Getting an OFW e Card, OFW eCard or OFW ID card is now easier and faster compared to how it was before when OFWs you get an OEC or Overseas Employment Certificate.
If you’re wondering what OFW eCard is and how to get one, read on to know more about it.
What is OFW eCARD
The OFW eCARD is a new identification card that serves as a proof of membership to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and an OEC for OFWs.
The OFW eCard will serve as the official ID of documented OFW bearing their own permanent OFW ID number.
It replaces the previously issued iDOLE OFW ID card, which had been controversial because of its confusing guidelines and which also bears a photo of President Rodrigo Duterte.
When OFWs present or use their OFW eCard, they can now have easy access to OWWA’s Welfare Services, Scholarships, Training Programs and Social Benefits.
OFWs can use their e-CARD to avail of OWWA programs and services.
Just present your OFW 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 if you want to avail of any of their services.
What are the OWWA OFW eCard Requirements
All Balik-Manggagawa with active OWWA membership, valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) / Exemption Number and valid passport can get and apply for OFW eCard.
Note that your OWWA membership must have at least 90 days of validity from the day of your application of OWWA OFW eCard.
Who Can Get an OWWA OFW ID – Requirements
All Balik Manggagawa who meet the following eligibility requirements can get an OFW eCARD:
- 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
Who are Considered as Balik Manggagawa?
According to POEA, Balik Manggagawa is an OFW who has finished or has active employment contract, who
- Will return to the same employer in a similar location abroad or
- Will return to the same employer in a new location abroad
Newly hires, direct hires, and Government Placement Branch (GPB) hired workers are not considered as Balik Manggagawa.
If you’re not 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.
You may also download the OWWA Mobile App on your smartphone to see if your OWWA membership is still active.
The OFW e-CARD is not yet available to newly hired OFWs, as the project is still in its first phase of implementation. Just wait for an update from the OWWA on when all OFWs can get this ID card or call the OWWA contact information below.
How to Get OFW ID Card
It’s very easy to get the OFW e-CARD and it’s 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 click this link to the OWWA OFW e-CARD Application Form.
- Fill out the online OFW ID card application form.
- Choose 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.
How to Claim the OFW eCard?
The OFW eCARD can be claimed only in the Philippines.
If you’re currently abroad, you may pick up your OFW 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 eCard Delivery Status
Here’s how to track your e-CARD application:
- Visit the OWWA OFW e-CARD Delivery Status page.
- Enter your tracking number or passport number and birth date.
- Click Submit.
How to Apply for OFW eCard When you’re Abroad
Not only in the Philippines can you get an OFW eCard.
You can also apply for OFW ecard abroad as long as you meet the requirements:
- Active OWWA member
- Valid passport
- Valid OEC
But please take note that you can only claim your OFW eCard in the Philippines unless you ask a representative to get it for you with all the required documents.
How to Get OFW eCard If OEC Exempted
If you are a Balik Manggagawa and you are exempted in getting OEC, you need to register at POEA Balik Manggagawa Online to get a BM Exemption Number.
You will use your BM Exemption Number instead of OEC Number when you apply for your OFW ecard online.
How to Renew OWWA Membership
If your OWWA membership has already expired and you still have an active employment contract, here’s how to renew your OWWA membership:
- Renew Online – Visit the OWWA website or download the OWWA Mobile App
- Renew Abroad – Visit any POLO-OWWA office abroad
- Renew In the Philippines – Visit any OWWA Regional Welfare Office or OWWA satellite office located at POEA Ortigas, NAIA Terminal 1, 2,3, Trinoma, and Duty Free Fiesta Mall.
Why you should get the OFW eCard – Benefits
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
- OFW eCard serves as an OEC or exit clearance at the airport, proving the owner’s legal status as an OFW
- When you have an OFW eCard, airport fees will be waived such as travel tax and terminal fee
- OFW eCard serves as a valid government-issued ID
- Easy OFW eCARD application process; no physical documents required
- It has security features such as QR code and unique OFW membership number for verification and data breach prevention
- OFW eCARD comes with a digital version through the OWWA Mobile App
How to Contact OWWA
If you have any questions regarding the OFW e-CARD, you may contact OWWA through the following options:
- Email: email@example.com
- 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.
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