How to Apply for OEC Certificate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Aside from your passport and visa, there’s another document that you need before going abroad as an OFW: an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). The OEC certifies that you are a documented worker. Whether you are a first-time OFW or a returning worker, you need to present this document upon leaving the Philippines.

In this article, we will take a look at the requirements, fees, and procedures in applying for an OEC. If you are an OFW based in Jeddah or other nearby areas, you can obtain an OEC or OEC exemption from the POLO office in Jeddah.

How to Apply for OEC Certificate in Jeddah Saudi Arabia
Image Credits: Facebook page of POLO Jeddah, POEA Online Processing System Manual

What is OEC?

The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a document issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to OFWs. It can be obtained through POEA offices in the Philippines or through Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) around the world.

What is the purpose of the OEC? According to Section 35 of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (Republic Act 8042), the OEC serves as:

  • A travel “clearance” or “exit pass” for OFWs at airports;
  • A certificate exempting OFWs from having to pay travel tax and airport terminal fees; and
  • A certificate proving that an OFW is legitimate and documented, and is guaranteed protection and benefits from the Philippine government.

As for validity, the OEC is valid for 60 days from the date of issue. This means that your date of departure should fall within this period; otherwise, you many need to apply for an OEC again before you can return abroad.

What is Balik Manggagawa?

Sometimes, the OEC may be referred to as the “Balik Manggagawa” certificate. As the term implies, “balik manggagawa” means “returning worker” in Filipino. Similarly, an OFW who is on leave from work is sometimes called “Worker on Leave” (WOL).

Qualifications

Who are qualified or eligible to obtain an OEC? You can apply for this document at POLO Jeddah if you are:

  • An OFW with a POEA record who is vacationing for the first time and returning to the same company and job site;
  • An OFW with a POEA record who is returning to the same company but to a different job site; and
  • An OFW who has no records with POEA, or has changed employers on site.

Requirements

When applying for an OEC, you need to prepare these documents:

  • Appointment Information Sheet;
  • Passport;
  • Exit/Re-Entry Visa;
  • Iqama; and
  • POLO-verified Contract.

Fees

Aside from the above documents, you’ll need to prepare for the following fees:

  • OEC Processing Fee — SAR 9.00
  • OWWA Membership Fee — SAR 94.00
  • Pag-IBIG Monthly Savings Fee — SAR 10.00
  • Contract Verification Fee — SAR 40.00

As you can see, you need to be an active member of OWWA and Pag-IBIG in order to obtain an OEC. Moreover, your employment contract must be verified, too.

How to Get an OEC in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Online

Recently, the POEA launched a new online processing system for OFWs. Through this system, OFWs can update their employment details and apply for an OEC or OEC exemption. They can also use it to set an appointment with a POEA or POLO office.

Here is a step-by-step guide to using the POEA online processing system:

  1. Go to the official website of the POEA Online Processing System for Balik Manggagawa (POPS-BaM) through this link. .
  2. On the e-Registration tab, click “Let’s Go!” to start creating your account. Enter the necessary information, such as a valid email address and password. Check your email and click the verification link. Be sure to record the email address and password you used in creating your account.
  3. Log into your account and enter or update your information, including passport, visa, employment details, etc.
  4. Next, it’s time to apply for an OEC. On the left tab, go to “My Links” and choose “Balik Manggagawa.”
  5. See to it that the initial assessment is colored green, then click “Next.”
  6. Enter the date of your departure from the Philippines.
  7. Confirm your employment information. The screen will show your latest employment details that are registered with the POEA. See to it that everything is marked “Clear.”
  8. The system will ask, “Are you returning to this job site?” (i.e. the same employer shown onscreen). If your answer is YES, proceed to OEC Exemption (see below). If your answer is NO, proceed to step no. 9.
  9. Enter your latest employment details, including the name of your employer, business permit, employer’s valid ID, employer’s address, etc.
  10. Choose your preferred POEA or POLO office, then set the date and time of your appointment.
  11. Print your Balik Manggagawa Information Sheet. You can also take a screenshot of your confirmed appointment.
  12. On the date of your appointment, bring your Balik Manggagawa Information Sheet and other documents to the POEA or POLO office to acquire an OEC.

NOTE: When registering an account on the POEA online processing system, only one (1) e-Registration account is allowed for one (1) OFW.

OEC Exemption

There are cases when you might be exempted from OEC. You qualify for OEC exemption if you have a valid working visa, have completed your job contract, and you:

  • Are returning to the same employer;
  • Are returning to the same job site; and
  • Have been recorded in the POEA database.

Even if you meet all of these conditions, please note that you still need to create an account on the POEA online processing system, in order to get an OEC or “Balik Manggagawa” exemption. Fortunately, you don’t need to go to a POEA or POLO office. You can generate an OEC exemption online through the system.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting an OEC exemption:

  1. Follow steps 1 to 8 from above (How to Get an OEC in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Online). You will be asked, “Are you returning to this job site?” (i.e. the same employer shown onscreen). Click “Yes.”
  2. Check your data and make sure that all your employment details are correct.
  3. Don’t forget to enter the starting date and duration of your contract.
  4. After entering all the necessary information, the system will generate your OEC or Balik Manggagawa exemption. Print this document as proof of your exemption.

Before leaving the Philippines, show your OEC or Balik Manggagawa exemption to immigration officials at the airport. To avoid any problems, be sure to print a copy of this document and bring it to the airport on your departure date.

How to Apply for OEC Certificate in Jeddah Saudi Arabia
Image Credit: POEA Online Processing System Manual

How to Get an OEC at POLO Office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

If you are returning to a different employer or to a different job site, you need to apply for an OEC at the POLO office in Jeddah. This involves booking an appointment before getting your OEC at the office, as follows:

Part 1: Booking a “Balik Manggagawa” (BM) Appoinment

  1. Enter your latest employment information on the POEA online processing system. This applies to those who have a change of employer and/or job site, and those who already have a record with POEA, but have not yet registered on the system.
  2. After entering your employment information, click “Submit.”
  3. Book a “Balik Manggagawa” (BM) appointment by choosing your preferred processing location (e.g. POLO or POEA office).
  4. Choose your preferred appointment date.
  5. That’s it! You have just made a BM Appointment.

Part 2: Getting an OEC at POLO Jeddah

  1. On the date of your appointment, go to the POLO Jeddah office.
  2. Present your documents at the reception desk. The reception desk officer will give some instructions and forms to be filled out.
  3. Fill up the forms and submit these to the officer.
  4. Pay all the necessary fees.
  5. That’s it! You will be given instructions on printing your OEC.

On the date of your departure from the Philippines, show your OEC to immigration officials at the airport. To avoid any problems, see to it that your OEC is valid on the departure date.

Video: Updating Your Records on the POEA Online Processing System

In this video shared by “Eljan TV” YouTube channel, a vlogger talks about the importance of updating your records on the new POEA online processing system. This is very important, so that you can easily apply for an OEC or OEC exemption:

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions — and answers — regarding the OEC, OEC exemption, and the POEA online processing system:

1. How long is the validity of an OEC?

The OEC is valid for 60 days, starting from the date of issue. It must be valid on the date of your departure from the Philippines.

2. How much is the OEC fee in Jeddah?

The OEC fee in Jeddah is SAR 9.00.

3. Can I acquire an OEC even if I’m not an OWWA member?

No. Being an OWWA member is a must for those who are applying for an OEC. If you are not an active member, you must pay the OWWA membership fee when you apply for an OEC.

4. I am returning to the same employer in Jeddah. How can I get an OEC exemption?

Even if you are going back to the same employer in Jeddah, you still need to log into the POEA online processing system. Here, you can update your details and obtain an OEC exemption, which you can print and later present to airport officials.

5. The POEA online processing system has confirmed that I am exempted from OEC. Do I have to go to a POLO or POEA office to get an exemption?

No. If the system has confirmed that you are exempted from OEC, you don’t have to go to a POLO or POEA office. Just print your OEC exemption obtained through the POEA online processing system, and present it at the airport upon your departure.

6. Can I change the email address I used when registering on the POEA online processing system?

No. Your email address will serve as your permanent log-in account on the system. You cannot change your email address, though you can change your account password from time to time.

Other than your email address, the following details cannot be manually changed, either: name, gender, and date of birth. So it’s important to enter the correct information!

7. I forgot the email address and password that I used to create an account on the POEA online processing system. What should I do?

Visit the POEA Help Desk online through this link. Click “Create a Ticket” and file an electronic ticket, stating that you need to correct your email address and password. If you need to follow up your ticket, just click “Inquire Ticket.”

8. During my last vacation, I was able to get an OEC, though I have not registered with the new POEA online processing system yet. Can I get an OEC exemption?

No. Even if you were able to get an OEC during your last vacation, you need to register with the new POEA online processing system today, as part of getting an OEC or OEC exemption.

9. I am returning to the same employer and I was able to get an OEC before. However, the POEA online processing system is now re-directing me to the appointment page. Why?

Please note that you will be re-directed to the POEA online processing system’s appointment page if you are:

  • An OFW who is on a watchlist, or your employer is on a watchlist;
  • An OFW who is going back to a restricted or non-compliant country;
  • An OFW without existing records in the POEA database, or there are discrepancies between the information you entered and the data in the system;
  • An undocumented worker (e.g. tourist, student, dependent) who became an OFW; or
  • A sea-based OFW who became a land-based OFW.

10. Do I need to acquire an OEC every time I go on vacation to the Philippines?

Yes. Every time you go on vacation, you need to apply for an OEC before returning abroad. This involves logging into the POEA online processing system to apply for an OEC or OEC exemption, whichever is applicable in your case.

Summary

The OEC is an important document that every OFW should have before returning to their jobs overseas. Fortunately, applying for it is easier now that there’s a POEA online processing system in place. Whether you are a new OFW, an OFW on leave or currently vacationing in the Philippines, make sure that you secure an OEC (or OEC exemption, if applicable) before going back to work abroad.

How to Apply for OEC Certificate in Jeddah Saudi Arabia
Image Credit: @POLOJEDDAHKSA / Facebook

Contact Information: POLO Jeddah

If you have any questions or concerns about acquiring an OEC, you can get in touch with POLO Jeddah through the following contact details:

Address: 4663 Fajr Street, Al Rehab District 6, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 21412 (Building No. 5)
Telephone: +966 56 981 9720
Email: pjcc2022@yahoo.com (Labor Concerns) / polojeddah2019@yahoo.com (Verification Unit) / owwa_jeddah@yahoo.com (Balik Manggagawa)
Website: https://www.polojeddah.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/POLOJEDDAHKSA/

Google Map Location

The POLO office is located at the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) office in Jeddah. Below is the office’s location on Google Maps, for your reference:

 

DISCLAIMER: We hope that the above guide has been helpful, particularly if you are going on leave or vacation in the Philippines anytime soon. Please keep in mind that the above guide is presented for general, information-sharing purposes only. To know more about the latest requirements, fees, and procedures in applying for an OEC or OEC exemption, please visit the official website of POLO Jeddah.

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