Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), also known as exit clearance/pass, is a document certifying the regularity of recruitment and documentation of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). It is presented to the immigration officer at the airport of exit in the Philippines. The OEC is issued thru the BM Online Processing System. An OFW applying for OEC should register in the system. Registration in the system requires an active e-mail address. To register, please go to http://bmonline.ph. The web page of the BM Online System displays the steps on how to use the online facility.
Upon registration, the system will indicate if the OFW is exempted from securing an OEC. If the OFW is (1) returning to the same employer; (2) returning to the same job site; and (3) has record in the POEA database, the system will display a confirmation message indicating that he/she is exempted from securing an OEC and payment of processing fee.
If the OFW is not exempted, the system will redirect him/her to the Appointment Page. The appointment system is a built-in feature of the BM Online Processing System for the following: (1) OFW with no POEA record or with discrepancy in his/her POEA record; (2) OFW who left as undocumented worker (e.g., tourist, dependent, student, etc.); (3) OFW who changed employer and/or jobsite; (4) OFW or his/her employer who is under watchlist; (5) OFW is returning to restricted country (i.e., where the Philippine government is enforcing deployment ban); and (6) OFW who is a former sea-based worker.
A worker who is not exempted and redirected to the Appointment Page and is still in the United States or in any of the Caribbean countries/territories at the time of registration, may schedule an appointment with POLO-Americas: Washington, D.C. The scheduled appointment will allow POLO-Washington, D.C. to process the worker’s OEC. It is not necessary for the worker to appear personally at POLO-Washington, DC at the scheduled appointment. The worker, however, should mail to POLO-Washington, D.C. the following requirements: (1) signed copy of the BM Information Sheet generated by the system upon successful appointment; (2) POLO-verified employment contract; (3) copy of passport; (4) copy of work permit/visa or Notice of Action; (5) self-addressed/stamped/prepaid return envelope; and (6) payment of fees in US Money Order or US Bank Draft. These requirements should be received by POLO-Washington, DC before the scheduled appointment.
The schedule of fees are as follows: US$2 for OEC processing fee; US$10 for employment contract verification fee (this fee is required only if the employment contract has not been verified yet by POLO-Washington, D.C.); US$25 for OWWA membership fee (this fee is required only if the worker’s OWWA membership is already expired). Payment for OEC and verification fees should be made payable to the “Embassy of the Philippines” while payment for OWWA should be made payable to “OWWA”. Personal check or credit/debit card payment cannot be accepted.
The above-mentioned requirements should be mailed to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20036. For inquiries, please contact +1-202-467-9426 or +1-202-887-5830 or email [email protected]
Once the OEC is processed, an e-mail will be sent to the worker confirming that his/her OEC is ready for printing. To print the OEC, the worker should log on to his/her BM Online Processing System account and click “Print OEC” under the “My Transaction Page”. Please note that the OEC is valid only for 60 days starting from the date of its issuance.
Verification/Accreditation of Employment Documents
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) requires that employment documents relative to the recruitment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and accreditation and registration of foreign principals/employers are verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). The verification process is intended to validate the actual existence of the job and employer/staffing agency; and to ensure that the terms and conditions of employment of the OFW comply with the minimum standards of the POEA and that of the government of the country of destination.
A. Accreditation of Principals/Foreign Recruitment/Staffing Agencies
Implementation of POEA Rules on Ban on Direct Hire
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) prohibits the direct hiring of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW). Any employer desiring to employ an OFW is, therefore, required to course his/her recruitment through a POEA-licensed private recruitment agency in the Philippines.
The POEA, however, allows certain categories of employers to be exempted from the direct-hiring prohibition. Exempted employers are the following:
- Members of the diplomatic corps;
- International organizations;
- Heads of State and government officials with the rank of at least Deputy Minister; or
- Other employers as may be allowed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, such as:
- Those provided in (1), (2) and (3) who bear a lesser rank, if endorsed by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), or Head of Mission (Ambassador or Consul General) in the absence of the POLO;
- Employers of professional and skilled workers with duly executed/authenticated contracts containing terms and conditions over and above the standards set by the POEA. The number of professional and skilled workers that can be hired under this exemption is limited to five (5); or
- Employers who are permanent residents in the host country and hiring a relative/family member in the Philippines.
B. Verification of Individual Contracts
For verification of individual employment contract, the following are required:
- Original employment contract/employment offer with notarized signature of the employer. (Employer may use the POEA standard employment contract. See downloadable forms. Use Standard Contract for Various Skills for those hiring a professional or skilled worker or Standard Contract for Household Workers for those hiring a domestic worker);
Certified true copy of the valid work permit/visa or equivalent document (e.g., Form I-797);
- Accomplished Employer’s Information Form (See downloadable forms. Use Employer’s Information Form for Business if the work permit/visa is under a business establishment/company or use the Employer’s Information Form for Individual if the employer in the work permit/visa is an individual);
Copy of valid commercial registration and business license (If the work permit is approved under a business establishment/company);
- Copy of government-issued identification of the employer or authorized company representative signing the employment contract (e.g., passport, driver’s license, etc.); and
Payment of US$10 for verification fee. Non-cash payment is limited only to US Money Order or US Bank Draft payable to “Embassy of the Philippines”. Personal check or credit/debit card payment cannot be accepted); and
Self-addressed/stamped/prepaid return envelope (if transaction will be done by mail).
If transacting by mail, please send the above-mentioned requirements to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 20036. Before sending the documents, concerned employer/authorized representative or worker is advised to contact POLO at +1-202-467-9426 or email [email protected]
On-Site OWWA Memberships Enrolment/Renewal
Membership in Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is mandatory for all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). All OWWA members are covered by life insurance and other social benefits implemented by OWWA. The On-Site Membership Program is an enrolment or registration scheme for OFWs who are in the work destinations. It shall cover the following:
- OFWs whose OWWA membership had expired; and
- OFWs who enroll as first-time members, provided they are gainfully employed overseas at the time of registration.
The following are the requirements for OWWA enrolment/membership renewal:
- Copy of passport (page showing photo and personal data)
- Proof of employment such as work contract/permit, employment offer, pay slip, certificate of employment from the company/employer, company identification card, and/or other relevant evidence of employment;
- Accomplished OFW Information Sheet (See downloadable form); and
- US$25 membership fee. Non-cash payment is limited only to US Money Order or US Bank Draft payable to “OWWA”. Personnel check or credit/debit card payment cannot be accepted.
- Self-addressed/stamped/prepaid return envelope (if transaction will be done by mail)
- If transacting by mail, please send the above-mentioned requirements to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington D.C., 20036.