OWWA Membership: How do I Become a Member of OWWA?

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a membership institution established to protect and support aspiring and existing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The agency offers member-exclusive benefits, programs, and services meant to help give a good life to OFWs and would-be OFWs and their families. 

Though OWWA is technically a membership institution, just being a documented or legal OFW already automatically makes you an OWWA member by default. In case you aren’t or just to ensure that you can keep enjoying the various benefits associated with being an OWWA member, this guide will tell you everything you need to know—from registration to renewal—so you can keep your OWWA membership and privileges.

Purpose and Benefits of an OWWA Membership

The OWWA membership is a privilege exclusively given to OFWs. It is their passport to all the benefits, programs, and services offered by the agency. 

With this membership, OFWs get assistance during the initial phase up to the transition period (from pre-employment and employment, to the post-employment processes) of their work abroad journey. 

The agency also offers repatriation and reintegration programs, entrepreneurial training, educational, medical, and livelihood assistance, and loan and financial programs to help OFWs and their eligible dependents have a stable financial and career growth.  

Moreover, OWWA serves as the OFWs helping hand and insurance for when they encounter difficulties in and out of their host country. Through the programs and services provided by the institution, the OFWs can have the sense of security they need to leave their comfort zone and work in a foreign place, making the OWWA membership beneficial to both OFWs and their dependents.

Qualifications for OWWA Membership

To register and apply for OWWA membership and enjoy the benefits offered by the agency, OFWs must satisfy the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Must be of legal age 
  • Must have acquired an employment contract from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW, formerly Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA))
  • Must have a visa and valid work permit
  • Must have expired OWWA membership
  • Must have kept their citizenship citizens as Filipino even after acquiring permanent residency status in the host country 
  • Must be an OFW who has acquired legal employment from the host country after working without having proper documentation from POEA 

Likewise, some OFWs are not eligible for an OWWA membership even if they want to if they are:

  • Slated for termination
  • Terminated
  • Their employment contract is for cancellation
  • Their employment contract is canceled
  • They are resigned
  • They are on no work, no pay terms

Requirements for OWWA Membership

Aside from the eligibility criteria set by OWWA, OFWs also need to prepare all the required documents and fees before processing their application for OWWA membership.

To get started, here’s a list of the general documentary requirements OWWA needs before they can process your application:

  • OWWA OFW Information Sheet (also known as OWWA Membership Form)
  • Copy of Passport data page with photo
  • Valid Employment Pass or Work Permit Card
  • Employment Contract
  • Certificate of Employment
  • US$25.00 Membership Fee (may vary depending on the foreign currency equivalent of the destination country, ranging from Php 1,000.00 to Php 1,500.00)
  • Polo-verified contract
  • Valid Visa (validity must be more than 90 days) 
  • OFW must be actively working
  • Company certification issued within the last thirty (30) days with company stamp signature

Note: The requirements listed above are generally needed regardless of where you process your OWWA Membership application. However, the documents you need to present may vary depending on the location of the OWWA office where you process or renew your OWWA membership. You may need to check the with the specific OWWA office or POLO-office in the city handling OWWA memberships.

OWWA Membership Application Procedures

When applying for an OWWA membership, it is necessary to prepare ahead and check the different ways by which you can process your OWWA membership.

You can register for membership via:

  • By enrollment after the contract processing at the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW, formerly Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)); or
  • Voluntary registration at job sites overseas by going to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO-OWWA) office of the host country 
  • Voluntary registration in the Philippines when they visit the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) in their home region. Take note that an OWWA membership appointment booking is very important in order to enter the OWWA office.

You will need to decide how you want to apply for OWWA membership first before actually going through the registration procedures. Once you have decided, you can simply follow the step-by-step procedures listed below:

OWWA Membership via the OWWA Offices

  • Prepare the general requirements for OWWA membership, whether it is for application or renewal, including:
    • Original and Photocopy of Passport (showing personal data with photo)
    • Other documents such as Photocopy of Passport with valid re-entry visa and arrival stamp, Letter of Consent
    • Original and Photocopy of valid work permit
    • Employment Certificate
    • Duly accomplished OWWA OFW Information Sheet
    • US$25.00 membership fee
  • Secure an appointment to the nearest OWWA Office through either of the following:
    • Using the appointment scheduler on the OWWA website (appointment.owwa.gov.ph).
    • Using the appointment scheduler on the OWWA Mobile App.
  • On the day of the appointment, head on to the selected OWWA office. 
  • Secure a queuing number and wait for your turn to be accommodated.
  • Once the submitted documents are verified to be complete, pay the necessary fee to complete the process. 
  • Once the payment is complete, the membership automatically starts.

OWWA Membership Application Online

  • Prepare a scanned copy of all the documentary requirements, including:
    • OWWA OFW Information Sheet downloadable from the agency’s website
    • Copy of Passport data page with photo
    • Valid Employment Pass or Work Permit Card
    • Valid Employment Contract
    • US$25.00 Membership Fee (may vary depending on the foreign currency equivalent of the destination country)
  • Visit the specific OWWA website in the country of your destination.
  • Search for the designated email of the OWWA office in the host country. 
  • Send your scanned documents for evaluation.
  • Wait for the OWWA email notification to proceed with the payment before making the payment for the membership fee. 
  • After receiving the notice to complete payment, choose your preferred payment method and process the payment for the US$25.00 membership fees. 
  • Take a screenshot of the successful payment and send it to OWWA’s email.
  • Wait for a copy of the official receipt (OR) to be sent to your email. You may also set an appointment to visit OWWA and claim the original receipt.
  • The membership will be active as soon as the payment is posted.

Via the OWWA Mobile App

You can also apply online by installing the OWWA Mobile Application (Search for OWWA Mobile App on Google Play for Android users and on App Store for iOs Users). To do so, simply sign up on the mobile app and fill out the OWWA registration form.

OWWA Membership Fees

The cost of OWWA membership is fixed at US$ 25.00. This may change depending on the equivalent currency at the destination country. If you are in the Philippines, the rate may vary from Php 1,000.00 to Php 1,500.00. 

OWWA Membership Validity Period

The OWWA membership is valid for two (2) years, starting  from the date of membership payment up until the expiration of the employment contract. The membership is valid for two (2) years after which it has to be renewed.

Verifying the Status of your OWWA Membership

Checking the status of your OWWA membership can be easily done through the following options:

Via the OWWA membership slip 

Once you have the official receipt (OR) of the OWWA membership fee that you paid for, you can simply check the date on your OWWA receipt. If the date is beyond two (2) years already, it means the OWWA membership is already inactive and will need to be renewed again. Otherwise, the OWWA membership is still valid until two (2) years have elapsed.

Via the Mobile App 

Another option to verify the status of your OWWA Membership is to do so via the OWWA mobile app. You simply need to install the OWWA Mobile App, log into the app with your username and password, then enter your details as required, and you can see whether the status is ‘active’ or ‘inactive’. You will have to renew your OWWA membership to continue enjoying the benefits that come with it.

OWWA Membership Renewal

OWWA membership renewal is much like the registration and can be done either in person or via the OWWA Mobile App. 

Simply follow the procedures listed below.

Membership Renewal via the OWWA Mobile App

For those who own smartphones and can download the OWWA mobile app,

  • Download and install the OWWA Mobile App (Google Play for Android users and App Store for Apple Users)
  • Log in with your username and password. If you haven’t registered for an account yet, sign up in the mobile application.
  • Proceed to your Profile and you will see your latest employment contract record.
  • Go to “Information” to see your membership status. If your membership is “inactive.”
  • Click the “Renew Membership Here” button.
  • Fill out the necessary information to process payment.
  • Choose your preferred payment option, and then click “Submit”.
  • Pay your membership fee through the application’s Member Online Payment System (MOPS) of Landbank-Bancnet.
  • Check your membership status on the “Information”. After the payment, your membership status will become “ACTIVE”.

Membership Renewal via the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices

OFWs may also renew their OWWA membership with the help of their family members in the Philippines. They simply need to submit the following requirements to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office:

  • Valid employment contract or any proof of existing employment
  • Valid work permit or work visa
  • Photocopy of passport page showing the photo and personal data
  • Authorization from OFW member
  • Valid ID of Authorized Representative
  • Duly accomplished OWWA Membership form
  • US$ 25.00 equivalent in Philippine currency

Important Reminders

  • When registering or renewing your OWWA membership, never proceed with the payment before you receive the notice from OWWA.
  • OWWA membership is mandatory for all OFWs, though sometimes, some OFWs forget to pay the renewal fee and end up being inactive.
  • The OFW Information Sheet is the same as the OWWA Membership Form—the main document application form.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions and answers about OWWA membership:

1. What benefits come with being an OWWA member?

OWWA members, in general, are entitled to scholarship training, education programs, overseas employment opportunities, social and welfare assistance, repatriation, reintegration, and livelihood assistance and support.  

2. How much does it cost to become an OWWA Member?

OWWA membership costs US$ 25.00 (or its equivalent currency, depending on the location) for a period of two (2) years.

3. Who is eligible to become an OWWA member?

If you are a Filipino citizen with an active employment contract and are currently working overseas, then you are eligible to become an OWWA member. Even if you already acquired a permanent resident status, as long as you keep your Filipino citizenship while working abroad, you can apply for an OWWA membership.

4. Is there a waiting list for the OWWA Membership group?

No. There is no waiting list for OWWA membership. The membership activates as soon as the membership fee is paid. However, it is best to apply for membership as soon as possible so you can keep your OWWA account active and continue enjoying the benefits.

5. How can I apply for OWWA membership?

To apply, you may either visit the nearest Philippine embassy or consulate, visit the nearest OWWA RWO, download the application form from the OWWA website and submit it via email, or download the OWWA mobile app.

6. How do I pay for the OWWA membership online?

Paying for the OWWA membership online can be done by following the steps detailed in the OWWA Mobile App and sending the payment through your preferred payment channel.

7. Are OFWs automatic OWWA members?

Not exactly. Technically, only “documented” or “legal” OFWs are automatic members of OWWA. That said, if you aren’t one but you are interested in becoming an OWWA member, you may visit the nearest OWWA or POLO-OWWA office so you can become a legal OFW and process your OWWA membership.

8. Is it mandatory for OFWs to join OWWA as members?

Yes. At the very least, the “documented” or “legal” OFWs, the agency automatically claims them as members. Unfortunately, not all OFWs are legal and documented so they need to visit the nearest OWWA office for assistance.  

9. Does OWWA membership expire?

Yes. OWWA membership does expire. It is only valid for two years upon processing the payment of your membership fees, so if it’s beyond two years and you did not renew your OWWA membership, then it is most likely already inactive or expired. 

10. How to book an OWWA appointment online?

Before going to any OWWA office to submit your documents or process membership application or renewal, you need to book an appointment with OWWA. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  • Visit the online appointment portal at https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph/.
  • Select your preferred OWWA Regional Office.
  • Select the type of program that you need an appointment for.
  • Choose your preferred date to visit.
  • Fill out the form with your personal information.
  • Click “Next.”
  • Double-check the appointment information and click “Submit Appointment.”


So these are everything you need to know about how to become an OWWA member. With this guide, we hope that you will have all the information you need to secure an active OWWA membership and enjoy the benefits and services that the agency has to offer.  

If you have any problems or concerns, you can always visit the official website at owwa.gov.ph or through the official OWWA channels below:

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

Office Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila

Tel. No.: 8891-7601 to 24

OWWA hotline number: 1348, (02) 1348 (Regional), (+632) 1348 (International) 

OWWA Email Address: owwacares@owwa.gov.ph, commandcenter@dole.gov.ph

OWWA Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/OWWAofficial

OWWA website: https://owwa.gov.ph/

Globe Hotline: 2917 (Press “3” for OWWA)

Mobile/SMS text messaging: (0917)TXT-OWWA or (0917)898-6992

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