OFWs in South Korea are encouraged to renew their OWWA membership to have continuous access to the different services, programs, and support OWWA provides to its registered members.
In addition, Filipinos who have obtained employment in South Korea via visit visas and are not yet members of OWWA should voluntarily apply at the POLO-OWWA office in Seoul or by attending the Philippine Embassy and POLO-OWWA Consular Outreach activities across South Korea. So if you’re wondering how to become an OWWA member in South Korea, follow the guide below.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency established by the Philippine Government which promotes and protects the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families throughout the globe. OWWA works with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), ensuring legal and proper work for OFWs abroad.
The agency also provides a membership program to qualified OFWs, which gives them access to beneficial services and support that can assist with their career and families’ lives.
Furthermore, the OWWA membership protects OFWs while working abroad by offering support in times of difficulties, such as legal assistance for employer issues and the Covid-19 quarantine facility, financial aid, and transportation. Registered members of OWWA can also access programs and services, including education and training benefits, loans, livelihood programs, educational scholarships for dependents, and reintegration and repatriation benefits.
The OWWA membership also ensures OFWs can claim benefits, including calamity, medical, disability, death, and burial. So OFWs in South Korea should keep an active OWWA membership to enjoy the varying OWWA benefits.
To renew or apply for the OWWA membership in South Korea, here are the following requirements you must secure for the application:
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet
- Photocopy of Active and Valid Proof of Employment
- Photocopy of Valid Visa and Work Permit
- Original and photocopy of passport (showing the data page)
- Photocopy of Alien Registration Card (ARC)
- Official receipt of latest OWWA Membership (if applicable)
- OFWs must present a letter of certification from the employer or company, verifying that they are not on the list of terminated, resigned, canceled, or employees due for termination.
- OWWA membership fee of exactly US$25.00 (converted to local currency based on foreign exchange rate)
While OWWA aims to protect and promote the welfare of all OFWs across the world, the institution has set qualification criteria to ensure the right members receive benefits.
For old and new applicants, OWWA requires its members to have active and continuous employment and are “legal” or “documented” workers who processed their work at POEA with valid work permits and visas. Also, OFWs who have obtained permanent residency status in foreign countries and remain Filipino citizens with full-time or permanent employment are qualified to become OWWA members.
Nonetheless, since OWWA members should have active and continuous employment, the following individuals are not qualified to apply or renew their OWWA membership, including employees:
- Due for termination
- Due for cancellation
- Under the “No work, No pay” scheme
Booking an OWWA Appointment in South Korea
As of writing, the OWWA membership application in South Korea doesn’t have an online appointment system. But OFWs are required to book an appointment with the POLO-OWWA South Korea office to renew or apply for the OWWA membership, depending on the safety measures imposed by the Korean government.
Moreover, OFWs residing far from Seoul may opt to process their OWWA membership application through the Consular Outreach activity conducted by the Philippine Embassy and POLO-OWWA across South Korea.
Attending the Consular Outreach also requires an appointment, so check their official Facebook page for the latest updates. However, the Philippine Embassy in South Korea offers an online appointment system for other consular services, so check the link as the OWWA membership may be available in the future.
Step by step on how to set up an appointment for OWWA payment
For old and new applicants, here are the following steps on how to set up an appointment for OWWA payment in South Korea:
POLO-OWWA Seoul, South Korea office
If you choose to renew or apply for the OWWA membership at the POLO-OWWA Seoul office, you should book an appointment. Since the Embassy and POLO are only open to clients with a confirmed appointment schedule from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Sundays to Thursdays.
You may reach POLO-OWWA through their contact details listed below this article. Walk-in applicants are only allowed if their appointment schedule landed on the same date the Embassy closes due to specific reasons, and rescheduling the appointment is no longer needed. Also, check the latest announcement since the process may change due to the Covid-19 safety protocols.
Consular Outreach in South Korea
For OFWs located far from Seoul, you can wait for the nearest Consular Outreach activities in your area. You can book an appointment by visiting the Philippine Embassy in Korea’s Facebook page and looking for the appointment link included in the post.
Paying OWWA Membership in South Korea
Whether you’re processing your OWWA membership application at the POLO-OWWA Seoul office or via Consular Outreach, it is necessary to book an appointment to receive service.
After securing a confirmed appointment schedule, complete your requirements before heading to the POLO-OWWA Seoul office or the Consular Outreach site.
If your application is approved, you can proceed to pay the OWWA membership fee of exactly US$25.00. Follow the steps below to pay the OWWA membership fee.
Step by step process of paying the OWWA membership
- Go to the POLO-OWWA Seoul, South Korea office or search for the Consular Outreach site.
- Show the security guard a copy of your confirmed appointment schedule.
- Head to the OWWA counter and submit your documents for verification.
- Pay the OWWA membership fee and collect your official receipt.
Reminders from OWWA South Korea
To have a successful application process for the OWWA membership in South Korea, please take note of the following reminders.
- Ensure that your requirements are complete, or you can’t proceed with the OWWA membership application.
- The POLO office is open to clients with an appointment from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday to Thursday.
- OFWs should wear face masks at all times and maintain physical distancing.
- OFWs should wear appropriate or smart casual attire when having transactions with the POLO-OWWA office. Applicants wearing sleeveless or tank tops, sando, shorts, miniskirts, ripped jeans, and slippers, are prohibited from entering the office.
- Check POLO and the Philippine Embassy in South Korea Facebook page and website for the latest announcements.
Video: OWWA Membership in South Korea
For more details on the OWWA membership in South Korea, please watch the video below:
The video shows how to reach the POLO-OWWA office in Seoul, South Korea. OFWs who are also members of OWWA can access Covid-19 cash assistance at the POLO-OWWA office. The requirements for OWWA membership renewal are also shown, including the Latest Copy of the Employment Certificate, Copy or ARC, Copy of Hi Korea OR, Copy of Passport, OWWA form, and a cash payment of W30,000 for the OWWA membership fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers about the Korea OWWA office:
1. How to book an appointment with OWWA in South Korea?
If you’re processing your OWWA membership in Seoul, contact the POLO-OWWA office to book an appointment. For Consular Outreach, visit the Philippine Embassy in Korea’s Facebook page and look for the appointment link.
2. How do I renew my OWWA membership in South Korea?
You may renew your OWWA membership in South Korea at the POLO-OWWA office in Seoul or via Consular Outreach activities.
3. How to renew OWWA membership online?
You can renew the OWWA membership online by downloading the OWWA mobile app. Sign in and log in to your account. Then, go to the information section. Click Renew Membership Here if your membership status is inactive.
4. How much is OWWA membership in South Korea?
The OWWA membership in South Korea is W30,000 or US$25.000 converted to local currency based on the foreign exchange rate.
5. Can I pay for the OWWA membership online?
You can pay the OWWA membership fee online by renewing your membership using the OWWA mobile app. Choose an online bank or e-wallet to pay the OWWA membership fee.
6. How long is OWWA membership valid?
The OWWA membership is only valid for two years, lasting from the date of application.
7. Why my OWWA membership is inactive?
Your OWWA membership becomes inactive if you have an expired work visa or surpassed the two-year validity. It also becomes inactive by changing employers in less than two years since it only applies to the employer indicated during the application.
8. Is OWWA membership mandatory?
Yes, OWWA membership is mandatory for first-time OFWs who have processed their employment at POEA.
9. Are all OFW member of OWWA?
No, not all OFW are members of OWWA. OFWs who cannot submit the requirements and meet the qualification cannot become OWWA members.
10. Who can avail of OWWA benefits?
The benefits OWWA offers are available to active or registered members. Inactive members can also access OWWA benefits but limited services, programs, and support.
Overall, the OWWA membership will benefit many OFWs in South Korea, providing them with services, programs, and supports that can ease some of their difficulties in life. So OFWs in South Korea are encouraged to apply or renew their OWWA membership at the POLO-OWWA office in Seoul o partake in Consular Outreach activities in South Korea.
OFWs can also renew their OWWA membership using the OWWA mobile app and let their relatives in the Philippines pay the OWWA membership fee.
POLO-OWWA South Korea
Operating Hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday to Thursday
Address: 80 Hoenamu-ro, Itaewon 29(i)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Telephone Numbers: (02) 3785-3634/ (02) 3785-3635
POLO Hotline: 010-4573-6290
OWWA Mobile Line: 010-9054-0694
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, owwaseoul@polo-owwa
Facebook Pages: https://facebook.com/poloowwakorea, https://facebook.com/PHinKorea/
Google Map Location
Please check out the map guide of the Philippine embassy in Korea for the POLO office to renew your OWWA account: