The holidays are upon us, and for us Filipinos, the Christmas season is all about family. Many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) try to file a leave during this time to be with their loved ones, and if you’re planning to do so too, it’s best that you continue to read this short article.
When Filipino domestic helpers go back home for the holidays, they need to obtain an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or an “Exit Permit” first so that they will be allowed to re-enter Hong Kong from the Philippines. The OEC is one of the requirements needed for every re-entry from the Philippines, including home leave.
A Guide for Applying for an Overseas Employment Certificate for Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong
An OEC is an important document not only for domestic helpers, but for all OFWs because it ensures that the traveller is an overseas worker with a contract and visa in the country they’ll be coming from.
Other than documentation purposes, a domestic helper with a valid OEC will not be required to pay travel tax and terminal fees at the airport.
OECs are valid up to 60 days after they have been issued. But if it has been issued at the airport’s Labour Assistance Counter, this will only be valid for one (1) day.
Important: OECs are valid only for a single exit from the Philippines.
How to Apply:
- Secure an appointment online via the Balik-Manggagawa portal. Follow the instructions provided on the website. Once you have registered, you will need to log-on to this website every time you need a new OEC permit (even if returning to the same employer).
- Once you have registered an account and are logged in, select online appointment.
- Pick your preferred government office location and the time and date for your OEC processing appointment.
- Provide the following documents on your date of appointment:
- Two (2) copies of your appointment sheet.
- A copy of your notarized employment contract
- The original and two (2) photocopies of your Employment Visa
- The original and two (2) photocopies of your Philippine passport
- OWWA Membership fee receipt
- Previously registered users will be asked to input their most recent OEC number.
- Print the confirmation message indicating that you are exempted from getting an OEC or paying a processing fee.
Getting an OEC is an important requirement for travelling OFWs. It also offers benefits set by the government to help OFWs travel more conveniently by giving cuts on certain fees and travel tax. Eventually, once a national ID has been set in place, everyone will have an easier time processing transactions, especially when leaving or entering the country. But until then, we will need to get requirements such as the OEC.