We’re almost ready to fly to Canada in two weeks time, but before that, we need to secure a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) sticker from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). Immigration officers need to see this attached to your passport before they put a stamp during your departure from the Philippines (note that if you’ll be travelling from any country other than the Philippines to Canada, you may not attend the seminar, but this is not recommended.)

So what is PDOS and why do you have to secure one? PDOS is a free country-specific seminar conducted by CFO for people immigrating to different countries, note that this seminar is different from the one being conducted by POEA which is specifically for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). In this seminar, they will tell you  high-level information about the pre-departure processes and information, departure and landing processes, what to do as soon as you arrive in Canada, how to maintain your PR and how to get Citizenship to name a few. Personally, I find this seminar really helpful and yes, I recommend my fellow countrymen to attend this seminar.

Fortunately, starting April 11, 2016, they will be implementing the online registration fully for CFO Manila office and no walk-ins will be accepted anymore. This means that you can now select the date and time of the seminar that is most convenient for you. They conduct seminars from Mondays to Fridays at 930AM-12Noon for Canada bound immigrants. You can visit this site for reference.

You’ll be needing the following documents on the day of your seminar:

  • Original and photocopy of passport (must be valid about six months before date of travel)
  • Original and photocopy of visa
  • Original and photocopy of Confirmation of Permanent Residence for Canada-bound emigrant (must not be torn or signed before departure).
  • One (1) 2×2 or passport-size photograph
  • One (1) valid identification card with photograph (eg., SSS ID, GSIS E-card, PRC ID, driver’s license, postal ID, ARC, etc.)
  • Payment of Php 400.00 registration fee
  • Photocopy of employment contract (for immigrant workers)

The filling-out of forms is really tiring. Ensure that you are entering the correct details. Although your COPR document states that your dependents are also primary applicants, during the registration you have to ensure that you tag them as dependents. This error cost us an additional two hours of waiting and queueing (once you have a correction, they have to encode it again, which doesn’t make sense). Also, note that although children 12 years old and below are exempted from attending the seminar, you still need to register them in the system and pass the requirements indicated above to CFO.

Now that we’ve completed the last requirement for pre-departure, all that’s left for us is to fly. I’ll be sharing this experience in my next post.