Better opportunities lie outside of the Philippines, and if you have the chance to take them, go for it.
Some call it a selfish act, others call it unpatriotic, but the bottom line is we all just want better lives for ourselves and our families. As long as life and work are better abroad, we cannot fully fault anyone for wanting to leave the Philippines, especially when we have to stretch our hard-earned salaries just to make ends meet until the next pay day.
If you are currently eyeing job opportunities abroad, start preparing the documents you’ll need.
Here’s a comprehensive list of the documentary requirements every aspiring OFW should have for a smooth deployment.
1. Valid Philippine Passport
If it will be your first time to apply for one, the DFA launched a portal last year where first-time OFWs can apply for a passport through government-recognized and licensed recruitment agencies. The system aims to make the passport application process faster and easier for first-time OFWs.
2. Pre-employment requirements
Do you remember the pre-employment documents you needed when you were applying for jobs as a fresh grad? Well, you’re going to need them again. These documents include your birth certificate, school credentials, resume, and your NBI, Police or Barangay Clearance.
3. OFW PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG Memberships
If you’re already a member of PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, you need to apply for membership again so that you will be classified as an OFW. As an OFW member of the government agencies, you’ll have access to multi-purpose loans and other member benefits that can provide for your family.
4. Medical Certificate
You’ll need a medical certificate declaring you’re “fit to work” so that you may leave the country as an OFW. If your medical exam claims that you are “unfit to work,” your job offer may be revoked. The medical certificate ensures you’ll be able to handle the demands of your job abroad, and it also protects your employer from hiring candidates who won’t be able to meet the responsibilities of the work.
5. POEA Seminars
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) requires OFWS to attend a pre-departure seminar (PDOS). The PDOS lasts for two hours and is free. The seminar informs OFWs of what to expect when they work abroad, the dos and don’ts, and the necessary hotlines or government agencies to contact should issues arise. After you attend the PDOS, you will be given an overseas employment certificate (OEC).
6. Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
The OEC costs P120 for a copy, and it certifies that you’re employed in a foreign country. You will submit this to the immigration officer at NAIA. The OEC exempts you from paying expensive airport fees, such as the terminal fee and travel tax.
Before you fly abroad and begin your life as an OFW, keep in mind that there are still numerous steps and fees to pay. But once you’ve passed those hurdles, you’re all set to start earning in foreign currency and provide your family with a better future.