OFWs who are in Cambodia should be familiar with Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). This legal document is needed when traveling back to the country where the OFW is working after a period of vacation in the Philippines. Without the OEC, you will not be permitted to depart the Philippines and fly back to Cambodia for work. OFWs in Thailand are encouraged to acquire and process their OEC.
The Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh is the closest Philippine government office. There is no POLO office in Cambodia, but the Philippine Embassy there organizes a consular mission known as the Multi-Agency Service Mission (MASM), so be sure to check their Facebook page and website to find out when and where it takes place.
Whether this is your first time getting an OEC in Cambodia or not, this guide can help you identify the right process, fees, and frequently asked questions.
- Things to Prepare
- How to Schedule OEC Online Appointment in Cambodia
- How to Apply for OEC in Cambodia via Consular Missions
- Video: How to acquire OEC Exemption / OEC using the new platform (POPS-BaM) in Cambodia
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Who can get OEC exemption?
- 2. Are OFWs allowed to travel without an OEC?
- 3. How long is an OEC or OEC Exemption Number valid?
- 4. Is my OEC valid for many uses?
- 5. Why does the system want my most recent OEC number? What does it mean?
- 6. What happens if I forget my OEC number?
- 7. What should I do if I lose my OEC?
- 8. Where can I settle my OEC fee?
- 9. What is Philippine Embassy in Cambodia hotline number?
- 10. What is Philippine Embassy in Cambodia address?
- 11. What is Philippine Embassy in Cambodia office hour?
The following individuals are qualified to process the OEC.
- Directly employed Filipino workers by an international employer
- Individuals who are employed by a recruitment agency
- OFWs employed by POEA’s Government Placement Branch (GPB)
Each document should be submitted in two (2) copies: an original and a duplicate or photocopy.
Basic Document Requirements
- Printed Online Appointment (POPS-BAM)
- Printed Balik-Manggagawa Information Sheet
- Sworn Statement (For OFWs who have never had a POEA record or who are applying for OEC for the first time)
- Passport (valid for at least six months) from departure date
- Verified Employment Contract
- Certificate of Employment, Company ID, latest pay slip, or other documents as proof of employment
- Valid Work Visa, Work Permit, or any equivalent document
- Confirmed Airline Ticket
- OEC fees
- OWWA membership payment receipt
The list of requirements is subject to change, therefore it’s important to keep an eye on POLO Cambodia’s website and Facebook page for updates.
Note: While there is no POLO office in Cambodia, but there is Multi-Agency Service Mission (MASM) that can process your OEC. The Philippine Embassy in Cambodia’s consular mission assists OFWs in processing their POLO and OWWA inquiries. OFWs in Cambodia MUST send the pre-processing requirements with the subject MASM-Employment Contract to email@example.com in order to speed up the processing of the acknowledgment of employment contracts and the issuing of the OEC.
If the pre-processing requirements are not sent by email, it will take much longer for your OEC to be issued (or not issued at all).
On the other hand, you can process your OEC at the nearest POEA office before leaving the Philippines, just make sure you have all the necessary documents.
Things to Prepare
You must prepare yourself before going to POLO/POEA Office; otherwise, you will only waste your time. Here’s what you should consider:
1. Philippine labor laws and regulations prohibit foreign employers from directly recruiting Filipino workers, so you should determine if you qualify for an exemption from the restriction on direct employment.
The employer must hire you through a POEA-accredited recruitment agency. However, some firms are exempt from the restriction on the direct hiring of OFWs. These include:
- Employers of Professional and Skilled Workers with Verified or Authenticated Employment Contracts that Comply with POEA Standards
- Foreign Diplomats
- Heads of State and High-ranking Government Officials
- International Organizations
- Lower-ranking officials from the first three items who are approved by the POLO
- Residents of the host nation who are permanent residents and who hire their family members, excluding domestic workers
2. Prepare all the required documents. As soon as you have confirmed that your employer is exempt from the direct hiring restriction, get everything ready right away.
How to Schedule OEC Online Appointment in Cambodia
Follow these instructions to quickly make an appointment. Keep in mind that having an online appointment simplifies things because government workers can immediately verify your information.
Step 1: Visit the POEA Online Service Website (Link: https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph//onlineservices/poeaonline.aspx)
Step 2: Click the “Let’s go” button on e-Registration
Step 4: Fill in the required information and then click register (a message will display indicating that your registration was “Successful”)
Step 5: Log in to the email address you provided when you registered (there is a message containing your “temporary password”)
Step 6: Return to the link provided in Step 1 and log in using the registered email address, then click “next.”
Step 7: Use the temporary password sent to your email, then click “log in.”
Step 8: Set your preferred password.
Step 9: Update your profile by clicking “My Profile,” after completing your profile, click “Update Profile” on the upper right side of the page
Step 10: Input your identification data (passport) and beneficiary on your profile
Step 11: Click the “Balik-Manggagawa” on your dashboard then click the “Next” button
Step 12: Enter your return flight date then click the “Next” button
Step 13: You will be asked whether you are returning to the same employer, job site, and position if you are a returning BM.
If so, you can print your OEC exemption immediately.
If not, go to step 9 instead (change employer or new BM)
Step 14: Input all your contract details then click the “Submit” button
Step 15: Select the nearest POLO/POEA office as the processing site then click the “Next” button
Step 16: Choose and select your preferred appointment date
Step 17: Take a screenshot and print your scheduled appointment date
How to Apply for OEC in Cambodia via Consular Missions
Step 1: Gather all of the necessary requirements.
Step 2: Go to the POLO/POEA office on your scheduled appointment day. Show your approved appointment letter, valid ID, and full-dose vaccination card/certificate to the assigned security personnel.
Step 3: The assigned security personnel will check your name on the list of approved appointments for the day. To avoid long lines, bring the complete set of requirements.
Step 4: Get a token number from the assigned personnel.
Step 5: Go to the processing window and submit your documents.
Step 6: Pay for OEC fees.
Step 7: Wait for the OEC processor’s advice before printing your OEC in POPS-BAM System
Make sure that all the information and details in your OEC are correct and in line with your credentials.
Step 8: Sign in to your POPS-BAM account and select “Print OEC” from the “My Transaction Tab” menu.
- Avoid using non-English characters, such as Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Arabic, when filling out online forms. This will delay the processing of your OEC. Therefore, make sure you enter only English characters.
- You are only permitted to acquire an OEC once every time you visit the Philippines. Getting more than one OEC simultaneously is not allowed.
- Just remember to bring three copies of your OEC to the airport on the day of your departure.
- Please keep in mind that the OEC can only be used for sixty (60) days beginning on the day it was issued.
- If a worker leaves the Philippines without an OEC, they might not be able to finish their check-in or they might be stopped by an immigration official before they leave. Prior to departing, you must make sure that you have this document with you at all times.
- Balik-Manggagawa OFWs must also present a copy of the contract they have with their company, along with their plane ticket and any other necessary travel documents.
- Once the OFW has all the proper documents, they can head to the airport and show the OEC to the immigration official there. OFWs that have an OEC can travel without issue and know that they are complying with all legal obligations related to their employment.
- Feel free to call Philippine Embassy in Cambodia at +855 23 222 303, Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on Cambodian and the Philippines public holidays).
Video: How to acquire OEC Exemption / OEC using the new platform (POPS-BaM) in Cambodia
An OFW YouTuber named Katrina Carla discusses her experience acquiring OEC Exemption. This video is for OFWs in Cambodia who want to be exempted from OEC, therefore be sure to watch the video vlog below.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any further questions regarding “How to Process OEC in Cambodia”, see the list of frequently asked questions and answers below.
1. Who can get OEC exemption?
The following requirements must all be met in order for a Balik-Manggagawas to be exempt from acquiring an OEC:
- Has a valid work visa or work permit
- Returning to the same employer and workplace
- Has a record in the POEA database
(Has previously received an OEC at any POEA offices or facilities, including the POEA main office, extension units, regional offices, POLO offices abroad, and BM mall processing centers)
2. Are OFWs allowed to travel without an OEC?
No. All OFWs leaving the Philippines, whether they are returning employees or new workers, must acquire an OEC.
The OEC serves as an exit clearance; therefore if you try to leave the country without it, Immigration will stop you. Additionally, you are excused from paying the terminal fee and travel tax thanks to this certificate.
3. How long is an OEC or OEC Exemption Number valid?
From the date of issuance, the OEC or OEC Exemption Number is valid for 60 days. You are required by POEA to obtain this as a Balik-Manggagawa before returning to your employer.
4. Is my OEC valid for many uses?
OEC or OEC Exemption Number is only intended for one use. Once you have given it to Immigration, it cannot be used again.
5. Why does the system want my most recent OEC number? What does it mean?
The most recent transaction record you have with POEA is your most recent OEC number. This information is required by the system in order to get your record and most recent employment information.
6. What happens if I forget my OEC number?
You will be redirected by the system to the APPOINTMENT page, where you must manually visit POEA to process your OEC.
7. What should I do if I lose my OEC?
Log in to your POPS-BAM account and reprint your OEC.
8. Where can I settle my OEC fee?
- You can pay your fees in a number of ways, including:
- Globe G-cash
- Over-the-counter thru Banks
- Over-the-counter thru Bayad Centers
- Online Banking
- POLO/POEA office
Instructions on how to complete the payment process will be sent to you through email.
9. What is Philippine Embassy in Cambodia hotline number?
You can reach Philippine Embassy in Cambodia office at +855 23 222 303.
10. What is Philippine Embassy in Cambodia address?
Philippine Embassy Cambodia address is 182 Preah Norodom Blvd., Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
11. What is Philippine Embassy in Cambodia office hour?
The Philippine Embassy in Cambodia is open Monday to Friday, 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM, and (Closed on Cambodian and the Philippines public holidays).
OEC is a requirement for OFWs in Cambodia who plan to go back overseas. If you’re returning to the same company and job site, you can be exempt from the requirement and only need to print an OEC exemption. In either case, all OFWs in Cambodia must create an account on the new POEA online system.
Although there is currently NO POLO office in Cambodia, your OEC can be processed by the Multi-Agency Service Mission (MASM). OFWs can get assistance with their POLO and OWWA inquiries from the consular mission (MASM) of the Philippine Embassy in Cambodia. On the other hand, if you want to process your OEC before leaving the Philippines, visit the POEA office that is closest to you. Just make sure you have all the required documentation.