Saturday, March 21, 2015

OFWs Returning to Saudi, Do You Still Need An NOC?

Many overseas Filipino workers or OFWs working in Saudi Arabia and are about to exit the Kingdom are in confusion if they have to obtain a ‘No Objection Certificate’ or NOC from their employer or not.

A ‘No Objection Certificate’ or NOC is a letter given by the employer or sponsor to OFWs in Saudi to show that the employer has no objection or refusal of the expatriate to work with other employer.  NOC will be given only by the sponsor to the OFWs after termination of the contract.  The expatriate has to ask his employer for the NOC before he exits Saudi if he has the intention to comeback and work under a new employer or a different job.

Note:   The sponsor will not give the NOC to the OFW voluntarily, unless he asks for it. Issuance of a NOC is the privilege of the sponsor.

The NOC released by the sponsor for the OFW, under no circumstances of being forced to and only because of a request, should indicate the date of employment, date of end of work, the profession, and the last wage received.  If in any instance that the certificate contains a remark that is discriminatory or damaging to the OFW, or if it will limit the OFWs chance to work abroad again, the sponsor should detail the reason for it.

Under the revised law, NOC for departing expatriates was not needed given that they had a proper exit visa on their passports.  The final exit visa that was stamped on their passport will be the proof that the OFW exited the company and Saudi without leaving any problems behind.

But the Saudi embassy still asks for NOCs for returning OFWs in all categories, especially if the OFW is an ordinary employee.  Failure to present a NOC will make the OFW wait for a year before coming back again to Saudi.  Moreover, NOC is necessary for OFWs whose work contract contains provision that prohibits their re-employment within two years.  OFW must also remember that if they are to leave Saudi after the termination of their contract, they should go on an exit visa and not an exit-re entry visa.  Otherwise, these will be grounds for OFW to be deported back to the Philippines.

OFWs must remember that if they intend to go back to Saudi, and have an overseas job under a different sponsor or with a new work, they must ask their previous sponsor for a NOC before they exit the kingdom.  OFWs can use this to present to the Saudi embassy as a proof that they are clear of any obligations from their former sponsor and that they are allowed to look for and work under a new sponsor.