Unlock OWWA Benefits: How to Get an OFW ID in the Philippines

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated August 17, 2022

Being an Overseas Filipino Worker or OFW not only helps your family but also the country. The government recognizes that. Hence, the many kinds of benefits designed for modern-day heroes like you.

To access such benefits, you need to have a document that proves you’re an OFW. And that document is the OFW ID.

Gone are the days when you had to go through a lengthy and confusing process just to get an OFW ID. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has already streamlined the procedure via its online application channel.

If you want to learn how to get an OFW ID, here are the things that you may want to take note of:

What is an OFW ID?

Formally known as the OWWA OFW e-CARD, the OFW ID is a document that proves you’re a member of the OWWA. With this card, you can quickly access the programs and services of the said agency.

Furthermore, the OFW ID is recognized as a valid ID. You can present it to any Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), embassy, or consulate in case you need help or a specific service while you’re abroad.

What are the Benefits of an OWWA OFW e-CARD?

Before you learn how to get an OFW ID, you should know the benefits and privileges that come with it. Here are some of them:

  • Easier access to programs and services of OWWA, such as social benefits, scholarships, and training programs, among others.
  • Serves as a valid government-issued ID
  • Serves as your exit clearance or OEC if you’re leaving the country
  • Gives you a permanent OWWA / OFW membership number
  • Comes with a digital version through the official OWWA mobile app

Read more: Balik Manggagawa OEC Exemption: Step-by-Step Guide for Returning OFWs

Who Can Get an OWWA OFW ID?

All returning OFWs or Balik-Manggagawas are eligible for an OFW ID. According to POEA Rules and Regulations, a Balik-Manggagawa is an OFW who has completed or is currently completing their employment contract. On top of that, the OFW should be:

  • Returning to the same employer at the old jobsite
  • Returning to the same employer at the new jobsite

The OWWA also makes it clear that new hires, direct hires, and employees hired by Government Placement Branch (GBP) are not classified as Balik-Manggagawa.

Read more: OFBank Account Opening Guide for Overseas Filipinos

How to Get an OFW ID Card in the Philippines

The application for this pertinent document is much easier now since the OWWA has created an online facility for it. In this section, you’ll finally learn how to get an OW ID.

OWWA OFW ID Requirements

All Balik-Manggagawas who want to get an OFW ID must have the following:

  • Active OWWA Membership (with at least 90-day validity from the application date)
  • Valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or Exemption Number
  • Valid passport

OWWA e-CARD Application: Step-by-Step Guide

how to get ofw id - online owwa ecard application

Follow the eight steps below to complete your OFW ID application:

1. Visit the official OFW ID application page.[1]
2. Provide the required personal information.
3. Choose your preferred OWWA Regional Welfare Office. Remember that this is where you’ll claim your OFW ID, so choose the closest to you.
4. Accept the Data Privacy disclaimer by ticking the box. Complete the CAPTCHA test.
5. Click the “Submit” button.
6. The system will show you your tracking number, proving that your application has been accepted. Write this number down or take a screenshot of it; you’ll need it for follow-ups.
7. Provide your email address or Facebook profile to know the status of your OFW ID.
8. Once you receive a go signal, you may claim your OFW ID at your chosen OWWA Regional Office.

How to Track Your OFW e-CARD Delivery Status

how to get ofw id - owwa ecard tracking

OFW ID tracking has also been made simple with the OWWA’s delivery tracking facility. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Visit the official OFW ID Delivery Status page.[2]
  2. Key in your tracking number. Alternatively, you can input your passport number and your birthday.
  3. Complete the CAPTCHA test.
  4. Click the “Submit” button. After that, a result will appear right below the form.

Read more: An Aspiring OFW’s Guide to the POEA and Its Services

FAQs on How to Get an OFW ID

Now that you know how to get an OFW ID, you may still have some questions that you don’t want to go unanswered. You may want to check out the following.

1. How much is the OFW ID fee?

The OWWA OFW e-CARD application is free for first-time applicants.

2. Can new OFWs apply for an OFW ID?

The OWWA OFW e-CARD is still in its first phase, which means only Balik-Manggagawas can only apply for it. Rest assured, active OWWA members who aren’t included in Phase 1 will be accommodated in the succeeding phase of the project.

3. My OWWA membership has already expired. Where can I apply for renewal?

An active OWWA membership is required for OFW ID. If your employment contract is still active but your OWWA membership has already expired, you can apply for renewal via the following channels:

  • Online – Download the official OWWA mobile app, so you can renew and update your OWWA membership. The app’s available in the App Store or Google Play.[3]
  • POLO-OWWA Office – If you’re abroad, just head to the country’s POLO-OWWA office to apply.
  • OWWA Regional Office – If you’re in the Philippines, you can apply at your nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office. You may also visit OWWA’s satellite offices in the following locations: POEA Ortigas, NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3, Trinoma, and Duty Free Fiesta Mall

4. How will I know the status of my OWWA membership?

You can also use the same application channels above to know the status of your OWWA membership.

5. Can I claim my OFW ID even if I’m abroad?

If you can’t fly home to claim the OFW ID, you can send someone to do it for you. Just give an authorization letter to your chosen family relative together with a copy of your passport’s identification page. The authorized representative will then present these documents to your chosen OWWA Regional Welfare Office.

6. I lost my OFW ID. What should I do?

As mentioned, the OFW ID is free if you’re claiming it for the first time. In case you lost your OFW ID, it’s highly advised to visit the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office for the process and possible fees. 

Final Thoughts

Being a migrant worker comes with some privileges, such as Pag-IBIG benefits for OFWs and those offered by the OWWA. For the latter, you can access them by presenting an OFW ID.

How to get an OFW ID? It’s a whole lot easier these days given there’s already an online facility for it. If you don’t have an ID yet, apply for one now. It won’t take much of your time. However, make sure that your OWWA membership is active and that you have the relevant documents to prevent delays on your end.

Got questions or need help when it comes to the OFW e-CARD? You may reach OWWA via email (support@owwa.gov.ph) 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

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Venus leads the blog content strategy and optimization at Moneymax as the Head of Editorial Content. She has 15+ years of experience in content marketing, corporate communications, and public relations. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. Before joining Moneymax, Venus had written informative guides and articles, specializing in personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she enjoys bingeing K-dramas on Netflix while bonding with her rescued cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.