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Can OFWs holding “visit visa and OEC” leave PH for employment abroad?

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has reminded Filipinos wishing to leave the Philippines for overseas job to secure employment visas.

Those who hold visit visas but intend to work abroad would not be allowed to leave even if they have an overseas employment certificate issued by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, according to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.

Morente issued the statement after five Dubai-bound Filipino passengers BI from leaving the country last November 21.

The BI’s travel control and enforcement unit (TCEU) said the five male passengers were not allowed to board their flights at the terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, as they intended to work in the UAE but only presented tourist visas.

When pressed, they admitted that they were recruited to work as painters and pipe installers in the emirate.
They were also holding overseas employment certificates which proved that their intention was to work abroad, the immigration said.

They said their recruiters would convert their visit visas into employment visas once they reach the emirate, which is not allowed under the revised guidelines on departure formalities for international passengers set by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

They were advised to secure employment visa before departure.

Staff Report

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