BM Online: A Step-by-Step Guide For Returning OFWs

BM Online: A Step-by-Step Guide For Returning OFWs

For a Filipino to be a registered OFW, he or she has to go through a lengthy documentation process to secure an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). An OEC will grant an OFW permission to leave the country legally and as a documented overseas worker. Meanwhile, OFWs who are heading back to the Philippines for a short stay may also require an OEC to return to their country of work,  but they can also apply for an exemption, removing the need for that sheet of paper.

In this article, we will discuss how you can apply for an OEC exemption. As long as you’re a documented OFW, the process shouldn’t take you long, you can do it with just a few clicks and in less than five minutes. It’s quite convenient and easy, but it comes with certain conditions that you may have to meet first.

How and where to get an OEC?

An OEC is granted to OFWs who fly out of the country as a documented OFW. The OEC is the last leg of the long overseas employment process and will require the following fees:

  • 100 USD for POEA Processing
  • 25 USD for OWWA Membership
  • ₱1,200.00 for Medicare
  • ₱100.00 for Pag-IBIG Fund

The OEC will be given by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) as a clearance to exit the country as a documented OFW. OECs have a validity period of 3 months, thus an OFW who wants to visit the Philippines needs to acquire an OEC exemption so that they could still legally exit the country as a documented OFW. 

How to get an OWWA ID?

OFWs can get an OWWA ID once they fully comply with the requirements for the OEC. To get the OFW e-card from OWWA, you can apply through their website and the ID can be claimed at their office in the Philippines. If you’re an OFW who is currently abroad, you can ask your family members to claim the ID for you, provided that they have an authorization letter and a copy of your passport identification page. 

Who is qualified to get an OEC exemption?

An OEC exemption is given to OFWs who are flying back to the Philippines for a short visit, but certain requirements must be met to be granted this exemption. If you’re an OFW with a valid work visa or permit in the country of your employment, you must meet the following criteria to get an OEC exemption:

  • You will be returning to the same employer. 
  • You will be returning to the same work location. 
  • You are registered in the POEA, which means you must have secured an OEC for your current employer. 

How to apply for an OEC exemption in BM Online?

OEC exemptions can be applied for through The process is quite straightforward and shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete. 

Registration and account activation

  1. Log on to the BM Online System
  2. Register an account by filling in your information under the “New User” for. Tick the captcha and the “I accept the Terms of Service” box then click the Sign Me Up button.
  3. BM online will send you a verification email, check the email you registered on the website and click the confirmation link provided to activate your account.
  4. Log-in to the BM online website using your registered email and dedicated password. 
  5. You will then see a message on the screen saying you’ve successfully activated your account.

    Updating your information

Before you go ahead and apply for an exemption, you must first update your profile information to make sure it matches with your existing details.

  1. Click the “My Profile” tab found on the left-hand side of your homepage. 
  2. You will find an edit button at the top of each section on your profile page, click it to update the necessary details in each section.


OEC exemption application

If you’re a registered OFW in the POEA, your information should automatically populate in your dashboard. It will indicate all the pertinent information to your overseas employment. 

  1. On the left-hand side of the page, there’s a button that says “Acquire OEC or Exemption”, click it to get started. 
  2. A tiny pop-up will show on the screen asking for the date of your arrival in the Philippines, confirming whether you’re returning to the same employer, then your OEC exemption details.
    For your information

    Your departure date must be within the 60-day OEC validity period.
  1. Note down your BM exemption number or simply screenshot the screen. 
  2. You can now go home to the Philippines and freely return to your country of employment whenever you want. 

Where can to get an OEC exemption in the Philippines?

For people who don’t have access to the internet, they can proceed to their region’s OWWA office.

What to do before your trip to the Philippines?

Prior to your trip to the Philippines, the key things to secure are your POEA papers, passport, and work visa. 

You can pretty much fly back to the Philippines anytime as long as you’ve secured your OEC exemption ahead of time. 

Pre-departure preparations (flying back to work site/ country)

If you have an OEC exemption, the procedure for you to fly out of the Philippines into your country of employment will be almost the same as a non-OFW’s. After you’ve checked in your baggage, proceed to the immigration counter and then present your passport with your work visa or work permit and show them the OEC exemption you’ve screenshot or simply state your OEC exemption number. 

Flying out of the country as an OFW has its perks such as exemption from the travel tax and terminal fees. To do this, once you’re at the respective counter, simply present any of the following:

  • Valid work visa or work permit.
  • Your POEA contract.
  • An OEC. 

Traveling back to the Philippines during this pandemic

The BM application is just one of the essential steps that you must accomplish to be allowed to fly back to your work country after your trip to the Philippines, and this is applicable every time you go back to the country if you’re an OFW regardless o the global circumstances. 

During this pandemic, there are additional (strict) measures are in place that you need to comply with and follow to curb the spread of COVID-19. It’s an entirely separate process that deserves a separate and in-depth discussion, you can read more about it in our Travel Guide For Returning Filipinos And Foreigners To The Philippines article. For the most part, the process will involve a series of covid-19 tests or screening, quarantine periods, and additional documents.

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