The Overseas Workers Welfare and Administration now provides OFW e-Cards to help Overseas Filipino Workers in processing their documents, consular services, and benefits. The goal is to support OFWs as well as their families with a timely and effective service and other assistance needs. It serves as an identification which allows OFWs to take advantage of the OWWA services.
Whether you need to process scholarship applications, welfare, training, social benefits, and other OWWA programs, the OWWA OFW eCard will help you gain access to all of them. You just need to present it whenever you transact with OWWA and you will be assisted with your requirements. So what is this OFW ID and what are the benefits it provides to OFWs?
What Is the OWWA e-Card for OFWs?
The OWWA e-Card for OFWs is the official identification card for all documented, legitimate, and active OFWs. The main purpose is to provide more accessible welfare services, training programs, social benefits, and other OWWA benefits to every Filipino migrant worker across the globe. In addition, it also serves as a valid government ID that OFWs can present at their designated Philippine Overseas Labor Office, consulate, or embassy abroad.
There are benefits and other perks that the OFW eCard offers to every cardholder. For instance, members can obtain this digital card using the OWWA Mobile App for online applications, and it comes with the same features and benefits as the physical ID. Another benefit is that OFWs can use this ID card as an exit clearance during their deployment or departure abroad.
Instead of acquiring an Overseas Employment Certificate, you can present your e-Card to the immigration officer at the airport prior to your departure flight. You can access OWWA services and programs easily using the OFW eCard.
For passport renewal, you can use it as a valid ID as per requirements of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Generally, this government-issued ID can be used by OFWs to prove their identity.
Before securing all the requirements when applying for an OFW e-Card, make sure to meet the qualifications. Returning OFWs or the so-called Balik Manggagawa can apply for this as long as they are active OWWA members. They also need to have a valid Philippine passport and an OEC or exemption number to be eligible for the e-Card.
An OFW’s OWWA membership should have at least 90 days validity from the application date to obtain an OFW e-Card. In order to qualify as a Balik Manggagawa, an OFW must have completed or is currently completing a contract. Based on the POEA guidelines, a returning OFW is also someone who works for the same employer and job site, or is hired by the same employer in different job sites.
It’s important to note that direct hires, new hires, and individuals employed by the Government Placement Branch are not considered as returning OFWs or Balik Manggagawa.
How to Apply for an OFW e-Card
The good news for OFWs is that they can now apply for the OWWA e-Card via online. Here are the steps in sign up and obtaining an OFW e-Card:
Step 1: Go to the Application Form on the official website of OWWA OFW e-Card by clicking on this link: https://ecard.owwa.gov.ph.
Step 2: Type in your personal details including your name, passport number, phone number, POEA OEC number, and date of birth.
Step 3: Choose your preferred location for the OWWA Regional Office where you want to acquire the ID. Some of the locations to get the e-Card include the POEA Head Office, OWWA Head Office, POEA Regional Office in Cebu, MWO Dubai, MWO Abu Dhabi, MWO Singapore and other MWO offices.
Step 4: Read the Data Privacy Act and type the CAPTCHA in the box.
Step 5: Make sure you have provided the required details before clicking Submit.
Step 6: Save the tracking number or reference that will be given to you as proof of application approval.
Step 7: Enter your active email address or your Facebook account to get an update or notification regarding the status of the application.
Step 8: Wait for the card to be released by the OWWA Regional Office or selected branch once the confirmation has been received.
OFW e-Card Application Abroad
Meanwhile, you can also apply for an OFW e-Card abroad if you meet the qualifications and requirements. Whether you’re in the United States, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, or wherever in the world, you can process your e-Card application in your host country through the Migrant Workers Offices. However, cards can only be claimed at regional offices so you will need to wait until you get back in the country to get your e-Card.
If you’re not returning to the country yet, an authorized personnel can claim the card for you. An authorization letter and photocopy of passport information page should be provided upon claiming the e-Card by a relative or family member. In addition, the authorized representative should also provide a valid ID with photo in order to claim the card.
OFW e-Card Application for OEC-Exempted OFWs
If you’re OEC exempted, you need to register via the POEA Balik Manggagawa Online portal to acquire your BM Exemption number. This reference number is required for online applications. The following are steps in tracking your e-Card application status:
Step 1: Go to the OWWA OFW e-Card Delivery Status page of the OWWA official website.
Step 2: Enter your date of birth and passport number, or tracking number.
Step 3: Click on the I’m not a robot box and tap Submit.
Step 4: The status of your e-Card application will appear on the screen.
Video: OFW e-Card Online Registration | Complete Guide
In this video, you will learn about the purpose of the e-Card and how to obtain it through online application. It also includes how to access OWWA services and programs using the OFW e-Card. Watch until the end to know everything about the new OWWA e-Card for OFWs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about the OWWA e-Card for Overseas Filipino Workers and the answers you need to know:
1. What is the main purpose of the OWWA OFW e-Card?
The OWWA OFW e-Card is designed to make OWWA services more accessible to OFWs. This government-issued ID can be used when transacting with POLO offices abroad as well as with the consulate or the embassy to get assistance or other concerns.
2. How can I obtain my OFW e-Card?
To get your OWWA OFW e-Card, use the online application form from the official OWWA website or OWWA Regional Welfare Office near you. Choose a location where you want to get your e-Card.
3. Can I apply for an OFW e-Card if I’m already working abroad?
Yes, you can process your application abroad through the online portal via www.owwa.gov.ph as a Balik Manggagawa or returning OFW. The pick-up location for the card will be in the Philippines such as the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office across the country. Once you’re back in the Philippines, you can get your e-Card.
4. Can I get my OFW e-Card even if I’m still abroad?
Yes, you can authorize a relative or any qualified dependent to get the card on your behalf by providing an authorization letter for them. Make sure to send a copy of your passport identification page as required by the OWWA Regional Welfare Office.
5. How do I apply for an OFW e-Card if I’m OEC exempted?
If you’re not required to obtain an Overseas Employment Certificate, you need to register via the POEA Balik Manggagawa online portal to get your BM Exemption number. You will use it to process your online application instead of the OEC number.
6. How to track my OWWA membership status?
To check your OWWA membership status online, you need to download the OWWA Mobile App in case you haven’t installed it yet on your mobile device. It’s available on the App Store and Google Play Store. For those in the Philippines, reach out to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office to check the status of your OWWA membership.
So you now know about the OWWA OFW e-Card, what it is, its benefits, requirements, and steps when applying online. This should make the entire application process easier for you and your authorized representative in case you’re still working abroad upon application. This ID serves as your identification card when accessing OWWA services and programs.
The card can also be used as a valid government-issued ID as requirements for regular transactions such as obtaining an OEC and getting an OEC exemption. It’s important to understand how the application process works so that you can expedite it and get easy access to OWWA services.