Getting an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for OFWs in NZ

Nice, you’ve got plane tickets to the mothership sorted! AN ERRAND AWAITS YOU!

If you’re on a work visa (regardless of country) and would want to go home on a holiday for the first time after your visa approval, chances are, you’ll need an OEC (aka an Exit Clearance). Without one, the Philippine Immigration won’t let you get on that plane back to New Zealand. There is no OEC processing branch in New Zealand so getting an OEC has to be done via e-mail with the Philippine Embassy in Australia (the only pro of this whole thing, because I dislike doing life admin offline). Also ensure that your return to New Zealand is within the 60-day validity of the OEC from the date of your appointment.

Before proceeding with the paperwork, do your due diligence by sending them an e-mail to confirm that the payment details are up-do-date: poloaustralia <AT> philembassy <DOT> org <DOT> au . Notice I did not spell it out because we don’t want the PH embassy in Australia to get spam e-mails. Replace the ones in brackets with their respective symbols.

But this is pretty much how I did it:

  1. Create a BM Online account here, key in your personal details and upload a clear face photo that is not a selfie.
  2. Set an appointment under POLO Oceania Branch: Australia Yarralumla. Again, in this instance, there is no need for personal appearance so you DO NOT have to book flights across the ditch.[block]
  3. Save the OFW information sheet as a PDF and affix your signature.
  4. E-mail the following documents with your NZ address, contact #, flight date back to NZ to poloaustralia <AT> philembassy <DOT> org <DOT> au:
    -signed employment contract
    -health insurance (this is only for my GP/dental day-to-day visits which the public healthcare doesn’t fully cover)
    -copy of your passport and visa with arrival stamp in New Zealand
    -Signed Information Sheet generated from the BM Online appointment
    -Proof of payment (AU$102.10)

Breakdown of fees (in Australian dollars):

Verification AU$18
OWWA Membership AU$25
OEC AU$5
Australia International Express postage fee AU$29.10
Australian Bank Charges for international transfer AU$25.00
Total AU$102.10

May be paid through bank transfer to this account: 

Account name ANTONIO JR BASSIG SAQUING
Account no 1035 4948
BSB 062-902
Bank address Manuka, ACT 2603
Bank name Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Kindly ensure that the payment is in Australian Dollars and that it should be net of NZ and Aus bank charges.

My OEC was uploaded to my BM Online account by the Philippine Embassy Australia after 3 working days.

What your BM online dashboard should look like when it’s available for download:

IMPORTANT: Once you have acquired your first OEC, you are now exempted from all the succeeding OECs as long as you are working within the same company. You may get your OEC exemption # on your BM online account every time you fly back to the Philippines.

When you change employers, you have to do this long process again until you get your Residency Visa.

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