Red Ribbon: Authenticating Documents at the Department of Foreign Affairs

Working overseas means earning in dollars, which also means bigger earning. This will allow you to secure a better life and future for your family because you get to earn more than usual. Apparently, the path towards greener pastures is not easy.

To begin with, applying for a job does not automatically equate to employment. You have to go through a rigid screening process to ensure that you are qualified for the job. Also, you need to submit tons of documents that will show not just who you are but also your capabilities.

Don’t take this lightly. There are employers who prefer documents that are authenticated by the country’s Foreign Affairs department, also known as red ribbon. This is to ensure that the documents submitted are authentic and zgenuine.

The question now is how does this work? 

Documents that can be Authenticated

1. Birth, Marriage, Death certificate, or Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) and/or Negative Records

– Take note that the document/s must be printed in the security paper issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority, (PSA, formerly NSO). In case the document on hand is registered with the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) within six months from date of registration, it must be authenticated by the PSA.

2. Transcript of Records (TOR) or Diploma

– If from state college or university, submit Certified True Copy from the school AND Certification, Authentication, and Verification (CAV) from the school and signed by School / University Registrar and/or the school’s authorized signatory

– If from private school, college, or university, Certified True Copy from the school AND CAV from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) where the school is located

– If for technical or vocational course, Certified True Copy from the school AND CAV from TESDS where the school is located.

– Form 137 and Diploma for Elementary and High School Level, Certified True Copy from the school AND CAV from DepEd Regional Office where the school is located

3. Medical / AIDS-Free Certificate

– Document must be certified / authenticated by the Department of Health

4. Driver’s License

– Must come with accompanying certification from LTO (Main branch only)

5. Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued licenses

– Must be certified / authenticated by CAAP

6. Professional License / Board Certificate or Ratings / Certifications

– Document must be certified / authenticated by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC)

7. NBI Clearance

– The clearance issued must be in green and issued by the NBI

8. Certificate of Employment, Seminar, Training / Baptismal Certificate / Other documents issued by a private entity

– Notarized affidavit, which states factual circumstances and that the documents are considered as attachment/s

– Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act (CANA) signed by Executive / Vice Executive Judge from the Regional Trial Court that issued the commission of the Notary Public

We only listed documents that are relevant when applying for a job overseas. For a complete list of documents that can be authenticated, please check this link

How to Process Authentication of Documents

1. Go to Authentication Services at the DFA Main Consular Services between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Aside from the Main Branch, the following DFA Consular Services can also process authentication:

  • DFA NCR-Northeast (Alimall, Cubao, Quezon City)
  • DFA NCR-East (SM Megamall)
  • DFA NCR-West (SM Manila)
  • DFA NCR-South (Alabang Town Center)

2. Fill out the application form from sections A to C. You can get a copy of the application here.

3. Proceed to the Processing Window and submit your application form and the document/s that need/s to be authenticated.

4. Pay for the corresponding fees at the cashier. Authentication fee is P100 per document, which will be released after four working days. If you want it expedited, pay P200 per document and you can get it the next working day.

Things to Remember when Claiming Authenticated Documents

  • Keep the Official Receipt. Said OR will be surrendered at the Releasing Drop Box. 
  • Present a valid ID at the Releasing Window. Check out this list of acceptable IDs by the DFA.
  • Check the document/s released to ensure that you got the right one.

What if you cannot personally process and/or claim the authentication of documents? 

That’s fine. Below is the procedure on how to process / claim authentication of documents on someone else’s behalf:

1. Present the original copy of the Special Power of Attorney from the owner of the document/s clearly indicating the name of the representative. If the owner is out the country, the SPA must be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.

2. Present a photocopy of the applicant’s valid ID with signature.

3. Submit a photocopy of the representative’s valid ID with signature.

4 Things to Negotiate Before You Say Yes to a Job Overseas

Do you want to earn a bigger salary? If you answered yes, then surely, working overseas came across your mind. After all, you’ll be earning in dollars and be able to juggle more than one job for bigger savings. Plus, you get to “travel” and finally see places you only see on TV.

Apparently, it’s not easy. When you work overseas, you need to consider various factors and negotiate your one-way ticket overseas to your advantage without compromising that of your employer.

What are these things you need to negotiate first? Check this list:

1. Compensation

Admit it. The primary reason why you want to work overseas is because of the salary. In fact, you wouldn’t even bother going abroad if you could earn your desired amount in the Philippines.

Before you say “Yes,” ask about the compensation package – how much is your take-home pay, any deductions to your salary, and taxes, if any. This way, you can check whether or not working abroad is worth the sacrifice.

At this point, you need to make an estimate as to how much your expenses will be. Research as much as you can about your job site to help you prepare for the expenses and find out how much is left for savings and investment.

2. Work Contract

This is important. Your work contract is considered the Bible between you and your employer because it contains the most important information and clauses surrounding your employment. The Overseas Employment Contract will act as a guide pertaining to your employment.

Don’t hesitate to ask about the following:

  • Location or Job Site – Is it safe? What is the crime rate? Will you be assigned in places other than what was stated in your work contract?
  • Accommodation – Free living quarters versus finding a house on your own versus rented place paid by employer
  • Transportation – Will your employer provide free shuttle services to and from work or will you avail of the public transport?
  • Duration of the contract
  • Job description
  • Leave benefits – How many vacation leaves per year? Are you entitled to Sick and Emergency Leaves? Will your employer pay your ticket back home? How much can you encash for unused leave credits?
  • Insurance benefits – Will you be given adequate protection abroad such as life, health, travel, or accident insurance? If yes, who will pay for the insurance premium? Will the payment be via salary deduction?

In other words, your work contract contains essential provisions that ensure you are safe and well taken cared for while abroad. Read the fine print and don’t hesitate to ask questions and make clarifications. Once you and your employer signed the contract, it’s a done deal and you lose you right to negotiate.

You can learn more about Overseas Employment Contract by reading this post.

3. Work Permit / Visa

This is another essential requirement. When you work overseas, the recruitment agency must provide you with a work visa and NOT a tourist visa. If you were given a tourist visa, it means your stay in that particular country is not legitimate and there is a higher chance of getting deported, which you surely don’t want to happen.

Therefore, check whether or not you will be issued a work visa or permit. Employer usually handles this, especially when the country of destination requires specific permits, while there are others who will simply assist you.

Consequently, inquire about the validity and coverage of the work permit visa. Some countries are employer-specific, which means you need to get another work visa in case you will transfer to a new employer.

4. Legal Remedies

You heard about Filipino workers getting maltreated, abused, and worse, killed. There are also many instances where Filipinos are unpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all. In other words, it’s not an ideal world and if the odds are not in your favor, then you might seek legal remedies to assert your rights.

Learn about the legal remedies available to Filipino workers working abroad. You’ll never know what will happen, so it is best to be prepared.