With the launch of the new OFW ID card (called the OFW e-CARD) in November 2018, the horror of getting an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) might just soon be over for OFWs. Filipinos working abroad can also expect smoother and faster transactions with different government agencies.
Interested in getting an OFW e-CARD? Let this simple guide help you in your application process.
What is OFW e-CARD?
The OFW e-CARD is a new identification card that serves as a proof of membership to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and an OEC for OFWs.
It replaces the previously issued iDOLE OFW ID card, which was controversial for its confusing guidelines
and bearing a photo of President Rodrigo Duterte.
OFWs can use their e-CARD to avail of OWWA programs and services. Simply present the ID card at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
, Bureau of Immigration, and Philippine embassies or consulates in their respective countries of employment.
What are the Benefits of OFW e-Card?
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Photo from OWWA Facebook page[/caption]
Having the new OFW ID card will make life easier for Filipinos working abroad. Here are OFW e-CARD benefits to expect:
- Easier access to OWWA programs and services such as social benefits, training programs, and scholarships with fewer documentary requirements
- Serves as an OEC or exit clearance at the airport, proving the owner’s legal status as an OFW
- Waived airport fees such as travel tax and terminal fee
- Serves as a valid government-issued ID
- Easy OFW e-CARD application process; no physical documents required
- Security features such as QR code and unique OFW membership number for verification and data breach prevention
- Comes with a digital version through the OWWA Mobile App
Who Can Get an OWWA OFW ID?
All Balik Manggagawas who meet the following eligibility requirements can get an OFW e-CARD:
- Active OWWA membership (with at least 90-day OWWA membership validity from application date)
- Valid passport (Valid for at least six months prior to expiry date)
- Valid OEC or Exemption Number
Based on POEA Rules and Regulations, a Balik Manggagawa is an OFW who has completed or is currently completing his or her employment contract and will return to the same employer, whether in the same or a new job site.
If you aren’t sure about your OWWA membership status, you may check it at the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office if you’re in the Philippines or at the POLO if you’re currently abroad. Or download the OWWA Mobile App
on your smartphone to see if your OWWA membership is still active.
As of this writing, the OFW e-CARD is not yet available to newly hired OFWs, as the project is still in its first phase of implementation. Wait for an update from the OWWA on when all OFWs can get this ID card.
How to Get OFW ID Card
The OFW e-CARD is available for free. Whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad, you can apply for this OFW ID card online.
Here’s how to apply for an OFW e-Card:
OFW e-Card Online Application Steps
- Go to the OWWA website and click the OFW e-Card banner. Or directly go to the OWWA OFW e-CARD Application Form.
- Fill out the online OFW ID card application form.
- Select the OWWA Regional Welfare Office where you want to claim the OFW e-Card.
- A confirmation page will appear. Keep the tracking number for inquiring about the ID card status later. Enter your email address or Facebook profile name to know the status. Click the Submit button.
- Claim your OFW ID card at your chosen OWWA Regional Welfare Office.
The OFW e-CARD can be claimed only in the Philippines. You may choose to pick up your ID card when you return to the country for your vacation. Or you can ask a family member to claim it for you. The authorized representative needs to submit an authorization letter and a photocopy of the OFW’s passport identification page.
How to Track OFW e-Card Delivery Status
Checking the status of your e-CARD application is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:
- Visit the OWWA OFW e-CARD Delivery Status page.
- Enter your tracking number or passport number and birthdate.
- Click the Submit button.
Got questions or need help when it comes to the OFW e-CARD? You may reach OWWA via email (email@example.com) or through any of these contact numbers:
- Landline: (02) 804-0639 / 833-0244 / 551-3647
- Globe: (0977) 396-2809 / (0977) 3962-819 / (0977) 396-2818 / (0977) 396-2804
- Smart: (0918) 605-3017 / (0918) 605-3026 / (0918) 605-3037 / (0918) 6053-046
OWWA and POEA assistance desks are also available at NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3 to help OFWs regarding any concern about the e-CARD.