Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar PDOS for OFWs and Seafarers

The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) of OWWA and CFO is required for all Filipinos planning to work or migrate overseas. It’s a mandatory seminar that provides aspiring OFWs and emigrants with essential information and guidance to ensure successful deployment and adjustment abroad. It covers immigration, labor laws, financial management, cultural adaptability, and travel procedures. That’s why we’ve created this guide regarding PDOS to help OFWs and emigrants.

For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who need to attend this seminar, avail of PDOS at OWWA headquarters, Pasay City. PDOS is also offered online through the official OWWA website. In addition, PDOS is mandatory for every single OWWA member, including OFWs for foreign employers and foreign company employees in the Philippines. For emigrants, you should attend PDOS at the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) or through the CFO mobile app.

What is PDOS Meaning

PDOS stands for Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar, a required program for overseas domestic workers and emigrants before they are permitted to depart the Philippines. Under this orientation program, seminars are available for varying domestic job destinations since it’s according to a specific country or location. The previous workers in the destination countries manage the PDOS seminars. It only takes 6 hours in one day to complete.

The Philippines has been providing OFWs and emigrants with PDOS since 1993. It is included in the Pre-Departure Education Programs providing tailored and relevant details to Filipinos to assist them in a new work environment and destination country culture. Moreover, this session should be attended by workers, specifically those departing the Philippines to work abroad for the first time. PDOS courses deliver an in-depth guide for future OFWs and emigrants.

PDOS Modules

Here are the following topics covered under PDOS:

1. Migration Realities

The migration realities module provides emigrants and possible OFWs with a preview of working life abroad. It also discusses social security concerns, settlement topics, and airport rules and procedures. This module will also help and guide workers on how to adjust.

2. Destination Country Profile

The destination country profile module can help workers understand their employer’s cultural views and religious policies.

3. Employment Contract

Under this module, OFWs will learn the responsibilities and rights stated in their employment contract.

4. Health and Safety

This module provides vital details regarding health and safety to ensure workers’ overall well-being and physical wellness while living a new life and working abroad.

5. Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy is an essential module for emigrants and prospective OFWs, which provides tips on financial management to ensure their future while abroad. It includes financial and joint planning and remittances. Also, it covers credit rating and history, which is essential in other countries.

6. Available Government Programs and Services for OFWs

Before departing, emigrants and OFWs will also learn about the available in-country and overseas government programs and services from OWWA.

7. Travel Procedures and Tips

Lastly, emigrants and future OFWs will learn necessary procedures, rules, protocols, and other travel-related information.

PDOS Programs

Currently, Filipinos planning to work or migrate abroad can access two types of PDOS programs, including:

Country-Specific PDOS

This PDOS program is for emigrants and OFWs going to certain countries, which is a one-day session only. For instance, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America offer a country-specific PDOS seminar for OFWs and emigrants.

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

Meanwhile, the CPDEP is a one-week program for Domestic Workers or Household Service Workers (HSWs). It includes all the topics covered in Country-Specific PDOS and the following modules:

  • Finding work and coping with the realities of life in a new country
  • Resolving conflict and improving relationships
  • Understanding your role as an OFW
  • Working with other organizations such as non-government, community, and faith-based organizations abroad
  • Preparing for reintegration upon return to the Philippines.

But take note, due to the pandemic, workers or emigrants can now attend an online PDOS that only last for hours, depending on the orientation flow.


The PDOS is a required orientation for emigrants and OFWs, which provides the necessary details to help them adapt to a new country and working environment. Since being deployed overseas for the first time is challenging, PDOS makes it less difficult for OFWs and emigrants to adjust in the first six months. It equips them with sufficient knowledge when encountering international migration challenges, from cultural and language adaptation to addressing labor concerns and permanent residence overseas.

Most of all, OFWs attending PDOS will learn tips, what to do and who to call in times of difficulties abroad. The seminars provided during PDOS are also skills and country-specific, ensuring that future OFWs are ready for overseas employment. At the time of writing, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and CFO provide PDOS. Thus, all OFWs and emigrants are encouraged to attend PDOS before leaving the Philippines to migrate or work abroad.


For emigrants and OFWs attending the orientation program, here are the following requirements you should secure:

For OFWs/Temporary Workers/Household Service Workers (Domestic Workers):

  • Original and photocopy of passport with at least six (6) months of validity from the departure date
  • Original and photocopy of Employment Contract
  • Original valid visa
  • Endorsement from a recruitment agency
  • OWWA membership fee of $25 (converted to local currency based on foreign exchange rate)
  • One(1) valid government-issued ID with a photo

For Emigrants:

  • Original and photocopy of passport with at least six (6) months of validity from the departure date
  • Original valid visa
  • One(1) valid government-issued ID with a photo

Country-Specific Requirements for Emigrants:

  • PDOS Attendance,  Peer Counseling, or Guidance Counseling session
  • Certificate of Eligibility (for Japan-bound emigrants)
  • Certificate of Permanent Residency (COPR) not torn or signed before departure (for Canada-bound emigrants)
  • Duly-accomplished registration form
  • Employment contract (for immigrant workers)
  • Immigration Data Summary attached to visa packet except for K visa holder (for USA-bound emigrants)
  • Nulla Osta (for Italy-bound emigrants)
  • Registration fee payment of P400.00
  • Printed Visa Grant Notification Letter (for Australia-bound emigrants)
  • Work to Residence Visa Letter of Approval (for New Zealand-bound emigrants)

Once you have completed the PDOS or Peer Counselling Program, the CFO sticker is attached to your Philippine passport. Then, the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) will examine the CFO sticker before allowing you to leave the airport. You should also have a stable internet connection, mobile phone, or desktop if attending PDOS online.

Additional documents for emigrants registered by a representative:

  • One (1) original valid ID with a photo of the representative
  • Medical certificate/report (except for 60 years old and above)
  • Letter of authorization from the emigrant (if applicable)

For representatives who are not the natural/legal/biological parent of emigrants 12 years old and below:

  • One (1) original valid ID with a photo of the representative
  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA) or duly notarized authorization letter from parents/guardian issued in the Philippines/overseas

For emigrants who resided in the destination country for two months total:

  • Previous visa or landing stamp
  • Foreign government-issued IDs (such as driver’s licenses or state identification cards)


The PDOS program is open to all OFWs, temporary workers, and emigrants. However, the following emigrants don’t need to attend PDOS:

  • Minors 12 years old and below
  • 60 years old and above senior citizens
  • Incapacitated individuals due to long-term or permanent illnesses
  • Physically challenged individuals or those with mental illnesses
  • Emigrants who resided in the destination country for two months in total

How to Apply for PDOS

For Household Service Workers (Domestic Workers):

The recruitment agency is responsible for scheduling and informing OFWs regarding PDOS sessions. Just prepare and download the Zoom app link for the orientation. Then, attend the scheduled seminar to get the certificate required for departure.

For Emigrants:

  1. Launch your browser and search for CFO Online PDOS Account Creation or visit this link to register a PDOS account.
  2. Fill out the required fields and provide an active email address.
  3. Upload a photo of your visa and passport and click submit.
  4. Check your provided email and look for the CFO message.
  5. Submit the required documents to get a PDOS webinar schedule.
  6. Finish the webinar, and you’ll get a link via email to continue the registration.
  7. Fill out the CFO Online Registration Form
  8. Pay the P400.00 Registration Fee via GCash or Bayad Center Outlets.
  9. Send a copy of the payment receipt, passport, and visa to
  10. You’ll receive an OF-CORS Temporary Certificate as payment and registration confirmation.
  11. Check your email for the Tracking Number of documents sent to your delivery address.
  12. Wait for the delivery of your CFO document. Then, present it for airport clearance.

Take note, the CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS) for emigrants has a cut-off time. OF-CORS is only available for emigrants from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Thursday.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I take PDOS online?

Yes, you can take PDOS online. OFWs can take PDOS via the OWWA website, while emigrants can attend via OFCORS.

2. Can I take PDOS without a visa?

No, an original valid visa of the country of work is required to attend PDOS.

3. How long is PDOS seminar online?

The PDOS seminar will only take 6 hours a day to complete.

4. How much is the PDOS seminar?

The PDOS seminar is free of charge. But CFO will collect a P400.00 convenience and courier fee if processing through OFCORS.

5. Is PDOS required for senior citizens?

Senior citizen emigrants don’t need PDOS.


The PDOS program is an essential seminar for OFWs, temporary workers, and emigrants. It’s available online through OWWA and CFO. On the other hand, CFO gives exemptions to some individuals, including senior citizens and minors.

With this seminar, Filipino workers and emigrants will learn the do’s and don’ts in their destination country, which makes it easier for them to survive and adapt. So possible OFWs, temporary workers, and emigrants should attend PDOS before departing the Philippines.

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