NBI Clearance: Getting a “Hit”!

I was at Robinsons Galleria for as early as 4:45AM two weeks ago to get my NBI clearance. Last year, I wanted to get the clearance for my passport application. I have yet to received my SSS ID card at that time and I needed this as a supporting document. I already have the ID card, so why I decided to be there that early and managed to wait for long hours, I still don’t know.

I thought I’d be one of the earliest applicant so I was surprised to see a very long line when I arrived. Contrary to the stories that I read from other bloggers, the guards did not give us numbers right away. Two grueling hours later, they finally opened the doors and started letting people in one at a time. They counted 200, and stopped. The rest of us were given numbers and announced that they can only accommodate 200 people for the first three hours.

Numbers 201 and above will have to come back at 10AM – I was number 208! Obviously not my lucky day.

My place is just 10 minutes away so I immediately took a cab, went back home and had a one-hour long nap.

I was back  in Robinsons by 10AM. The process is quite orderly, they would lead you to a waiting room, give you a form to fill-out and they will call you by group for the payment, encoding, biometrics, and photo capture. When you get past your “waiting time”, everything’s gonna be quick! It would only take you about 15-20 minutes from the first to the last step. Once your picture is taken, you’d receive your NBI clearance after 5 minutes!

But to my surprise I got a “HIT!” Seriously?!? Just when I thought I have the most unique name in the world!

They asked me to claim my clearance after two weeks! Well, I got hold of it yesterday. I was anxious at first because the last time that I applied for an NBI clearance was 5 years ago. Aside from some issues with a credit card company, I’ve never really gotten myself in to serious trouble within that 5-year span. I’ve been Googling about this topic and I thought I’d also be subjected to some questioning by an NBI agent like what others have experienced. In my case, they gave me my clearance, no questions asked.

What to do if you get a HIT? I suggest that you go claim your NBI clearance as scheduled. Unless you’re a fugitive (you probably wouldn’t dare apply for an NBI clearance if you are), no, you won’t get arrested!

Anyway, my advice to those who are planning to get their clearance at Robinsons:

1. Be there early – as early as 4:30AM. Your mission is to be one of the first 200 if you want to get accommodated by the NBI people before they take their lunch break.
2. Bring your own pen.
3. You need at least one valid ID card.
4. Php115 for payment (as of January 2012).
5. There’s no such thing as renewal anymore. Old and new applicants will go through the same process. Your old NBI clearance is not needed.
6. You’ll be waiting for a minimum of three hours, so bring something to keep you busy – iPads, MP3s, etc.
7. Eat your breakfast.

I’ve read these steps on HOW TO FILL-OUT THE APPLICATION FORM and I find it amusing, but it’s very true! Some people just can’t follow instructions and I wish I was helpful and patient enough to help the guys I was with when I was there.

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