How to Exit the Philippine Immigration Successfully without OEC?

A lot of Filipinos are going overseas to work or immigrate in hopes that they will find greener pastures in other countries. With that, as a rule of the Philippine government, all Filipinos exiting the country for work will have to present an OEC or Overseas Employment Certifcate. This OEC is secured when processed by a duly licensed POEA recruitment agency. But, what about those people who are immigrating to Canada, how will they secure an OEC if they are not processed by a recruitment agency as they are applying for an immigrant status?

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These have been a problem by a lot of Filipinos  immigrating to Canada. With Canada being open for immigrants, and several immigration programs being open for people like Express Entry, Provincial Nomination Program and the most recent Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, exiting the Philippines without an OEC is a big challenge and a question for most of them. Do Filipinos immigrating to Canada need an OEC? What will they answer to the Immigration Officers when they ask for it?

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I recently moved to Canada under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program. When I left the Philippines, I only have my work visa stamped on my passport while my Permanent Resident application is still on process. When I exited the country, I was initially asked for my OEC. Obviously, I had nothing to present. I explained to the officer politely that I am immigrating to Canada and I am awaiting for the approval of my Permanent Residence. I also showed proper documents that I am under AIPP such as the LMIA-exemption letter from the Canada Embassy. I also presented them my Acknowledge of Receipt for my Canada PR application. And I am so thankful that I exited the immigration smoothly without being questioned. I know that my experience is not always how things end up for people like me. When you have been asked and the officer was not fully satisfied or not fully aware of the program, you may move to another officer. Just always make sure that you have the proper supporting documents that your application for PR status is already on process. Not all Immigration officers are 100% knowledgeable of our immigration programs. But one thing is for sure, one of them knows about it. Other immigration officers ask their fellow officers about the program when they encounter people exiting under these circumstances. One thing is very important, when the officer ask you, be firm and confident. Because when you get nervous and panicked, the officer might think that your motive for leaving the Philippines is bad or that you are lying of what you are telling them.

Best of luck to those fellow Filipinos leaving the Philippines to move here in Canada. I wish you all the best and I hope this post will be helpful to you.

Published by Rei Magtarayo

Hotelier... Traveler... Explorer... Motivator

14 thoughts on “How to Exit the Philippine Immigration Successfully without OEC?

  1. Hi Rey,
    Hope youre doing well, what is the receipt did your present to IO for AOR? For me, i just received email notification that IRCC received my PR Application along with MR (with attachment).

    Looking for ward to your reply.



  2. Good day Sir. You mentioned you presented an LMIA exempt letter from the Canada Embassy. May I ask where and how did you get one? I already have a WP and have yet to process my PR application under AIPP from the Philippines so currently have no AOR to present. Thank you and God bless.


  3. Hi good day, I hope your’e doing well. May tanonh lang po ako regarding my case Na offload po ako last July 13 2019 naia terminal 1 hinahanapan nila ako ng LMIA EXEMPT na may stamp e yunh sakin po is wala siyang stamp. Ngayon pinpakuha nila ako ng OEC e under po ako ng SINP. Yung application is for P. R kaso yung a visa ko is worker siya. Pano po kayo yunh explain ko ulit sa I. O e hindi ako nakakuha ng OEC. Flight ko ulit sa September.


    1. Hello Cristopher, I am sorry to hear na naoofload ka. Wala ng stamp ang document na inissue ng Canada Embassy ngayon. Kung may AOR ka na, you can present that as a document to inform them na for immigrant ang application nyo and not for OFW. Present them all documents explaining the program na you will eventually get your PR status. Otherwise, I would recommend na mag exit ka nalang sa Singapore or Hong Kong, book a roundtrip ticket and stay there for some days as holiday. Then flight out to Canada from there. I hope this helps.


      1. Hi Rei. Sa NAIA terminal 1 ka rn ba? Kc na off load ako and that time, my endorsement letter did not have a LMIA exempt code so I requested one from the province they provided it to me pero nkakatakot na umulit kasi bka ioffload na namn ako khit valid nman ang document ko.


  4. I had the same issue back in 2018. What I did was I went to Hong Kong for a vacation for a week. Good thing that I already had a record that I went to HK in 2015. Hence, the I.O didn’t ask me a lot of questions. Therefore, was able to exit from a different country. I think that would be the best option for direct hires like me.


    1. You had your work permit already stamped on your passport when you went to Hong Kong?
      I am planning to do the same thing but I heard that I might get offloaded if immigration officials discover that I already have a Canadian Work Permit.


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