If you are an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Vancouver, Canada, you may now easily renew your OWWA membership to continue enjoying the agency’s perks and services. Remember that the OWWA membership is only good for two (2) years, and this is an opportunity you should not pass up. Why? We’ll tell you (or remind you) what you can obtain from the OWWA as a qualified OFW member.
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You may believe that renewing your membership would be a difficult undertaking, especially because you will be doing so from another country. However, this is far from what you may expect when you begin this easy process. Continue reading if you want to discover more. We’ll give you an insight into the OWWA membership program, what you can anticipate as a member, the renewal procedure, some advice, and FAQs regarding the program, so make sure to read all the way to the end.
Guide to OWWA Appointment and Membership Renewal in Vancouver Canada
If you come across this page but are not currently an OWWA member, stay tuned because you’ll also learn how to apply for membership, as the processes are identical.
What is OWWA Membership?
Membership in the OWWA is aimed at overseas Filipino workers. It informs them about their rights and obligations when working in another country. As such, it is critical for every OFW to understand what it means to be an OWWA member, as this will impact their career and general well-being as overseas workers.
Membership in the OWWA is available in two forms. The first is through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), which is required of OFWs before they go to their host nations.
The second method is to apply for membership through OWWA’s On-Site Membership Program, which allows overseas Filipinos to apply for membership by filling out an application form and providing the required documentation.
So, who is eligible to apply for or renew their OWWA membership? Let’s have a look at some examples:
- Must be actively and legally working in another country. This implies that you must always have your legal paperwork with you, no matter where you are on the globe.
- Is a permanent resident with full-time, permanent employment yet continues to be a Filipino citizen
Given the criteria for eligibility above, the following ARE NOT eligible to apply for or renew membership with OWWA:
- Due for cancellation
- Due for termination
- No work, no pay
OFWs in Vancouver, Canada who are renewing or applying for the first time for OWWA membership, will need to submit the following documents:
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet. Download a copy of the form here.
- OFWs must present a letter of certification from the employer or company, verifying that they are not on the list of terminated, resigned, canceled
- Original and photocopy of passport (showing the data page)
- Photocopy of Active and Valid Proof of Employment
- Photocopy of Valid Visa and Work Permit
Applying or renewing OWWA membership requires a fee of USD 25.00 (CAD 32.00 or PHP 1,032)
Before you can get started with your membership application or renewal, you need to know whether the OWWA branch (at the Philippine foreign post [POLO] in your area), in this case, Vancouver, has an online appointment system for OWWA services.
As of this writing, POLO-Vancouver does not have an online appointment system for OWWA services. At this moment, the membership application is temporarily via email. This means that OFWs are not yet advised to go directly to the POLO-Vancouver office as COVID-19 restrictions are still in place.
Another way OFWs can apply for or renew their membership is through the PCG Consular Outreach activities. Just keep posted on the PCG-Vancouver’s social media pages for the latest announcements.
Applying via Email:
As mentioned, application for membership is temporarily coursed through email. Simply email the requirements to email@example.com.
POLO-Vancouver will handle and validate your membership application or renewal after submitting the above-mentioned documents to OWWA via email.
In terms of payment, you will only be required to pay for your membership when OWWA has confirmed your application and papers. This means you must wait for a confirmation email from POLO-Vancouver about your application before paying for your OWWA membership. Payment is made by wire transfer.
If you submit your membership application or renewal at a consular outreach mission, you may pay the membership fee to the POLO-Vancouver officer-in-charge (OIC) once your application is accepted.
Here are the steps on paying your membership fee at the POLO-Vancouver office:
- Visit the POLO-Vancouver website at https://www.vancouverpcg.org.
- On the upper section of the page, click the POLO tab.
- In the new page, scroll down to find the form for the OWWA Membership Form.
- Click the OWWA downloadable form and print out several copies for you to manually fill out.
- Fill out all the required fields on the form, including your personal details, contract information, as well as legal beneficiaries/qualified dependents.
- Once you’ve accomplished the OWWA information sheet, you may now scan the form along with the other requirements.
- Email the complete and scanned requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wait for the confirmation of your application. This could take three to seven days.
- Upon receiving confirmation of your application, you will be emailed a set of instructions on how to pay your membership fee of USD 25 via bank transfer.
- Scan the receipt of your payment and send it to email@example.com.
- POLO-Vancouver will then request your mailing address. Provide this information so that you can get the official receipt for your membership payment.
Aside from completing all the steps and requirements set by OWWA, here are some reminders provided by POLO-Vancouver regarding your OWWA membership application or renewal:
- Make sure that all your requirements are complete before submitting your application. If you have not submitted all of these, then your application will not be processed.
- Make sure that your documents are clear and not blurred before sending them to POLO Vancouver.
- OFW should also receive a confirmation from POLO Vancouver regarding their application.
- After paying the OWWA’s membership fee, you should send the scanned receipt to confirm your membership.
- You can also connect with POLO-Vancouver through its Facebook page and website for more details.
- After three months, new members of the OWWA are entitled to participate in the organization’s various programs and activities. As such, it’s crucial that you ensure that your OWWA account is active the soonest time possible.
Video: List of OWWA Benefits, Programs & Services for OFWs and Dependents
There are several benefits you can avail of as an OWWA member in Vancouver, Canada or anywhere in the world. This video lists all of them. Hopefully, after watching this, you can get started on your application or renewal process, which has been the focus of this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How to book an appointment with OWWA in Vancouver, Canada?
Currently, there is no need to contact POLO-Vancouver to book an appointment for an OWWA membership. However, OFWs are not allowed to visit the office of POLO-Vancouver since the OWWA membership application is not yet processed on-site.
- How do I renew my OWWA membership in Vancouver, Canada?
The process for applying for OWWA membership in Vancouver, Canada is simple. After submitting the required documents, the membership fee is paid through a bank transfer. Then just wait for the official receipt of your payment, and once that’s settled, your membership should be renewed right away.
- Can I pay for the OWWA membership online?
You can renew your membership online or through the OWWA mobile app. Just enter your email address and your preferred payment method.
- How long is OWWA membership valid for?
The OWWA membership needs to be renewed every two years. The renewal date falls on the date of your application.
- Why is my OWWA membership inactive?
If your OWWA membership has already reached its two-year mark, it can be deactivated. It may also be revoked if you have an expired work visa.
- Is OWWA membership mandatory?
Many OFWs who got their jobs at the POEA after processing their employment are required to become a member of OWWA.
- Are all OFWs members of OWWA?
No, not all OFWs are members of OWWA. Most of the time, the membership requirements are met by OFWs, except for those who are unauthorized immigrants or do not meet the provisions of the law.
- My application and documents were returned with compliance and deficiency notes attached. What does this mean?
This is for companies that have deficiencies in their documents. It provides a compliance or deficiency letter that states the areas where the company should take action.
To ensure that the documents go straight to the processing officer, attach a compliance or deficiency note to the letter. In bold letters, write COMPLIANCE outside the letter pack and attach the compliance/deficiency note when resubmitting the documents to ensure that they go straight to the processing officer.
- Who can avail of OWWA benefits?
Aside from accessing the organization’s various benefits, registered and active members also have the opportunity to receive various programs and benefits.
- What are the OWWA benefits for active members?
As OWWA-members, OFWs can gain access to a range of member benefits, which include the following:
- OWWA financial assistance: The OWWA loan is a type of loan that provides financial help to overseas workers for various purposes, such as vacation or emergency expenses.
- OWWA social benefits: These benefits are provided to OFWs who are disabled and dismemberment benefits are also provided to them.
- Seminar and training for OFWs: The OWWA also helps enrich the knowledge and skills of OFWs all over the world thru skills training and seminars/webinars. Some of these include the country-specific Pre-Departure Education Program (PDOS), comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) and seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP).
- OWWA benefits for beneficiaries: Aside from OWWA benefits, there are also various scholarship programs that are available to OFW dependents.
- Welfare assistance program: OWWA’s welfare assistance services include on-site support, in-country assistance, and psycho-social counseling.
- Repatriation Assistance Program: The OWWA’s Repatriation Assistance Program provides financial assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are returning to the Philippines in times of distress. This benefit can include shelter, transportation, and social counseling.
- OWWA Rebate Program: OFWs can get a rebate for making OWWA contributions. The amount they can get depends on how many contributions they made. To claim, they can visit the OWWA rebate website.
- OWWA benefits for ex-OFWs: Aside from the welfare of their fellow workers abroad, there are also various OWWA benefits available for retired overseas Filipino workers. These include:
- OWWA Reintegration Program: The Reintegration Program is for overseas workers who have already left their contracts and would like to start a new life in the Philippines. It provides them with the opportunity to start a new venture.
- Balik-Pinas! Balik-Hanapbuhay! Program: The OWWA’s livelihood program supports overseas Filipino workers to start their own businesses. This assistance can be used for various purposes, such as training, equipment, and education.
The OWWA membership is an important step for OFWs to take to guarantee that they have access to the numerous programs and services that are available to them. For a little charge, you may take advantage of all the services and advantages provided by the Philippine government to overseas Filipinos, no matter where you are in the world. It goes without saying that this is a must-have for any Filipinos living abroad. Not only will this provide you peace of mind, but your membership will also assist your family and dependents back home. Just be sure to keep your membership current and renew it on a regular basis if you want to take advantage of all the program’s features.
Filipinos in Vancouver, Canada, who want to join OWWA, can do so through their local office or through the organization’s mobile app. If you are an OFW in Vancouver, Canada, make sure to sign up for an OWWA membership. This will enable you to make use of all the perks offered to registered members, such as those discussed in this article.
POLO-OWWA Vancouver, Canada
Address: World Trade Center Office Complex
Suite 601, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, V6C3E1
Telephone No.: (+1) 604 641 1234
For emergency, call the POLO hotline (+1) 604 767 3354