OFW in Japan: How to get an OEC when you just moved to another company?

UPDATE: April 17, 2019

For some reason, I think they changed the rule again. The person who processed my papers said that “verification-only” are only applicable to those who weren’t regular employees to begin with (i.e. those who came as students, dependents, intracompany visa holders, etc.). Otherwise, since I was already registered in the bm online and only changed jobs, I was given the OEC here and don’t have to go to the POEA office in the Philippines.

Ish (from the comment section)

Source: https://thefilipinogaijin.com/2018/10/16/ofw-in-japan-how-to-get-an-oec-when-you-just-moved-to-another-company/comment-page-1/#comment-96

If you’re living far from the POLO Tokyo office, I recommend you call or email them first to check the latest OEC procedure. Here is the Tokyo POLO office’s contact page.

Original Post: October 16, 2018

Recently, the POEA just released a new resolution about changing the process of obtaining a OEC.

I went to the POLO office in Tokyo just to found out that they recently changed the procedure and now I need to go to the Philippines POEA office to get an OEC.

What are the changes?

  1. Tokyo POLO will now need to verify your employment contract
  2. There will be no issuance of OEC in Tokyo POLO. They will only verify your employment contract then you will need to present it to POEA in the Philippines to get an OEC.

Who are affected by this change?

  1. OFW who are not yet registered in the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System (bmonline.ph).
  2. OFW returning to Japan the first time after you moved to a new company (i.e. change employer).

What do you need to do?

  1. You need to prepare the following documents
    • Copy of photo page of your passport (original to be presented; valid at least 6 months before your intended departure)
    • Copy of Residence Card (with valid visa)
    • Copy of Insurance Card (original to be presented)
    • Signed written statement (letter form) addressed to Labor Attaché Marie Rose Escalada (indicating all necessary details how you were able to enter Japan and manage to get a job/change employer)
    • Employment Contract (signed by you and your employer; in English or with a signed English Translation)
    • Employment Certificate or proof of existing employment such as payroll slip or valid company identification card (if you’re working for more than 6 months for the said employer)
    • Release letter or Employment Certificate issued by the previous employer
    • Company Registration “Tokibo Tohon” (with English translation; signed by translator)
  2. Go to Tokyo POLO and submit the documents
  3. After they verify your Employment Contract, schedule an appointment using bmonline.ph.
  4. Submit the verified Employment Contract in a POEA office and receive your OEC (Note: there are POEA satellite offices so you don’t need to go to the one in Mandaluyong)

Yeah, I know. That’s a lot of documents, right? Shoganai 🙂

You can read the actual resolution document in here.

PS: You might notice that the documents in the resolution document is not the same with the one I listed above, but those are the list of documents Tokyo POLO just asked me to submit when I did my last visit there. Feel free to contact them if you want to make sure.


Author: Rowell

Rowell is a software engineer by day and a frustrated writer at night. When I'm not with my laptop, I am usually with a guitar or watching netflix.

59 thoughts on “OFW in Japan: How to get an OEC when you just moved to another company?”

  1. Hi Rowell!

    Thanks a lot for this very helpful post. A few people I asked told me that an employer interview with the labor attache is also required. But most of their cases are first-time hires. Did they require you to go through the interview as well?


    1. Hi John,

      No. My new company/employer wasn’t interviewed when I applied for my OEC (I applied last October 2018).
      Btw, the process might be different from person to person. If you can, call the POLO Tokyo office and ask them directly. =)

  2. Very informative. Does it mean when I submit all my docus POLO will only provide me a verified employment contract and I need to go back to the Philippines to get my OEC? Is there any way to have a OEC here in Japan before flying back to Phil? Thank you.

    1. Unfortunately, yes. They will only verify (stamp) your employment contract then you will need to present it to POEA in the Philippines to get an OEC.

      PS: I scheduled an appointment using bmonline.ph after they verified it and I chose the Trinoma POEA counter/branch to avoid possible long queues in the main office.

    1. > Hows the process?. Did it take long?
      In the POLO Tokyo office for the employment contract verification?
      It was smooth. I had to wait for a while because there were other people but it’s no issue.
      Just remember to prepare all necessary documents and everything should be fine.

      > Im also thinking about who can translate my documents.
      I asked someone from my company to do the translation, one of our Japanese interns. 🙂

  3. Hello. I just want to ask when is the validity of the verified documents for the OEC. Right now I still don’t know when will I visit the country. Is it okay just to visit anytime and process my OEC or there is a validity for the documents? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Bea.
      I don’t think there is a validity period for the verified employment contract.
      So as long as you’re with the same company, you should be able to use the verified contract the next time you get your OEC in the Philippines.

  4. hello Rowell,

    Thank you for your insight and blog, tanong ko lang po gaano katagal processing time sa poea? Kinakabahan kasi na baka pag umuwi ako abutin ako ng 1-3months sa pagkuha ng OEC sa pilipinas. Gaano ka katagal nag antay po? Salamat.

    1. Hi Dennis, as long as you have verified employment contract, mga isang oras lang depende sa dami ng tao.

      You should schedule it using http://www.bmonline.ph/ to make sure you have a slot and I really recommend going to a satellite POEA office instead of the head office. Cheers!

  5. Hello Rowell! Your post is very helpful.
    I have been digging up the internet for an answer to my question unfortunately I couldn’t get a definite one. I hope you can help me.
    So what if you happen to be in the Philippines while processing your visa(change of employer), and you have no OEC, will you still be able to come back to Japan?

    1. Hi Che,

      I’m really sorry. I don’t have information about this.
      My advice is to call POEA or go to their head office to see what they can do with your situation. 🙂

  6. Even if you’re with the second or third company already, as long as it’s your first time to get verified (in Japan) then there’s an interview with labor attache and your employer’s representative. My case was I was a dependent of my wife then I eventually found work in Japan. Plus I was the first Filipino that my company employed and they told me POEA had no records of Spanish company (with office in Japan) I was employed in… Nice read and nice blog. Very helpful. I read your career blog, You probably met my sis Ruth in iBridge? Hehe

    1. Thank you for the comment 🙂

      I know Ruth but I left before she joined the company. I first met her and her husband during one of the many snowboarding trips with fellow Filipinos.

    2. Hi,

      I would like to ask about the interview and the process. Same as you I entered Japan holding a Dependent visa and now found a full time job that provided me a working visa.
      I am confused about the interview. How many times did you have to go to POLO? And with the interview with employer’s representative do they have to be physically in the polo office or a phone call sufficed?

  7. Thank you for the informative post.
    I’d like to ask about the Tokibo Tohon translation. How did you get yours translated? Did you do it yourself?
    Also, do you have a template of the sworn statement, or did you just write it like a formal letter?
    Thank you.

    1. > How did you get yours translated? Did you do it yourself?
      Yes, I did it myself but I asked a colleague to check and signed it.
      If you’re working for a big company, ask your HR for help.

      I wrote it like a formal letter on the spot. 😀

      1. Thanks for the information!
        I’ve also asked POLO Tokyo about it and they’re quick to respond to emails.
        Unfortunately, we’re a small company so I have to do with my own.
        Thanks again!

      2. I see. Good luck working on the translation. 🙂

        Just a tip. My translation wasn’t on a professional level. Most of it was Google Translated. As long as the details match, POLO Tokyo will most likely accept it so don’t take too much time on it.

        Yeah, they are quick to respond.

      3. I went there today and got my OEC.

        For some reason, I think they changed the rule again. The person who processed my papers said that “verification-only” are only applicable to those who weren’t regular employees to begin with (i.e. those who came as students, dependents, intracompany visa holders, etc.). Otherwise, since I was already registered in the bm online and only changed jobs, I was given the OEC here and don’t have to go to the POEA office in the Philippines.

        Thanks again for the valuable information. I can now return home without much hassle.

      4. First of all, thanks for going back here to update us 😀

        If this is the case, it’s more convenient for us. No more document translation and all.

        I just wish they don’t push and pull on the OEC processing.

        Again, thank you Ish. See you around. 🙂

    1. Hello,

      I would like to address this question to Ish. I have the same case, I recently changed my employer but was registered to POEA before under my previous employer. What are the requirements you presented to get an OEC? Also, if ever I will not indicate that I changed my employer and be able to get those alphanumeric code to go back. Do you think it’s possible? I need to go home for emergency reasons but will go back after a week. Thank you for those who will answer.

  8. I’m going to visit the Philippines in June, but this is my first time getting verified. I came to Japan on a student visa and eventually found work here, then I applied for a working visa. However, I very recently (before Golden Week) got hired by a new company. I resigned from my previous company but my last day will be before I go home and I start my new job when I get back. So do I still need an employment certificate from my previous employer? Or does this only apply to those already registered in POEA and just updating their change in employer? I’m very confused and upset by all this hassle. Also, I still haven’t signed my new employment contract, only offer letter (since we entered Golden Week). I haven’t bought my ticket home yet because I’m not sure kung aabot na matapos ito lahat before I go home and get my OEC there…

    1. Hi Stef.
      You are coming back to a new employer so I think you will need an OEC for the new employer.

      Since wala ka pang actual employment contract with the new employer, I strongly suggest call/email the POLO Tokyo Office and ask if pwede na yung job offer letter for OEC processing.

      And if hindi pwede, arrange a meeting with your new employer. Tell them about your situation para magawan ka nila agad ng employment contract kahit hindi ka after pa ng balik mo yung simula mo.

      As much as possible, umpisahan mo agad this Tuesday para mahabol mo yung June. Good luck. 🙂

      Is this your first time going back to the Philippines for a vacation?

      1. Hi Rowell,

        Thanks for responding. I called the POLO Tokyo office (early May) and they said I had to start with my new employer first before I can go home. Yes, it was supposed to be my first time going back to the Philippines with a Japanese working visa. Before, I went home on a student visa since I entered Japan on a student visa, then I just got work here in Tokyo and had my visa changed.

        As for the translation of employee contract, I did it myself since we are a small company (startup). Do I need to get the translation verified, or as long as naka-sign un employer ko and myself and I submit the Japanese contract with it, okay na?

        Thanks again!

  9. I’d like to address this question to Ish. I am wondering, what are the documents you presented when you got your OEC at POLO Tokyo.. I will be flying to Pinas on May 16th and I knew all about these changes just today. I had no idea at all that it became complicated last year. Last time I went home was in March 2018 and there were no changes yet at that time… im so worried already. I plan to call POLO tokyo tom after work.

    1. Hi Jen.

      Naayos mo ba yung requirements mo bago uwi ng nakauwi ng Pinas? San ka nagpatranslate ng docs? Thank you.

  10. Thank you for sharing!

    Ako rin first time ko mag pasa ng requirements from student to working visa rin ako at sobrang na iistress ako dun sa interview kasi sa clinic ako nagwork and almost everyday busy kami from Monday to Saturday so hindi ko alam papano ko isisingit o sasabihin kay Doc (employer) ko na kailangan yun para makakuha ng OEC. Sana naman may consideration sila regarding this, Huhuhuhu tinawagan ko na yung POLO last week sabe nun nakausap ko may interview daw ganun. Ngayon, inaayos ko na yimg documents na kailangan.

  11. Hello .panu poh kmi makakakuha ng OEC ayaw ttakan ng POLO ung application nmin kz gsto p mainterview ung company namin .puro kmi first time employed..panu kmu mkkakuha ng OEC kht s pinas ?Pahelp nmn poh

    1. To Reziel,

      Hi. Ganun ba? Mahigpit sila talaga sa interview? huhu ako kasi magpapasa palang next week, ipapatranslate ko pa kasi yung mga documents na nakuha ko na. Ang gastos kasi ¥3500 per page. Grabe naman. Tapos ang pagkakaalam ko wala pa silang interpreter dun, ikaw pa mismo magdadala ng sarili mong interpreter. Grabe huh.

    1. Hi Dona. Galing ako dun kahapon. Okay naman lahat ng documents ko, hinanapan lang nila ko ng JLPT Certificate. Meron naman ako kaya lang hindi ko dala kasi wala naman sa requirements nila yun. Tapos kailangan talaga ng interview sa mga kagaya natin na from student to working. Ang mendokusai kasi papano ko kakausapin yung boss ko tungkol dun. I asked them yesterday kung pwede ba na sila nalang kumausap eh kaso wala naman marunong mag nihongo sa kanila. Nakakastress yung interview nila nanyan, nag require sila ng ganyan sana mag hire sila na marunong mag nihongo para sa interview pwedeng nihongo nalang. Hello? Nasa Japan tayo, expected na dapat yun na Japanese ang employer. Kung hindi marunong mag english yung employer you need to bring your own translator/interpreter. Wow ah. Mas nakakastress pa sila kaysa sa trabaho ko.

      1. Hi , ask ko lang po kung kamusta yung pag kuha nyo ng oec , from student visa to working visa kelangan po ba talaga ng interview with employer ? Hindi po ba pwedeng thru skype na lang yung interview ? Thanks ..

  12. Hello! May I just ask if kailangan may liscense talaga yung translator na kailangan dalhin sa POLO? Please let me know. Thankyou

    1. Maggie,

      Pwede naman sigurong hindi licensed translator ang mahal ng bayad nun if ever. Basta may JLPT cert N1 or N2 and authorization letter from the Director of the company. Mas maganda siguro kung tanong mo sa kanila.

      kung ikaw naman yung interpreter or translator ng company ninyo pwedeng ikaw nalang magtranslate basta provide mo JLPT Certificate mo and may authorization from the Director of the company.

  13. pinahirapan nmn nila lalo yung mga kukuha ng OEC na gusto lng nmn eh magbakaxon saglit sa pinas!! mag iinterview sila kasama ng representative ng kaisya tapos need nila mag dala kapa ng sarili mong translator?! unang una malayo ako sa tokyo, need kopa mag shinkansen or airplane para makapunta dun. tapos need mo pa gumastos sa taga translate kung yung representative ng company mo eh di marunong mag english, at ang pinakamahirap yung sabihin mo sa kaisya na need nila sumama sakin para dun! sana bago nila sinimulan to eh nag lagay din sila ng polo sa ibang embassy dto sa japan hindi lng sa tokyo! at sana sila narin ang mag provide ng magtranslate sa kanila! imbes na ipang dagdag ko nlng sa pang uwi ng linas eh mapupunta pa sa mga gagastusin ko para makakuha lng ng oec nayan!!

    1. Hayyy.. oo nga sinabi mo pa. Tsaka ang hirap kaya bitbitin ng Boss para lang sa interview. Sana nga inaral muna nila yan bago sila gumawa ng ganyan rule lalo na satin na ang boss natin is Japanese at alam naman natin na sobrang importante ng time para sakanila at mag aaksaya ng oras para lang sa interview. Hayyyy.. ang stressful ng week ko nyan buti nalang naayos ko na lahat hayyy…..

  14. To May ann

    From student to working ako. Sa wakas natatakan na nila yung contract ko. Yung OEC since first time ko, sa Pinas ko kukunin yun ipapakita ko daw yung tinatakan nila na documents. And yes, kelangan talaga ng ma-interview yung Director ng company or kung di available yung Director any representative tapos kailangan merong authorization letter from Director. Hindi ko alam kung papayag sila na thru skype ang interview try mo sila tawagan kung papayag sila.

      1. Ganu katagal ka din pala nagayos nun ? Matagal ba sya bago ka nabigyan ng oec jusko stress na stress na kame ng asawa ko dahil dito sa oec na to may ticket pa naman na kame for next month huhuhu

      2. Stress din ako nun sobra. Nakatatlong balik ako sa kanila. Yung first day pinacheck ko yung documents ko tapos nakiusap ako na baka pwedeng via skype nalang yung interview kasi nga di naman ganun kadali na sabihan yung Director ko na punta sya ng POLO for the interview. Huhuhu nun na check documents hinanapan ako ng JLPT kasi siguro nag request ako na baka pwedeng ako nalang translator. Pangalawang balik dala ko yung additional na docu na hiningi nila – JLPT, Medical Sec License. Tapos nakiusap ako ulit na baka pwedeng sila nalang magpunta sa clinic for the interview kasi busy yung boss ko di naman makakapunta yun ganun ganun. Kaso hindi talaga pwede gusto talaga nila ng interview. Tapos sabe kahit HR daw basta may authorization letter (from the Director/President) at caling card Hayyy kaya nagdasal lang ako ng nagdasal nun pano ko mayaya yung HR namin. Pero buti nalang pumayag na magpainterview. Nag pa schedule na ko ng interview nun. Yung last punta ko kasama ko na HR.

        Dalawa yung nag interview. Bago dun sa pinaka head ng POLO meron pa bago dun na magiinterview. Una ako lang muna yung ininterview. Tanong sakin pano ako nakapunta dito sa Japan, pano ako nagkawork ganun in details. Magkano sahod ko, ano nagustuhan ko sa company at kung meron ba kong ayaw sa company rules ganun. After ako mainterview, yung representative naman tinawag and translator (in my case ako yung translator so ako yung andun din) kung iba yung translator hindi ko alam kung sa palalabasin ka or not. Yung tanong sa representative ng company namin same lang sa tanong sakin. Check siguro nila kung magmamatch yung sagot.

        Yung interview naman sa head ng POLO about sa contract mo na. Ganun din first ikaw muna papasok sa loob. After nun representative na ng company/director and translator.

      3. Hindi ko pa nakukuha OEC ko. Sa Pinas ko pa kukunin yun. Tinatakan lang nila yung mga documents ko na ipapasa ko sa Pinas para makakuha ng OEC so nag allot ako ng isang araw na bakasyon ko para sa POEA sa Pinas. Ganun daw pag first timer sa Pinas kunin OEC.

        Next month din ako uuwi… hayyy praying na sana maayos nyo rin yung inyo. Ang layo nyo pa naman 😦 Sana may consideration sila pagdating dyan.

    1. Hello @prettyica! Just wanted to ask if nakauwi ka na ba sa Pinas and if you have obtained your OEC na. Like you, I switched from student visa to working visa din. I’m planning to head back to Pinas ngayong 3rd week ng August. Once na issuehan na tayo ng OEC, sure na yan na papayagan tayo makaalis from Pinas?

      Your answer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ahead!

      1. Hi ARA,
        Dito ba ko sa Pinas. Aug 20 flight ko going back to Japan tapos 19 sked ko sa POEA kasi naubusan ako ng slot. huhu sana maging okay! Mag post ako dito kung ano man mangyari update ko kayo…


  15. Did anyone experience sending their documents by post? If yes, how long does it usually take before they send the VERIFIED documents back?

  16. Hello Rowell,

    Good day! Thanks a lot for this very insightful blog. Just a quick question though, will obtaining an OEC guarantee our return to Japan? To give you a preview on my background, I came to Japan on a student visa and landed myself a job here. As this is my first time, I underwent POLO verification process and had my documents stamped and verified. I am aware that all OFWs with no prior POEA record will have to process their respective OECs in the Philippines. I am planning to go back to the Philippines by August 3rd week and I while I have all the documents required for obtaining an OEC, I am hesitant to go back because I’m scared that an OEC might not be a sure guarantee of being able to fly back to Japan. I know I’m just paranoid about this but my reservation stems up from the possibility of not being allowed to come back to Japan even after being issued an OEC. So, to sum my inquiries up:

    1. Will there be no problems for me getting back to Japan as long as I obtain an exit clearance a.k.a. OEC?
    2. By any chance, would you happen to know or hear any incident about past OFWs not being allowed to come back to Japan (or other countries per se) even when they were already issued an OEC?

    I am legally working here in Japan and my documents are all verified, too. I just wanted to be sure before I fully decide to come back to the Philippines for a short vacation.

    Thanks ahead for your inputs. Have a great day!


    1. Hi Ara,

      1. As long as you obtain your OEC, there shouldn’t be a problem.
      2. With an OEC, I never heard anyone who wasn’t allowed to go back to Japan.

      Don’t worry too much. Secure your OEC in the Philippines as early as possible and enjoy your vacation. 🙂

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