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What documents should a domestic helper prepare for holiday travel?

When domestic helpers from the Philippines go back home for holidays they will need an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), often called an “Exit Permit”, to be able to re-enter Hong Kong. They need a valid permit for every re-entry from the Philippines, including home leave.

What is the OEC?

The purpose of the OEC is to make sure the traveler is an overseas worker with a contract and visa in the country of employment. Besides making sure that workers are documented, a domestic helper with a valid OEC does not have to pay travel tax and terminal fees at the airport.

OEC’s are valid for 60 days after they are issued, or for one day if they have been issued at the airport’s Labor Assistance Counter. Remember, that any OEC is valid only for a single exit from the Philippines.

Where to Apply

Domestic helpers need to register their applications for OECs online and use the online system to make appointments. During their appointment the workers pay a processing fee and are then given their OEC.

An appointment can be had either before departure at the Philippines Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Hong Kong, or after at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) office in the Philippines.

The only time when appointments at POLO or POEA are not needed, is if a domestic helper has

  1. already been registered to the online system,
  2. has their last OEC number (the one they used to travel to Hong Kong),

and

  1. is returning to the same employer and job place. In this case, they qualify for Exemption, and only need to print their OEC confirmation once they have submitted their application through the online system.

From our experience, the easiest and most economic option is to apply for an OEC while still in Hong Kong, before a domestic helper’s departure. The fee for OEC processing in Hong Kong is 20 HKD and appointments at Hong Kong POLO offices are made through the online system at bmonline.ph (details on how to apply below).

If selecting to process the OEC in the Philippines at a POEA office, the processing fee is 100 PHP, and like appointments for POLO offices, they are made through the online system.

It is also possible for domestic helpers to be issued an emergency OEC at the Labour Assistance Counter in the Manila NAIA airport. However, this is only for domestic helpers staying in the Philippines for 5 days or less. The fee is 100 PHP and domestic helpers will need a valid work visa, OWWA membership fee receipt and copy of their employment contract for processing.

 

How to Apply  

To apply for an OEC, a domestic helper will need to register for an account at bmonline.ph. They will then need to log onto this system every time they wish to get a new OEC permit and should do so even if they are returning to the same employer or are returning to a different employer.

  • New users have to register with their personal email by following the next steps:
    • Fill in the details and click the link ‘Sign Me Up’
    • Open your personal email and click the verification email link
    • Log into the bmonline system

Once they are logged in:

  • Select Online Appointment
  • Select the government office of your choice and the date and time for your OEC processing appointment.
  • Bring the following documents to your appointment:
    1. Appointment Sheet (two copies)
    2. Notarized Employment Contract
    3. Employment Visa (original plus two copies)
    4. Passport (original plus two copies)
    5. OWWA membership fee receipt
  • Registered users can login and will be asked to fill in their most recent OEC number. The system will process the number and give either of two messages below.

If the system says ‘Record found’:

  • Update your Personal Data, Contract Particulars, and Beneficiaries, as needed.
  • Click Acquire OEC or Exemption for online assessment.
  • Enter flight date from Philippines to Hong Kong.
  • Confirm whether returning to the same employer and job site.
  • If returning to the same employer and job site, the system will display a confirmation message indicating that you are exempted from securing the OEC and do not need to pay the processing fee.
  • Print the confirmation message mentioned in point 5 and bring this with you when traveling.
  • If not returning to the same employer and job site, you will be redirected to the Appointment Page to select your preferred government office, date and time for your appointment.

If the system says ‘No record found’

  • Select Online Appointment.
  • Select your preferred government office, and time and date for an appointment.
  • Bring the following documents to your appointment:
    1. Appointment Sheet (two copies)
    2. Notarized Employment Contract
    3. Employment Visa (original plus two copies)
    4. Passport (original plus two copies)
    5. OWWA membership fee receipt


Last updated on September 11th, 2018
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