What is a CFO-SMEF-COW seminar and what is it for?
Why is CFO-SMEF-COW seminar required?
What are the requirements for the CFO-SMEF-COW seminar?
How long will a CFO-SMEF-COW take?
CFO = “Commision on Filipinos Overseas”
SMEF = “St. Mary Euphrasia Foundation, Inc.”
COW = “Center for Overseas Workers”
Before you can travel abroad or travel in other countries, you are required to attend a CFO-SMEF-COW Seminar. The purpose of this seminar is to give an orientation, guidance and counseling to Filipinos married or who will marry a foreigner/foreign national.
This seminar is important because many Filipinos don't know who really their partners are. They have no idea who they are marrying to and to what kind of life are they entering. The mentality of most Filipinos is that when a foreigner marries them means they can have a relaxing life. They can go to other countries and will enjoy. They will have money. They will become rich. They will have everything. But the sad truth is that there are also many Filipinos who are married to foreigners who lived a miserable life. You are probably going to watch a film and hear stories such as abused Filipinos abroad, Filipinos as maids (wife?) etcetera. And many of these Filipinos call and seek help from the Philippine Embassies because they want to go back to the Philippines.
The SMEF-COW personnel actually conducts the seminar. The seminar only takes about 8 hours or less in 1 day. The seminar is only available at Manila and Cebu City (don't know if they opened in other places in the Philippines). Fortunately, I lived in Cebu City and the SMEF-COW office is just in front of the University of San Carlos North Campus (formerly known as University of San Carlos Boys School). Unfortunately for those who live in other places, you really have to go to either Manila or Cebu. During my seminar, I saw a woman carrying a big bag probably with all her important papers, clothes and stuff and if my memory serves me right, she came from Maasin, Southern Leyte.
Counseling Requirements for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals
1. Two (2) valid identification cards with photograph;
2. Duly completed guidance and counseling form;
3. If married, certified true copy and photocopy of marriage contract on security paper from the National Statistics Office (NSO), or the Local Civil Registry Offices (LCRO); or original and photocopy of marriage contract duly authenticated by the Philippine embassy/consulate (if married abroad);
4. Other documents as may be required by the counselors; and
5. Payment of P250.00 counseling fee.
After the seminar, you will receive your CFO Guidance & Counselling - Certificate of Attendance and CFO Guidance & Counselling Certificate. If your VISA has already been approved and your passport is with you, you can immediately go to the CFO Office (just beside the DFA, near Sto. Niño Church). At the CFO Office, your passport will be stamped with a CFO Emigrant Registration Sticker and the CFO Guidance & Counselling Certificate will be stapled on your passport.
Registration Requirements for Filipino Spouses and Other Partners of Foreign Nationals
1. Original passport;
2. Original and photocopy of visa;
3. Original and photocopy of Immigrant Data Summary for US bound/ Confirmation of Permanent
Residence for Canada bound/ Embassy Certification of Eligibility (for Spain bound C visa
4. Original CFO guidance and counseling certificate;
5. Duly completed emigrant registration form; and
6. Payment of PhP400.00 registration fee.
For updates, please visit the official website of CFO at www.cfo.gov.ph or click here to directly access the information above.
- Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (“Ehefähigkeitszeugnis”)
- Pre Marriage Counselling
- Wedding or Marriage in the Philippines
- DFA Red Ribbon
- Endorsing of Certificate of Marriage to the NSO
- German Spouse Visa Requirements