Monday, April 27, 2015

Overseas Exit Clearance

The overseas exit clearance is a documentary requirement issued to an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who are travelling back to the Philippines and intends to go back to the country of his employment, to the same employer.
The overseas exit clearance (OEC) certifies that an OFW is properly documented. It is presented to the counter of POEA Labor Assistance (LAC) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the airports upon departure. This document ensures exemption of the OFW from travel tax and airport terminal fees.
Note: OFWs in Singapore may apply for the OEC either in the Philippines or in Singapore.
Forms of Exit Clearance
  1. Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
  2. E-receipt (electronic receipt)
  3. Multiple Travel Exit Clearance (MTEC)
Where to secure an Exit Clearance
It can be obtained at Philippine embassies or consulates abroad, at Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), at POEA offices in the Philippines, or via Teleserv Express Clearance System.
Documents Needed to Get Exit Clearance
·         Accomplished OFW info sheet (available at the venue)
·         Valid passport stamped with working visa
·         Proof of OWWA membership such as ID or receipt
·         Authorization letter (if done in behalf of the applicant)
·         Re-entry visa, work permit, or any equivalent document
·         Proof that worker is returning to the same employer (company ID, employment certificate, pay slip, etc.)
Note: Household Service Workers returning to Singapore shall present a copy of latest employment contract duly verified by the POLO in Singapore.
How long does it take to obtain an Exit Clearance
Normally, exit clearance can be obtained within the same day of application, depending on queues or availability of attending staff.

As Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) take holiday breaks, some choose to go home in the Philippines and spend time with families and friends. Due to this, it is necessary to arrange and process some documents prior to or after the travel. One of these documents is the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or more commonly known as travel exit clearance.

So just a heads up to our Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) kababayans, whether vacationing/returning to the Philippines or not, here are the basics that you must know about why, how and what OEC is all about:

Q: What is Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)/ POEA travel exit clearance?
A: It serves as a proof that you are a documented OFW (among many other documents, such as your employment contract and job order) who is allowed to exit the Philippines to fulfill job contracts overseas. It is also a clearance/certificate that proves that your exit or departure to the Philippines is valid since you are returning to an employer abroad.

Q: What are the use of an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)?
A: An OEC serves for the following purposes:
  • it serves as an exit pass for OFWs at the airport
  • it exempts you from paying travel tax and airport terminal fee once presented to the airline counter and airport terminal fee counter.
  • It assures that a worker is covered by government protection, benefits and assistance.

Q: How long does it take to process an OEC/travel exit clearance?
A: There are two ways of applying and processing the OEC:
  1. By walk-in application. Depending on the volume of walk-in applicants, this may take one whole working day.
  2. By appointment system. You may log-in to the BM online appointment system and set a schedule as to when and where you want to claim your OEC. If you completely bring all the required documents, it may just take less than an hour to encode your details, claim and pay for the OEC.

Q: Where Can Bm OECs Be Secured?
A: You may secure an OEC in any of the following processing centers:
  • Balik-Manggagawa Processing Division (BMPD) – POEA main office
  • POEA Regional Centers – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao
  • POEA Regional Extension Units / Satellite Offices
  • Labor Assistance Centers (LAC) – at international airports in Manila, Cebu and
  • Mindanao. (OEC issuance at LACs is limited to those classified as regular balik-manggagawa, vacationing workers, rehires, POLO-registered workers – with confirmed airline bookings on the date of request of BM OEC issuance, and whose leave does not exceed FIVE (5) days. (BM) Name Hires cannot be issued BM OEC at the LACs.)
  • Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO)

Q: For how long is an OEC valid?

A: An Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is valid for sixty (60) days upon the date of issuance.

Q: I frequently travel to and from the Philippines in connection with my job, do I need to apply for OEC every time I depart from the Philippines to go back to my employer?
A: An OFW whose job requires travel to and from the Philippines more than once can secure Multiple OECs, or multiple travel exit clearances (MTEC). MTEC is a set of two or more exit clearance documents that allows an OFW to travel to and from the Philippines multiple times within a 12-month period.

Q: I lost my OEC, should I get a new one?
A: No, as there will be no -reissuance of a lost OEC. An OFW/BM who lost his/her OEC must be issued/request a certification of the particulars of his/her previously applied/lost OEC from the POEA office, POLOs or BM Regional Processing Divisions upon submission of an Affidavit of Loss.

A lost OEC may cause an non-exemption to the travel tax and airport terminal fee, though.

Q: My OEC expired before I used it, what should I do?
A: Go to an OEC processing center, such as the POEA office, POLOs and BM Regional Processing Divisions. Present your previous OECs, together with your latest OWWA/Philhealth payment receipts. Make sure that the details (destination, employer, etc.) in your previous OECs are still the same, as it will be carried over to your new OEC.

These are just some of the most commonly asked questions by OFWs unfamiliar with the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Any questions unaddressed should be directed to the Philippine Overseas Employment Adminsitration via their contact information:
Landline: 722.11.44 / 722.11.55
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