How to Get an OFW ID: Requirements and Registration Guide
- The OFW card is a valid government ID
- You need it for faster transactions
- It is possible to get a card online
The OFW ID is your official identification as an OFW. The government will use this card to facilitate transactions with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration office. You can see many OFW ID sample online and check them now to see how they look.
The question is: how do you get an OFW ID, and what is the OFW e card? Are they the same? We’ll answer all these questions, and, in the end, you will be armed with knowledge on how to get an OFW ID.
What is the OFW Е-Card
The OFW ecard is a physical identification card, which is like a driver’s license or a Social Security ID. The purpose of this card is to make transactions with OWWA faster. The card has an identification number, which makes it easier for the government to track an OFW’s records, status, etc.
Here is a list of the OFW e card benefits:
👉 It serves as an ID; it is recognized as a valid government I
👉 You can use it for faster transactions
👉 It is your exit clearance once you leave the country; proof that you are a legitimate OFW
👉 It has a permanent identification number
With the card, you can access government services for OFWs. You can even do it online, so there is no reason for you to queue.
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What Are the OFW ID Requirements
First of all, you must be eligible to get an OFW ID number before you can apply for one. According to the government, everyone who belongs to the Balik-Manggagawa program (1) with an active OWWA membership is eligible to get an ID.
Here are the other requirements:
- Valid Overseas Employment Certificate or Exemption Number
- Valid Passport
The OWWA membership be activity, or still active for the next three months, and not expired if you apply for an OFW eCard.
The question now is: who qualifies as Balik-Manggagawa member?
According to The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA, there are several definitions of a member of the Balik-Manggagawa category. A Balik-Manggagawa is an Overseas Filipino Worker who has completed or is currently completing his/her employment contract.
This worker can either go back to the same employer in the same place or the same employer but at a different place.
People who are direct hires, new hires, or hires of the Government Placement Branch or GBP are not part of the Balik-Manggagawa program. As such, they are not eligible to apply for an OFW ID card.
How to Get an OFW ID Card: Easy Steps
The fastest way to get an OFW card is online. You can go to the registration page (2) of the eCard and fill out the information sheet.
However, at the time of this writing, the website of OWWA, particularly the application page, is not working. It is not working because it is going through an overhaul. It will work again soon, so bookmark the link we gave you.
Since the online application system is not working, you must follow these steps:
- Go to the regional office of OWWA (close to your home)
- Apply for an OFW card
- They will give you a form
- Fill it out
- Submit the other requirements
They will let you know the next steps, including the pick-up point and time. The OFW e card online application is fast, but the physical one can take some time because of backlogs.
Now, what if you want to get the OFW card online? What are the steps? Below are the steps you need to follow:
- Go to the online application page
- Provide the information they need, such as your membership ID, passport, etc.
- Choose the location where you want to pick up your ID. This location is an OWWA regional office
- Accept the Data Privacy and check the CAPTCHA box
- Submit the application
- Once done, copy the tracking number that you see or take a screenshot
- Type your Facebook profile link if the system asks you
- You an also provide your email address as an alternative.
- Once you receive a message from OWWA, you can now go to the OWWA regional office and claim your ID.
The OWWA website has a tracking system, and it is where you will track the status of your OFW ID. The link to the OFW ID tracking page (ecardtracker.owwa.gov.ph) is not working right now. It is part of the website overhaul that they are doing.
What we recommend that you do right now is bookmark the application page and the ID tracking pages. You will be able to access these pages once the website overhaul has been completed.
How to Track the OFW ID Card Status
Although the online system is not working right now, it is still a good idea to let you know how to track your ID application. Once the website is back up and running, you only have to consult this page once again to follow up on your ID card.
Here are the steps:
- Go to the ID tracking page
- Type your tracking number
- Complete the CAPTCHA test
- Click on submit
The page will now tell you if the ID is ready for release or not. If the ID is ready, you can now visit your nominated regional office, which you selected during g the online application process.
Expire OWWA Membership OFW ID Card
What if your OWWA membership is no longer active—can you still apply for an OFW ID card? Yes, but before you can do this, you must reactivate your OWWA membership.
There are three ways by which you can reactivate your OWWA membership:
- You can activate it online through the website or through the OWWA mobile app
- You can activate your membership by going to an OWWA office near you
- If you are currently abroad, you can also visit the OWWA office there
After activating your OWWA membership, you can now apply for an OFW ID. You can find out f your OWWA membership is already active by calling them or using the follow-through portal of the OWWA website.
Do not fall victim to the scams of many people who will convince you that they will reactivate your OWWA card. You must only reactivate your OWWA membership with OWWA and only deal with a legitimate OWWA officer. If paying online, make sure you follow the process diligently.
Getting OFW Card If Currently Abroad
It is possible that you are working abroad right now, and if so, can you get an OFW card at all? Yes, you can, but the process is a bit different.
First, you need to visit the OWWA office and tell them that you want to apply for an OWWA e-Card. Then, follow the same process as if you are in the Philippines.
It is at this point you must know that you can only get your OFW eCard in the Philippines. Only the regional offices of the OWWA in the Philippines can print the cards. What this means is that during the application process, you need to choose the regional office where you want to pick up your card.
Once you get back home to the country, you must go to your nominated OWWA office and then pick up your card.
Should new OFWs apply for an ID card?Yes, all OFWs must apply for an ID card. Right now, it is only in the first stages of deployment. Eventually, all members of the OWWA who are also active should get an ID card.
How do I apply for an OFW card?You can go to an OWWA office or apply online. There is a registration page for the OFW ID on the OWWA website.
Where can I pick up my OFW ID card?You can pick it up from the nearest office of the Department of Labor and Employment. The best place is OWWA. The DOLE is only a good place to pick it up if there is no OWWA office near you.
How can I get my OFW ID number online?You have to apply for the OFW eCard online through the link we provided.
How many days does it take to get an OFW ID?There is no set time to get an OFW ID. It all depends on the bandwidth and workload of the government. It is like getting a driver’s license. They will tell you to come back in two weeks.
Is the OFW ID Free?Yes, the OFW ID is free for first-time applications. Those who lost their cards have to pay a replacement fee.
Summary: OFW ID Card
The OFW ID card is an important step towards standardization. The card makes it easier to identify you and make transactions with the government. It is also a valid ID. In summary, you can get the ID card online or in person. Get yours now if you have the time!