Bureau of Immigration Issues Guidelines for Filipinos Departing the Philippines for Abroad
The Philippine Embassy wishes to inform the Filipino Community in Brunei Darussalam that the Bureau of Immigration has issued guidelines providing for definite parameters in the strict enforcement of immigration departure formalities.
The said guidelines are intended to help prevent trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment, and other related offenses.
Filipino travelers are classified under the following category:
OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS
A. First time OFWs
Travelers falling under this classification shall present the following documents as validated by the Labor Assistance Center (LAC):
iii. Airlines/sea craft ticket
iv. Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC)
Allowable visa usage. In the event of any discrepancy in the actual job position/job title in the visa and in the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), travel may still be allowed provided that the POEA, through the LAC, has validated and approved the variance based on the following:
i. Visa category is related to the worker's position or in line with the principal's nature of business;
ii. The recruitment agency executes an Undertaking on Visa Usage; and
iii. The worker is aware of the visa discrepancy situation and has executed a Declaration of Awareness and Consent.
Visa Usage Undertaking (VUU) and household service workers. The use of Visa Usage Undertaking (VUU) can never apply to Household Service Workers (HSW). The visa category should be strictly for household based positions; otherwise, a traveler will not be cleared for departure and the aforementioned documents shall be confiscated for further investigation and appropriate action.
Reprocessed contracts. OFWs in possession of "reprocessed" documents shall not be cleared for departure.
Based on R.A. No. 10022, the following constitute acts of "reprocessing":
i. The job description/position as indicated in the work visa is different from all other pertinent documents such as OEC, PDOS Certificate and others;
ii. The actual job as promised or offered is different from the actual overseas work as indicated in the pertinent papers; and
iii. The name of the employer or hiring company as indicated in the work visa and/or certificate are not one and the same.
All documents under the aforementioned provision shall be confiscated and turned over to the POEA for further investigation and appropriate action.
B. "Balik-Manggagawa"/Returning Workers
OFWs under the "Balik-Manggagawa"/Returning Worker category can be classified as follows:
i. Worker-on-Leave. A worker who is on vacation or on leave from employment under a valid and existing employment contract and who is returning to the same employer, regardless of any change in jobsite, to the finish the remaining unexpired portion of their contract.
ii. Re-hire. A worker who was hired by the same employer, after finishing his/her contract and who is returning to the same employer, regardless of change in the jobsite.
iii. POLO-registered worker. A returning worker whose employment contract was not processed with the POEA but was subsequently verified and registered with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the jobsite and who is returning to the same employer either as a worker-on-leave or rehire, regardless of any change in the jobsite. Same employer refers to the current employer of the worker at the time he/she came home for a vacation and to whom he/she is returning to resume employment upon return to the jobsite.
"Balik Manggagawa"/Returning workers are required to present the following:
ii. Valid visa
iii. Airline/sea craft ticket
iv. OEC issued by either POLO or POEA
In case of incomplete or questionable documentary requirements, the OFW shall be referred to the POEA-LAC for further investigation and appropriate action.
C. Overseas Filipino Workers on vacation but visiting other countries before returning to original worksite/destination
A "Balik-Manggagawa" OFW with a valid visa and existing work contract who intends to visit other countries does not need to obtain a POEA travel exit clearance/OEC. Hence, he/she shall be allowed to travel as a tourist and shall not be exempt from travel tax and terminal fee.