Balik Manggagawa OEC Exemption for Returning OFWs

One of the most important documents Overseas Filipino Workers should have is the Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC. This document not only legitimizes your status as an OFW but also gives you exemption on fees. This means you don’t have to pay for airport fee or transfer tax, which could cost you thousands of pesos.

Here’s the thing: getting your OEC is not a walk in the park. Believe it or not, it could take you one whole day just to get your OEC. Some even say that they cannot get it on the same day.

The good news is there are exemptions. If you are a returning OFW and you meet the criteria, you can be exempted from getting an OEC.

Who can get an OEC exemption?

The returning OFW or Balik-Manggagawa must meet ALL of the requirements:

  • Valid working visa
  • Returning to the same employer
  • Returning to the same job site
  • Has an existing record in the POEA database, which means an OEC was previously issued to you

If you meet all of the requirements, then yes, you can be exempted from getting an Overseas Employment Certificate. The even better news is that you don’t have to go to POEA, line up, and wait for the entire day to get your OEC exemption. In fact, you can do this online.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get OEC Exemption: 

Step 1: Register.

Go to BM Online Website and fill out the New User field box. Once you filled out the necessary information, click the “I Accept the Terms of Service” and “Sign Me Up” button.

At this point, a confirmation link will be sent to the email address you provided. Make sure to check your email immediately and click the link to activate your BM Online account.

Step 2: Log-in. 

You will be redirected to a separate tab showing that you successfully activated your BM Online account. Log-in using the e-mail address and password you typed when registering for a BM online account. Click “Login.” 

Step 3: OEC Number Verification. 

Once you log-in, an OEC Number Verification pop-up screen will appear. Simply enter the last OEC number issued to you to continue.

The system will give you an update whether or not they found your OEC. If your record is found, confirm that you are returning to the same employer and job site. Then, click the “Yes” button.

Step 4: Update Profile Page.

To continue, don’t forget to update your My Profile page, including Personal Data, Contract Particulars, and Legal Beneficiaries forms. To make the necessary changes, click the “Edit” button.

Change your profile picture by uploading your photo.

Step 5: Acquire OEC Exemption. 

Thereafter, click “Acquire OEC or Exemption.” 

A new window will appear. Enter your flight details. Take note that it should be within 60-day OEC validity period. Click the “Submit” button thereafter.

Don’t forget to make a final confirmation that you will be returning to the same employer and job site by clicking the “Yes” button.

Step 6: Confirmation Message 

After assessment, a confirmation message showing that your are exempted will pop up on your screen. Take note and write down the OEC Exemption Number (this number will be automatically transmitted to the Bureau of Immigration system) since this might be asked. Take time to read the instructions on what to do in the airport as well.

Acquiring OEC exemption is easy. In fact, the system will automatically tell you if you are exempted or not upon log-in.

On the other hand, there are cases when you need to set up an appointment to acquire OEC. This instances include:

  • You did not receive a pop-up confirmation message.
  • The system found no record of your OEC number.
  • You are not returning to the same employer OR job site OR both.
  • Workers with no existing records or has discrepancy in records with the POEA.

For further questions, you can check out POEA’s FAQ post on OEC Exemption.

120 Replies to “Balik Manggagawa OEC Exemption for Returning OFWs”

  1. Hello lara! Last 2016 i was able to get an OEC as a direct hire in US. It was mentioned that if an OFW plans to go back but with a different employer, s/he has to make an appointment with POEA to process the OEC. Does that mean that s/he has to undergo the same trouble of processing OEC again? With an employment contract that has to go through US POLO and shown in a “red ribbon”? Even though supposedly, s/he has a obtained an OEC already? Isn’t there an option as a “change of employer” process instead of going through the same thing, pay same expenses and same hassle?

    1. Hi Hera! Unfortunately, change of employer means you need to go through the process again and apply for OEC. The exemption is only for those Balik Manggagawa who have the same employer AND jobsite.

      1. Paano po pag d na makakuha ng appointment? Kasi ung balik ko sa Malaysia 22, eh ung slot available sa Cebu na POEA, 25 ung earliest. Pwede po kaya walkin nalng ako sa POEA office? Thanks.

        1. Hello po… Ask ko lng po same issue kse po flight ko is may 30 na then ibang employer na po ako and full na po schedule ng May. Magwalk in po sna ako s POEA Trinoma iaaccomodate nman po nila ako d po ba?

          1. Hello. Walk in is allowed naman po and will be accommodated, but of course, priority will be given sa may appointment.

      2. Hi miss Lara,i need more information.babalik po ako sa dati kong employer same job same campany,documents meron ako work visa,employment certificate same campany, (ofw) appointment na po ako for OEC sa june 04,sapat naba mga documents ko para makakuha ng OEC?

        1. Hi Rechie. You might want to bring a copy of your previous employment contract with the same employer and copy of your valid government IDs like passport.

          1. Hi ms. Lara.. Ask ko lng po bkit di ako mkakuha ng oec exemption khit same employer ako and kakauwi ko lng din po last june2019. Ngaun dto po ako Pinas pero di ako mkaacquire ng exemption.. Slamat po in advance sa response.

          2. Hi Mariper. Are you returning to the same jobsite, too? Also, you need to register with the BM Online website to claim an exemption. Thanks!

  2. Ask ko lang about BMonline facility kung still working pa kasi dikona maaccess ung account ko. Nag try ako e click forgot password para mareset password ko pero wala akong natanggap na reply sa email.
    Kailangan ko po makapag print ng OEC exemption para magamit ko. Isa akong OFW Balik Manggagawa returnee on same jobsite at employer.

    Sana po ay matulungan ninyo ako.

    Maraming salamat po.

  3. Hi po… i need help po… i got my bm online exemption # na suddenly i noticed n mali po ung date of flight n nailagay ko… instead po kc n return flight po dpt ilagay eh ung flight ko po pauwi ung nailagay ko… now i cant change it… plz help me nmn po na mapalitan ko po ung date of flight na nailagay ko… waiting for ur sagot po…

    1. Hi Mary Grace. In this case, if there is a need to change the non-editable fields you may set an appointment at your preferred POEA office/center, date and time.

  4. Why I can’t Log In on my account? I have my username and password correct but still can’t Log in. I tried “Forgot password” but no email send back to reset the password. I created new account but afterwards I can’t Log in again once you sign out.

    I trying to Log in since November 10, 2018 but up to now no luck. Please kindly fix this issue. Thanks

  5. di KO na po matandaan ang email address KO nung nagregister ako 2015 ngayon po dito ako sa Phil’s. kailangan KO kumuha OEC exemption babalik po ako sa Dubai same employer sa Januarypano po ako makakakuha oec exemption

  6. I’ve been working in Afghanistan since April 2011. Last Jan 2018, our subcon company, TMH Medical Services released me and I got hired in our prime company ME (Mission Essential) i started since Jan 19, 2018 up to this time here in Kandahar Airfield Afghanistan. I still have my previous OEC and started gathering all the documents required in POEA. I still have to do the BM online and make an appointments, right ? What else should i do prior to my vacation this month ? Please advise and thank you.

  7. I returned with the same job and same employer..and i got my exemption last year then now i had vacation with the same company ..but when acquire for my oec the system cant found so i have to set an appointment but the problem is why i cant get an exemption???

  8. Pwede p din bng pumunta ng poea at kumuha ng oec kahit wlng appointment? my flight is on the 2nd week of feb but i cant set appointment of the 1st and 2nd week dahil wla ng nklagay n time and slots available.thanks!

  9. Hi po.ask ko.lng po ang pag process po ng oec.naging direct hire po ako sa isang ospital sa ksa may dala po akong contract pero dpo pla verified ng phil.embassy sa saudi ung ticket ko po hanggang feb 28 nlng po.advice po please

  10. One year ako nag vacation sa pinas hiningian ako nang red ribbon same employer tapos letter of rehire sino naka experience nito

  11. Ask ko lng po i have already the oec exemption no.??tanung ko lng yung sa owwa last time my bnayaran ako dun…mgbbyad pa po ba ulit before returning abroad??thanks

    1. Hi Christopher. Ano po ang inyong binayaran? It could be OWWA membership or social security memberships like PAG-IBIG or SSS, which is dapat binabayaran regularly.

  12. Asko lng po i have already oec exemption no…about dun sa owwa last time my bnayaran ako dun…mgbabayad pa po ba ulit before going back abroad??

    1. Hi Christopher. It is possible po na ang binayaran ninyo ay OWWA membership po plus other memberships sa government agencies like Philhealth. Since you have OEC, wala na po kayo babayaran din sa airport.

    1. Hi Raquel. If that’s the case, punta nalang po kayo directly sa POEA para po makapag-apply ng OEC. Maaari kasi hindi pa din updated ang system kaya hindi po makita ang OEC number ninyo.

  13. Hi po, e rehire ako ng amo ko sa qatar at nka contract pa ako sa kanya 1yr and 3 mons. Na po ako dito sa pinas at pabalikin niya ako doon. Nag.process na po siya sa visa.ko. kaya lang ang contract na dali ko copy lang at ang original ay nasa amo ko. Anong requirements ko na mkakuha ng oec. Thanks po

    1. Hello po. You may apply sa BM Online system to get an exemption. Make sure you have a copy of your previous OEC po. As to the contract, dapat po certified ito ng embassy kung saan po kayo pupunta.

    1. Hi Waldy. You can get OEC exemption if you are returning sa same employer and same jobsite po. Otherwise, kailangan po magset kayo ng appointment thru BM Online website.

    1. Hi Cathy! No po. OEC exemption means you don’t have to pay for airport fees and travel tax but you still need to pay your contributions sa OWWA and Philhealth. Thanks!

  14. hello ask kulang po babakasyun ako ng pilipinAS may 13 2019 babalik ako ng N.Z sa june 17 2019, yung visa expired ko june 28 2019 dito na ako mgrerenew ng visa sa N.Z mkakakuha paba ako ng exemption thru o.e.c same employer and jobsite.thank you

    1. Hi Nhoi. If same jobsite and employer, then exempted na sa OEC. Please login parin sa BM Online website para po makakuha ng OEC exemption. Thanks.

  15. May kailangan pa bang ipaprint after kong mareceived yung confirmation message? Dati na akong ofw, dati kasi may pinaprint ako ngayon wala ng lumalabas na may need akong ipaprint

  16. Ask q LNG po n kht oec exemted k kailangan po n pumunta s owwa offices pra mgbyad ng owwa and Phil health membership

  17. What if nakalimutan pong mag log in ng oec exemption before ng departure? Nagtry po ako pero ayaw ng tanggapin yung date ng flight ko, di po ako makakuha ng oec number.. Anu pong pwedeng gawin?

    1. Hi. You can go to POEA or any of its satellite branches to get an OEC since this is a requirement before po kayo makaalis ng bansa. Salamat.

  18. Hi po. I just want to ask kung nag tourist ako umalis at na hire ako ng job at may pass nako sa Singapore. Kung magbabakasyon ako sa Pinas ano kailangan kong documents when I get back sa Singapore same job naman. Wala pa po akong OEC. Pwede ko rin ba ayusin o apply ang OEC habang nasa Singapore ako. Thank you.

    1. Hi Dine. You can process your status with POLO. Have your employment contract verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office para ma-recognize kayo as Balik Manggagawa / OFW.

      1. Sorry to but in. Once I have my contract verified. Where can I get OEC? Sinabihan kasi ako na I need to process it sa Pinas. SOBRANG hassle kaya PH Govt agencies. 🙁

  19. hello po hope you can help me. uuwe po ako first time bago lng po ako nakakuha oec nun december bago ako umalis . sa bm online po kapag click ko acquire exemption didirect po ako to make appointment . bakit po? same employer, same jobsite po.

    1. Hi. This could be because hindi pa nakaregister ang inyong OEC sa BM Online system kaya po nirerequire muna kayo na magpa-appointment.

  20. maari po ba na ndi declare na change employer at ipakita nlng ang lumang contract? para maiwasan ang lahat ng process. hindi pa ho ako maka acquire ng exemption kaya kailangan ko po mag set ng appointment at punta sa poea mismo.

    1. Hi Luna. We don’t advise that. We understand na “hassle” ang proseso pero kailangan po ito para masigurado ang inyong status as OFW.

  21. Hi po!Nagregister po kasi ako sa bmonline ng dalawang account ko kasi po nagkamali ako ng email address sa isang account kaya gumwa ako ulit ng isang account,sa dalawang account ko na yun ay nakafillup na ako ng infrmation ko at nasave na!Hindi po ba magkakaproblema sa poea pag kumuha na ako ng oec ko?

  22. Nakalimutan ko po ang password ko sa bmonline ko at email address na gamit ko. Meron prin po ba sa airport na POEA dun na makakatulong sa password ko. Natatandaan ko Kasi binigay nila password ko.

  23. Hello. Nagpalit ako ng employer and I would like to confirm if kailangan ba na naka-red ribbon ung mga requirements such as contract and work permit? Before kasi original copy lang ung sinubmit ko. Thank you.

  24. Hi po d na po ako makakuha NG excemption sa bmonline, Kasi po 5 months na Lang valid passport ko,balak ko po renew passport ko sa Saudi. Pwede ba walk in sa poae sa kasong ito? Same employer po.

  25. Hi, miss Lara. I have known a few OFW who got their OEC but not working on the same employer because of the too much trouble working on the requirements to get their contract verified by the embassy and some are not able to return abroad. What are the disadvantage and advantage of this. Because of the policy no OEC no flight for the OFW

    1. Hi Bernard. OEC is required po since this serves as your exit pass. It also shows that you are a legitimate and documented OFW. Without this, you might be offloaded po and hindi po kayo maaaring payagan na umalis.

  26. kakauwi q lng po nung december 2018 then bumalik lng din at the same month, and umuwi uli aq this may 17, 2019 at babalik na nmn ako this june 15,2019..kakabayad q lng po ng philhealth ko kasi kinailangan ko sa pagpapagamot and nkakuha na po ako ng oec exemption number q ngayon, hahanapan pa po ba aq ng payment for my owwa sa airport?

  27. Good day po. We are still abroad and coming in a few days. I was planning to set an online appointment for the processing of OEC, unfortunately, main office is already booked for the whole of July and it seems no schedule posted for the month of August. What can we do, can we process our OEC walk-in? and if that’s the case, what time should we be in POEA to make sure we can be accommodated that same day. Thank you very much

    1. Hi James! Walkin may be allowed, but priority will be given to those who have appointment. Morning would be ideal po since baka ma-isingit po kayo 🙂

  28. Just want to ask may friend po kc ako na nagwork sa vietnam pero wala po cyang oec.after 1 year umuwi po cya ng pinas para magbakasyon at para kumuha ng oec.ano po ba yung ipepresent na mga documents para makakuha cya ng oec?thank you

  29. Hi. Naka bakasyon po ako dito s Pinas for 5 months now. OK naman po sa employer ko. Magiging problema po Kaya ito sa pag kuha ko ng oec?

  30. Ang isang OFW po ba na nakakuha na ng OEC bago umalis ng pilipinas ay member na ng OWWA at di na kailangan mag pamember? Salamat po Good day.

  31. Hello Ms. Lara. Bagong renew lang employment contract (same employer, same location) ko.
    1) Need ko ba uli I pa verify sa POLO sa kung saang bansa ako hired then resubmit sa POEA dito sa Philippines?
    2) Pag expired ang employment contract ko as per POEA record, makakakuha pa rin ba ako ng OEC exemption? Makakalabas pa rin ba ako ng bansa?
    Thank you very much.

  32. Good day miss Lara I need your help po… last May 9 2019 vacation ko po until June 14 2019 Di po ako nakblik kasi ngkproblema po ako… it’s my 3rd time bumlik with same employer and jobsite… plan po ng previous sponsor ko na iapply po ulit ako ng visa…ASAP. magagamit ko pdin po ba ung oec exemption? Or back to beginning po ulit ako…

  33. Good day!
    Tanong ko lang po nag emergency leave po kasi ako noong july 3,2019 then pagbalik ko nung july 24,2019 nakakuha po ako ng OEC excemption. And then nag emergency leave po ulit ako noong August 28, 2019 babalik na po ako this coming September 28, 2019. Makaka avail pa ba ulit ako ng OEC excemption?

    Hoping for your reply. Thank you.

  34. Hello!!

    I would like to take some info, Nag change employer po aq this year, due to some
    emergency in phillipines nag emergency leave po aq
    for 15days going back to Phillipines. ngyun po hndi po ako naka pag process ng documents sa KSA kahit po contract wala po ako dala, ang tanung makakabalik pa ba ako sa saudi

    1. Hi Delmark. Kailangan ang mga employment documents gaya ng working visa at authenticated Employment Contract para makapag-issue ng OEC. Kung walang OEC, hindi din po kayp makakalabas ng bansa.

  35. Very urgent kasi ung work so.kailangan ko mag rush kaya dina ako naka pag poea or nakkakuha ng oec. 2Weeks vacation lang ako sa pinas. Pero my working visa ako.

  36. hi po, tanong kulng po kc nag tourist po ako ng three months sa Netherland as a business visa, service technician po ako doon sa isang company, ngayon po direct hired po ako ng companya. consider po ba n balik manggagawa ako? may dati napo akong oec nong nagtrabaho po ako sa saudi. anu po ba ang mga kailangan ko documents na i submit po? para maka kuha ako ng oec certificate.
    maraming salamat po.

  37. Hi. Does having an OEC exemption valid until march 2020 means that you are an active member of OWWA? or different po un? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *