OWWA Repatriation Program: How to Apply for OFWs

According to law, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration must create an emergency repatriation fund in order to immediately evacuate Overseas Filipino Workers during disasters, epidemics, or conflicts in their host country. Hence, the repatriation assistance program is designed for OFWs who need to return to the Philippines due to unforeseen events.

This assistance is available through the Consulate, Philippine Embassy, or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (now called Migrant Workers Office) in various countries where there are OFWs. In times of calamities, whether man-made or natural, the OWWA is ready to repatriate Filipino migrant workers through the help of foreign agencies in affected countries.

The OWWA will take care of all the costs incurred in repatriating OFWs if the recruitment agency or sponsor can’t be found. Initially, the Philippine government allotted Php 100,000,000 as emergency repatriation fund including any outstanding balances under the supervision and administration of the agency.

What Is the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program

The OWWA Repatriation Program is an assistance wherein the OWWA helps OFWs return to the country safely. Repatriation includes assisting returning migrant workers, mentally or physically ill OFWs, and even human remains or belongings. During natural disasters or civil instability, the OWWA carries out emergency repatriation for affected OFWs.

The repatriation team works with Local Government Units and other government agencies including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Southern Philippines Medical Center to provide assistance to distressed OFWs. In case the recruitment agency or principal can’t be contacted, the OWWA will shoulder the costs of the repatriation.

Benefits of OWWA Repatriation Program

The OWWA is given an emergency repatriation fund in order to assist returning OFWs, from their host country back to the Philippines. The benefits and services of the repatriation program include airport assistance, stress debriefing, psychosocial therapy, temporary accommodation via the OWWA Halfway House, packed meals, free transportation to quarantine facilities, free quarantine accommodations, and transportation fares and facilities to different provinces.

Any OFW who experiences all kinds of abuse, or those who are affected by conflicts in the country where they work should have immediate access to POLO or OWWA’s repatriation services. It’s advised to contact the nearest POLO office in case a Filipino migrant worker needs to seek repatriation assistance.

OWWA Repatriation Loan Programs

In addition to the repatriation services that OWWA provides for OFWs across the world, the agency also offers loan programs and financial grants in order to help displaced and distressed Filipino migrant workers recover and get back on their feet. If you’re interested in the repatriation loan, check out the following programs that qualified returning OFWs can get cash assistance from:

Qualifications for OWWA Repatriation Program

There is a list of documentary requirements to submit when applying for the OWWA Repatriation Program. But before that, it’s important to consider the qualifications in order to see whether you meet them or not. Of course, you must meet the following:

  •  Must be a Filipino citizen
  • Active or non-active OFW
  • Land-based or sea-based migrant worker


Below are the requirements you need to complete before submitting an application for the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program:

  • Copy of a valid Philippine passport
  • Copy of the Exit Visa
  • Active mobile phone number
  • Current home address or local residence

How to Apply for OWWA Repatriation Program

All OFWs are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the repatriation process so that the concerned agencies can help them immediately during trying times. You need to meet the qualifications and secure all the documentary requirements before you can apply for the OWWA Repatriation Program for OFWs.

If you need repatriation assistance abroad, make sure to follow these steps in order to get immediate assistance from the POEA, POLO, OWWA, or any designated office near you:

Step 1: Go to the Philippine Embassy, POLO, or Consulate office in your area.

Step 2: Prepare a copy of the Exit Visa issued by the Passport Office or via online application.

Step 3: Accomplish the form for OWWA repatriation assistance.

Step 4: Get a repatriation program request form from the agency.

Step 5: Wait for the Embassy’s response to the letter of request.

For the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Form, you can fill it out online through the OFW Assistance Information System form. You need to accomplish the application form within five days before your flight. If you can’t accomplish the form online, you can download the form via DOLE OASIS Form at https://oasis.owwa.gov.ph/ and print it.

You can download the document and print it through this link: https://www.dole.gov.ph/php_assets/uploads/2020/06/OASIS-Form-as-of-9-June-2020-9-pm.pdf. When filling out the physical copy of the application form, make sure that all personal details are clearly visible and accurate. Once you’re done, submit it to any authorized personnel of POLO, POEA, OWWA, or DOLE.

General Guidelines to Consider

  • When you fill out the DOLE-OASIS Form, you automatically provide your personal information to OWWA, POEA, DOLE, and POLO. This allows these agencies to centralize OFW information so that they can easily act during emergency situations and respond to requests or concerns.
  • You should accomplish the DOLE-OASIS Form within five days prior to your departure flight back to the Philippines.
  • You can register for DOLE-OASIS online to quickly update personal details in case you need immediate repatriation assistance or other OWWA services.
  • If you can’t contact the nearest OWWA-POLO office, it’s highly advised to reach out to your recruitment agency for repatriation assistance. All registered manning and recruitment agencies are required to provide repatriation assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers. These agencies can register OFWs on their behalf so they have access to their personal details for repatriation application purposes only. In addition, these agencies must report to POEA the list of OFWs who need repatriation assistance, including their departure flight details, location details, and other important information.
  • Applicants may still be required to fill out the e-CIF Form before they are repatriated to the country for quarantine and immigration clearance.

Video: OFW Tulong Para Maka Uwi ng Pilipinas

In this video, you will learn everything about the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program including the qualifications, requirements, processing tips, and other helpful guidelines to ensure that you can get immediate action from OWWA, POEA, POLO, or DOLE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about the OWWA Repatriation Program and the answers you need to know:

1. What should I do if I need to go home for emergency reasons?

If you need to return to the Philippines due to war, epidemic, or other unforeseen events in your host country, you should secure an Exit Visa before you will be allowed to leave the country.

2. How can I obtain an Exit Visa?

To obtain an Exit Visa, ask your employer to apply for the Exit Visa online, or visit the Passport Office for your Exit Visa application. You can also request the POLO or Embassy to process your Exit Visa with the Passport Office if you’re an undocumented OFW, don’t have a valid employer, have an expired passport, or don’t have a valid passport.

3. How to get my Exit Visa approved?

To get your Exit Visa approved, you need to conclude your criminal case as well as the individual’s private rights who filed the case if there’s any. You can accomplish the Philippine Red Cross Case Investigation Form online via this link: https://ecif.redcross.org.ph/.

4. What should I do if I can’t book a flight?

If you can’t book a flight for your repatriation, you can contact the nearest POLO or your recruitment agency to help you schedule a flight. You are required to provide a flight schedule going back to the Philippines prior to repatriation.

5. Is the Exit Visa the same as a travel document?

No, your Exit Visa is not considered a travel document. However, it is a requirement for returning OFWs before they leave their host country for repatriation.

6. What does repatriation exactly mean?

Repatriation refers to the process of repatriating or returning an individual, his/her remains, or his/her belongings to his/her home country. This doesn’t basically mean a financial benefit, but it does offer some benefits for Overseas Filipino Workers who are affected by public health, environmental, economic, or political crises. Also, the OWWA offers loans and other programs through repatriation assistance to help displaced or distressed OFWs go home safely.


It’s one of the major concerns of every Overseas Filipino Worker to get caught up with unforeseen events such as political conflicts, epidemics, or wars in the country where they are currently working. Knowing how to process and claim repatriation services from OWWA is a huge help for our modern-day heroes abroad.

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