A big number of Filipinos surely dreamed of working abroad, specifically in London. It is popular for being one of the best cities in the world, the grandfather clocks and telephone booths everywhere. Not to mention the liveliness of the vicinity and the famous British accent that one can hear in every corner.
Although it can be a wonderful experience, not everyone has the means to do so. London is also known as an expensive city, and one must bring a pocketful of money in order to get around and experience all the best things it could offer a traveler.
For a tourist, it might be alright to spend a good amount of money because being in London is a once in a lifetime experience. However, for our fellow Overseas Filipino Workers, they just can’t spend too much in a snap. According to www.expatistan.com, living in London is 133% more expensive than in Manila.
The cost of living is indeed too high, more so the rent. Even though other necessities can sometimes be offered in a cheap price, everything is worth it if analyzed. Considering the wonderful experience one might have, and the high chances of meeting remarkable people, are a great proof of how livable London is. Not to mention that United Kingdom also has a good economy.
If you are one of those lucky people who got a chance to work in the marvelous place, you should never forget to apply for an Overseas Employment Certificate.
First of all, what is Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)? It is a document that can be used as proof to be presented at an immigration counter, a proof of payment that a worker has been accredited by the POEA, has paid the processing fee and OWWA membership contribution.
Why do we need to get one? Usually, travel tax and terminal fees are charged for Filipinos when returning to the country where they are employed, but by having an OEC, there will be no need to make those payments.
Now, what if the OFW is a new OWWA/OEC Applicant? Their requirements differ a bit from the three applicants above, but it is not too troublesome as expected. Here is the list of requirements to bring:
The following must be presented/submitted to the Office of the Labor Attache, Philippine Embassy, London:
- Original Passport with valid re-entry visa/work permit (with photocopy)
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet (form available at the Office of the Labor Attache, Philippine Embassy or visit the Forms section of this website)
- Proof of valid OWWA membership
- Copy of Employment contract/Employer’s certification (for new registrants/undocumented workers)
Two pounds (£2.00)
Applications for OEC can be filed in the Philippine Embassy from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am – 12:00pm and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. During regular weekdays, a good twenty to thirty minutes is enough to finish the whole process but may take a while longer during peak seasons. The application form can be downloaded online or be asked from a Philippine consulate.
The OEC application costs cheap at £2, and the OWWA membership fee might cost a good £18 or $25 (or its peso equivalent).
Since this might be a hassle for some, Overseas Employment Certificate can be applied through OEC online system. However, not everyone is given this option. This can only be done is an OFW had already registered previously and had already appeared in the embassy or any POEA offices for verification of identity, or if they have the same employer in their Balik Manggagawa account profile.
In case you had already done one or both conditions, you may apply for an OEC online by referring to these procedures:
- For New Users, register in the system using your personal email account and click the Sign Me Up Go to your email and confirm your application by clicking the link provided by the system,
- Log-in as already registered Enter your last issued OEC number. If no record found, set an Online Appointment.
- If record is found, update your Personal Data, Contract Particulars, and Beneficiaries, as needed.
- Click Acquire OEC or Exemption for online assessment. Input the date of your flight and confirm if you are returning to the same employer and jobsite.
- If returning to the same employer and jobsite, the system will display a message indicating that you are exempted from securing an OEC and payment of processing fee.
- If not, you will be redirected to the Appointment Page. Select your preferred POEA office and make a schedule for the processing of OEC and payment.
Once you have successfully done everything, you will be issued your OEC, which is valid only for sixty days, so make sure to do that a few days before your departure back to your country of employment. You can now enjoy London! Congratulations!