OWWA Member Guide: Membership Application for OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership serves as a safeguard for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) across the globe. This mandatory membership not only acts as a form of insurance but also as a robust support system for the millions of Filipinos employed overseas. With a membership that spans two years and is renewable, OFWs gain uninterrupted access to a suite of programs and services aimed at enhancing their welfare and that of their dependents. This initiative underscores the significant role of OWWA in not just supporting the well-being of Filipino workers abroad but also in contributing to the Philippine economy through their remittances.

Targeted at all documented OFWs, this membership encompasses a broad range of benefits, including financial assistance, scholarships, legal aid, healthcare, and crisis support, alongside training programs to boost skills and employability. Eligibility extends to those working abroad under contracts processed through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or those who opt for voluntary registration while employed overseas. The process of becoming a member involves preparing essential documents, possibly scheduling an appointment, visiting the OWWA office or applying online, and paying a membership fee. With these steps, OFWs and their dependents can expect a comprehensive support system designed to navigate challenges abroad while ensuring their contribution to national development is acknowledged and supported.

owwa membership
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What is OWWA Membership?

OWWA membership is mandatory for all documented or legal OFWs, serving as a form of insurance and support system while they are employed overseas. Membership is valid for two years and can be renewed, ensuring continued access to OWWA’s programs and services.

Significance of OWWA

Understanding how to become an OWWA member is important for the millions of Filipinos working abroad. OWWA, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration,  has a major role in protecting their well-being. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority shows over 2 million Filipinos deployed overseas in 2022 alone. These workers contribute significantly to the Philippine economy through remittances, estimated at over $34 billion in 2023 by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.  This type of membership, mandated by Republic Act 8042, ensures access to government programs and benefits like skills training, financial assistance, and legal aid. By becoming a member, Filipino migrant workers are better equipped to navigate challenges abroad and contribute to the nation’s development.

Legal Basis

The legal foundation of OWWA and its mandate to protect OFWs is rooted in various Philippine laws and regulations, ensuring that Filipino workers abroad are supported and their rights upheld.


OWWA offers a wide array of benefits for its members, including:

  • Financial assistance and scholarships for members and their dependents
  • Legal assistance for employment-related issues
  • Health care and insurance benefits
  • Support and aid in times of crisis or emergency
  • Training programs to enhance skills and employability

Eligibility / Qualifications

All documented OFWs are automatically eligible for OWWA membership. This includes those who are legally working abroad under an employment contract processed through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or those who voluntarily register while already employed overseas.


The general requirements for OWWA membership include:

  • OWWA OFW Information Sheet
  • Copy of Passport (with photo page)
  • Employment Pass/Work Permit Card
  • Employment Contract
  • Membership Fee (varies depending on the host country’s currency equivalent)

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for OWWA Membership

  1. Prepare the Necessary Documents: Gather all the required documents listed above. For those applying online, download and fill out the OWWA OFW Information Sheet from the official OWWA website.
  2. Schedule an Appointment (if necessary): Check if the OWWA office in your host country or the regional office in the Philippines requires an appointment for membership processing.
  3. Visit the OWWA Office: Present the required documents at the OWWA office. Follow the officer’s instructions for the application process.
  4. Pay the Membership Fee: Pay the applicable fee of $25 (around Php 1,400) and receive an official receipt. The membership becomes effective immediately after payment and lasts for two years.
  5. Online Application and Verification: For those unable to visit an office in person, OWWA membership can also be applied for and verified online or through the OWWA mobile app.
  6. Renewal: Membership must be renewed every two years, either through a visit to an OWWA office, online, or via the mobile app.

Recent Updates

OWWA Extends Financial Assistance to Distressed OFWs in Bataan Province

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration in Central Luzon recently provided financial aid to 17 distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Bataan province through the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) program. The BPBH program offers livelihood support to returning OFWs, with different financial aid levels based on membership status. Additionally, the Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) Bereavement Assistance provided assistance to three beneficiaries. (SunStar)

Filipino Crewmen Survive Houthi Missile Attack and Return Home

Eleven out of the thirteen Filipino crewmen who survived a missile attack by Houthi rebels on their ship, True Confidence, have safely returned to the Philippines. They were welcomed by officials from the Department of Migrant Workers, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and other government agencies. Recovery operations are ongoing to retrieve the remains of the three crew members who tragically lost their lives in the attack. (Inquirer)


In this informative video, you will discover the step-by-step process of registering on the new OWWA app and how to determine if you are an active member. Stay updated on your OWWA membership status and take advantage of the benefits and services available to you. Don’t miss out on this essential guide for Filipino overseas workers.



OWWA membership is an essential aspect of an OFW’s life, providing a safety net and support system while working abroad. By following the steps outlined in this guide, OFWs can ensure they and their dependents are protected and have access to the numerous benefits and services offered by the agency. Whether you are a new member or looking to renew, take advantage of the resources available to you as an OWWA member.

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