, the CFO remains true to its mandate to perform the following functions:
- Assist both the President and the Congress to create policies that would be helpful to OFWs;
- Develop and implement programs to promote the interest and well-being of migrant workers;
- Preserve and enhance the social, economic and cultural ties of migrant Filipinos to the country; and
- Liaise with appropriate government and private agencies on behalf of overseas Filipinos to make business transactions and other ventures so much easier.
In March 14-25, 2020, the Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS), was launched after Ivy Miravalles, Director of the Migrant Integration and Education Division, developed it with her team. It was originally intended to make easier and contactless transactions, particularly for the main clients of the commission.
Who needs to register for CFO online?
As the primary clients of the commission, the following are expected to be registrants of the CFO online system:
- Filipinos who are migrating abroad with an immigrant visa
- Filipinos who have become permanent migrants or permanent residents abroad
- Filipinos who have become naturalized citizens of other countries or dual citizens
- Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals who are leaving the country
- Descendants of Filipinos overseas
- Filipino youth overseas
- Exchange Visitor Program participants
- Filipino Au Pair participants
Why do I need to register for Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS)?
Since the agency’s main objective is to ensure the welfare of overseas Filipinos and their families regardless of status, it is in their best interest to ensure that they appear in the CFO’s system. The best way to do so is to register through the Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS), the online system which was launched by the CFO in 2020 for the following reasons:
- To automate registrations and do away with long queues
- To make registration of Filipinos going overseas easier and less expensive
- To streamline the manpower, as well as the cost incurred by the registrants in visiting their offices
- To ensure everyone’s safety, not just in terms of health
Through this new online system, the commission hopes to bring closer to its clientele, the following benefits and programs, no matter where they are around the world:
- Online Pre departure orientation seminar (PDOS)
- Tele-counseling programs
- Cultural exchange and learning opportunities programs
- Technological, material, and financial support from overseas development projects
- Other financial and cultural programs including but not limited to:
- Ugnayan Series
- Honorary Envoys
- Balik Bayani Ako
- Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas
- YouLead (Youth Leaders in the Diaspora)
- Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO)
- Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) or Link for Philippine Development
- BaLinkBayan: Overseas Filipinos’ One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement
- Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking – Advocacy and Communications Committee (IACAT-ADVOCOM)
- 1343 Actionline Against Human Trafficking
- Community Education Program (CEP)
- PESO Sense or the Philippine Financial Freedom campaign
- Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards
- Month of Overseas Filipinos
- Legal Assistance and Counseling Program
- Itanong Mo Kay Ato!
- CFO-SIS: Itanong Mo Kay SIS!
- Overseas Filipino Centenarian Awards and Incentives
What are the requirements when registering for the Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS)?
CFO registrants, whether they are first-time GCP applicants, Filipinos with immigrant visas, Filipino Au Pair, or J1 visa holders, need the following documents if they are registering with the CFO online:
- Copy of valid passport;
- Copy of valid visa;
- One valid ID card with photograph
For a complete list of acceptable IDs,please see the list below:
- Driver’s License
- Postal ID
- Social Security System (SSS ID)
- Government Service Insurance System (GSIS ID)
- Tax Identification Number (TIN ID)
- Professional Regulation Commission (PRC ID)
- Senior Citizen’s ID Card
- PhilHealth Identification Card (PIC)
- Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR I-Card)
- Consular ID
- Permit to Carry Firearms
- Seaman’s Book
- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ID
- Home Development Mutual Fund or PAG-IBIG ID
- Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA) ID
- PRA Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) ID
- Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ID
- Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
- Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID)
- Philippine National Police (PNP) ID
- Voter’s ID • Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate (PSA Authenticated)
- National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance
- Police Clearance
- Barangay Clearance/Certificate
- Company/Office ID
- School ID
- OFW ID
- Certification from the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)
Additional Documentary Requirements
For GCP registrants, the following additional documents may be required:
- Divorce decree/certificate (of Filipino spouse or foreign spouse, if previously married)
- Annulment paper (of Filipino spouse or foreign spouse, if previously married)
- Proof of residency/Alien Registration Card-ARC (of foreign spouse)
- Proof of relationship (picture together, e-mails, among others)
- Death certificate (of Filipino spouse or foreign spouse, if widow/widower)
- Certificate of Family relations / registration (of foreign spouse)
- Declaration of undertaking of travel in letter format to include the following activities to prepare for travel, Itinerary of Travel and How to ensure safe travel and stay (if required)
- Affidavit of invitation and support (financial support/safety/medical insurance) notarized and authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate who has jurisdiction over the destination or host country (if required)
- Explanation on why the foreign partner cannot travel to the Philippines in letter format (if required)
- Valid no criminal records certification/clearance or any equivalent document to indicate lack of criminal derogatory record or medical/psychological condition (if required)
For Trainees and Interns:
- Original Training/Internship Plan from the host institution
For Au Pairs:
- Original and photocopy of the authenticated contract with host family or original letter of undertaking to engage, duly authenticated /notarized by Philippine Embassy /Consulate in the European country of destination;
For exchange visitors participants below 18 years old:
- Photocopy of parent’s passport or valid identification card, if not accompanied by parent/s during registration
- Letter of authorization from parent/s authorizing the guardian to register the child with CFO on their behalf (if accompanied by guardian during registration)
- Original DSWD travel clearance.
For J1 visa holder who previously had a CFO sticker:
- Original valid passport;
- Original J-1 visa
- Original and photocopy of Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (DS-2019)
- Original or photocopy of your previous CFO sticker
- One (1) valid identification card with photograph
- Duly completed registration form (download it here)
How to register for Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS)?
As online services become more common this year, and industries transition to making their services available online, the CFO is urging their clients to register online via Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System by following these four simple steps:
- Visit the CFO website at www.cfo.gov.ph and select the appropriate online registration system.
- For first-time registrants for the Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP) and previous GCP attendees with On-Hold Status: Select the Blue OF-CORS poster. The GCP is a requirement posted by the CFO in compliance with the Anti-Mail Order Spouse Act, as well as the Anti-Human Trafficking Law.
- For immigrant visa holders: Select the Pink OF-CORS poster.
- For Filipino Au Pair bound for Europe or J1 Visa Holder participating in an exchange program in the US: Select the Red OF-CORS poster to start. Note that the Au Pair registration is available every Wednesday and Thursday only.
- For Filipinos who need re-issuance, revalidation and amendment of their GCP: Select the violet OF-CORS poster and check all the requirements that you will need.
- Create an account by filling in the CFO form with the required personal information.
- Refer to the confirmation email that you would receive from CFO via your nominated email address and click Confirm Email to continue with your registration.
- Log into your account with your nominated username and password and continue with whatever process you need to do via the CFO website.
- Once registered, click Continue for the Payment.
If you are requesting for a GCP certificate:
- Enter your preferred delivery address then click Submit. You will receive a confirmation email on your registered email address.
- Proceed with the payment procedures, either via Bayad Center, Multisys, or GCash.
If paying via Bayad Center:
- Take note of the ten (10) digit alphanumeric character reference number from Bayad Center and present it when paying.
- The reference number is valid within seventy-two (72) hours from the time you choose to proceed using the online payment and this reference number can only be used once.
- Tell the cashier to process your payment under MPAY biller (and NOT the CFO).
- Pay in cash and the exact amount indicated in the payment step of the CFO OF-CORS. Excess payment will be forfeited and non-refundable. Payment less than the total amount will not be processed.
- A confirmation email from the CFO will be sent after the payment is processed.
Note: If you need more information on finding the nearest Bayad Center in your area, you may click on the link https://tinyurl.com/bayadcenterCFO for the list of Bayad Centers or any of its authorized partners for payment nationwide.
If paying via GCash:
If, however, you prefer to pay for your registration and courier fees via GCash, then here’s the step-by-step procedure for you:
- Click “Pay Online” once you’re on the Delivery Details screen.
- Select the payment method: “GCASH WebPay,” then click “proceed.”
- Confirm the payment as well as the amount provided on the screen then click “agree and pay.”
- A confirmation receipt from GCASH will be shown on screen with the payee, CFO, the date, time, and Reference Number of the transaction, once the payment is processed.
- You may upload all the required documents so the officer can check the sites and the submitted requirements
Here are some important things to remember regarding the CFO and registration for CFO online:
- The CFO OF-CORS website is live and clients who had previously created their OF-CORS account may continue their registration for the processing of their CFO documents.
- The CFO Manila is open for physical registration service for clients with urgent concerns, like those with expiring travel documents and confirmed flights with visa on hand.
- If you need to get your CFO documents urgently, then you may register in person on a first-come, first-serve basis at CFO Manila, from Monday to Thursday, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.
- Unlike CFO Manila, physical registrations at the CFO offices in Cebu and Davao are not allowed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where is the CFO main office located?
The CFO main office can be found in the following address:
CFO Main Office
Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue corner Osmeña Highway, Manila, Philippines 1007
Tel. No.: (02) 552-4700 local 721, 726, 728, 729 and 731
Fax No.: (02) 561-8327
How do I get a CFO sticker?
Once you have your visa, you will need to register with the CFO, which can now be done online, to get your CFO Sticker. The CFO sticker will be affixed on your Philippine passport you have the visa in your passport. Note that you may get your GCP certificate before you get your visa, but you will still need to wait until you have your visa vefore you can get your CFO sticker.
What is the CFS?
The CFS stands for the Country Familiarization Seminar (CFS), a CFO registration requirement seminar intended to prepare the Filipino au pairs for immersion program in cultural and language learning in the specific European country that they are destined to visit. The CFS covers topics such as settlement concerns, values, cultural and social realities
in the host countries, along with the health and safety issues, airport and travel procedures and support networks. It is part of the CFO’s requirements for Filipino Au Pairs bound for Europe, when they register with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
I already have a guidance and counseling certificate and hold a temporary/ visitor visa. Do I still need to register at the CFO and be issued a sticker?
No. If you are fiancé (e)/ spouse/partner of a foreign national or a former Filipino and you hold a visitor/tourist visa, you no longer need a need a CFO sticker. You only need a guidance and counselling (GCP) certificate, and since you already have one, just present it at the port of exit and show them your temporary/visit visa and other requirements asked by your host country.
I had already attended the counseling and received my guidance and counseling certificate. Does it mean I am already registered at CFO?
No. Guidance and Counselling Certificate (GCC) is not a proof that you already registered at CFO. It is only a proof of your satisfactory compliance to the GCP which is one of the requirements for registration for marriage migrant.
How can I register with the CFO as a spouse, fiancé/e, or partner of a foreign national or former Filipino?
If you are issued an immigrant visa/spouse or fiancé(e) or partner visa and is intending to migrate to your fiancé(e)/ spouse / partner’s home country/country of citizenship, you may register with the Commission (CFO) prior to your departure.
Where does CFO get its funds?
All Philippine government agencies, including the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), are directed to remit all cash inflows to the National Government’s Treasury which generally aids in the national government expenditures. Like all government agencies as well, the CFO’s budget is determined by the General Appropriations Act that requires annual deliberations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, only after enactment of the bill will then the fiscal year for the national government agencies, including the CFO starts.
Need to contact the CFO?
If, for any reason, you need to reach out to CFO to report your concerns through the following communication channels:
- CFO Facebook page: http://facebook.com/CFOGovPH
- CFO email address: email@example.com
- Tel. No.: (02) 8552-4700
- Fax No.: (02) 8561-8332
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also use the Contact Us form found in the CFO website.
The CFO which has been existing for over three (3) decades, handling cases of overseas Filipinos in distress of varying circumstances. Nevertheless, the idea of registration for the CFO remains a bit unfamiliar for most Filipinos, particularly those who aren’t in need of the documents they provide. Compared with the more popular Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and Overseas Worker’s Welfare Association (OWWA), the CFO still remains wary about its processes.
Now that the CFO has jumped into the bandwagon of Internet-based services, we hope that this helps the agency become more visible, particularly to those who were not aware of its existence before.