Friday, September 30, 2016

FAQs Part II: Who needs to attend the CFO Guidance and Counseling Seminar?

 Click to watch the CFO's GCP video orientation
Click to watch CFO's GCP orientation video
She Writes…

For Filipino partners of foreign nationals, the most expensive consequence of not attending the Commission on Filipino Overseas’ (CFO) Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP) is probably getting disallowed to travel abroad.

This means that a one-way ticket, which can cost between P5,000- P50,000 ($109-$1,000) will not be refunded, plus other unplanned expenses such as food and last minute accommodations.

Although the decision to allow a passenger to leave the Philippines relies on an immigration officer’s judgment and discretion, the CFO guidance and counseling certificate of attendance can be one of the requirements for departure.

We researched CFO’s website and wrote to Ivy Miravelles, the Officer-in-Charge of the Migrant Integration and Education Division to seek answers to the most frequently asked questions that every Filipino who is in a relationship with or married to a foreign national should know.

Who should attend the CFO Guidance and Counseling Session?

All partners and spouses of foreign nationals, regardless of sexual orientation, need to attend the CFO Guidance and Counseling seminar.  This has been a requisite for more than 30 years now.

Under the GCP, foreign nationals also mean Filipinos who have acquired citizenship in another country through naturalization and Filipinos with dual citizenship.

Even a Filipino who will not be emigrating needs to get the certificate, especially if he/she will be taking the last name of his/her spouses or will be travelling abroad with his/her foreigner spouse.

There is also a great likelihood that a Filipino traveling with a foreigner partner or common law spouse will be required to present a CFO certificate.  CFO suggests undergoing the GCP “to avoid possible delays or inconvenience at the port of exit.”

If a Filipino decides to immigrate to another country as a fiancé/fiancée, spouse or through a co-habitation visa, he/she will need to get a CFO sticker in order to be registered an as emigrant.

If a Filipino is immigrating to be with his/her Filipino partner, the CFO GCP is not a requirement. He/she needs to attend the CFO PDOS (Pre-departure Orientation Seminar) instead.

How can CFO GCP appointments be made/canceled/rescheduled?

An appointment has become necessary since August 2015, more than a year after the CFO launched its online appointment system.  Note that appointments are specific to the foreign partner’s country (such as USA or Japan) or region (Europe of Middle East) of origin. 

Under the new system, an appointment cannot be canceled. It also cannot be rescheduled until the original appointment date has lapsed.

Since the CFO only allows a maximum attendee of 15 persons, walk-ins will only be entertained if someone does not show up. Walk-in attendees with “special concerns such as expiring visa and medical records as communicated by the foreign post and as indicated in some documents to be presented” will be prioritized.

Can information entered online be corrected?

The current system does not allow attendees to correct their information after submission online. However, an attendee can correct any inaccurate or incomplete information when he/she attends the guidance and counseling session so this should not be cause for concern. #

Below is the Department of Justice’s June 2015 Memorandum Circular that issues departure formalities guidelines:


  1. Do i need a cfo if ill judt visit my boyfriend in another country? Says there it only applies to fiancee, spouse or the foreign national is travelling with the filipina. I sent an email to cfo but they havent replied yet do ill prolly ring them instead. But hope to hear from you for feedback. Thank you. :)

    1. Thank you for this question. If your boyfriend is a Filipino citizen, there is no need to attend the CFO seminar. But if you're a partner of a foreign national, the CFO recommends that you attend the guidance and counseling session. For additional information, please refer to the memo that we have attached to this entry as well as to the other related entries.

  2. Hi just want to ask .. My bf is in india and hes indian ..but were still not planning to get married .. Should i apply cfo still?

    1. Hi, thank you for your question. If you are planning to travel together or if you're planning to visit him, we would recommend that you attend the seminar just so you don't encounter any unnecessary flight delays/postponement.

      Hope this answer is still useful though it's more than a month late.

  3. Hi.Im married to a dutch citizen and get married here in the Netherlands all the papers was process everything here in Europe because I was working also here before.Were planning to go for vacation in the Philippines.My question is do I need to go for GCP CFO training?

  4. Hello gud pm,,i have something to ask..
    I was attending already CFO seminar and have already 2 stickers from my old passport but that was from my xboyfriend from Germany..We are not married and i was there because i was studying German language...But we are not mean for each so we broke up....Now i have another bf also from Germany and we are planning to get married..And my question is do i need to attend a seminar again or i only have to bring another documents and pay ...Do i need to make an appoinment?Thank you and God bless!!!

  5. Hello po. Just wanted to know. My bf is indian and he was planning to visit here in PH, and we planned to fly back together in india. Do I need to attend the CFO and have the stickerwso that I can pass the interview by Immigration Officer... It will be my third visit in india with the father of my boss. Hope you can help me. Thank you