The CFO seminar is a Philippine requirement for all spouses and fiances of foreign nationals. It is a two hour class put on by the CFO (Counsel on Filipinos overseas) in which they will attempt to educate the immigrant of the dangers and pitfalls of life outside the Philippines. In the past, this was done by St. Mary's Euphrasia Foundation in Cebu and Manila, and Prism in Manila. That is no longer the case. As Of September 2012 CFO is now doing the counseling seminars themself.

 

At times, the CFO can be problematic. If the immigrant is young and female, or if the petitioner has multiple divorces or a criminal record, the CFO can and does tend to flex their muscles, so best for the beneficiary to go to them well prepared with EVERYTHING pertaining to their visa, parental consent/guidance affidavits, as well as information pertaining to the petitioner's past. Divorce decrees and court dispositions of past criminal convictions, plus income information, employer letters, all have been asked for on occasion at the CFO. In addition, if the beneficiary is under the age of 21, you can expect them to demand to see the parents in person.

 

The CFO currently publishes some very confusing information about their class and attendance. Contrary to the misleading info put out by them one CAN take the CFO class prior to obtaining a passport. In fact, the CFO seminar is a requirement to get a passport for fiancÚs and spouses of foreign citizens.

 

One can take the seminar at any time, a certificate of completion will be given. They may need to present this certificate in order to obtain a passport. Later, after the visa interview, one must take the passport with the visa in it to the CFO along with the certificate of completion, and get a sticker affixed to the visa. They are then eligible to leave the Philippines.

 

Please visit the CFO website for further information;

 

www.cfo.gov.ph