How to get a POEA OEC/Exit Pass: A Complete Guide for Name/Direct Hire Filipino Workers (UPDATED 2019)

Author’s Note: This article was originally published on 9 October 2018 and was republished to update some important information.


An Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or POEA Exit Pass is a clearance issued by POEA to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who exit from the Philippines for employment purpose, regardless of their visa status.

So if you’re going to work abroad, my dear friend, then you MUST secure an OEC because the Immigration Officer will not allow you to go out of the Philippines without it.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

This article is a step-by-step guide for first time — name/direct-hire — Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) on how to get a POEA Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). If after reading this you still have doubts or questions, you can always leave a comment at the end of this article. I will respond to all of them!

So without further ado, here are the documents I prepared for the whole—grueling—process.

PHASE 1

Bring original and two (2) copies of each; submit these documents at Window 8, Second Floor, Direct Hire Assistance Division, Landbased Center from Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 4:00PM:

Passport with validity period of not less than six (6) months

Valid Work Visa

Work Permit
— In my case, I submitted my English and Chinese Work Permit.

* If visa assurance or guarantee is issued by employer, the same should be noted/acknowledged by the Government or Immigration Office in the jobsite

Employment Contract
— In my case, my Employment Contract had to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in China because China has no Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

* Check this list if your jobsite has POLO

Company Profile, Business License/Commercial Registration of the employer

Proof of certificate of insurance coverage covering at least the benefits provided under Section 37-A of RA 8042 as amended
— I personally bought mine from Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation beside POEA, near 7-Eleven, and paid for PhP equivalent of US$30 good for one (1) year coverage.

* POEA specifically requires the type of insurance that covers the OFW’s Repatriation of Remains; Insurance Certificate for Visa is insufficient

Notarized Affidavit of Explanation on how I secured my employment, with attached photocopy of my employer’s passport/ID and contact details

Additional documents to support job application — proof that you are a qualified candidate:

• Certificate of Employment from my previous job
• Authenticated Diploma and Transcript of Records
• Curriculum Vitae/Résumé

NOTES:
1. I applied under Skilled/Professional worker, Name/Direct-Hire category.
2. You are to process your OEC after you get your Work Visa.
3. Required documents are country-specific. For more details, click here: MC-08-2018 for the Guidelines on the Registration of Direct-Hire OFWs and Checklist of Requirements for Evaluation of Direct Hire Application that POEA e-mailed me in September 2018.

PHASE 2:

Before proceeding to Phase 2, you will need to wait for your name to be posted at: Direct Hire OFWs with Approved POEA Clearance. Processing takes 4-5 working days. Print a copy of the Notice/POEA Clearance.

Bring original and photocopy of your documents; Submit these documents at Window 6, Second Floor, Direct Hire Assistance Division, Landbased Center from Monday to Thursday ONLY, 8:00AM:

POEA Clearance (for employers under Section 124d of the POEA Revised Rules & Regulations)

E-Registration Account
— Create your account. Go to www.eservices.poea.gov.ph then print your Worker’s Information Sheet.

Compliance Form (if necessary)

Valid Medical Certificate from DOH-accredited medical clinic authorized to conduct medical exam for OFWs
— I submitted the one that I used to apply for a Chinese Work Permit since the clinic is DOH-accredited as well.
Angelus Medical Clinic
Address: 104 Rufino Street, Legaspi Village, Makati

Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS)
— Go to www.peos.poea.gov.ph, complete the online seminar, then print your PEOS Certificate.

Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) Certificate issued by OWWA
— Attend PDOS; Monday to Thursday only. It starts at 9:00AM so make sure to arrive at POEA around 8:00AM and ends at 11:00AM.

After the seminar, photocopy your PDOS Certificate, then go back to the Guard-On-Duty to get your number. Wait for your number to be called, then submit all your requirements at Window 6.

They will have you fill out an OFW Information Sheet; submit it once your name is called. You will then be asked to proceed to the Cashier for payment of POEA processing fee, OWWA membership, and PAGIBIG.

POEA processing fee — PhP equivalent of US$100
OWWA membership — PhP equivalent of US$25
PAGIBIG — PhP 300
I paid a total of PhP 7,038.75

After payment, they will FINALLY give your OEC! Buuuuut, lastly…

Before leaving POEA, make sure to visit Philhealth at the ground floor as it is mandatory to pay for your Philhealth contribution before you leave the country. I paid PhP 2,400 which is valid for two (2) years. There’s also an SSS booth at the ground floor, and you may pay a minimum of PhP 500 for your SSS contribution.

That’s it! Finally! Finally! Finally! I hope you find this article helpful!

ALSO READ:

P.S. If you have questions, you may leave a comment at the end of this article, or direct message me!

Happy & safe travels!

Alaizza Quiozon

FUN FACT: Nobody has ever spelled my first name right the first time, let alone my full name. So, where will all these lead? Maybe nowhere. But, then again, maybe somewhere — which is the magic of it.

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25 Comments

  1. Hi! Thank you for your post, I had been dreading going through this process when I return to the PH during my holidays. My question is, how many days did you have to wait for your name to be published after phase 1? Was it actually 5 days? Thank you in advance for your answer, and best of luck in your endeavors.

    1. Manny says:

      5 days max… But sometimes you can see your names in 3 to 4 days. Mine took 4 days.

      1. Congrats po! Safe travels!

    2. Mine took 4 days. I had to call them and follow up.

      It’s going to be fine! Good luck!

  2. Hi! I just got a job offer in Malaysia and I’m so glad I stumbled upon your guide on how to get an OEC as a direct hire. 🙂

    I just wanted to ask: I’ve been seeing videos and articles stating that I have to write a Letter of Appeal to DOLE to be exempted from the direct hire ban. Is this true? Or did you just go straight to PHASE 1?

    Hoping for your reply! Thank you. 🙂

    1. Hello, Anj! First of all, congrats on your new job! 💛

      I went straight to Phase 1. At the time I was applying for my OEC, there was an issue regarding that, and I had also watched videos and read articles about it before, but I chose to ignore it and ask POEA directly. I went to POEA many times prior my application because I wanted to be 101% sure.

      But basically, they just handed me the list of requirements I needed to submit. Medyo hassle lang talaga magpabalik balik especially for those who live far away, but feel free to call them, they answer naman. 😊

  3. Hi Alaizza, can you please share what did you do to authenticate your diploma and TOR?

  4. Thank you for this very detailed process. Allow me to share your blog to a group of future Canada-bound OFWs.

    1. Awwwww, I appreciate it! Thank you po!!!!!!

    2. And good luck to all of us!

    3. May alam po ba kayo na resources on how to get a job in Canada for Filipinos, or something like that?

  5. […] around — starting out as a collection of my personal & travel stories, to solo travel & moving abroad-related feature, and eventually producing my perspective on living in Shanghai as an expat, rather […]

  6. Did the immigration officer really ask for the exit pass? Also, are you also gonna need this if I’m a Filipino but will go to China from a country other than the Philippines?

    1. If you’re going to work in China, or any other country, you MUST have a valid Work Visa. So, the Exit Pass is really mandatory.

  7. Hello. Thank you for this very helpful post. Were you required to obtain the “POLO Endorsement Letter seeking exemption from the ban on direct hiring”?

    1. You’re welcome!

      I wasn’t required to obtain and submit the POLO Endorsement Letter because there’s no POLO in China.

      If the country you’re moving to has no POLO, your Employment Contract has to be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in that country. For example, my employer in China needed to go to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing to have my Employment Contract authenticated – the Philippine Consulate in Shanghai can do that, too. And then, it was sent to me (China to Philippines) via DHL/Express.

      If the country you’re moving to has POLO, your Employment Contract has to be verified by the Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in that country.

      Check this list if your jobsite has POLO: https://www.workabroad.ph/article/19/List-of-Philippine-Overseas-Labor-Offices–POLO-

  8. Paul says:

    Hi Alaizza. How to authenticate employment contract here in Thailand? Is it possible that my agency will do the authentication?

    1. Hi Paul, sorry for the late reply! Try to ask the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in Thailand na lang po.

  9. Danica says:

    Hi Alaizza,

    Need ba na original copy din yung business registration? Baka kasi hindi pumayag si employer na ipadala yung orig copy neto.

    And then kelangan pa ba yung POLO Endorsement letter seeking exemption from ban of direct hire?

    Thanks!

    1. Hello dear, sorry for the late reply! Copy lang po 😊

    2. Wala pong POLO ang China

  10. Inna says:

    Hi Alaizza, did they use a standard template of employment contract for the authentication? Or they just used their standard company employment contract? 🙂

  11. Maria says:

    Hi Alaizza,

    Yo mentioned that your employment contract was authenticated Phil Embassy in china? How?

    I am here in the Philippines and I need to have it authenticated. But i dont know how?

    And my employer did not gve me an english version of my contract he kept telling that the Chinese contract he sent me was already
    Approved by the Government.

    Any advce? What should I do? I already have my Work Permit. Im about to process my oec. And i dont know if my Employment Contract is verified or Authenticated?

    1. Hi dear, my employer had my employment contract authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, then my employer sent it to me via DHL.

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