OWWA Membership Registration Guide for OFWs

To become an OWWA member, you will need to submit a membership application form, along with proof of employment and your indetification. If living overseas, you can apply for the register for OWWA membership at the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in your host country. Once your application has been approved, you will be required to pay an annual membership fee – a very minimal fee of 25 USD and valid for 2 years. In return, you will be entitled to all of the benefits that the OWWA has to offer.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, or OWWA, is a government agency that provides assistance and protection to Filipino workers abroad. One of the ways it does this is through membership programs that offer health insurance, death and burial benefits, and other forms of financial assistance.

As an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), you face many challenges that are unique to your situation. You may be working long hours in unfamiliar or dangerous conditions, and you may be far away from your family and support system. You also need to be especially careful with your finances, as it can be difficult to send money home on a regular basis. OWWA membership can help you to overcome some of these challenges. With access to a wide range of benefits and services, OWWA can help you stay safe, healthy, and connected to your loved ones.

The organization also offers financial assistance and guidance, which can be essential for OFWs who are trying to save for their return home. In short, OWWA membership provides OFWs with the support they need to thrive in spite of the challenges they face. As a result, it is an essential investment for any OFW.

owwa membership registration guide for ofws


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is the executive agency and service arm of the Philippine government that is mandated to protect and promote the rights and welfare of OFWs. By implementing various programs and services that cater to both migrant workers and their families in the country, OWWA strives to introduce a globally competitive, responsive and secure service system that benefits all Filipinos.

OWWA was first established as the service arm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), worked hand in hand with other government departments such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), in the administration, design, implementation, maintenance, and evaluation of various employment and welfare services for aspiring, in-service, outgoing, and returning Filipino migrant workers, as well as their beneficiaries. Such services are scattered in the agency’s pre-departure, on-site and arrival activities and are funded via membership contributions that are collated through a trust fund.

Since its inception in 1977, OWWA maintains its presence through its regional offices nationwide, as well as in 31 overseas posts in over 27 territories. In 2021, OWWA was absorbed, along with six other government agencies and will be included as part of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) office.


All Filipinos working overseas may apply for OWWA membership. OFWs must simply renew their membership by applying to POLO-OWWA offices or via online.

Otherwise, undocumented OFWs or those who acquired employment without legal documents will have to secure legal documentation first before applying for OWWA membership. 

OFWs may apply and affirm their OWWA membership in the following ways:

  • Physical application at OWWA Regional Welfare Offices, for OFWs currently residing in the country, or at Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), for OFWs residing abroad;
  • Online application via OWWA Mobile App
  • Applying via email (applicable in select POLO offices or PH Embassy/Consulates offering this service)

OFWs and their qualified dependents may apply for membership, provided appropriate documents to support overseas employment.


To proceed with the application, qualified OFWs and dependents must be able to secure the following documents:

Application Onsite

  • Online appointment form (secure proof of confirmed appointment)
  • Duly accomplished OWWA OFW Information sheet, which can be downloaded at http://philcongen-toronto.com/consular/docs/ofwinformationsheet.pdf
  • Any form of valid ID with photo, such as Passport (data page), company ID, driver’s license, PRC license, NBI clearance, etc,
  • Employment pass or work permit
  • Employment contract

Application Online

  • OWWA Mobile App, downloadable through Google Play Store or App Store

If requested by a qualified dependent, that being the spouse or unmarried minor child of a married OFW, or a parent or sibling of a single OFW:

  • Online form
  • Valid government-issued ID
  • Consent letter signed by the OFW allowing the release of their information record
  • Proof of relationship to the OFW:
    • For the spouse, a PSA-issued marriage certificate
    • For the child, a PSA-issued birth certificate of the child
    • For the parent, a PSA-issued birth certificate of the OFW
    • For the sibling, a PSA-issued birth certificate of both OFW and the sibling.

OWWA Membership Fee

OWWA membership comes with a membership fee of USD 25 or its equivalent in foreign currency, depending on the country of destination. Upon activation, OWWA membership shall be valid for a maximum of two (2) years, after which renewal must be made.

3 Ways to Renew OWWA Account and Become an OWWA Member

Upon securing documentary requirements and the membership fee, applicants may pursue their application online or in-person. However, in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country as well as in some territories where POLOs are located, it is highly recommended that applicants submit their application online, mobile app, or via courier. Regional Welfare Offices and POLOs are also implementing a strict by-appointment system, so it is important to secure an appointment prior to fulfilling any transaction with OWWA offices.

1. Renew OWWA via Physical on-site applications through OWWA Regional Welfare and Satellite Offices and POLOs

The on-site application is the common way to renew the OWWA membership. OFWs can visit the nearest POLO-OWWA office and pay while in the physical location. Take note that some POLO offices will require you to book an appointment in advance. So you need to follow the instruction on the official websites of these particular POLO offices overseas.

  1. Secure your documentary requirements and membership fee.
  2. Book an appointment at https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph to schedule your application. Again, all OWWA offices work on a strict appointment basis.
  3. Upon confirmation of the preferred schedule, go to your selected OWWA Regional Welfare or Satellite Office, or POLO to submit your application.
  4. Pay your membership fee over the counter and wait for your official receipt to be issued.
  5. Use the official receipt along with your contact details to verify your membership via OWWA Mobile App. Once paid, your membership shall be active for two (2) years.

2. Renew OWWA via Online Mobile App

You can also renew your OWWA account via the OWWA mobile App. The steps include the following:

  1. Install the OWWA Mobile App (Android and App Store) and
  2. Register your personal and employer details.
  3. Choose the Renew OWWA Membership option.
  4. Choose the payment method and make the payment.
  5. Once renewed, you can see your status on the app as “Active” You can install the App on your phone, register your personal and employment details and renew it at your own convenience.
screenshot of OWWA mobile app

3. Renew OWWA via email application

Renewing the OWWA membership via email will depend on the POLO office offering this service. Again, please check with the nearest POLO-OWWA office abroad to know if this option is applicable.

  1. Secure your documentary requirements and membership fee.
  2. Go to the official website or social media page of the POLO of your country of destination and find the email to which you are required to submit your application. Some POLO websites also have virtual chat and helpdesks which may help you locate such emails.
  3. Submit your application via email. Keep in mind the proper email etiquette – the use of appropriate subjects, titles to address contact persons, and language.
  4. Pay your membership fee as instructed via online payment and fund transfer platforms, and wait for the issuance of your official receipt via email.
  5. Use the official receipt along with your contact details to verify your membership via OWWA Mobile App. Once paid, your membership shall be active for two (2) years.

Note: Every POLO-OWWA office is different so if you are an OFW that has a nearby POLO labor office, you need to check with this local office in order to understand the steps to register for membership while you are on-site. You may need to book an appointment in advance or you can just go via walk-in. Again, you need to coordinate with the nearest POLO office for the actual procedures.

How to Verify OWWA Membership Status Online

As mentioned, a verified OWWA membership shall be held valid for two (2) years maximum, after which a renewal is required in order to continue enjoying the benefits of OWWA. Fear not though, for verifying is just as easy and hassle-free as the application.

  1. Download the OWWA Mobile App on Google Play Store or App Store for iOS.
  2. Log in with your username or password. If you do not have an account yet, simply sign up for one using the information you have entered in your OWWA membership form.
  3. To verify your membership, click on the ‘Information’ tab. All active and new applications must have the ‘active’ status written in their membership status. Membership is valid upon approval of application and issuance of receipt.
  4. Inactive members may still renew their membership by paying their membership fee and updating their information as needed. As of the moment, the payment channel for this procedure is via the Mobile Online Payment System (MOPS) of Landbank – Bancnet.
logo of OWWA

Benefits of OWWA Membership

Upon activation of OWWA membership, OFWs and their qualified dependents are entitled to a variety of benefits, including employment assistance, welfare programs, training, and seminars, as well as eligibility and priority to services and projects by the agency.  

Pre-departure programs

  • Orientation and training seminars
  • Employment application assistance

On-site and arrival

  • Assistance in employee – employer concerns
  • Repatriation

Return to the country

  • Reintegration programs
  • Livelihood training and assistance
  • Psychological debriefing and other benefits

Video: OWWA Benefits to Members

A video explaining to non- and aspiring OFWs the programs and services of OWWA for OFWs and their dependents may be accessed here:

Among the benefits include the ones mentioned above, but more importantly, some of OWWA’s flagship and collaboration programs–social benefit programs, scholarship, education, and training programs, as well as repatriation and reintegration programs.

Video: OWWA Mobile App Guide

Moreover, with the release of OWWA Mobile App, staying updated with OWWA’s projects and plans won’t be much of a job. This video provides users with a walkthrough of its features:

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check out the following details for FAQs about OWWA membership:

1. What does it mean to be an OWWA member?

Being a member of OWWA allows OFWs and their qualified dependents to enjoy a wide range of benefit programs and services provided by OWWA. These benefits include scholarship, educational, and livelihood programs, financial and welfare assistance, overseas employment assistance, grants, trainings and seminars, among many others. OWWA members may also enjoy eligibility and priority to OWWA’s services.

2. Who are qualified to be OWWA members?

All Filipino citizens may apply for OWWA membership, but by essence, all documented OFWs are considered OWWA members as well. They simply need to verify their membership by applying to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare or Satellite office or POLO. Undocumented OFWs, on the other hand, will have to secure proper and legal documentation before they can apply for OWWA membership.

3. Who are considered qualified dependents of OWWA OFW members?

Qualified dependents or beneficiaries of OWWA OFW members may include any one of the following:

  • For married or single parent OFWs: a legal spouse
  • For unmarried OFWs:

4. How much does it cost to apply for OWWA membership?

The OWWA membership fee costs USD 25 or its equivalent in foreign currency, depending on the applicant’s country of destination. The membership shall then be valid upon payment, for a maximum of two (2) years. 

5. Is OWWA membership mandatory?

OWWA membership is not mandatory per se. However, it is highly encouraged by the national government, its agencies as well as its accredited training, manning and recruitment, and other labor groups that OFWs apply for OWWA membership. This is in order for them to enjoy priority and eligibility in OWWA’s programs and services—social benefits, scholarships, repatriation and reintegration programs, and many more—which are deemed highly beneficial for them and their loved ones.

6. How do I pay for my OWWA membership?

Payment for OWWA membership may be done over the counter, for physical applications, or online via OWWA Mobile App. However, due to restrictions brought about by COVID-19 protocols, online payment is advised by the agency. This can be done by going to the OWWA Mobile App and following the steps to check your account details and send your payment.

7. Do I need to wait for my OWWA membership?

No, there is no waitlist for OWWA membership, and applicants may opt to pursue their applications anytime. Although it is best advised that applicants, especially aspiring and returning OFWs, file their membership applications as soon as possible in order to avoid delays in processing your application and eventually, your overseas employment. The agency constantly works on a high traffic of applications, so should you wish to apply for OWWA membership, be sure to complete your requirements and submit them as soon as you can.

8. What is the difference between OWWA and DMW? Do I have to apply for both? 

OWWA is an attached agency and service arm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), while the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is a new government department established in 2021 by virtue of Republic Act No. 11641 as signed by then President Rodrigo Duterte. Both agencies serve the best interest of Filipino migrant workers, but as of this moment, DMW is still undergoing its initial organization as the newly appointed secretary Susan Ople has only assumed office this year. Upon its inception, DMW shall now take charge of OWWA but it will still remain as the service arm for OFWs. Therefore, it is not necessary that applicants for OWWA membership apply for DMW as well.


Through the years, the OWWA has maintained its mandate to serve the best interest of FIlipino migrant workers and their families by providing them benefit programs and services that cover their pre-departure, arrival and on-site, and return to country needs.

Being an OWWA OFW member establishes a bond between the Filipino and the Philippines in creating a better future for both, so it’s needless to say that becoming an OWWA member is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss.

Contact Information

For more information on OWWA membership as well as updates on its programs and services, visit their official website at www.owwa.gov.ph or check their official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also download the OWWA Mobile App on Google Play Store and App Store to get started on your OWWA membership.

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