Reviewed January 2024
The OFW e-Card aims to improve and enhance service delivery to member OFWs by providing quicker and easier access to OWWA programs and services. OFWs can access welfare services, scholarships, training programs, and others with the card. It will also lessen the quantity of paperwork required as it also serves as a valid ID.
Keep reading to find out more about Filipino immigrant workers’ e-Card, their eligibility, requirements, and more.
Table of Contents
What is the OFW e-Card?
The OFW e-Card is an electronic card issued to an active member of OWWA. The e-Card functions both as a membership card and as a valid ID which can be presented to any Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and any Philippine Embassy or Consulate overseas whenever assistance or services are required.
It also functions as a valid ID for DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration), OWWA, Bureau of Immigration, and Philippine Overseas Labor Offices.
OFW e-Card benefits
The OFW e-Card aims to make OWWA programs and services more accessible to its members. The card allows OFWs to access all the benefits, including the following:
- faster access to OWWA programs and services
- it will serve as an exit clearance for leaving the country
- introduction of the Digital OWWA OFW e-CARD in the OWWA Mobile App, which can be used similarly to the OWWA OFW e-CARD
- establishment of a permanent OWWA/OFW membership number
- recognized government-issued identification card
Who can register for the OFW e-Card?
Any returning Filipino worker or Balik-Manggagawa with an active OWWA membership, a valid Overseas Employment Certificate/Exemption Number, and a valid passport are eligible for the OFW e-Card.
Additionally, according to the POEA rules and regulations, the OFW will also be eligible for an e-Card if he or she was able to complete or is presently completing an employment contract and:
- will work for the same company at the same location
- will be hired by the same company in many locations
New hires, direct hires and personnel hired by the Government Placement Branch (GBP) are not counted as Balik-Manggagawa.
Currently, the OWWA OFW e-CARD is only in Phase 1, initially issued to returning OFWs (Balik-Manggagawa). Phase 2 will be launched in the coming months, allowing other active OWWA members not included in Phase 1 to also apply for the OFW e-CARD.
The e-Card is available for free and may be claimed upon return to the Philippines at any OWWA regional office nationwide.
OFW e-Card online application
Please be advised that the Management Information System Division (MISD) is transitioning from the old system to the new e-Card one. Kindly wait for further notice on resuming the e-Card Online Registration operations. We will revise this article accordingly as soon as new updates and additional links are available.
However, you can expect these steps when applying for an OFW e-card online.
- Visit the official website
- Enter your name, birthdate, phone number, passport number, and valid POEA OEC number
- Select OWWA Regional Office you want to get your OFW e-Card from. POEA Regional Office in Cebu City, OWWA Head Office, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) are all places where you can receive your e-Card.
- Check the Data Privacy Act and enter the CAPTCHA that applies.
- After you have filled out all of the required information, click the ‘Submit’ button.
- You will be given a Tracking Number as proof that your application for an OWWA OFW e-Card has been approved.
- To receive a notification or update on the status of your application, enter your email address or your Facebook profile name.
- After receiving a notification, you can pick up your OFW e-Card at your OWWA Regional Office.
OFW e-Card with OEC exemption
If you are a Balik Manggagawa exempted from obtaining an OEC, you must register on the POEA Balik Manggagawa Online platform to obtain your BM Exemption Number.
Please be aware that only OFWs hired through the Government Placement Branch (GBP) and Balik-Mangagawa (BM) or returning workers who fulfill all the specified requirements are eligible for an OEC exemption.
- has a valid work visa/permit
- returning to the same employer and job site
- has a record in the POEA/DMW database
- has been issued an OEC before
To obtain your BM Exemption Number, follow the steps below:
- Visit the DMW Online Services Portal and click on “Let’s Go!” under e-Registration.
- Log in to your account.
- Once logged in, go to the Balik-Manggagawa module and update your profile by providing all the necessary information
- Upload your valid ID and passport to complete the Identification portion.
- Add at least one beneficiary in the My Family portion, then click Next.
- Enter your flight schedule, then click Next.
- Review your records, including your employer, job site, position, and contract details.
- Answer whether you’re a returning Balik-Mangagawa with the same employer, job site, and position.
Once you confirm your response as ‘Yes’ to the questions, the Bureau of Immigration will receive your information. At that point, you can immediately access and print the soft copy of your OEC exemption, including your BM exemption number. Using this assigned BM Exemption Number instead of the OEC Number, you can apply for your OFW e-card online.
OFW e-Card tracking delivery status
Kindly note that the Management Information System Division is shifting from the previous system to a new e-Card platform. Please wait for additional updates regarding when the operations for online registration with e-Cards will resume, including the tracking process.
However, you can expect these steps when tracking the status of your OFW e-Card.
- Visit the official website of OWWA OFW e-Card Delivery Status.
- Input your tracking number/passport number and birthdate.
- Click the submit button.
- You can now see your OFW e-Card status.
How to apply for an OFW e-Card if you are still abroad?
OFW e-Card applications can be submitted online by any Balik-Manggagawa who is still working abroad. If you are unable to return to the Philippines, you can still obtain your e-Card by allowing someone else to claim it on your behalf.
You can accomplish this by giving your family or relative an authorization letter along with a copy of your passport information page. When claiming your OFW e-Card, your authorized representative must also produce a valid photo ID.
OFW e-Card Renewal with OWWA Membership
Please note that your OWWA membership must be valid for at least 90 days from the date of your application to acquire your OFW e-Card. If you are unsure about the validity of your OWWA membership, you can check it through the OWWA Mobile App available on Google Play and App Store.
Suppose your OWWA membership is already expired, but you still have an active contract. Then, you will be able to renew it by the following options:
- Online: download the OWWA Mobile App to renew your membership using your phone
- Abroad: go to a POLO-OWWA office in the country you’re in
- In the Philippines: go to one of the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices or at the satellite offices of OWWA, located at POEA Ortigas, NAIA Terminal 1,2, at 3, Trinoma, and Duty-Free Fiesta Mall.