To all Overseas Filipino Workers in the United States of America, you might have heard that when you want to spend a vacation in the Philippines, it is required to secure an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) in advance. This is so that upon returning back to the US., you can easily exit the Philippines and return to your employer. And, if in case you don’t have any idea how you can obtain this certification, we can help you out through this post.
Also Read: How to Renew OWWA Membership in Washington DC, United States
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has also informed all Filipino workers abroad to get an OEC when planning to go for vacation leave in the Philippines and go back abroad for the reason of work. There would be no problem if the OFW obtaining the OEC had undergone the process in the past year. For first-timers, it would be challenging at first since you have to experience the steps by yourself. This is nothing to worry about since POLO-USA has clear instructions on how to obtain the certificate.
- What is OEC Balik Manggagawa Certificate?
- Cost of OEC in USA
- How to Schedule OEC Appointment in POLO-Washington, USA?
- How to get OEC at POLO USA?
- How to get OEC Exemption in the U.S.A.?
- Video: OEC Application Process in USA
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. I am returning to the same employer and job site and a user of POPS-BaM, but I forgot to log in to my POPS-BaM account, and I am already at the airport. What should I do?
- 2. What if I did receive any pop-up message confirmation in the system?
- 3. What would happen if I did not log in and I am already at the front of the B.I. Officer for departure?
- 4. Do I need to register to POPS-BaM every time I go for a vacation?
- Contact Information
- Google Map Location
What is OEC Balik Manggagawa Certificate?
Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC in short, is recognized as an exit clearance or pass at the Philippine national airports when departing. The OEC serves as the evidence that the OFW or Balik-Manggawa (BM) worker is legally permitted and properly documented by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to work overseas.
Securing an OEC or having an OEC exemption prevents the BM worker from paying the airport terminal fee and travel tax. Also, this reduces the travel tax for their spouses and dependents.
The OEC is bona fide for sixty (60) days from the date of acquisition.
For OFWs in the US, preparing for your vacation in the Philippines and going back to the states after is not a hard task to do if you have secured an OEC. The POLO Washington, DC doesn’t necessarily require the Filipino worker to personally process or pass the documents at the POLO if they can be processed online. Before the scheduled appointment, the worker must have the following requirements to be mailed at POLO Washington, DC.
- B.M. Information sheet with signed (generated by the online system after successful appointment)
- Employment Contract verified by POLO
- Copy of Passport
- Copy of Visa/Work Permit or Notice of Action
- Self-addressed/stamped/prepaid return envelope
- Payment for fees in U.S. Money order or U.S. bank draft
The requirements above should be received by POLO-Washington, DC before the scheduled appointment.
POEA Memorandum Circular No. 2, Series of 2019, gives the guidelines on the required and qualified Filipino worker to get an OEC
The following qualifications should be met before going to POLO-USA to get an OEC.
- Overseas Filipino Workers with a record on the POEA database who are vacationing for the first time and returning to the same employer and same workplace for the purpose of work.
- Overseas Filipino Workers with a record on the POEA database who are vacationing and who change employer on site
- Overseas Filipino Workers without a record on POEA database
If you are one of these mentioned above, you need to get your OEC at POLO
Cost of OEC in USA
The OEC is not free for those who are not qualified to get OEC exemption. The following fees need to be paid in applying for an OEC in POLO USA.
- US$2 for OEC processing fee
- US$10 for employment contract verification fee (for those workers without employment contract verified by the POLO Washington, DC)
- US$25 for OWWA membership fee (for those workers with expired OWWA membership)
The payment for OEC and verification fees are required to be paid to the Embassy of the Philippines.
The payment for OWWA is required to be paid to OWWA.
The POLO is not accepting personal checks and credit/debit card payments as of the moment.
How to Schedule OEC Appointment in POLO-Washington, USA?
If you are planning to go back to the Philippines but haven’t had the time to register for an online account with the POEA yet, this is the answer.
The OEC is issued thru the POEA Online Processing System for Balik Manggawa or POPS-BaM. An OFW applying for an OEC needs to register in the online processing system. Registration in the system needs an active email address.
Follow the process below to register at POEA Online Processing System for Balik Manggagawa (POPS-BaM).
- Go to your browser and type https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph/OnlineServices/POEAOnline.aspx in the URL
- Click on Let’s Go
- Click on “Register” for new users ( just log in if you already have an account )
- Fill out the required information and then click register. (a message will display indicating that your registration was “Successful”)
- Log in to the email address you provided when you registered (there is a message containing your “temporary password”)
- Return to the link provided in Step 1 and login using the registered email address, then click “next.”
- Use the temporary password sent to your email, then click “log in.”
- Set the password you want
- Update your profile by clicking “My Profile,” after completing your profile, click “Update Profile” on the upper right side of the page
- Add your Identification and Beneficiary
- Attach profile picture and passport
For appointment schedule:
- Log in to your POPS-BaM account (https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph/OnlineServices/POEAOnline.aspx)
- Click “Balik-Manggagawa,” located at your top right-hand side.
- Input your next flight date, and then click “next.”
- You will be asked if you are returning B.M. to the same employer (if yes, you can print your O.E.C., if no, proceed to step 5)
- Accomplish your contact details with true and correct information to the best of your knowledge.
- After clicking “Submit,” select POLO-Americas: Washington D.C.
- Then, choose an available Appointment Schedule.
- You now have an Appointment with POLO. You can print or cancel your appointment.
How to get OEC at POLO USA?
POLO Washington, D.C. will process the worker’s OEC during the scheduled appointment. The worker doesn’t necessarily need to attend the scheduled appointment at POLO Washington, DC. However, the worker must mail the listed requirements to POLO Washington, DC and should receive them by the POLO Washington, DC before the appointment schedule.
The BM worker should be mailed the above-listed requirements to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20036
Once the process of your OEC is done, an email will be sent to you confirming that your OEC is ready to be printed out.
To print OEC, you should log on to your POPS-BaM account and click “Print OEC” under the “My Transaction Tab.”
Please note that the OEC can be used only for sixty (60) days starting from the date of its issuance.
How to get OEC Exemption in the U.S.A.?
If the OFW is (1) returning to the same employer, (2) returning to the same workplace, and (3) has a record in the POEA database, the OFW is exempt from obtaining an OEC and paying the processing fee.
If the OFW is qualified for an OEC exemption, the OFW needs to log in to his/her POPS-BaM account, then go to the Balik Manggawa section. The system will notify the OFW displaying a message that he/she is qualified to get an OEC exemption.
The worker should print or screenshot the OEC Exemption number and present it to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) officer for evaluation at the Philippine national airports before his/her flight.
Video: OEC Application Process in USA
Check out this video clip which features a tutorial about the OEC process and application for OFWs in the USA:
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some commonly asked questions and answers regarding the POLO-USA office for OEC Balik Manggagawa application:
1. I am returning to the same employer and job site and a user of POPS-BaM, but I forgot to log in to my POPS-BaM account, and I am already at the airport. What should I do?
You can log in to your POPS-BaM account anytime and anywhere as long as you have an internet connection and your mobile smartphone. Just provide the details needed by the system to confirm you are securing an OEC Exemption. Then go to the airport counter and B.I. Counter for final departure procedure.
2. What if I did receive any pop-up message confirmation in the system?
The POPS-BaM will redirect you to the appointment page. If there is no pop-up message, it means you did not meet the criteria of returning to the same employer and workplace. This could also mean that you need to set an appointment to your preferred POEA office at any time and date to process your OEC.
3. What would happen if I did not log in and I am already at the front of the B.I. Officer for departure?
The B.I. Officer will refer you to the Labor Assistance Center (LAC) officer. The LAC officer will get some of your credentials and details on your employment to facilitate exit. Then the LAC officer will advise you to go to the B.I. Officer for final departure formalities. However, the worker must be reminded to log in to his/her account prior to his next vacation.
4. Do I need to register to POPS-BaM every time I go for a vacation?
You need to update your profile in your account in order for the system to determine if you are qualified for an OEC Exemption. The worker should register/log in every time he/she returns abroad before the departure.
The online processing system made the process of OEC hassle-less. Just as few couple of easy steps, you can already get an OEC and enjoy the privileges given to you by securing an OEC. You can also enjoy your vacation and go to work abroad without any burden.
Just provide the listed requirements and follow the procedures provided by this article, and you can obtain your OEC as easily as possible.
Note to all Filipino workers in the USA, you have to be aware of some third parties and groups who are offering to process the release of OEC to you as Balik Manggawa for a fee of PHP 150,000. POLO Washington, DC states that it’s better to facilitate the online processing system so as to pay only the fee of $2.00 for OEC processing and $10.00 for verification of employment contract. Don’t be fooled by those groups called “fixers” in the Philippines.
POLO Washington, DC encourages all Filipino workers to immediately report any individuals, groups, or any third parties attempting to charge unnecessary fees to email@example.com.
POLO-OWWA Washington DC, USA
Address: 1600 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone Number: +1 (202)-467-9426
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Pages: https://www.facebook.com/polo.wdc,
PH Embassy in USA FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinUSA/
Google Map Location
Below is the map guide location of the POLO-OWWA office in Washington DC, United States of America for your reference. This is also the location of the Embassy of the Philippines in the USA.