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  • Want To Work Abroad? The POEA Basics You Need To Know

    You can find an overseas job in-person or online.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
Want To Work Abroad? The POEA Basics You Need To Know
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Day Of Victory Studio
  • People often ask how to apply in POEA (or the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration). But that is not the right question exactly (unless you mean applying for a job inside the agency).

    As stated in its website, POEA’s primary mission is to facilitate the “generation and preservation of decent jobs” for Filipino migrant workers, who are also called overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

    Opportunities to work abroad are usually found through a recruitment company with a valid license from the POEA. You can go to POEA to get further assistance on how to get hired by a reputable employer.

    In short, POEA does not give you a job but acts like a mediator or clearing house, so to speak.

    Part of POEA’s services is running an in-house recruitment and job placement facility called Government Placement Branch (GPB). Applying through GPB guarantees that a job offer from abroad is legit as employers have been screened by the agency.

    You can find job openings in POEA, which are posted at the bulletin board of the headquarters, located at the corner of Edsa and Ortigas Avenue in Mandaluyong City. A list of job openings are listed at its satellite and regional offices.

    Requirements if you want to be an OFW 

    Before you go to POEA, visit its website first and social media pages (@poea.gov.ph on Facebook) for announcements, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. If you do visit the POEA, please follow health protocols. Here are the OFW requirements.

    POEA online registration

    Access the POEA’s online services portal to make your e-registration account. You will need this even if you’re just starting to look for a job.


    Make sure to create only one account. Once you find a job abroad, you will use this to generate your Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) ID number.

    A PEOS ID number is a mandatory requirement for overseas job application, whether coursed through GPB or other channels, such as private recruitment companies.

    Read carefully the instructions when you create your e-registration account, and take note of these reminders:

    • Make sure to give only true and correct information. Doing otherwise will be a ground for disqualification when you use the e-registration service in the future.
    • Provide a working email address (and one you check regularly) to receive the confirmation email.
    • If you don’t receive the confirmation email right away, don’t create another e-registration account by changing your personal information (name, birthday, passport number). This can jeopardize your job application.
    • When you encounter a problem, it’s best to contact the Mandatory Registry Division through the numbers provided in the registration page here. 

    The portal also facilitates booking an appointment to visit the POEA Central Office. You can select the date of your visit to a specific department and get a slot right away, so you won’t have to queue in person. 

    Job application documents 

    After looking for  job openings posted either at the POEA office or to its website, you can start sending out your application also either in-person or online.

    Meanwhile, prepare the basic requirements needed for job application, including birth certificate and marriage contract.

    Another requirement is the PEOS certificate. You can get this by taking the seminar either at the POEA office or through the PEOS website. You will take the module based on your qualifications: professional and skilled workers, or domestic workers. 

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    While taking the free seminar, you will learn:

    • The necessary information on overseas job application procedures
    • Documentary requirements and costs involved
    • Important information to safeguard against illegal recruitment

    After completing your module, don’t forget to print your POES certificate and keep this in your file of requirements. 

    OFW application process

    When can you expect to hear from a prospective employer? There is no set period — it could be days or months. But if you spotted the job posting in POEA, chances are those are for urgent hiring.  

    Submit all the requirements when you get a call from the company offering the overseas job. If you’re up for hiring, read (and read again) the employment contract first before signing.

    If the employment contract is good, take a medical exam in a clinic accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) and secure your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) from the POEA. 

    Part of the last steps on how to apply in POEA is attending the pre-departure orientation at a center accredited by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). From there, you’ll get your Pre-Departure Seminar Certificate, which is a must, along with your OEC, contract, passport, and visa, in leaving for your destination as an OFW.

    Good luck! 

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