How To Get Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for Direct-Hire OFWs: An Ultimate Guide

Filipinos who got hired directly by a foreign employer without passing through a recruitment agency are required to secure an overseas employment certificate (OEC) before they leave the Philippines.

The OEC application process for direct-hire OFWs differs from that of agency-hired workers. First-time direct hires can’t use BM Online or POPS-BaM because it’s only for returning OFWs.

The process for direct hires is also longer and more complicated because the government has to ensure that their employment rights will be protected. 

Table of Contents

Watch Video: How To Get OEC for Direct-Hire OFWs

How to Get OEC for Direct-Hire OFWs
How to Get OEC for Direct-Hire OFWs

What To Do Before Applying for an OEC

Update: From January 2022 onwards1, POEA now requires direct-hire applicants to go through a new online system called POEA Online Processing Systems for Direct-Hire or “POPS-Direct.” This can be accessed through the POEA online services portal.

However, you can’t apply online without being fully prepared. You’ll only be wasting your time that way. 

Here’s what you should do before you start filing your OEC application as a direct-hire OFW:

1. Check if You Fall Under the Exempted or Non-Exempted Category

Philippine labor laws and regulations prohibit overseas employers from directly hiring Filipino workers. This means if you’ll work abroad, normally, your employer should have hired you through a POEA-accredited recruitment agency. Such a rule is meant to protect OFWs against abuse, exploitation, or any violation of their worker rights.

But there’s an exception to the rule.

Certain types of employers are exempted from the ban on direct hiring of OFWs. These are:

  1. Foreign diplomats
  2. International organizations (e.g., United Nations, ASEAN)
  3. Heads of state and high-ranking government officials (deputy minister or higher position)
  4. Officials listed in the first three items with a lower rank who are endorsed by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)
  5. Employers of professional and skilled workers with verified or authenticated employment contracts compliant with the POEA standards
  6. Permanent residents of the host country who are hiring their family or relatives, except for domestic workers, household service workers, or lived-in caregivers

Check the POEA Memorandum Circular No. 08, Series of 20182 for more details on the criteria for exemption and non-exemption of foreign employers from the direct hiring ban.

If you’ll work for an exempted employer, you’ll have an easier time getting a POEA Clearance From the Direct Hiring Ban. This document is a requirement for the OEC application of directly hired OFWs.

However, if your employer is in the non-exempted category, then approving authorities will have to review your application before you get a POEA clearance. According to the memorandum for the new system, this can take up to a week or more once you’ve completely submitted your documents.

2. Get All the Requirements Ready

Once you get hired by a foreign employer through direct hire, start preparing the requirements immediately to avoid delays in your application.

There are two phases in the application process for direct hires. Focus on getting your Phase 1 requirements ready as soon as you can. You have a bit more time to get your Phase 2 requirements ready, but you still need to get them prepared sooner rather than later.

To see the complete list of requirements, please proceed to the next section.

POEA OEC Requirements for Direct-Hire OFWs

You need to gather two batches of documents3 that you’ll submit to the POEA for the two phases of your direct-hire registration. Note that there may be additional requirements for household service workers4.

Phase 1 involves securing a POEA Clearance. Phase 2 is the process in which your OEC will be issued.

Since you are uploading your documents online, you need to prepare a clear scanned copy of your original documents.

In Phase 2, POEA will require you to visit the POEA office that is nearest to you. You are required to bring the original copy of your documents, but you might want to have two photocopies of your documents ready, just in case.

Phase 1: POEA Clearance Requirements for the Direct Hiring Ban Exemption

All documents listed below must be submitted in duplicates5.

1. Valid Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least one year before your departure date. You should renew the passport if it’s about to expire. To renew, you must set an appointment first via the DFA online portal

2. Valid Work Visa or Entry/Work Permit

If visa assurance or guarantee is issued by the employer, the same should be noted/acknowledged by the Government or Immigration Office on the job site.

Tip: Make sure to talk with your employer regarding your visa processing. They might guide you on the procedures and requirements necessary to get your visa. He/she might also shoulder the cost of visa processing.

In case your employer’s country has no embassy in the Philippines, inform them about it. They might assist you in sending your documents to the nearest country that has an embassy in your destination country. 

3. Verified Employment Contract or Offer of Employment

Your job contract must satisfy three requirements:

a. The Contract Meets or Exceeds POEA’s Minimum Employment Standards

Employment terms and conditions mandated by the POEA should be covered in your contract. To speed up the process, request your employer to use the POEA sample employment contract as a template for your contract. 

But if the company has its own standard contract, make sure that all the POEA’s required provisions are included before you sign the document. Also, you and the employer must sign each page of the contract.

b. Your Employment Contract Is Verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)

If your host country has no POLO, your contract must be authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over your job site. Check the POLO directory to know if there’s a POLO in your host country.

Your employer (or the company’s authorized representative) should be the one to bring your contract to the POLO, Embassy, or Consulate for verification/authentication. Your employer will ask you to send your documents, such as a copy of your passport, resume, and college diploma. Some employers are unaware that POLO verification is required, so make sure to inform them as soon as possible since it might take weeks to process the documents.

Check the website of the POLO/Embassy/Consulate on your job site for the requirements and procedure for employment contract verification/authentication.

If you’ll work in any of these locations, you can find the information on document verification/authentication through these links:

Note that getting your contract verified by a POLO office may take one to two weeks.

c. Your POLO-Verified or Embassy/Consulate-Authenticated Contract Is Apostillized

Update (September 2021): One of our readers who recently obtained his OEC said there’s no need to get your employment contract Apostillized as DFA will only reject your request. A verified employment contract or offer of employment should suffice.

According to POEA Memorandum Circular No. 8 of 20196, employment documents of direct hire OFWs must be either verified by POLO or acknowledged by the Philippine embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over the area of the job site.

To clarify,  employment contract verifications are done only by POLO and not by embassies/consulates. The one that is being serviced by the embassies and consulates is the employment contract authentication.

Secure an Apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) once you’ve received your verified/authenticated employment contract from your employer.

Related: How to Authenticate Documents in DFA: An Ultimate Guide to Apostille Certificate

4. POLO Endorsement Letter

Your employer should also secure an endorsement letter from the POLO requesting exemption from the direct hiring ban. The letter must be addressed to the POEA Administrator.

5. Notarized Statement on How You Found the Job and Authenticity of Documents Submitted

This legal document is an affidavit you can easily get through a notary public. Here’s how:

  1. Download an affidavit template (again, you can just get a copy from the notary public if you don’t have time to draft it on your own).
  2. Fill out the affidavit with the necessary information. In the body of the affidavit, state how you secured your overseas employment (e.g., through referral, LinkedIn, etc.). 
  3. Print your accomplished affidavit and bring it to the nearest notary public to have it notarized.
  4. Attach a photocopy of your employer’s passport or ID and a print-out of his/her contact information. The POEA requires this attachment to the notarized statement.

You are also required to submit an Affidavit of Authenticity of documents submitted such as diploma, Transcript of Records (TOR), and Certificate of Employment (COE). The affidavit must indicate that all documentary requirements you’ve submitted contain accurate and truthful information.

6. Additional Country-Specific Requirements

If you’ll be deployed to any of the following countries, you must submit additional supporting documents.

  • Canada – Labor Market Opinion (LMO) or Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Note: Canadian Letter and Employer’s Certificate of Registration from ECON (Province of Saskatchewan Executive Council) or Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program (SINP) are required from workers to Saskatchewan in lieu of the LMO.

Related: How to Get a Job in Canada: A Filipino’s Ultimate Job-Hunting Guide

  • United States – Labor Condition Application and Notice of Action
  • Middle East and Africa – Contingency plan issued by the employer

7. Employers ID/Passport and Contract Details

You can request this from your employer. Make sure to ask for a clear scanned copy, so there are no delays in your application.

8. For Professionals and Skilled Workers: Employer’s Company Profile and Business License/Commercial Registration

Ask your employer to send you a copy of these required business documents, along with your verified contract.

9. For Professionals and Skilled Workers: Additional Documents To Support Job Application and Notarized Statement of Authenticity

Gather the following supporting documents that prove your qualifications for the overseas job:

  • Certificate of employment from your previous employers or OFW Info Sheet/business permit if you were self-employed
  • Diploma and/or Transcript of Records/Form 137
  • NC II Certificate/PRC License
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume

Except for your CV/resume, you must prepare Certified True Copies of the above documents. Then, you need to submit a notarized statement of their authenticity as part of the Phase 1 requirements.

10. For Domestic Workers: TESDA National Certificate II (NC-II) for Domestic Workers

Phase 2: Requirements for OEC Application of Direct Hires

1. E-Registration Account

You need to create an e-Registration account through the POEA e-Services Portal. After that, you need to complete your profile, upload a profile picture, and a photo of your passport’s bio page.

2. Valid Medical Certificate

Undergo a medical examination at any DOH-accredited clinic for OFWs to get a fit-to-work medical certificate. You may get a medical certificate once your POEA clearance is approved and released.

However, if you’ve already done so as a requirement for processing your work visa or work permit, no need to have another medical exam. Simply submit your medical certificate when you apply for an OEC at the POEA office.

You may schedule your medical exam even before your Phase 1 application at the POEA. But make sure not to do it too early so that the medical certificate (with a three-month validity) is still valid when you submit it during Phase 2.

Note, if you are being employed in an African country, you need to prepare a Yellow Fever Vaccination Card by the Bureau of Quarantine as well.

3. Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) Certificate

PEOS is an online seminar that covers everything OFWs should know about working abroad, the different POEA services, and how to avoid illegal recruiters.

Attend the PEOS Online at home using your laptop or smartphone. Simply log in at the PEOS website using your e-Registration Number, last name, and first name. After completing the seminar, print a copy of your PEOS Certificate.

PEOS consists of 8 modules that you may accomplish at your own pace. At the end of every module, you need to complete a five-item quiz.

4. Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) Certificate

PDOS is available as an online or in-person seminar that aspiring OFWs must attend before working abroad. Conducted by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), PDOS tackles government services for OFWs, employment contracts, and travel procedures and tips, among other topics.

Attending PDOS is free of charge. As of April 2022, online PDOS seminars are available for people who are going to work in Canada and the United States. You can access these through the CFO (Commission on Filipinos Overseas) website. After completing the online seminar, register through the Overseas Filipinos CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS) to get your PDOS OF-CORS certificate from Monday to Thursday, 7 am to 5 pm.

You can then upload the certificate later when you start Phase 2. Note that you can only attend PDOS once you’ve accomplished Phase 1.

If online is not available as an option for you, then you would need to go to an in-person seminar. Wear appropriate attire because sleeveless tops, shorts, and slippers are not allowed.

Also, no appointment is required for PDOS attendees. OWWA holds the seminar at the POEA head office from Mondays to Thursdays. PDOS for OFWs who will work in Europe and US territories, as well as Asia and the Pacific, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meanwhile, OFWs departing for the Middle East and Africa are scheduled for the seminar from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

If you are not going to the POEA head office for your application, contact OWWA or CFO regarding how you can get your PDOS certificate. Once you receive your certificate, you can submit it as part of your Phase 2 requirements or upload it to the POEA Online Services website.

5. For Domestic Workers: Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) Certificate

CPDEP is a mandatory four- to six-day orientation seminar for departing household service workers. Conducted by OWWA, the seminar covers language training, culture familiarization, and stress management to help domestic workers prepare for a new work environment abroad. 

To inquire about the CPDEP seminar, you may contact the OWWA regional office in your area.

6. POEA Clearance

The clearance will be issued by the POEA after it approves your online Phase 1 application for the direct hiring ban exemption. You’ll have to submit the POEA Clearance, together with other Phase 2 requirements, when you apply for an OEC at the POEA office.

7. Certificate of Insurance Coverage

All Filipinos who will work overseas, including direct hires, are required to be insured against sickness, death, and other untoward events in the country of employment.

To get a Certificate of Insurance, you must buy OFW insurance from an authorized life insurance company7. Ensure that your policy covers all the requirements and benefits under Section 37-A of RA 8042 as amended8.

There are a lot of technical terms in Section 37-A of RA 8042 but what you need to know is that there are two kinds of OFW insurance:

a. Agency-Hired OFW Insurance, as its name suggests, is for OFWs who were hired under a POEA-accredited agency. This is not the one you need as a direct-hire OFW.

b. Direct-Hired OFW Insurance is the one you should get. It’s a more comprehensive plan that covers everything outlined in Section 37-A of RA 8042. It includes coverage for:

Life & Accident:

  • $10,000 natural death 
  • $15,000 accidental death 
  • $7,500 permanent total disablement and disability
  • The actual cost of repatriation of mortal remains


  • The actual cost of medical evacuation
  • The actual cost of medical repatriation
  • The actual cost of a compassionate visit

Loss of Employment:

  • The actual cost of repatriation
  • $100/mo for up to 6 months as subsistence allowance
  • Money claims, equivalent to at least 3 months for every year of the OFW employment contract, are awarded to the migrant worker upon favorable settlement by the NLRC of the illegal termination of the migrant worker.

For Drivers Only:

  • Vehicle insurance from the employer

Phase 1: How To Apply for POEA Clearance

As soon as your Phase 1 documents are complete, you can start your application for POEA Clearance which will exempt you from the direct hiring ban.

1. Create an E-Registration Account

If you haven’t done so already, you have to create an e-Registration account through the POEA e-Services Portal. If you already have an account, please proceed to the next step.

poea direct hire 1

Once you’re on the page above, click the Let’s Go button. And then click on the Register button.

poea direct hire 2

You will then be taken to the ‘Terms of Use and Privacy Statement’ page. Read through the information and click on the I Accept the Terms of Use button once you are done.

poea direct hire 3

Make sure to read the ‘Paalala’ section before filling up your personal information on this page. Also, you should use the same information shown on your passport. Click on the Register button once you are done.

poea direct hire 4

If you see the page shown above, then it means your registration is done. Don’t forget to copy the e-registration number and temporary password. This will also be sent to your email. Click on Home after you are done copying them.

poea direct hire 5

You can now log in to the system using your email and temporary password. After entering them, you will be asked to change your password.

After that, your registration is done, and you can now use the POEA online system.

2. Update Your E-Registration Profile

poea direct hire 6

After logging in to your account, you will be taken to the page pictured above. Before going to POPS-Direct, you need to complete your profile first.

Go to the ‘My Profile’ tab and complete your details, address, identification, and family details.

Click on the Attach Profile Picture button to upload your photo. Make sure your photo looks professional and clear. You can upload .jpg files up to a maximum of 2MB.

Click on the Attach Passport button to upload a clear scanned copy of your passport’s bio page.

You can also fill the ‘My Experience’ and ‘My Education’ sections.

3. Upload Your Documents to POPS-Direct

After completing your profile, you can go to the POPS-Direct dashboard by clicking on the Direct Hire Application link on the right side of the page.

poea direct hire 7

You will be taken to the page pictured below. Read the reminders before proceeding. Note that the direct hire application is only open from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM.

poea direct hire 8

You can also review the application guide and requirements checklist if you want. The Direct Hire Declaration template is also available on this page.

Click on the My Application link to proceed.

poea direct hire 9

Here, you just need to input the correct information in the fields provided. You will be asked to visit a POEA office in Phase 2, so make sure to choose the ‘Processing Site’ that is most convenient for you to visit.

For ‘Application Type,’ if you are a household service worker, then choose ‘Household Application.’ Otherwise, choose ‘Professional Application’ instead.

Once you are done, click on Submit Application.

poea direct hire 10

Next, you’ll be asked to upload all of the Phase 1 requirements. Upload .jpg files for one page documents and upload .pdf files for multi-page documents.

Tip: Label your files properly so you won’t incorrectly upload your documents.

poea direct hire 11

After uploading all of your files, double-check that they are correct. Click on the Submit Document button once you are done.

4. Wait for POEA To Evaluate Your Phase 1 Documents

It will take a bit of time but gone are the days when POEA could only process 30 applicants daily. In the new system, direct-hire processing has become decentralized. So, regional centers, regional extension units, and satellite offices can now process your application as well.

You can always check the status of your application by going to your Direct Hire Application Dashboard.

poea direct hire 12

In the ‘Application History’ section, you can click on the View button to see details on the status of your application.

poea direct hire 13

You can see the progress of your application through the ‘Action Taken’ section. Your evaluator will get in touch with you soon for the next steps.


  • For the exempted category, you will receive online approval from the evaluator that you can now proceed to upload your Phase 2 documents.
  • For the non-exempted category, you will receive an online notification that you need to wait for the approval of your request for POEA clearance. The documents you uploaded will be made available for approving authorities to review. According to POEA, approval of clearance is within a week from the receipt of complete documents. While waiting, you can prepare your Phase 2 documents.

Once you have received clearance, you may find your name on the list of names of Direct Hire OFWs with Approved POEA Clearance on their website. The evaluator will also advise you to start uploading your Phase 2 documents.

Phase 2: How To Apply for an OEC

Once you’re approved for the POEA Clearance, you can now proceed to Phase 2, which is getting your OEC.

1. Upload Your Phase 2 Documents

Log in to your e-Registration account. In the ‘My Documents’ section, upload all of your Phase 2 documents. 

poea direct hire 14

You need to upload the following:

  • Compliance Form (Print from POPS-Direct if necessary)
  • A valid medical certificate. For African countries, the Yellow Fever Vaccination Card by the Bureau of Quarantine is also required
  • Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) Certificate
  • Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) Certificate (If you already received it through an online seminar)
  • POEA Clearance
  • Proof of Certificate of Insurance Coverage
  • For domestic workers, the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) Certificate

After uploading your Phase 2 documents, click the My Resume section to print your Worker’s Information Sheet that contains all the information you provided and your e-Registration number.

Keep the printed copy of your Worker’s Information Sheet, as you’ll submit it to the POEA as proof of your e-Registration account.

2. Print a Copy of Your Appointment Details

poea direct hire 15

The POPS-Direct system should have also given you an assessment of fees for your OEC processing. On the day of the appointment, bring enough cash to pay for your fees. Click on the Print Appointment button to proceed.

poea direct hire 16

This page will include information about your schedule. Make sure to print a copy as proof of your schedule. You’ll also be using the RFP number later when making the payment to the cashier.

3. Plan How You Are Getting Your PDOS Certificate

As of April 2022, the PDOS certificate is only available online for people planning to work in the United States or Canada. If online is not an option for you, then you need to attend an in-person seminar.

You need to plan so you can complete the seminar before your appointment date. The in-person seminars at the POEA head office have a fixed schedule. If you are not going to the POEA head office, then you need to ask OWWA, CFO, or your chosen POEA regional processing office regarding how you can get a PDOS certificate in your area.

Depending on your scheduled appointment for OEC processing, you may need to secure and upload your PDOS certificate beforehand.

4. Go to the POEA Office on Your Appointment Schedule

Bring a copy of your schedule, Worker’s Information Sheet, your passport, and an original copy of your documents on your appointment date. Keep them in a safe place where they can be protected from damage.

Make plans to arrive earlier than the appointed time. You don’t want to be late for this very important schedule. And, don’t forget to bring enough money to pay for the fees.

If your appointment is at the POEA head office, secure your PDOS certificate first. Proceed to the OWWA satellite office at the POEA head office. Present the POEA Registration, which can be downloaded from POPS-Direct, to secure your PDOS certificate.

You can skip this if you already received your PDOS certificate in another way.

5. Submit the OEC Application Requirements

Ask the guards to point you towards the office which processes OECs for direct hires. At the POEA head office, this is known as the DHAD (Direct Hire Assistance Division). However, this will be different depending on the POEA branch.

Once in the direct hire processing office, ask them about the queuing process. You may be asked to take a number and wait. Once called, submit all the Phase 2 requirements to the POEA staff.

Once processing is done, you’ll be asked to proceed to the cashier.

6. Pay for the OEC Fees

Ask the POEA staff or guards to direct you to the cashier. Queue properly and wait for your name to be called. The cashier will ask for your RFP number. You can find it on the printout of your schedule.

poea direct hire 17

Here’s the breakdown of OEC fees:

  • POEA processing fee: ₱ equivalent of $100
  • OWWA membership fee: ₱ equivalent of $25 
  • Pag-IBIG contribution: ₱100 per month
  • PhilHealth contribution (one-year coverage): ₱2,400 (Note: PhilHealth premium payment for OFWs is voluntary9. Thus, it’s not required for OEC issuance.)

Wait for the receipt to be given to you.

7. Print Your OEC

After paying for the OEC, you can print a copy of your OEC through the POEA online services portal. Log in to your eRegistration account and go to the POPS-Direct dashboard again.

poea direct hire 18

You can print your OEC by clicking on the button pictured above.

Present the OEC to Immigration at the airport during your departure to your country of employment.

When you come back home after working abroad, you don’t have to go through the process of first-time direct-hire registration again. Since you’re a returning OFW with a record in the POEA database and a previously issued OEC, you can use the POEA online services portal to get an OEC.

Related: How to Get OEC Exemption Online: An Ultimate Guide for OFWs

Tips and Warnings

  • Before processing your requirements for both Phase 1 & 2, check first if the country of your employer is under the POEA deployment ban list. You can easily check this by searching in Google for “POEA [Country] deployment ban.” If it’s included in the banned list, your application will be rejected, and you will be wasting your time.
  • Book your flight only after securing your POEA clearance. The OEC you receive from Phase 2 is only valid for 60 days from the date it was issued and only for a single exit. Thus, you should schedule your flight within 60 days of the validity of your OEC.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to go through Phases 1 & 2 if I’m being hired through a recruitment agency?

No. Phases 1 & 2 are for direct-hire OFWs, meaning workers who were not hired through a recruitment agency. Jobs from POEA-accredited recruitment agencies have already been evaluated by POEA, so they need significantly fewer requirements from the OFW.

2. I’m in a rush, and I can’t wait for POEA to set my appointment. Can I walk in?

As of January 2022, all direct-hire applications must go through the POPS-Direct system. This means you have to upload your documents, get your clearance, and wait for your schedule.

However, unlike before when POEA could only process 30 Phase 1 applicants and 25 Phase 2 applicants per day, they can now accommodate a lot more OFWs by offering direct-hire processing in their regional offices.

3. I was approved as a direct-hire OFW before. I’m going back to the same employer, do I need to go through Phase 1 & 2 again?

No, there is no need to go through Phase 1 and Phase 2 again. Those are only for first-time direct-hire applications. Since you are returning to the same employer who already has a record with POEA and you also have a previously issued OEC, you can apply for a new OEC online.

4. I am a direct-hire OFW with a previous record under POEA from a previous employer. I’m going back to the same country but with a different employer. Do I need to go through Phases 1 & 2 again?

If you are being hired directly again, then yes. POEA evaluates your employers to ensure that the job you are offered falls under the minimum employment standards. That’s why you have to go through the same process again when changing employers.

5. Do I need to attend the PDOS physically or online?

OWWA and CFO are constantly updating their online PDOS service to cater to more countries of employment. You can check the CFO website for updates or contact them at [email protected] or [email protected] from Mondays to Thursdays, 7 AM to 7 PM. You can also contact them through the CFO Facebook Page from Mondays to Fridays, 7 AM to 7 PM, and Saturdays, 10 AM to 4 PM.

If you are eligible to get your PDOS OF-CORS Certificate online, you can watch their official video guide here:

6. How long does the direct-hire OFW approval process take?

There are a lot of requirements that you need to prepare before even proceeding to Phase 1 of the direct-hire process. These include getting a valid passport, a valid work visa, and OFW insurance. The POLO-verified work contract alone already takes 1 to 2 weeks. That’s why you have to start early and go through the process of getting your Phases 1 & 2 requirements all at the same time.

Meanwhile, submitting your Phase 1 requirements online takes about an hour or two. The approval of your POEA clearance takes about 3 to 7 working days (if complete). Note that it’s faster for the exempted category compared to the non-exempted category. 

After Phase 1 approval, you will need to wait for your schedule. And then, Phase 2 will take another day to complete.

7. Do I need to go through POEA processing under a self-employed visa?

Self-employed visas are outside the coverage of POEA. By entering a country with a self-employed visa, you are declaring to that country’s government that you are starting your own business or conducting your practice there. However, if you choose to be employed instead, then you must take on all the risks associated with it.

Since you are effectively foregoing POEA’s evaluation of the employer, you are at risk for terrible working conditions, illegal recruitment, and other scams. Not to mention that you may be penalized by the country you’re going to since you are not using the visa for its intended purposes.

8. How long is the OEC validity for direct-hire OFWs?

It is valid 60 days after issuance and can be used for a single exit only from the Philippines.


  1. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). (2021). POEA Memorandum Circular No. 27 Series of 2021: Launching of POEA Online Processing System for Direct Hire (POPS-Direct) and Transition Guidelines. Mandaluyong City.
  2. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). (2018). Memorandum Circular No. 08, Series of 2018 (Implementing Guidelines on the Registration of Direct-Hire Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Mandaluyong City.
  3. Direct Hiring – Professionals and Skilled Workers. Retrieved 24 August 2022, from
  4. Direct Hiring – Domestic Workers. Retrieved 24 August 2022, from
  5. Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA). (2022). Requirements for Evaluation of Direct-Hire Application. Retrieved from
  6. Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA). (2019). Memorandum Circular No. 08, series of 2019.
  7. Directory of Authorized Insurance Companies. (2021). Retrieved 20 November 2021, from
  8. Philippine Embassy – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Minimum Insurance coverage for DIRECT HIRE per POEA Memorandum Circular 08-2018 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  9. Patinio, F. (2020). No order on PhilHealth premium payment for OEC release: POEA. Retrieved 1 April 2022, from

Rod Michael Perez

Rod Michael Perez is a freelance writer with over 7 years of experience in writing long-form articles, ad copy, and SEO content for local and foreign clients. He is also an aspiring startup founder and believes that the Philippines could be the next hub for startup culture. He takes care of his dog, a poodle-Shih Tzu hybrid, in his spare time.

69 thoughts on “How To Get Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for Direct-Hire OFWs: An Ultimate Guide

  1. Dear POEA/DMW,

    Paano kami maka kuha ng OEC dahil ang afghanistan may alert level 4 pa mandatory repatriation imposing last year 2021 by our government.

    Nasa Afghanistan pa kami.

    Thank you, Joel

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