The process for acquiring an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) should be understood by any Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in California, USA. In order to be get all the benefits and exemptions available to OFWs, such as the exemption of airport fees and travel taxes, an OEC must be presented to immigration officials at Philippine airports and to other government offices.
In this article, you’ll learn about how to process OEC in California, USA.
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 California, USA website and Facebook page for updates.
What Should I do Before Applying for an OEC in DMW Office California, USA?
You must prepare yourself before going to POLO California, USA 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 Get an OEC Appointment in California, USA (POPS-BAM System)
Prior to visiting POLO California, USA 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 California, USA?
Step 1: Gather all of the necessary requirements.
Step 2: Go to POLO California, USA 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 +1 213-268-9990, Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on USA and the Philippines public holidays).
Video: HOW TO GET OEC USING THE NEW SYSTEM FOR OFW BALIK MANGGAGAWA
To learn more about how to acquire OEC via the POPS-BAM system, see Cherrycee video below.
Cherrycee outlined and explained about the steps to acquire an OEC through the POPS-BAM system based on her own experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any further questions regarding “How to Process OEC in California, USA”, 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 California, USA office
Instructions on how to complete the payment process will be sent to you through email.
9. What is the POLO California, USA’s office hour?
The POLO office in California, USA is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on USA and the Philippines public holidays).
10. What is POLO California, USA address?
POLO California, USA address is Philippine Overseas Labor Office, 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 550, Los Angeles, CA, United States, California.
11. What is the POLO California, USA hotline number?
You can reach the POLO California, USA office at +1 213-268-9990.
Don’t forget to apply for an OEC through the POLO office in California, USA if you’re planning a vacation to the Philippines and return overseas within 60 days. Instead of visiting a POLO or POEA office, you can apply for an OEC exemption online if you are returning to the same company and job site.
To ensure a smooth application procedure, follow the above procedures.
DMW POLO-OWWA Los Angeles, California
Address: Philippine Consulate General Los Angeles, 3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 3040, Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA, 90010Telephone Number/s: +1 (213) 944-2599, +1 213-944-2519, +1 (213) 223-1120
Facebook Page – POLO: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069332074680
Facebook Page – PCG: https://www.facebook.com/PHLinLA