Whether it’s your first time working overseas or you are a Balik Manggagawa, securing your OEC is necessary if vacationing in the Philippines and returning to work abroad. OFWs in Greece and Cyprus should secure their OEC from POLO Athens, Greece, as it is required before workers are permitted to leave for overseas employment. And if you’re vacationing in the Philippines and wondering how to get your OEC in Greece, please see the guidelines below.
As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), it is mandatory to get your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) every time exiting the airport for overseas work. OEC serves as an exit clearance that certifies the worker is legally employed and documented on the POEA database. In addition, immigration officers check OFW’s OEC before allowing them to leave the airport.
But if the worker cannot present a valid and correct OEC, the worker will be offloaded, resulting in a delayed flight and return to overseas employment. Thus, OFWs in Greece and Cyprus should request their OEC from POLO to ensure a safe and trouble-free return to their work.
For OFWs in Greece and Cyprus vacationing in the Philippines and returning to work to continue or extend their employment contract, bring the original and photocopy of the following requirements of POLO Greece for OEC issuance:
- POPS-BaM Appointment form
- Printed BM Online Information Sheet
- POLO verified the Employment Contract
- Photocopy of Valid Work Permit, Work Visa, or any equivalent document
- Photocopy of worker’s Passport Data Page ((with at least six months validity before the date of departure in the Philippines)
- Proof of Employment such as Company ID, Certificate of Employment, or latest payslip (For skilled workers)
- Photocopy of Confirmed 2-way Airline Ticket
- Employer’s ID
On the other hand, if the worker cannot present POLO verified Employment Contract, the worker should request Employment Contract Verification with POLO Greece by submitting the following documents to email@example.com with a subject header EMP ONLINE, including:
- Employment Contract
- Copy of Passport Data Page
- Copy of Work Permit or Work Visa
- Copy of Employer’s ID
The following are the fees to get OEC from POLO Greece:
- OEC processing fee of P100 converted to Euro
- OWWA membership fee of US$25.00 converted to Euro based on the monthly foreign exchange rate
Also, OFWs who need to process their Employment Contract Verification must wait for POLO Greece confirmation before paying the verification fee at remittance centers. The worker should also ensure paying their Pag-IBIG and SSS contribution before OEC issuance.
The issuance of OEC promotes OFWs to acquire legal employment overseas and provides protection and benefits like travel tax and terminal fees exemption. However, POEA and POLO only issue OEC to the following qualified workers:
- OFWs who acquired work from an overseas Employer or Sponsor via direct hiring
- OFWs hired via a recruitment agency
- OFWs hired via POEA’s Government Placement Branch (GBP)
- OFWs with existing POEA database records and returning to the same job site after vacationing with an employment contract or working visa
- OFWs with existing POEA database record returning to the same employer but in a different job site
- OFWs without POEA database records or changes employers on-site
How to Book an OEC Appointment in POLO Greece
If you’re working in Greece without an existing record on POEA’s database, it is necessary to register an account on POPS-BaM and book an OEC appointment. Then, complete your account details before booking an appointment with POLO Greece. So if you don’t have a POPS-BaM account yet, follow the steps below.
How to Register on POPS-BaM (For New Users)
- Visit the POEA Online Services Portal/POPS-BaM website.
- Under the e-Registration section, click Let’s Go and Register.
- Fill out the required fields and click Register.
- Check your email that you registered on POPS-BaM. Then, copy the sent Temporary Password.
- Enter the Temporary Password and change it to your preferred password.
- On the right of your dashboard, click My Profile.
- Fill out the required details.
- Double-check your account details and click Update Profile.
- Fill out the Identification Details.
- Input your Beneficiary details.
- Upload a Profile Picture and a copy of your Passport to finish the account setup.
How to book an OEC Appointment in POPS-BaM
Once you’ve registered a POPS-BaM account and provided the required information, you can proceed with booking an OEC appointment with POLO Greece. As stated on the POLO Greece Facebook post, you need to transfer records on POPS-BaM if you have an old BM account since BM Online System became inactive on June 30, 2021.
Just visit the POPS-BaM website and click Transfer Old BM records on the POEA Helpdesk section to match your details on your newly registered POPS-BaM account. To book an OEC appointment, follow the steps below:
- Visit the POEA Online Services Portal/ POPS-BaM website.
- Click Let’s Go and log in on the e-Registration section.
- On the dashboard, look for My Links. Then, click Balik Manggagawa and Next.
- If you have an incomplete account, provide the required data to continue.
- Input your Flight Date and click Next.
- If not a Balik Manggagawa or not returning to the same employer and job site, answer No to the questions to continue booking.
- Update necessary details on your contract and click Submit.
- Choose a Processing Site and click Next.
- Then, take a screenshot or print your confirmed appointment schedule.
How to Apply for OEC in POLO Greece
OFWs returning to a different employer and job site or have changed their employers on-site should apply for OEC in POLO Greece and book an OEC appointment on POPS-BaM. Nonetheless, POLO Greece will not issue OEC to workers without POLO verified Employment Contract and who arrived in the country only holding a tourist or visit visa and acquired a work visa afterward.
The said workers should apply for OEC in POEA offices in the Philippines and to document their overseas work in POEA’s database. POLO Greece can only process their Employment Contract Verification since it’s a requirement when applying for OEC in the Philippines. To apply for OEC in POLO Greece, follow the steps below:
- Visit the POLO Greece office on the date of your appointment.
- Proceed to the reception desk and present your requirements.
- Fill out the forms provided by the reception officer.
- Pay the applicable fees.
- Wait for the issuance of your OEC. You can also print it online via POPS-BaM once approved.
How to Get OEC Online in Greece
Furthermore, OFWs can get their OEC online in Greece if they’re a Balik Manggagawa or workers returning to the same employer and job site or hired by the GBP. The said workers are qualified to avail of the OEC exemption, which no longer requires visiting POEA or POLO for OEC issuance and exempts the worker from paying the OEC processing fee.
OFWs are also encouraged to get their OEC online via POPS-BaM to lessen the number of applicants visiting POEA and POLO due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To get your OEC online, follow the steps below:
- Visit the POEA Online Services Portal/POPS-BaM website.
- On the e-Registration section, click Let’s Go and log in.
- If your account details are incomplete, provide the missing data to continue.
- Input your Flight Date and click Next.
- Answer Yes to the questions to confirm you’re a Balik Mangggagawa or a worker returning to the same employer and job site.
- Then, print your OEC online and ensure to request your OEC within 60 days of your return flight date.
Video: How to Get OEC exemption online for OFW / Bagong Website sa pag kuha ng OEC
For more details on OEC, please watch the video below:
As discussed in the video, there is a new website to get OEC called the Department of Migrant Workers. On the homepage, click Online Services on the options. Under the Online Services section, click E-Registration to proceed to the new POPS-BaM website. Then, follow the steps above to get OEC online and avail of the OEC exemption for Balik Manggagawa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about the POLO office and the OEC certificate process in Greece:
1. How can I get an OEC exemption in Greece?
You can get an OEC exemption on POPS-BaM, but you have to be a Balik Manggagawa or a worker returning to the same employer and job site.
2. How can I book an OEC appointment online?
You need to register a POPS-BaM account and provide the necessary details to book an OEC appointment online.
3. Can I get OEC in Greece without an appointment?
You need to book an appointment if applying for OEC at the POLO Greece office.
4. Can I get OEC at the airport?
You can get OEC at the airport if you have confirmed flight booking or are on emergency leave.
5. How long is OEC valid?
OEC is only valid for 60 days.
6. How much is the OEC fee in Greece?
The OEC fee in Greece is P100 converted to Euro.
7. Can I get OEC without OWWA membership?
No, since active OWWA membership is one of the requirements for OEC issuance.
In short, OEC is required for all OFWs since it is an exit clearance at the Philippine airport, which allows the departure of workers. So whether it’s your first time working abroad or returning to Greece to continue your employment, you need to get your OEC each time leaving the Philippine airport.
Nonetheless, OEC only has 60 days validity, so ensure to request your OEC within your confirmed return flight date to Greece. If your vacation exceeds 60 days, you should get your OEC in POEA offices in the Philippines before your flight back to Greece.
Operating Hours: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Address: 10 Fthiotidos St., Ambelokipi, 115 23 Athens, Greece
Telephone Number: +30 210 698 3335
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/PHLinGreece/
Google Map Location
Please see the map guide to the location of POLO-OWWA Athens. Again, for Pinoys in Cyprus, you may also refer to the POLO Athens office for inquiries.