POEA guidelines for Filipino workers bound for Canada

This post aims to simplify the POEA guidlines for Filipino workers for workers bound for Canada.

If you are a Canadian Employer or a Filipino worker with plans of working in Canada it is important that you read this article.

I. Coverage of POEA circular applies to to Employers/principals who are hiring filipino professionals, skilled workers, caregivers and other skilles for Canada.

II. The registration requirement of Principals/Employers are as follows:

1. All Canadian Principals and Employers must submit all recruitment and employment documets through a licensed recruitment agency, to the POEA, for the registration of the Employer/Principal.
2. Said documents must be duly verified by the Philippine Overseas Labout Office (POLO) which are as follows:

a. Special Power of Attorney (SPA) from the Principal authorizing the POEA licensed recruitment agency from the Phillipines. If the principal/employer is a licensed placement agency in Canada, an SPA must be issued from the employer in Canada to the Canadian recruitment Agency, authorizing the Canadian recuitment Agency to recruit for the Canadian Employer.
b. Manpower Request (MR) indicating the position and salary of the workers to be hired. In case that the Principal is a Canadian Placement agency, the Job Order (JO) from the Canadian Employer must be included indicating the details of manpower demand addressed to the placement agency.
c. Copy of the pre-approved Labour Market Opinion (LMO/E LMO) from the service Canada or approval of application to the Provincial Nominee Program Certificate of Nomination, if applicable.
d. Copy of the business license or comercial registration of the Principal/Employer. To clarify, if a Canadian recruitment company is involved, both permits from the Canadian Recruitment Agency and the Employer in Canada will be submitted.
e. Master Employment Contract, again if the principal is a foreign placement agency, the master contract of the employer in Canada to the Filipino workers shall be submitted.

3. For approval of additional Job Orders the following documents duly verified by the POLO shall be submitted to the POEA:

a. Manpower Request
b. Pre-Approval of LMO/E LMO or equivalent document like the PNP Certificate if applicable.

4. The maximum validity of registration for Principal/Employers will be for four (4) years unless sooner revoked by the POEA for the following grounds:

a. Expiration of the Principals Business permit/license.
b. Upon mutual written agreement by the parties to pre-terminate the agreement.
c. False documentation or misrepresentation in connection with the application registration.
d. Final judgement in disciplinary action against the foriegn principal.
e. Cancellation of license of the local agency

5. Validity of Manpower Requests/Job Orders. A principal Employer that acts as a regular employer (not a Foreign placement agency) may be registered to more than one Philippine licensed recruitment agency provided that:

a. The same compensation package are adopted by the principal and the agency;
b. The verified job order is more than 50 workers
c. The principal must have hired at least 50 workers within a period of one year immediately preceding the registration;

A principal that is licensed to operate as a placement agency in Canada may be registered to a maximum of 2 Philippine POEA licenced agency subject to the same conditions as above.

III. Requirements of Workers to get POEA exit are the following:

1. Processing of Agency hires. Documentation of agency hired OFW's shal require the following:

a. For regular processing.

a.1 Duly accomplished Request for Processing Form
a.2 Workers Information Sheet
a.3 Labour Market Confirmation (LMO confirmation) issued by Service Canada indicating the name of hired Overseas Filipino Worker or Provincial Nominee Certificate of Nomination, if applicable.
a.4 Verified individual employment contract (if caregiver)

b. Electronic Submission of Contracts for Processing

Upon encoding and electronic submission of worker and principal information by the Philippine Agency, the LMO Confirmation issued by Service Canada indicating the name of the hired OFW or Provincial Program Certificae, if applicable and the verified individual employment contract (if Caregiver) shall be presented to the POEA prior to assessment and payment of procesing fees.

2. Processing of Name Hires (for employers who only needs 5 or less employees within one year)

a. Requirements:

a.1 Employment contract signed by worker and employer verified by POLO
a.2 Labour Market Opinion Confirmation issued by Service Canada
a.3 Copy of passport with stamped valied employment VISA
a.4 Pre Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) Certificate

IV. New Market the following documents duly verified by the POLO are required for agency license for th Issuance of the Certificate of New Market:

1. SPA of the Attorney form the Principal(s) to the applicant Agency
2. Pre-approval of LMO or E LMO or approval to the Provincial Nominee Program
3. Manpower request(s) for 100 workers

V. Cost of recruitment

As required by both the Philippine as well as the Canadian goverment, it is the the responsibility of the employer to pay for all recruitment cost related to hiring Filipino workers. These consists of worker's visa Fee, airfare, POEA processing Fee, OWWA membership contribution, trade test and cost of training, if required by employer.

Ther worker shall be responsible for the cost of passport, NBI clearance, birth certificate, medical examination and health insurance.

Fees and Costs

POEA Processing Fee - US$100 or its peso equivalent
OWWA membership fee - US$25 or its peso equivalent
OWWA Medicare - Php900.00

Required Documents

You shall be issued an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), which serves as the OFW travel exit clearance at the airport and immigration counters. The OEC is also an exemption for OFWs from payment of travel tax and airport terminal fees. You shall likewise get a free OFW electron ID card or e-Card, which is your permanent identification card to facilitate your departure and access to services as OFW

VI. Placement Fee

Philippine agencies are prohibited from charging any recruitment and placement fee from workers to be deployed to the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Colombia and Alberta and other provinces of Canada which laws prohibit the collection of recruitment fees. Philippine agencies shal charge the employers the cos for its services.

These POEA guidelines may change from time to time that is why it is very important to check the POEA website for any new rules.

POEA website


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