In addition, OFWs who have immediate family members working in Australia or South Pacific countries on irregular status may also apply for the OWWA membership given they have valid working visas or re-acquired Filipino citizenship stated on R.A. 9225.
The OWWA membership is processed at POLO Canberra or through Mobile Consular Missions. So to apply or renew your membership, follow the guide below for the OWWA appointment and membership in Australia.
The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can access the Philippine Government supports, services, and programs through membership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
OWWA is an institution mandated to promote and protect the welfare of OFWs and their families anywhere in the world. Through the OWWA membership, OFWs can access different benefits involving education, training, accident, disability, livelihood, financial loans and assistance, life insurance, and repatriation and reintegration services.
Moreover, OFWs who are members of OWWA can seek legal assistance to intermediate between employee and employer issues. They can also help OFWs prepare for their job, develop their career, or assist them in stabilizing their life back in the country.
Thus, the OWWA membership acts as an insurance policy helping OFWs, from their job to providing services and programs that benefit their legal dependents. So becoming an OWWA member can benefit OFWs a lot.
If you’re an OFW in Australia, here are the following requirements you need to secure to apply or renew your OWWA membership:
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet
- Original and photocopy of passport (including the data page, the page showing arrival and departure stamp)
- Photocopy of Certificate of Employment, Employment Contract, or Latest Payslip
- Show proof of processed employment at POEA to exempt paying the verification fee, including:
- Employment Contract duly stamped by POEA
- Overseas Employment Certificate
- OWWA Certificate of Membership Coverage
- 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.
- Verification fee of A$18
- OWWA membership fee of A$25.00
- Pre-paid, self-addressed envelope
Although OWWA would like to help OFWs across the world, there are qualification criteria that members needs meet to renew or keep their membership status active. The OWWA members and applicants should be actively and continuously working and “legal” or “documented” workers under POEA with valid work permits and visas.
Furthermore, OFWs who have gained a permanent residency status in foreign countries with full-time or permanent employment and remain Filipino citizens can apply or renew their OWWA membership.
Nonetheless, since OWWA members should be actively and continuously working, the following individuals are not qualified to apply or renew their membership, including:
- Due for termination
- Due for cancellation
- No work, No pay
Booking an OWWA Appointment in Australia
As of now, there is no online appointment system for OWWA membership applications in Australia and only for other services such as passports, visas, dual citizenship, report of birth, and report of marriage. However, OFWs should book an appointment when applying or renewing their OWWA membership to the POLO Canberra, Australia office email. The Philippine Embassy in Canberra, Australia, also conducts Mobile Consular Missions in different areas to reach OFWs away from their office.
Step by step how to set up an appointment for OWWA payment
While the OWWA membership application is not in the online appointment system in Australia, OFWs can book an appointment by following the steps below:
- To book an appointment with OWWA Australia, email POLO Canberra, Australia, office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Verify your membership status, and schedule an appointment for OWWA payment.
- If you’re opting to attend POLO Canberra Mobile Consular Missions, visit the Philippine Embassy in Australia’s official Facebook page at https://facebook.com/PHinAustralia. Check for the schedule and location of the Mobile Consular Missions. You may also check the post for links or details regarding the appointment booking.
Paying OWWA Membership at Australia
Once you’ve secured an appointment with POLO Canberra, Australia office, you must compile the requirements and come on the date and time of your scheduled appointment. You can also pay the OWWA membership fee on the day of your visit.
To pay the OWWA membership fee in Australia, follow the steps below.
Step by step process of paying the OWWA membership
- Visit the POLO Canberra, Australia office on the day of your appointment.
- Head to the OWWA counter, submit your complete requirements and wait for the verification.
- Next, pay the OWWA membership fee and other necessary fees, such as the verification fee.
- Collect your official receipt, and you are now an active OWWA member.
Reminders during the Day of Appointment in POLO Canberra, Australia
Aside from securing the needed documents and fees, here are the following reminders that OFWs need to remember on the day of their appointment to have a successful OWWA membership application in Australia, including:
- The POLO Canberra, Australia, does not accept bank transfer payments for the OWWA membership. The accepted payment methods for the OWWA membership include cash, money order, and manager’s check.
- For OFWs based away from POLO Canberra, check the official Facebook page of the Philippine Embassy in Australia to be updated on the upcoming Mobile Consular Missions. Also, check their website since the OWWA membership application may be in the online appointment system soon.
- Make sure that your requirements are complete and formed. If an applicant has incomplete requirements, their application will not be successful and processed by the officer in charge.
- After securing an appointment with POLO Canberra, Australia, make sure to make a copy of the appointment confirmation and bring it on the day of your visit.
- When visiting the POLO Canberra, Australia office, make sure to wear proper or smart casual attire. It is strictly prohibited to wear sleeveless or tank tops, sando, shorts, miniskirts, and slippers.
Video: OWWA Membership in Australia
For more detail on OWWA membership, please watch the video below:
As stated in the video, OWWA assists OFWs in different cases, such as losing their job, especially this pandemic. OFWs can also renew their membership through the OWWA mobile app by creating an account. Once they have a login to their account, they can apply for their OWWA membership and choose from different and the most convenient payment methods they prefer. Thus, keeping an active membership is possible with the OWWA mobile app, no matter where OFWs are in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to book an appointment with OWWA in Australia?
There is no online appointment system for OWWA membership applications in Australia now. However, OFW needs to book an appointment at the POLO Canberra, Australia office email.
2. How do I renew my OWWA membership in Australia?
You can renew your OWWA membership by visiting the POLO Canberra office. On the other hand, if you’re based away from Canberra, you can renew your membership through the Mobile Consular Missions, conducted across Australia. So it is better to check their Facebook page for the upcoming schedule.
3. How to renew OWWA membership online?
You can renew your membership online using the OWWA mobile app. Then, proceed to your account or create one if you don’t have one. Afterward, click Renew Membership Here and select your preferred payment method.
4. How much is OWWA membership in Australia?
The OWWA membership fee in Australia costs A$25.00.
5. Can I pay for the OWWA membership online?
Yes, you can pay the OWWA membership fee online. You only need to renew your membership through the OWWA mobile app and choose an online bank or e-wallet to pay the membership fee. In addition, you can ask your relatives in the Philippines to pay the membership fee at the nearest OWWA Regional office or payment centers if you’re not in the Philippines.
6. How long is OWWA membership valid?
The OWWA membership is only valid for two years and will last on the date of the application.
7. Why my OWWA membership is inactive?
Your OWWA membership will be inactive if you have exceeded the two-year validity. Another reason your OWWA membership becomes inactive is if your work visa has expired or you switch to work for a new employer. Considering that the OWWA membership only has two-year validity, if an individual switches to work for a new employer, it can result in inactive membership status.
8. Is OWWA membership mandatory?
Yes, becoming an OWWA member is mandatory for OFWs who have processed their employment under POEA.
9. Are all OFW member of OWWA?
No, not all OFWs are members of OWWA. Since OWWA has required documents and qualification criteria, if an individual cannot meet the conditions, they cannot become an OWWA. Thus, not all OFWs can become members of OWWA unless they meet the stated requirements above.
10. Who can avail of OWWA benefits?
The benefits provided by OWWA are available to their “registered” or “active members” and their legal dependents.
In summary, the process of OWWA appointment and membership in Australia is very accessible. Moreover, through the POLO Canberra and Philippine Embassy Mobile Consular Missions, OFWs in Australia can access the services near their area.
Thus, we advise OFWs in the area to always check their Facebook page and website to get updates on the latest application process and location and date of the Mobile Consular Missions.
POLO-OWWA Canberra, Australia
Operating Hours: 10:00 am-3:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Address: 1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia
Telephone Number: +61 262732535 / 36
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/PHinAustralia