OFW ID: What is it anyway?

Did you know that there are more than 10 million Filipinos working overseas? These are the documented ones and surely, there are tons of others out there who are undocumented.

READ: Dangers of Being an Undocumented OFW

What’s your proof that you are a documented Overseas Filipino Worker? OEC is one, which means you went through the legitimate process. Apart from OEC, it turns out that you will be given an OFW ID of iDOLE ID.

What is an OFW ID? 

The OFW ID is part of the unified ID system for OFWs that will eventually replace the (outdated) OEC system. It aims to lessen the burden among OFWs through the unified ID system and at the same time, streamlines the process every OFW have to go through just to be able to work overseas.

Benefits of OFW ID includes:

  • The unified ID system lessens paperworks, which means documentary process will be easier and more convenient not just for the worker but also for the appropriate government agencies.
  • Online access to concerned agencies such as OWWA, POEA, DFA, and the Bureau of Immigration among others. Once you created an account though the iDOLE system, all of the data collected about you from various agencies will be consolidated into a single system, specifically iDOLE OFW Identification Card system, for easier access.
  • Easier processing and payment of mandatory contributions such as SSS, PAG-IBIG, and Philhealth.
  • The OFW ID replaces the Overseas Employment Certificate, thereby reducing additional paperwork (and wasted time) before you leave abroad.. Similar to OEC, the ID will exempt you from travel tax and airport terminal fee.

There are two ways to apply for iDOLE ID – online and offline application.

How to Apply for OFW ID offline:

1. Prepare the following documents:

  • Two valid IDs, preferably issued by the government
  • Overseas employment certificate
  • If applying overseas, bring your passport

2. Visit any DOLE office, either main branch or regional office, and submit the documents. If applying overseas, you can apply in the POEA office in the country where you are located.

3. The officer-in-charge will verify your status through the POEA listing. Once verified, an ID will be issued and wait for your turn to be called.

How to Apply for OFW ID online:

Keep in mind that before you apply for OFW ID online, you still need to acquire your OEC first. Once you secured an OEC, you can now apply for OFW ID online by following these steps:

1. Visit the iDOLE website and click Create an Account. 

2. On the dropdown box, choose Valid OEC Number. If you are unsure of your OEC number, you can get a copy through the Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System.

3. Fill out the appropriate details such as name, birthdate, email address, mobile number, and password. Then, click Register OFW Account. 

4. Check your email and click the confirmation link to be able to log-in to your iDOLE account.

5. Once you logged in, on the “iDOLE One Stop Shop,” choose OFW ID Card. 

6. Choose the delivery type of your ID. You can pick it up at your Philpost branch or site. Click Submit. 

7. A window will pop saying “Your OFW ID has been generated successfully.” Take note of the OFW ID number and confirmation details. It is also best to print the details since you will need to present the printout when claiming your OFW ID.

Take note that getting an OFW ID is FREE of charge. Take advantage of this to be able to enjoy the benefits. Plus, the ID will be a permanent document that legitimizes the status of a Filipino worker, so it is best to get one.

Have you tried getting an OFW ID? If yes, we would love to read your thoughts and stories about how you acquired it (as well as any delays) on the comments section.

19 Replies to “OFW ID: What is it anyway?”

  1. If my passport was lost on the said date of departure,can it be valid upon leaving and arriving from other country of destination?

    1. Hi Carlo! You might be required to get a new one, otherwise, Immigration won’t allow you to leave. You can execute an Affidavit of Loss as well when applying for a new passport.

  2. will also be good, how to use this OFW id when going back to overseas workplace, based on my experience this OFW id/ eCard I got from OWWA was useless for Immigration officer still looking for OEC exception number, hence i generated one at the Immigration counter. (they dont recognize this OFW e Card). My expectation having this OFW e card will make my Immigration process smooth without the need to fill in the departure card and the old school OEC validation.

    1. Hi Reno! Thank you for sharing your experience. Based on our research, OFW ID will simplify the process. We’re not aware that this could “complicate” the process more. Nonetheless, thanks for giving us a heads up on this.

  3. I have gotten already an OFW id but still i need to get an OEC upon returning yo Singapore last 27 Jan 2019. When will this no OEC be implemented omce you have an ofw id. Thanks

    1. Hi Richard. We’re not sure po. The idea is the OFW ID will replace the OEC na, but the government must be finalizing certain processes kaya in the meantime, OEC is still required.

  4. Hi. i check the status of my OFW ID and it’s mention there that for pick-up! it’s meaning ready to pick-up my OFW ID ?

  5. I was surprised they gave me an ofw id. It happened when i applied an oec thru bmonline and note its my first time registering there they gave me appointment date for my oec plus i saw i have ofw id and i believe im not a member of poea cuz im direct hire in dubai and its the first time im going in vacay after 3years there. So how it happened? Is it valid or do i still need to apply one?

    1. Hi Owen. Even if you are direct hired, as long as your status is legitimate OFW, then lalabas po sa POEA database. Yes, the ID is valid and no need po to apply for one.

  6. Nagpapabook ako online ngayon at may hinihingi na ofw id. Wala pa ako noon, pwede ba ilagay ko yung oec number ko?

    1. Hi Jhing. Not sure po regarding this. Some say mabilis lang while others say weeks daw po. It depends on where you apply, perhaps.

  7. Hello Lara,

    What if citizen ka na ng country kung saan ka nag tatrabaho. Pwede pa rin ba kumuha ng ofw id? Considered ofw ka pa rin kapag naging citizen kna ng ibang bansa pero nag tatrabaho ka pa rin on the same job? Salamat.

    1. Hi Miro! No na ata, since you are a citizen of that country. OFW means you have intention to go back to the Philippines upon expiration of your contract 🙂

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