Miyerkules, Marso 28, 2012

Do I REALLY need to forward the DOST SEI Travel Clearance to the Bureau of Immigration?

Before even considering not to go to the Bureau of Immigration to endorse your dost travel clearance because you feel lazy or complacent, let me tell you a story of a friend of mine who did exactly that.

I had a friend who was a DOST SEI Scholar during her Master's Degree but before completing her years of service, she got a scholarship for PhD abroad. It was not an opportunity to be missed so she decided to repay DOST for her Master's scholarship (roughly around 100,000.00 php) But don't get disappointed because you can still study abroad without having to pay but this will be another blogpost or you can read my blogpost about surety bonds here.

Having paid the full amount, it then follows that she is entitled to acquire the coveted DOST SEI FINAL CLEARANCE. But whether or not it was a miscommunication or lack of information on her part, she did not go to the Bureau of Immigration to present her travel clearance and clear her name from the BI watch list. She was able to leave the country though and go back and forth, just by presenting her copy of her final clearance to the immigration officers. She had kept doing it for 2 years without much trouble until that unfaithful day.

Martes, Marso 27, 2012

DOST Travel Clearance:General Guidelines

I lifted this post from the pamphlet I got from DOST SEI back in 2010

A. Who needs a DOST-SEI clearance? 
1. An on-going scholar who will travel abroad;
2. A scholar who withdrew his/her scholarship but was able to enjoy the scholarship prior to with-drawal;
3. A scholar whose scholarship was terminated but with service obligation; and
4. A scholar-graduate who has not yet secured a final clearance.

B. When do you need a DOST-SEI clearance? 
A DOST-SEI scholar will secure a clearance from the Science Education Institute while he/she is still complying with his/her scholarship obligations or for the following cooperating institution:

1. National Bureau of Investigation for em-ployment
2. Department of Foreign Affairs for application or renewal of passport
3. Bureau of Immigration for airport immigration clearance prior to departure
4. Other institutions requiring DOST-SEI clearance 

C. When is a temporary DOST-SEI clearance issued? 
A temporary clearance is issued to an on-going scholar-graduate who has not completed her/his scholarship obligation but will travel out of the country, undergo on-the-job training or be locally employed (for the latter).

D.What are the requirements to secure a TEMPORARY DOST-SEI clearance? 
For continuing scholars: 
A.Submit a written letter stating the nature of travel, e.g. official or personal purpose, desti-nation, duration and other pertinent information about the travel.
B.Accomplished Supplemental Agreement (Form provided by DOST-SEI).
C.Post a surety bond posted with the Govern-ment Service Insurance System (GSIS) or a cash bond (with SEI for a travel that is for a month or shorter period) for an amount equiva-lent to the total financial assistance received by scholar while on scholarship plus 12% inter-est.

For scholar-graduates and those whose scholar-ship was terminated or withdrawn: 

A.D1A, D1B, D1C
B.Service Record/Certification of Employment,
if any OFFICIAL TRAVEL: If scholar-graduate’s com-pany is sending him/her abroad for training or any official business
- For short-term period:
A.With employer’s guarantee - the employer must write SEI about travel plan: reason for travel, destination, duration of travel and a guarantee of her/his return and in cases/ you fails to do so, its willingness to reim-burse to DOST-SEI the amount equivalent to the period left unserved.
B.Without employer’s guarantee—D1A, D1B, D1C, 2B, and employer’s endorsement of travel

E. How do you retrieve a surety bond/ cash bond?
Not later than a month after the scholar/scholar-graduate returns to the country, s/he must personally report to DOST-SEI and submit photo-copies of passport pages marked with the arrival data in the country; and to retrieve (original copy of Surety bond or to submit original receipt in case of cash bond for processing. Processing of cash bond may take ten (10) working days.

Failure to do so may either cause the forfeiture of the bond (surety or cash) or required the em-ployer to refund the financial assistance received by the scholar.

F.When is a final DOST-SEI clearance issued?
A scholar whose scholarship is terminated for failure to comply with the scholarship requirements at anytime within the first two years shall be issued a FINAL DOST-SEI clearance together with the notice of termination.

A scholar-graduate must submit certification/s of employment for the required period and/or other requirements. After evaluation of said documents, s/he has been found to have fully complied with her/his service/financial obligations, the FINAL DOST-SEI clearance shall be issued.

The DOST-SEI clearance must be presented to the NBI, DFA, and BID to have her/his name cleared for issuance of NBI clearance (for local employment or travel abroad), passport or clearance to travel out of the country, respectively.

Photo credit

Miyerkules, Pebrero 29, 2012

Do I need a DOST SEI Travel Clearance to work abroad?

Now this is a tricky question.

Technically yes but sometimes you can survive without it.

Because as I write this post, I am talking to my batchmate, also a DOST Scholar during our college days, and he is about to go to Singapore to work for good.

Did he apply for a DOST SEI Travel Clearance? NO! (Please keep it a secret! ^_^) But he is going to SG in 3 days and isn't that exciting?

We both received 5 years of scholarship benefits from DOST and while I did all the effort to secure a travel clearance for studying abroad (with all the pains of having to post surety bonds with GSIS), he did not even bother to go to DOST to ask for a DOST travel clearance. Yet, he was able to apply for a passport, process his papers for work etc.

What was his stategy?

Well the worst thing that can happen to you when you don't apply for a DOST Travel Clearance is that you will be held from departure on the day of your flight itself. And who has the authority to stop you? Of course, the immigration officers. But instead of being surprised on the day itself, you can freely check if your name is in the immigration watchlist. And that was what my friend did. He went to the Bureau of Immigration and asked whether or not his name was on the watch list. And lo and behold it was not!!! (please keep this a secret again!) So after knowing that he had no derogatory records whatsoever, he decided not to get a DOST Travel Clearance. Thinking about it now, I wish I went to BI first before going to DOST too. Who knows, my name may not be in the list as well. Oh well, past is past.

But whether or not this plan will work, I will know in 3 days and I will keep you guys posted. Until then, I am wishing my friend all the best.

Sabado, Enero 21, 2012

What to do in the Bureau of Immigrations?

This is a long overdue post about what I did in the Bureau of Immigrations after receiving my temporary travel clearance for graduate studies abroad (You can read about my previous post here).

So I already got my temporary DOST SEI clearance. DOST SEI then advised me to proceed to the Bureau of Immigrations (BI) to bring this clearance (which is technically a letter addressed to the BI commissioner allowing us to go).As you well know, the database that immigration officers in the airport use are all consolidated in this government agency, so this is the best place to ask whether or not you are in the watch list. Upon presenting your DOST SEI Clearance, theoretically your name will be lifted from the watch list.

I arrived at around 4 pm, barely reaching there because of the traffic along Taft Ave. There was not as much people as I anticipated, maybe because it was almost closing time. So here is the run down of the events as far as I can remember:

1. ENTER main door and say hello to "Manong Guard"
I entered the main door where the guards were checking your stuff and asking you about your transactions. I told them I was giving my DOST SEI clearance so the guard let me in and gave me a visitor's ID.

2. PROCEED to Information Desk just in front of main door
Because I already forgot where to go, I went to inquire at the Information Desk. They asked me to go to a Window 5 (Left Side when you enter the building)

3.SUBMIT your letter/clearance to the person in charge and wait until your name is called
After about 10-15 minutes my name was called and they gave me the letter again stamped
"No Derogatory Records"

4. FINISHED. That's it. I did not have to pay anything. The person said I was good to go and it would all depend upon the immigration officer whether or not he will look for the letter on the day of the flight itself. But for my case, they did not.

So it was that simple.

By the way, I forgot to tell you it did not end this way. I was actually puzzled about the "No Derogatory Records"stamp for a while now...What does this actually mean? Does this mean that I really dont have any records at all and there is no need for me to get a clearance whatsoever???

So I went to the 2nd floor and asked the immigration officers...but this is another blogpost. ^_^

Linggo, Agosto 28, 2011

How to get a DOST SEI Final Clearance?


(Wow! Congratulations. Inggit much ako.)

What is a DOST SEI Final Clearance?
For the benefit of the newbie, a DOST SEI Final Clearance is an endorsement from DOST SEI legally saying that you are cleared of any contractual obligation from the country (I may post our DOST-SEI Scholarship contract soon, please wait for it).

Who may apply for DOST SEI Final Clearance?
Having a DOST SEI Final Clearance means either of the two things: that you have served the country for a length of time equal to the number of years you have received financial help or you have paid DOST SEI in full (total amount + 12% interest) without finishing the service terms.

What are the Steps in Securing a DOST SEI Final Clearance?

Step 1: Write a Request Letter expressing your intent to get the final clearance. Address this letter to the director of DOST-SEI. Please check previous post for DOST contact details. This letter need not be very dramatic or long. For a sample request for final clearance letter, read this.

Step 2a: If you have successfully finished your contractual obligation to serve the country, then please provide all necessary proofs: CERTIFICATE OF EMPLOYMENTS, letters from previous company, and the like. Some issues arising with this point goes like this:

1.Kelangan ba related sa course yung employment?
2. Paano kung nagsara na yung company at wala silang means na ma-verify  na dun talaga ako nagtrabaho before?
3. Ok lang ba kahit hindi tuloy-tuloy yung work?
4. And moreJ

For nos. 2-3, as long as your CERTIFICATES of EMPLOYMENT/SERVICE RECORDS are intact (at enough na ang years of service mo), then everything is FINE. You can definitely say hello sa iyong DOST SEI Final Clearance. As for no. 1, sa totoo lang hindi ako sure dito. I have read previous blogs about this and vague ang mga sagot. The best way pa din is to call DOST SEI. Mura lang naman ang tawag kaysa mag-speculate tayo like crazy dito. J

Step 2b: If you have paid the ENTIRE AMOUNT, just present the official receipt (OR) and pwede ka ng mag-cartwheel. 

Should I Submit the Requirements Personally?
You may hand in the requirements personally or you may send them through fax, email or by mail to the address given here. Just remember to bring the ORIGINAL LETTER once you will get the DOST Final Clearance from their office.

You may also submit your requirements to DOST Regional Offices nearest you, but they would still have to forward this documents to DOST SEI Main.

How long should I wait before the DOST SEI Final Clearance can be issued?
The safest estimate would be 2-3 working days after the receipt of your complete requirements. 

What will DOST SEI give me?
DOST SEI will give you 3 letters: 1st is a MEMO for scholars, 2nd is a letter addressed to the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner  saying that you no longer have obligations from DOST and that your name can be removed from the watchlist and 3rd is a certification that you can present to NBI and DFA to apply for an NBI Clearance or passport, respectively. (You can read my blog entry about Passport Application, if you like). Once you receive Letter 2-3, don't forget to secure duplicate copies. After which, you may want to go to the Bureau of Immigration to present letter 2 and clear your name. Some forums say that you have to pay php500.00 in BI, I am not really sure but I will there next week to present mt endorsement letter so I may blog about it then. So good luck with your DOST SEI Final Clearance. AjA!

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