OEC Exemption Guide 2023 BM Online Filipino Workers

OEC exemption for OFWs refers to the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) exemption granted to certain Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). For every Filipino who wants to leave the Philippines and work abroad, the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is an important document required by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or now called the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

This is because it shows proof that you are legally employed in working for another country where there is an official employer who hired your services. You can be exempt from the requirement and only need to generate an OEC exemption if you are returning to the same company or job site.

Exempted OFWs can use the Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System to secure an OEC exemption number, which they can present at the airport upon departure. This streamlines the process and reduces the need for OFWs to visit POEA offices to obtain their OECs.

oec exemption process for ofws

What is Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)?

The OEC certifies the holder’s legal status and that they are protected by the Philippine government. It is proof that an OFW is authorized to work abroad.

OFWs can apply for the OEC online, however, qualifications may change depending on where they will be going and how they are employed. OEC holders are free from paying some taxes and fees at the airport, which helps OFWs reduce their expenses related to securing jobs abroad.

What is OEC Exemption?

OEC exemption refers to certain Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) being exempted from obtaining an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), a document required for OFWs to work abroad. Exemptions are usually granted to returning workers, known as Balik Manggagawa, who meet specific conditions and are going back to the same employer and job site. This simplifies the process for eligible OFWs.


It is no longer necessary for returning BMs or OFWs who qualify for OEC exemption to go to POEA/DMW or POLO offices to acquire their OEC. Instead, they can use the POPS-BAM system to submit an OEC application. Additionally, they are not required to pay the OEC processing fee.

You can print your OEC online and are exempt from paying airport terminal fees and travel tax. When accompanying returning OFWs, their dependents or spouses may be entitled to reduced travel taxes.

What are the Qualifications?

The following individuals are qualified to have OEC exemption.

  • OFW returning to the same employer
  • OFW returning to the same workplace or job site
  • OFW who has a record in the POEA Database

(Has previously received an OEC at any POEA offices or facilities, including the POEA main office, extension units, regional offices, POLO offices abroad, and BM mall processing centers)

What are the Requirements?

The following are the requirements for OEC exemption.

  • Printed Online Appointment (POPS-BAM)
  • Printed Balik-Manggagawa Information Sheet
  • Passport (valid for at least six months) from departure date
  • Verified Employment Contract
  • Valid Work Visa, Work Permit, or any equivalent document

The requirements may be subject to change.

How to Acquire OEC Exemption for Filipino Workers Abroad?

Follow these instructions to quickly acquire OEC Exemption.

Step 1: Click and visit the POEA Online Service Website link here –https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph//onlineservices/poeaonline.aspx

Step 2: On the e-Registration page, click the “Let’s go” button

Step 3: If you are a new user, click “Register” (if you already have an account, just log in) and then the “I accept the terms of use” button

Step 4: Fill in the required information and then click register (a notification indicating that your registration was “Successful” will appear)

Step 5: Log in to the email address you provided when you registered (there is a message containing your “temporary password”)

Step 6: Go back to the Step 1 link and log in with the registered email address before clicking “next.”

Step 7: Use the temporary password sent to your email, then click “log in.”

Step 8: Set your preferred password.

Step 9: Update your profile by clicking “My Profile,” after completing your profile, click “Update Profile” on the upper right side of the page

Step 10: Input your identification data (passport) and beneficiary on your profile

Step 11: Click the “Balik-Manggagawa” on your dashboard then click the “Next” button

Step 12: Enter your return flight date then click the “Next” button

Step 13: You will be asked whether you are returning to the same employer, job site, and position if you are a returning BM.

Step 14: If so, you can immediately print your OEC exemption.

If everything is in order, you will receive a confirmation message informing you that you are exempt from needing to acquire an OEC and paying the processing fees.

Reminders about OEC Exemption

  • Each time you visit the Philippines, you are only permitted to acquire an OEC once. It is forbidden to acquire more than one OEC at a time.
  • On the day of your departure, don’t forget to carry three copies of your OEC with you to the airport.
  • Please be aware that the OEC is only valid for sixty (60) days, counting from the day it was issued.
  • A worker who leaves the Philippines without an OEC may not be able to complete their check-in or may be halted by an immigration officer before they depart. You must make sure you have this documentation with you at all times before leaving.
  • Along with their airline ticket and any other required travel documentation, Balik-Manggagawa OFWs must also submit a copy of their employment contract.
  • The OFW can travel to the airport and present the OEC to the immigration official there once they have all the required documentation. OFWs who possess an OEC can travel without difficulty and are confident that they are abiding by all employment-related legal requirements.


Alvin Alvz, an OFW YouTuber, talks about acquiring IEC Exemption using the POPS-BAM system.  If you’re a Filipino worker abroad or OFW and you don’t have a POPS-BAM account, it’s important that you watch Alvin Alvz’s video guide on how to acquire an OEC Exemption for the POPS-BAM system.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any further questions regarding “How to Acquire OEC Exemption for Filipino Workers Abroad”, see the list of frequently asked questions and answers below.

1. Who can get OEC exemption?

For a Balik-Manggagawas to be exempt from acquiring an OEC, they must meet all of the requirements listed below:

  • OFW returning to the same employer
  • OFW returning to the same workplace or job site
  • OFW who has a record in the POEA Database
  • (Has previously received an OEC at any POEA offices or facilities, including the POEA main office, extension units, regional offices, POLO offices abroad, and BM mall processing centers)

2. How long is an OEC or OEC Exemption Number valid?

The OEC or OEC Exemption Number is valid for 60 days starting from the date of issuance. Prior to going back to work for your employer, you must get this as a Balik-Manggagawa, according to POEA.

3. What does “has a record in the POEA database” mean?

OFWs who have already received an OEC from the POEA at one of its locations (the POEA Main Office, Regional Offices, Extension Units, BM Mall Processing Centers, or POLO offices abroad).

4. How would I know if I already have OEC exemption?

The BM employee must sign into his or her POPS-BAM Online account before the scheduled return date to the employer. If the worker is already exempt from securing OEC, the system is going to determine that.

5. Will I be granted an OEC exemption if I have an OEC from the POLO and an E-Receipt from the POEA main office from my most recent vacation but have not registered with the POPS-BAM Online?

The only requirement for workers who already have records in the POEA database but have not yet been registered in the system is to register as new users. The system will provide them with registration guidance. Users who have registered must sign in with their email address and password. When a worker returns to the same company and job site, the system will determine whether they are exempt from needing an OEC.

6. Are OFWs allowed to travel without an OEC?

No. Whether they are returning workers or new hires, all OFWs departing the Philippines must acquire an OEC.

Immigration will stop you if you attempt to leave the country without the OEC, which serves as an exit clearance. Additionally, this certificate exempts you from paying the terminal fee and travel tax.

7. Is my OEC valid for many uses?

OEC or OEC Exemption Number is only intended for one use. Once you have given it to Immigration, it cannot be used again.

8. Why does the system want my most recent OEC number? What does it mean?

Your most current OEC number corresponds to the most recent transaction record you have with POEA. The system needs this information to access your record and most recent employment information.

9. What happens if I forget my OEC number?

You will be redirected by the system to the APPOINTMENT page, where you must manually visit POEA to process your OEC.

10. What should I do if I lose my OEC?

Log in to your BM Online or POPS-BAM account and reprint your OEC.


An Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is essential for Filipino Workers Abroad in order to continue working abroad. An OEC, also known as an exit clearance or pass, verifies the accuracy of the documentation and application papers submitted by an OFW. It also acts as proof of their POEA registration. When leaving the Philippines, the OEC must be shown to an immigration official at the airport.

The OEC procedure was made easier by the POPS-BAM online system. By taking a few simple steps, you can easily obtain an OEC or OEC Exemption and benefit from it. However, the only individuals qualified for the OEC Exemption would be Balik Manggagawa (BM) or OFWs returning to the same employer and job site.

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