I have mentioned in my previous post that I will be having my short vacation in my home country and in South Korea, and I just cannot wait for it. However, before I go gaga preparing the things to bring and list down what I need, I have to make sure that all travel documents are A-OKay.
For Filipino OFW or Overseas Filipino Workers like me, we have this travel document that is required from us before we can proceed in exiting our home country and going back to our work destination. It is notoriously known as the OEC or Overseas Employment Certificate (in short, EXIT PASS). OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) is a requirement for OFW at the Philippine Immigration Section (in the Philippine airport) prior to their return to the country where they are working. It is an evidence showing that the individual is a documented Overseas Filipino Worker.
During my previous travel to my home country, I have to secure a new OEC because I transferred to a new company and I now have a new sponsor and new employment contract. I will share about it on a separate blog. This time I can secure an OEC exemption since 1. I am returning to the same employer; 2. I am returning to the same job site/country; and 3. I have record in POEA database. When you say “record in POEA database”, it means you have previously been issued with an OEC by POEA.
Let me share with you the process of availing OEC exemption thru the Balik Manggagawa/ BM online Processing website: http://bmonline.ph/
Go to the BM Online Processing Website. If you are a new user then you need to register. But if you are already registered then you just need to login.
Click the ACQUIRE OEC EXEMPTION square button you find at the upper right side
A pop up box will appear and it will require you to provide your expected flight schedule back to the job site. Then click submit.
Another pop up box will appear and ask you if you are returning to the same employer and same job site. Click Yes to get the exemption. If you click no, it will direct you to the appointment schedule page.
Confirmation box will appear once you click YES. Then once you confirm that all conditions are met then click ACQUIRE EXEMPTION button in blue.
You will then get a message stating that you are exempted from securing OEC and it will include your BM exemption number.
Once you got your BM exemption number, you may now travel back to job site without the need to present an OEC. Just follow the procedure below on the day of your flight.
For more detailed instruction, check out this Frequently Asked Question file from POEA. Q&A OEC Exemption
One day, I told myself that I want to travel to South Korea to witness the way of living in that country, to taste their authentic Korean cuisines, to be amaze with their beautiful tourist spots and if lucky, meet and greet my favorite Korean Oppas (term used by girls when speaking to guys – older brothers and cousins/ term of endearment used by females for their boyfriends who are older than them) – Nam Joo Hyuk, Jung Il Woo, Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook oppa. <3
The initial plan was travel with my college best friend Balky last November 2016. However, I had a hard time getting a visa. Because of the following reasons:
If you are a resident of UAE and will be applying your SoKor Tourist visa here, then you need to have a residence visa with a validity of more than six (6) months. Mine is valid till January 2017 so I only had 3 months valid RV;
So plan B is to apply in Manila. I prepare all documents (stamped original bank statements & Bank certificate), certificate of employment, OEC (Overseas Employment certificate, etc. HOWEVER, when I went to submit my documents in South Korean embassy in Manila, they asked for my LOCAL bank statement which I don’t have since I had my bank accounts closed when I decided to work and reside in UAE.
I only have 3 days left prior to our flight so it is quite impossible to rush the visa and they don’ expedite visa also. Therefore, we’re left with no choice but for Balky to go on his own and for me to reschedule my flight this February 2017.
Come January 2017, I made sure that I prepare everything. I renewed my residence visa as early as possible and I requested for the recent 3 months stamped bank statements, No-Objection letter from my employer and completed my application form. I also submit my ticket itinerary and hotel confirmation. I locate their embassy here in Dubai and allocate half day to submit my application. They checked my documents and gave me a piece of paper with schedule date as to when I can claim my passport and visa. I am so excited that until now I still can’t figure out where to go first in my travel itinerary. 😀 So if you are planning to apply for Korean visa and you are residing here in UAE, please feel free to check the procedures and tips below. 🙂
Procedure in applying for Korean Tourist Visa:
Make sure you have completed the following requirements:
completed and signed application form. (if applicant is under 16 years old, then parent or guardian should sign the form); Do not staple your form. I will post another entry on how to complete this form.
One passport sized photograph which was taken within the past 6 months. Printed photographs are not allowed;
Signed & stamped No Objection/employment letter from your company which indicates your complete name (name that appears in your passport), nationality, Passport number, position, salary, purpose of your visit, hiring date, etc. OR if you are self-employed, then you need to submit copy of your trade license.
Recent original stamped bank statements within the last 3 months. It is important that your wage/salary is shown to be credited to your account regularly;
Copy of your hotel reservation, Round trip ticket or itinerary in South Korea;
Original passport which should be valid for more than six (6) months and has two more blank pages left. Copy of your passport. and
copy of you UAE residence visa (in A4 size) which should be valid for more than 6 months if you are not a UAE national.
Submit your complete documents to their embassy in Dubai located in Villa #39, Street 24b, Area 342, Jumeirah 2. Personal appearance is a MUST. Note that visa application submission is from 9:00 am till 12:00 pm Sunday thru Thursday.
Once you are in the Visa consular office, secure a ticket number and wait for your number to be called. There’s four windows – two for Korean nationals and two for Foreign nationals.
Approach the window when your number is flashed on the TV screen, hand over your documents including original passport. Consular officers will check and might ask you some questions to verify some things. They might also ask you to call your bank and request you to provide them authorization so that they can verify your bank account details from the bank agents.
Once done, you will then have to pay the visa fee of AED 160.00. Single entry tourist visa fee is free for Filipinos. You cannot apply for multiple entry if it is a tourist visa and it is your first time to travel to SoKor.
After payment, they will provide you with receipt (white paper) indicating the amount that you paid, the visa you applied and the scheduled date when you can collect your passport and visa. Visa collection is from 3:00 pm till 4:00 pm.