Whether you’re an aspiring Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in the process of securing your employment or already working on-site, one of the most important things you should know about is how to renew your OWWA membership and become an OWWA member. Here we share the steps on how you keep your OWWA status active.
Being an active member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ensures that you can get access to the benefits and programs given by the institution so it is always good to check your membership status.
OWWA is an institution that was established to help and protect Filipino workers who work abroad. The agency aims to provide assistance and benefits to the OFWs in order for them to have a good life even if they’re working away from their loved ones. So if you’re wondering how to renew your OWWA membership and become an OWWA member, keep on reading for further details.
Established by the Philippine National Government, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency working with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), designated to protect and promote the well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) across the globe, including their dependents.
This institution offers varying benefits to all active members, which can help them financially and in their career growth. Furthermore, the member’s immediate beneficiaries can access several benefits, from educational programs to financial assistance.
Through the OWWA membership program, documented OFWs will have assistance during their pre-employment process and acquire essential training needed for work preparedness and career development.
In addition, the institution also offers Reintegration programs that can help OFWs who are returning to the country for good which include Livelihood Assistance Services, Loan Program, and financial assistance for livelihood projects.
Qualifications / Eligibility
Who are qualified for OWWA membership? To apply for OWWA membership and get access to the benefits provided by the institution, below are the following criteria for eligibility:
- OFWs at legal age and have acquired an employment contract from the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
- OFWs who have a visa and valid work permit
- OFWs with expired OWWA membership
- OFWs who acquired the status of permanent residency in the foreign country they are working and kept their citizenship citizens as Filipino
- OFWs who are working in a foreign country without having proper documentation from POEA and have acquired legal employment from the host country
What are the requirements/documents/fees that the applicant needs to secure before applying for OWWA membership? Apart from the eligibility criteria set by OWWA, OFWs also need to ensure that they have completed all the required documents and fees before processing their application for OWWA membership.
Furthermore, the list below is only general requirements, and other documents may be required based on the OWWA Regional office you will process your application. For OFWs who will renew their membership on-site, reach out to the POLO-OWWA office, where you will have your membership renewal to inquire about the specific requirements for the application.
- OWWA OFW Information Sheet – Membership Form
- Photocopy of Passport (showing personal data with photo)
- Valid Work Permit
- Certificate of Employment
- Membership Fee of 25 USD (around Php1,000 to Php1,500, depending on the foreign exchange)
Step by Step Process of Becoming a Member of OWWA
When applying for an OWWA membership, it is necessary to prepare ahead before visiting the OWWA Regional Welfare office in your area to avoid wasted time. Also, OFWs renewing their membership and currently working abroad can head to the OWWA International office and perform the process through the On-Site Membership Program.
To become an OWWA member, follow the step-by-step process below.
1. Secure all the essential requirements for OWWA membership application/renewal, including:
- Original and Photocopy of Passport (showing personal data with photo)
- Other documents such as Photocopy of Passport with valid re-entry visa and arrival stamp, Letter of Consent
- Original and Photocopy of valid work permit
- Employment Certificate
- Duly accomplished OWWA OFW Information Sheet
- Pay membership fee
2. Head to the nearest OWWA office and submit the necessary documents. Also, don’t forget to book an appointment before you visit.
3. Afterward, pay the necessary fee to complete the process. Once the payment is complete, the membership automatically applies.
In case you want to learn more information about the OWWA membership process, please check these common questions to becoming an OWWA member below:
What is the purpose of OWWA membership?
OWWA protects and provides benefits to all documented OFWs. The institution assists OFWs right from the initial phase of their employment up to the transition period at their destination country. Moreover, OWWA serves as OFWs helping hand in times of difficulties in the foreign country. Through the programs and services provided by the institution, OFWs can have a sense of security despite leaving the country. Thus, the OWWA membership is beneficial for OFWs and their dependents.
How to apply online for OWWA Membership?
On the other hand, if your location is not accessible or your time won’t permit you to visit the OWWA office, you can still process your application online. For a convenient membership application, check out the following steps below.
- Prepare all the requirements and scan a clear copy of everything.
- Visit the specific website of OWWA on the country of your destination.
- Search for the email of the designated OWWA office in that country, and send your scanned documents for evaluation.
- Wait for the email to proceed with the payment before paying the membership fee. Also, never proceed with the membership fee payment without OWWA’s notice.
- After receiving the notice to complete the membership fee payment, proceed paying through the payment options provided, and the membership is automatically effective.
- Take a screenshot of the successful payment and send it to OWWA’s email.
- Afterward, a copy of the official receipt will be sent to your email. You can also set an appointment visit with OWWA to claim the original receipt.
How to renew membership using OWWA mobile app?
Apart from the website application, OWWA membership renewal is made easy through the OWWA mobile app. To do so, follow the steps below.
- Install the OWWA mobile app on your smartphone.
- Log in with your account, or sign up using the app if you don’t have an account.
- Go to your profile to check your current employment contract.
- Go to “Information” to see your membership status. If your membership is “INACTIVE”, click the “Renew Membership Here” button for membership renewal.
- Fill out the necessary information to process payment.
- Choose through the payment options, and then click “SUBMIT”.
- Check your membership status on the “Information”. After the payment, your membership status will become “ACTIVE”.
How to check online OWWA Membership status?
Since most of the services today, can be accessed at the tip of the hands, OWWA has launched its mobile app to provide convenience to OFWs. The OWWA mobile app allows OFWs to check everything online, including their membership status, information, employment details, benefits provided to members, and renewal procedures.
Aside from OWWA’s contact details, the app allows OFWs to update their information details, accepts online membership payments, and displays payment history. So to have ease of processing, follow the steps below to check your OWWA membership status.
- Install the OWWA mobile app, and create an account
- Log in to your account, or sign up for new members.
- Once you’re in, select the “Information” button to check if your membership status is “ACTIVE” or “INACTIVE”.
Are OFWs automatic OWWA members?
Although OWWA aims to provide loads of benefits to all OFWs, technically, not all OFWs are automatic members of the institution. To make it clear, only “documented” or “legal” OFWs are automatic members of OWWA.
Thus, if you’re a Filipino currently working abroad, you can ask for assistance to the closest OWWA office, or POLO-OWWA office in the country you are working at, to document your employment. Once you become a legal OFW, you can process your OWWA membership to access different benefits.
Is it mandatory for OFW to join OWWA?
Considering that the institution aims to protect and promote the welfare of OFWs and their dependents, OWWA membership is mandatory for all OFWs. With all the services provided by the institution, such as life insurance, educational plans, and other beneficial programs, OWWA membership should indeed be mandatory.
When does OWWA Membership expire?
OWWA membership does expire. It is valid for two years upon processing your membership. To check if your membership is still active, you can also check the date indicated on your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). If the date hasn’t reached two years yet, then you’re still a valid OWWA member.
How to book an appointment online with OWWA?
Before heading to the OWWA office to submit your documents or process membership renewal, ensure to book an appointment with OWWA. Register an appointment online so that you can enter the OWWA office on your visit. However, the procedures may vary depending on OWWA Regional offices.
To book an appointment with OWWA in NCR, follow the steps below.
- Visit the online portal for an appointment at https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph/
- Select the OWWA Regional Office
- Select the type of program for the appointment
- Choose your preferred date to book the appointment
- Fill out the Personal Information
- Click the “Next” button
- Next, check the appointment information and click “Submit Appointment”
How to download OWWA Registration form?
One of the documents to acquire for processing OWWA membership is the OFW Information Sheet. In addition, the form is needed for the renewal procedure to keep membership status active.
So whether you’re a first-time applicant or renewing your membership, you need to secure your OWWA form once in a while. To acquire a copy of the OWWA form, visit OWWA’s website at https://owwa.gov.ph and download the copy of the form.
Why is my OWWA is inactive?
The membership provided by OWWA is only valid for two years and only applies to the employer indicated during the application. So your membership will be inactive if it’s already passed two years.
On the other hand, if your membership has not yet reached the two-year validity, but you change to a new employer, your membership status will automatically be inactive. If that’s the case, you will have to renew your membership to avail of the benefits.
To process membership renewal through the On-Site Membership Program, directly contact them in their email. Explain your inactive status due to a change of employer and request OWWA membership renewal. Also, scan the necessary documents below, and attach them to the email.
- Duly accomplished OWWA Information Sheet
- Employment Certificate
- Photocopy of Passport (showing personal data with photo)
Video of OWWA Benefits
To know more about OWWA and how membership can help, here is a video regarding OWWA benefits.
As stated in the video, members of OWWA can acquire loads of benefits from the institution, such as OFW Loan to Assistance Programs related to calamity, medical, death, and relief. Active members can also access disability benefits if they ever get into an accident.
In addition, OWWA provides educational and training programs for the members or their beneficiaries. Thus, the institution assists OFWs in all aspects of life.
To sum up, the OWWA membership is helpful not only for the active members but including their families. The membership provided by the institution promotes all OFWs to document their work, not only to acquire the services but also to provide assistance when they are in dire situations.
Thus, OFWs should always ensure that their membership status is active to acquire the services and programs from OWWA. For any clarifications or concerns regarding your OWWA membership, you may send an email to the OWWA Regional Welfare office near your province, or you may contact the nearest POLO-OWWA office if you are abroad.
Now that you know how to process OWWA membership renewal and the benefits of OWWA members, we hope that it helps you. So stay tuned for more updates and don’t forget to share this article with your friends!
How to Renew OWWA Membership in Specific POLO-OWWA offices
If you are wondering how you can sign up for your OWWA membership in each specific POLO-OWWA office abroad, please check out the following articles we published for each specific city:
- OWWA Appointment and Membership in Singapore
- OWWA Appointment and Membership in Dubai, UAE
- OWWA Appointment and Membership in Abu Dhabi, UAE
- OWWA Appointment and Membership in Doha, Qatar
- OWWA Appointment and Membership in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- OWWA Appointment and Membership in Kuwait
- OWWA Appointment Membership California, USA
- OWWA Appointment Membership Washington DC, USA
- OWWA Appointment Membership Syria
- OWWA Appointment Membership Macau
- OWWA Appointment Membership Amman, Jordan
- OWWA Appointment Membership Seoul, Korea
- OWWA Appointment Membership France
- OWWA Appointment Membership Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- OWWA Appointment Membership Brunei
- OWWA Appointment Membership Beirut, Lebanon
- OWWA Appointment Membership Beirut, Lebanon
- OWWA Appointment Membership Vancouver, Canada
- OWWA Appointment Membership Calgary, Canada
- OWWA Appointment Membership Toronto, Canada
- OWWA Appointment Membership Osaka, Japan
- OWWA Appointment Membership Tokyo, Japan
- OWWA Appointment Membership Berlin, Germany
- OWWA Appointment Membership Athens, Greece
- OWWA Appointment Membership London, UK
- OWWA Appointment Membership Wellington, New Zealand
- OWWA Appointment Membership Australia