Acquiring an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is an important process for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in various countries, including Australia, Nauru, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, and New Caledonia. The OEC serves as proof of their status as legitimate OFWs and ensures their compliance with employment laws and regulations in both the Philippines and the host nation. This article will provide an overview of how to process the OEC specifically for OFWs in Australia.
- Visit the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Australia: OFWs in Australia can start the OEC application process by visiting the nearest POLO office. POLO offices are established to provide support and assistance to OFWs, including facilitating the OEC application.
- Prepare the necessary documents: To process the OEC, you will need to gather and prepare the required documents. These typically include:
- Valid passport: Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Australia.
- Valid work visa or permit: Provide a copy of your valid work visa or permit issued by the Australian government.
- Employment contract: Prepare a copy of your employment contract, which should outline your job position, salary, working hours, and other relevant details.
- Proof of overseas employment: Collect any documents that verify your employment status in Australia, such as a letter of employment or an employer’s certification.
- Complete the OEC application form: Obtain the OEC application form from the POLO office or download it from their official website. Fill out the form accurately and completely, providing all the necessary details about your employment and personal information.
- Submit the application and required documents: Once you have completed the application form and gathered all the required documents, submit them to the POLO office. Ensure that you have both the original documents and photocopies for their verification.
- Pay the necessary fees: There are fees associated with processing the OEC. The POLO office will provide you with the details regarding the payment process and the required fees. Make sure to pay the fees promptly and obtain the necessary receipts as proof of payment.
- Attend the pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS): As part of the OEC processing, OFWs are typically required to attend a PDOS conducted by the POLO office. The PDOS aims to provide important information and guidance to OFWs regarding their rights, responsibilities, and preparations before leaving for work abroad.
Obtain the OEC:
After successfully completing the required steps and meeting all the necessary requirements, you will be granted the OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate). This certificate serves as a validation of your overseas employment and holds significant importance as a crucial document for both your travel arrangements and employment purposes.
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 the POLO Australia’s website and Facebook page for updates.
What Should I do Before Applying for an OEC in DMW Office Australia?
When preparing to visit the POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) Australia Office, it is important to follow certain steps and considerations. Here’s what you should do:
- Determine if you qualify for an exemption: According to Philippine labor laws and regulations, foreign employers are generally prohibited from directly recruiting Filipino workers. However, there are exemptions to this restriction. Find out if your employer falls under any of the exempted categories, which may 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)
- Gather the required documents: Once you have confirmed that your employer qualifies for an exemption, it’s important to gather all the necessary documents. These documents typically include:
- Valid passport
- Verified or authenticated employment contract that complies with POEA standards
- Valid work visa or permit
- Medical examination results
- Training and educational certificates relevant to your employment
- Proof of qualifications and work experience
- Other documents specific to your industry or occupation
Ensure that all your documents are complete, up to date, and comply with the requirements set by the POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration).
- Verify requirements and procedures: Before visiting the POLO Australia Office, it is advisable to contact them or visit their official website to verify the specific requirements and procedures you need to follow. This will help you ensure that you have all the necessary documents and avoid any potential delays or complications.
- Schedule an appointment: Many POLO offices require appointments for certain services. Check if you need to schedule an appointment and do so in advance to save time and avoid long waiting periods.
- Be prepared for additional requirements: In some cases, the POLO office may request additional documents or information during your visit. Stay informed and be ready to provide any additional requirements they may ask for.
How to Get an OEC Appointment in Australia (POPS-BAM System)
Prior to visiting POLO Australia office, an OEC appointment is required.
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 here – 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 about 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 your host country 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 an Overseas Employment Certificate in Australia?
Step 1: Gather all of the necessary requirements.
Step 2: Go to POLO Australia 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.
- When filling out online forms, avoid using non-English characters like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Arabic. This will cause delays in processing your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Ensure that you only use English characters.
- You are allowed to obtain an OEC only once per visit to the Philippines. Acquiring multiple OECs simultaneously is not permitted.
- Remember to bring three copies of your OEC to the airport on the day of your departure.
- The OEC is valid for sixty (60) days from the date of issue. Make sure you utilize it within this time frame.
- If a worker leaves the Philippines without an OEC, they may encounter difficulties during check-in or may be stopped by immigration officials before departure. Always ensure you have this document with you.
- Balik-Manggagawa OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers returning to their employment abroad) should also present a copy of their employment contract, plane ticket, and any other necessary travel documents.
- Once you have all the required documents, you can proceed to the airport and present your OEC to the immigration official. Having an OEC ensures smooth travel and compliance with your employment-related legal obligations.
- For further assistance, you can call +61 2 6273 2535/36 from Monday to Friday, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (excluding Australian and Philippine public holidays).
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Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any further questions regarding “How to Process OEC in Australia”, 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 BM Online or 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 Australia office
Instructions on how to complete the payment process will be sent to you through email.
9. What is the POLO Australia’s office hour?
The POLO office in Australia is open Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Closed on Australian and the Philippines public holidays).
10. What is POLO Australia’s address?
POLO Australia’s address is Philippine Overseas Labor Office, The Philippine Embassy in Canberra 1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia.
11. What is the POLO Australia’s hotline number?
You can reach the POLO Australia office at +61 2 6273 2535/36.
- Visit the official website of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The website address is www.poea.gov.ph.
- Look for the section related to the OEC application or processing. This section should provide detailed information and instructions on how to proceed with the online application.
- Create an account on the POEA website if you don’t have one already. You will need to provide your personal information and create login credentials.
- Log in to your account using the credentials you created. Make sure to have all the necessary documents and information ready before proceeding.
- Fill out the online application form for the OEC. Provide accurate information about your employment details, contract, and other required details. Double-check the information for any errors or omissions.
- Upload the required supporting documents, such as your employment contract, valid passport, and any other relevant documents specified by the POEA.
- Pay the necessary fees for the OEC processing. The website should provide instructions on the acceptable payment methods, such as online banking, credit/debit cards, or other specified options.
- Submit your application and wait for the processing to be completed. The POEA will review your application and documents to ensure their legitimacy.
- Once your application is approved, you will receive an electronic copy of your OEC. You may need to print this out, but it’s also a good idea to keep a digital copy on your smartphone or other electronic devices for easy access.OEC Appointment Australia OFW Balik Manggagawa Certificate
- Present your OEC to the immigration official at the airport in the Philippines when you are departing for Australia. The immigration official will verify your OEC and allow you to proceed with your travel.
DMW OWWA Canberra, Australia
Address: 1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia
Telephone Number/s: +61 2 6273 2535 / 36
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinAustralia/
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