Last time, I wrote about the Certificate of Eligibility as the first requirement to enter Japan. The next step involves obtaining both the CFO sticker and GCP certificate. But how do you do it? Well, to acquire these documents, you must attend the CFO Guidance and Counseling Program.
The main goal of the Guidance and Counseling Program is to provide Filipinos with counseling regarding the realities of international migration. This program aims to prepare individuals for the challenges they may encounter in cross-cultural marriages and migration.
What are the requirements to attend the GCP?
Since I attended the GCP without a visa, I only brought the highlighted documents.
Requirements for those without a visa:
- two original valid identification cards
- original Certificate of Marriage from the PSA if married in the Philippines
- duly completed guidance and counseling form to be secured at the CFO
- 400php counseling and registration fee
- original Report of Marriage duly registered by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate or the Department of Foreign Affairs if married overseas
Additional requirements for those with visa: Please click this link.
GCP Online Appointment System
For those of you who are planning to attend the GCP, please set an online appointment first. This is necessary because this is how you secure a schedule. The session depends on your spouse’s citizenship and the slots are limited. Only applicants with a confirmed appointment and complete requirements are admitted for counseling.
From my personal experience, I encountered some initial difficulty accessing the site, possibly due to a temporary issue with the website. I decided to try again the following day when I had gathered all the necessary documents. I completed the online form, ensuring that all the required information was provided accurately. Once I was satisfied with the details, I clicked the submit button and received an email confirmation from the CFO. I printed this email and brought it with me to the CFO office on the day of my appointment.
Please visit this site for the Online Appointment in CFO Cebu.
Note: Prepare a soft copy of your 2×2 photo.
CFO Cebu GCP Experience
I attended the GCP session at the CFO office in Cebu. I arrived at 12:30 PM, as instructed, with all the necessary requirements in hand, including some that weren’t explicitly mentioned but that I had thought to bring along. I made sure to come well-prepared, just like a diligent Girl Scout should.
Upon entering the office, the staff promptly requested the necessary documents and handed me a counseling form, which I completed as instructed. Afterward, I submitted the form at counter 3 and paid the required fee. During this process, the staff noticed that I had used my maiden name on the form. He suggested that I use my husband’s last name instead, explaining that it wouldn’t be an issue even if my passport displayed my maiden name. However, I chose to maintain consistency with my maiden name for both my GCP certificate and CFO sticker.
Following this, I proceeded to a PDOS (Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar) room, where video clips provided insights into travel dos and don’ts, as well as background information about the program.
At 2:00 PM, applicants destined for Korea and Japan were directed to a separate PDOS room. The counselor provided valuable information about cross-cultural marriage, our rights as spouses, advice for a successful marriage, and important reminders for emigrants. Although the program was scheduled to conclude at 5:00 PM, we had numerous questions that extended the session until 6:00 PM. This did not include the one-on-one interviews.
With ten participants in total, I was the last one called for the interview. Consequently, I was able to leave and head home around 9:00 PM.
Note: Please bring a black pen.
How’s my one-on-one interview?
My intention was to be fully prepared for any questions the counselor might ask. However, when it was my turn for the interview, I couldn’t help but feel nervous. It goes to show that even if we’re confident, interviews can still make us apprehensive.
During the interview, the counselor reviewed our marriage certificate and looked at the wedding photos I brought. She inquired about my husband’s family and our relationship. After a brief discussion, she concluded the interview by wishing me well.
Did I get my GCP certificate after the GCP?
Yes, I got my GCP certificate. Attached is the image.
Did I get my CFO sticker?
Attending the GCP without a visa, I left the GCP session with a GCP certificate only, while those with visas received the CFO sticker, indicating they were ready to travel. I felt content with achieving that goal for the day. My focus shifted to the next step, obtaining the visa, which made me feel both grateful and anxious.
How did I get my visa and CFO sticker? Stay tuned for the next blog entry.