If you are an Overseas Filipino Worker planning on taking a holiday trip or visiting your family in the Philippines, then you have to think ahead and prepare for what POEA will require from you before allowing you to leave the country again.

What is OEC?

OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate), also known as “exit pass” is a must for bonafide OFWs heading to their country of employment. An OFW must present this certificate before an immigration officer or even during checking-in of flight. The airline staff will ask you to show this pass before confirming your flight.

In return, OEC holders are exempted to pay the travel tax and the airport terminal fee.


POEA is the agency of the government responsible for assessing and verifying your employment abroad. But before heading to their office, you must first create an account online and set an appointment.

Go to their website bmonline.phSign up if you are a new user or login if you already registered.

Get your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or Exemption Online.

As a suggestion: You should book an appointment 3-5 days before your departure date just so you have more time.

You will need to fill out all information online including your personal data, your employers, and legal beneficiaries. Bear in mind that all the information filled in should be true because they will also ask you some supporting evidence.

What documents should you bring?

You have to print the info page you have filled out. That should be submitted together with your passport. If the POEA officer will ask for more documents, you should have the following ready with you.

Photocopy of your passport (page with your information and picture)

Photocopy of your re-entry permit (in Thailand, you can apply at the Immigration Office or in the airport)

Photocopy of your work permit (first page)

– Original copy of your contract (with signatures of your employer and yourself)

– Certificate of Employment

– Photocopy of payslips with the name of your employer stated in English ( depends on how many months they’ll ask, I printed all of mine to be sure)

– Company ID ( I was asked this. I think they only require this if they’re still unconvinced of your employment.

Once approved, you will then have to pay 100 PHP to the cashier. They will give you instructions on how to print your OEC from the website.

After you’re cleared, you can log back into your account, go to “My Transactions” and select “Print OEC”.

My experience at POEA in Cebu City

This was how I applied for my second OEC while I was in Cebu City. I got my first OEC in another city but it was a totally different experience. They didn’t ask me for other documents except for my passport and work permit.

It does show that maybe because Cebu is rather a big City, the process is also more difficult. But I am not complaining because I know it’s their job to make sure that all OFWs are properly documented as we should be treated rightfully.

A photo was taken inside POEA in Cebu City. There was only one staff in charge. My appointment was at 1 PM but I was entertained at 2 PM. (Filipino time as usual)

I hope this helps other fellow OFWs out there. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Good luck! 

Have you got you OEC? What were the requirements asked from you?

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My name is Ira, twenty-something OFW, currently living and working in Thailand. It has always been my dream to start a blog. My goal is to share my life experiences, travels and my personal journey towards financial freedom.
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