Last time, I wrote about the Certificate of Eligibility as the first requirement to enter Japan. The next step is to get the CFO sticker and GCP certificate. But how? In order to get the GCP certificate and CFO sticker, you must attend the CFO Guidance and Counseling Program.
Guidance and Counseling Program has the main objective which is to assist the Filipinos by counseling us about the realities of international migration. This is to prepare us for the challenges we may face in cross-cultural marriage 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.
Based on my experience, I had trouble accessing the site at first. Perhaps the site was down at the time. I tried again the next day when I had all the things needed. I filled out the form with the required information. When everything looked good, I clicked submit and received an email from the CFO which I printed out and brought 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 in the CFO office in Cebu. Armed with all the requirements including the ones they didn’t mention, I arrived at 12:30 PM just like what they said. I came prepared like a girl scout should.
As soon as I entered the office, the staff asked for the requirements. Next, he gave me the counseling form and asked me to fill it out. I submitted the form at counter 3 where I paid the fee. The staff noticed that I wrote down my maiden name. Thus, he advised me to use my husband’s. According to him, even if my passport showed my maiden name, it wouldn’t cause any worry. However, I opted to use my maiden name for my GCP certificate and CFO sticker. I aimed consistency for all my documents. After that, I proceeded to a PDOS room. Video clips about the do’s and do not’s of travel and background of the program were shown.
When the clock struck 2:00 PM, applicants for Korea and Japan were instructed to go to another PDOS room. The counselor educated us about cross-cultural marriage, our rights as a spouse, pieces of advice for a successful marriage and reminders as an emigrant. It’s supposed to finish at 5:00 PM but we had many questions. It took us until six in the evening. That’s excluding the one-on-one interview. There were ten of us and I was the last one called. Therefore, I was able to go home around 9:00 PM.
Note: Please bring a black pen. Or make it a habit to have a black pen with you everytime. Just like me.
How’s my one-on-one interview?
The reason for our marriage was not the visa nor the green card. What I had in mind was that if the counselor asked me anything, I wouldn’t have any worries. However, I still felt nervous when it was my turn for the interview. Boy, was I on tenterhooks. Proof that however confident we are, we still get nervous when we sit for an interview.
When the interview started, the counselor checked the marriage certificate and photos. I brought three from our wedding. She also asked about my husband’s family and us. After a few minutes, she wrapped up 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 went home with a GCP certificate only. For applicants with visas, they were able to get the CFO sticker which means they’re ready to fly. As for me, I achieved the goal that day. That’s all that mattered. I was grateful and at the same time anxious for the next step which is the visa.
Stay tuned for the next blog entry. How I did I get my visa and CFO sticker?
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