Frequently asked questions and POEA’s replies
1. I am a college graduate and want to work abroad. Where to find job vacancies?
Job vacancies are commonly advertised in newspapers and other media. Some employers advertise in the internet. Job vacancies are likewise posted in the premises of licensed recruitment agencies. POEA publishes a list of licensed recruitment agencies quarterly to guide job seekers.
2. I was able to secure a work visa from a foreign country, do I need to go through POEA for processing of my documents? What are the requirements?
Yes, you need to have your documents processed at POEA. A visa merely allows entry into another country. It does not specify the terms and conditions of work for a particular employer. Name hires or Filipino workers who have found jobs on their own should have their documents processed at POEA.
The requirements are the following: passport, work visa or work permit, employment contract verified or authenticated by the Philippine embassy or Philippine consulate in the country of your destination. You are also required to undergo a medical examination by a Department of Health-accredited clinic or hospital and a pre-departure orientation seminar.
What are the costs and how much?
If you are a name-hired worker, these are the costs:
POEA Processing Fee - US$100 or its peso equivalent
OWWA membership fee - US$25 or its peso equivalent
OWWA Medicare - P900.00
What documents shall I get afterwards?
You shall be issued an Overseas Employment Certificate, which serves as the OFW travel exit clearance at the airport and immigration counters. The OEC is also an exemption for OFWs from payment of travel tax and airport terminal fees. You shall likewise get a free OFW electron ID card or e-Card, which is your permanent identification card to facilitate your departure and access to services as OFW.
3. I am applying for a foreign job through an agent or recruitment agency, What shall I do to make sure I will not be cheated?
Verify to make sure the agent you are dealing with is authorized or licensed by POEA and has the proper job order and the person transacting business with you is legitimately connected with the licensed agency.
You should apply only at the registered office of the recruitment agency. If the recruitment is conducted outside the registered office address, verify if it has a provincial recruitment authority issued by POEA or has been allowed to conduct recruitment activity outside their office.
Ask for a copy of employment contract and study the terms and conditions. Do not pay the any fee unless you have been hired and signed the employment contract. Always ask for a receipt corresponding to any payment.
4. After paying a large sum of money, I found out that the person recruiting me for a job abroad was not authorized by POEA. He promised me that I would be deployed even though he has no license. What shall I do?
Report the matter immediately to POEA’s Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch at telephone no. 722-11-92 or the Philippine National Police or NBI. You are not assured of protection once you run into trouble abroad as he has no bonds posted to answer for any eventuality. He may promise you a job but he can only have you deployed by resorting to irregularities that will compromise your welfare. The POEA Legal Assistance Division will help you in filing and prosecuting your case.
5. Someone is recruiting me to work overseas, but I have to leave the country as tourist. Is this a legitimate way to find overseas jobs? What are the other forms and guises of illegal recruitment?
Leaving the country as a tourist but with the intention of working abroad is illegal both in the Philippines and the host country. Other forms of illegal recruitment are as follows:
Escort services – tourist/workers “escorted" at the country’s airports and seaports.
Correspondence – applicants are encouraged by the recruiter to comply with employment requirements and placement through mail.
Blind ads – fraudulent and misleading advertisements promising facility of employment
Au pair – an inter-cultural program wherein a host family sponsors a person to study language and culture for a monthly allowance in exchange for a home to stay.
Backdoor exit – going out of the country through some airports and seaports in the southern part of the Philippines.
Camouflaged participation in foreign seminars and sports events – workers leave as participants in seminars or sports events but eventually finding jobs in the host country.
Traineeship scheme – HRM students leaving in the guise of a traineeship program for hotels abroad but eventually landing jobs in the training establishment.
6. My recruitment agency wants me to pay P50,000 as placement fee. Is this legal?
The legal placement fee to be collected by licensed recruitment agencies from applicants for overseas jobs must be equivalent to one month salary of the worker as stipulated in the employment contract. The amount, however, does not include documentation and processing costs.
7. What are included under documentation and processing fees?
Documentation costs include fees for passport, NBI and/or Police clearance, medical examinations, medicare premium, trade tests, authentication, birth certificate.
Processing costs include visa, POEA processing fee, and OWWA membership fee to be paid by the employer.
8. Our company wants to hire Filipino workers for our overseas projects. What are the requirements before we can recruit the workers?
Only entities licensed by the Department of Labor and Employment through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration may recruit Filipino workers for employment overseas.
A foreign company may therefore hire Filipino workers by engaging the services of a licensed recruitment agency in the Philippines.
9. My husband is an OFW. My children and I want to go to the place where he is working. Do we have to pay for the travel tax?
The family of an overseas Filipino worker may avail of a reduced travel tax when they go abroad while the OFW has an existing employment contract. The reduced travel tax certificate is issued by the Department of Tourism.
10. I want to withdraw my application from an agency because it has failed to deploy me after so many months now. Can I claim for reimbursement of my expenses?
Yes, you can claim for reimbursement of placement fee, documentation and processing expenses from the agency if deployment did not take place without your fault. You may file an administrative case against the recruitment agency through POEA’s Legal Assistance Division.
11. My contract was for two years but I was dismissed by my employer after three months of work. Can I sue them for breach of contract and claim for unpaid wages? Where shall I file the case?
You may sue your employer and its agent if you were dismissed without valid reasons. Money claims arising from employer-employee relationship such as unpaid wages, breach of contract or illegal dismissal may be filed with the Migrant Worker’s Desk of the National Labor Relations Commission in Quezon City or in NLRC’s Regional Arbitration Branch in the region you reside.
12. I am spending my vacation in the Philippines and will go back to my employer after one month. Do I have to go through POEA processing all over again?
No, you need not go through the whole process again. Your employer and employment contract were already verified. As a returning overseas Filipino worker or balik-manggagawa, all you have to do is secure an overseas employment certificate (OEC) at the POEA Balik-Manggagawa Processing Division, regional centers and satellite offices and some Philippine Overseas Labor Offices to enable you to leave the country again and avail of the same privileges such as exemption from travel tax and airport terminal fee.
13. I was hired as a consultant in facilitating the documentation of immigrant workers recruited for employment in US hospitals. Do we have to secure a license for dealing with immigrant workers?
Yes, you need to secure a license from POEA if your immigration consultancy and other similar entities do not limit your assistance to processing and facilitation in the issuance of immigrant visa but will engage in the recruitment and placement of workers, whether on worker's visa or employment-based immigration visa, without a license or authority issued by POEA, you shall be subjected to prosecution for illegal recruitment and such other appropriate action as may be necessary pursuant to the pertinent provisions of RA 8042 and its implementing rules and regulation (MC #10).