Overseas Filipino Workers with OEC exemption means that OFWs don’t need to obtain an OEC or pay any processing fees with the POEA. Rather, their documents will be processed faster at the airport prior to departure. If you want to know more about it, this BM Online OEC exemption guide will explain what is OEC exemption and how to process it for OFWs.
The BM Online OEC exemption can easily be processed online if you are returning to your work country with the same employer (you did not change employers) because this means that you have a current record already with the POEA system.
For the rest of you, please follow the guidelines below to process an OEC exemption.
What Is OEC Exemption?
Returning OFWs with existing records with the Department of Migrant Workers Online Services Portal can apply for OEC exemption if they are returning to the same foreign employer. If you’re exempted from getting OEC, you can proceed directly to the airport for your flight departure.
Now, who can obtain this exemption?
You can be exempted from obtaining an OEC as balik-manggagawa if you meet the requirements below:
• Valid work permit or visa.
• Returning to the same job site and employer.
• With existing records with the POEA, meaning you have obtained an OEC before from any POEA center or office such as POEA main office, regional office, extension unit, BM mall processing center, or POLO office overseas.
If you’re hired through the Government Placement Branch, then you’re also qualified to obtain an OEC exemption as long as you meet the criteria above. On the other hand, if you don’t qualify for any of the requirements mentioned, you can’t get an OEC exemption. Therefore, you will need to schedule an appointment for regular processing via their online portal.
How to Process OEC Exemption for OFWs?
Once you have registered for a DMW account and your BM records matched with your new POPS-BaM account, you can now process your exemption. In addition, if you think you meet the requirements, then you can acquire an OEC exemption. All you need to do is follow these steps when obtaining OEC exemption via POPS-BaM:
Step 1: Sign in to your DMW E-Registration account or follow this link https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph//OnlineServices/POEAOnline.aspx and enter your log-in details. You should only create one account because having multiple E-Registration accounts may lead you to disqualification and will be denied access to POEA online services.
Step 2: Tap on Let’s Go to continue. Then click on the My Contracts tab to make sure your old BM Online records have successfully synced with your new POPS-BaM account. Make sure to update your profile before applying for an OEC exemption. On the left side of the screen, click My Profile to update your information including your height, weight, and other details that are required.
Also, make sure to upload your valid passport and IDs in the Identification section. To avoid problems, upload your latest ID or passport during the OEC exemption application. The My Family section should also be completed to declare your beneficiaries.
Step 3: Go to the Dashboard, tap on the Balik-Manggagawa button, and click Next. In this step, you may notice your POPS-BaM screen with different content. That’s because all DMW online services are processed here. However, if you only need to process your OEC exemption, just ignore them and concentrate on the Balik-Manggagawa module.
Step 4: Type in your flight details and click Next. You will see your old records including your previous employer, position, and job site. Moreover, the system will remind you about your work visa and passport upon departure.
Step 5: If you’re a returning OFW, you need to verify if you are returning to the same employer, job site, and position.
Make sure to read and understand the message before clicking your response. If the information is the same with your valid Visa, just click Yes to proceed. If not, click No and you’ll be asked to set your appointment.
Step 6: If there are details that need to be updated, make sure to update them before clicking Submit.
Step 7: Congratulations, you can now print your OEC.
If you’re trying to get your OEC exemption via BM Online, note that this is no longer available. Starting in June 2021, OFWs with no BM Online accounts are no longer allowed to register using the old BM Online website. Instead, you’ll be redirected to POPS-BaM system where you can get your exemption through the steps mentioned above.
Guidelines about OEC Exemption
Even if you’ve been with your foreign employer back and forth, you still need to keep in mind some important things when processing your OEC exemption.
- For instance, you still need to print your BM exemption number or confirmation message after obtaining an exemption to present it to Immigration officers. Upon your departure, present your work visa or permit and passport to the Immigration counter to check in.
- When it comes to updating profile photo, some OFWs may not think that this is important. In reality, you need to update your picture because your appearance will change a bit and will be somewhat different from your uploaded profile from years ago. Make sure to re-upload your recent photo with 1 MB file size. The Bureau of Immigration uses your profile photo for final departure and identification purposes.
- Every time OFWs return to the country, they must log in to their POPS-BaM website in order to acquire an OEC exemption. Returning OFWs should register with the new POPS-BaM system to qualify for the POEA online services. If you have been issued an OEC and have a registered account, you just need to log in to your account.
- If you don’t log in every time you go back in the country, you can’t get an OEC exemption. This is how the POPS-BaM system determines whether a returning OFW is exempted from obtaining an OEC. So make sure to log in and update your information to continue your OEC exemption. Once you qualify for exemption, the Bureau of Immigration gets the data and clears your name for departure.
- You can get your exemption within 60 days prior to your departure schedule. Another reminder, an OEC exemption number is like a regular OEC which is valid within 60 days only and can be used for a single exit. It’s important to consider the date of your flight before you obtain an exemption because it may expire even before you return to your job site.
- If you’re back in the Philippines and will stay for a three-month vacation, you don’t need to obtain an OEC exemption right away. You can wait for up to two months before you can get your OEC. Otherwise, acquiring an OEC exemption too early can jeopardize your scheduled departure flight due to an expired OEC.
What To Do If You Can’t Open Your POPS-BaM Account?
There are many instances that OFWs reported they can’t log in to their POPS-BaM accounts because they forgot their email address or password. Don’t worry because there are simple steps you can do to retrieve your account. The POEA advises any account holders who can’t remember their passwords or email address used to create their account to contact the System Administrator via:
Telephone Numbers: 09173257397, 02-7210785, 02-7277778, or 02-7219496
Email Addresses: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have other concerns, you can also reach out to POEA’s Helpdesk. For more information, follow these steps:
1. Visit the POEA Online Services Portal. Scroll down until you see the POEA Helpdesk.
2. Go to Create Ticket and tap on the Continue button to go to the next page.
3. Click the Select Service button, tap Online Services – ERegistration, and choose Select Concern. From there, click Account Problem – Forget EReg Details, and then tap the Next button.
4. On the next page, select from the options to find your account. You can choose the first option if you can remember your ERegistration number. However, choose the third option if you can’t remember your email and ERegistration number. You will then be asked for your birthdate and complete name. Once you have entered your details, tap the Find Ticket button to proceed.
On this section, type in your concern and contact number. Once you’re done, tap the Submit Ticket so that the POEA support can contact you and provide you the next steps.
Why the System Is Re-directing You to the Appointment Page?
If you’re having problems with your OEC exemption application such as the system keeps on re-directing you to the appointment page, there’s a quick fix for this. If you’re returning to the same job site and employer with a previously issued OEC and the system still leads you to the appointment page, this means you are not exempted from getting an OEC.
Here are the reasons why you are not exempted to obtain an OEC even if you’re returning to the same employer and job site:
- Undocumented worker.
- Doesn’t have records with the POEA.
- BM worker returning to a different job site o employer.
- Identified as a watchlisted worker.
- • Returning to non-compliant or restricted country.
- • Sea-based Filipino worker who become land-based worker.
If you qualify for any of the above-mentioned, you need to set an appointment because you are not exempted to get an OEC.
Video: OEC Exemption Guide Process
Here’s a video overview of the OEC Exemption process for OFWs as shared by a Filipina OFW. Please be guided accordingly:
So this is the process on how to apply for an OEC exemption. As an OFW, you can simply log in to your POPS-BaM account and click the OEC Exemption button to fill out the application form. Remember to ent
If you have any issues while applying or forgotten details of your account, you may contact the System Administrator through their telephone numbers or email addresses. You can also reach out to the POEA Helpdesk for more information about retrieving your account or any other concern you might have.
It’s important to note that if you are returning to the same job site and employer with a previously issued OEC, you still need to apply because there are certain instances in which you won’t be exempted. We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you on how to apply for an OEC exemption. Good luck!