How to apply for Filipino maid home leave DIY

My domestic helper from Philippines was due for her home leave after completing her two years of service here in Singapore. After much deliberation, we decided to renew her contract for another two years. I called my agent and was informed that I would have to pay about $1,400 for the renewal, including her airfare home, insurance and processing fee for all the documentation.

I decided then to give it a shot to renew the contract by myself since my agent told me I was free to DIY if I was confident about the procedures. In case you think that’s impossible, it actually isn’t although it was quite frustrating process dealing with the Philippines Embassy. Nonetheless I spent less than $800 so I guess the inconvenience was worth it.

The steps listed are in no order of preference. But you’d need to have completed steps 1, 3, 4 and 5 before heading to the Philippines Embassy to apply for the OEC.

Step 1: Go to Philippines Embassy website to read about the requirements to apply for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and print out the following forms –

  1. Employment Contract for Household Service Worker (Direct)
  2. Undertaking of Employer for Employment of HSW
  3. OWWA Information Sheet
  4. OFW Information Sheet (OEC)
  5. Pag – IBIG Membership Registration Form

Fill and sign all the forms. For Filipino domestic helpers, their government since 2010 require that they apply for an OEC as proof of employment before they are allowed to leave the country. This is crucial otherwise your helper cannot come back after their home leave.

Step 2: Type out an employment contract detailing her work arrangements, revised salary, day offs, home leave, termination clauses etc. since the old one is no longer valid. What I did was to mirror the contract from my agency and just changed the details accordingly. Have your helper sign these as well, making sure she is aware of what she is agreeing to to prevent future conflicts.

According to the maid agencies I approached, I was told that it was acceptable for the contract details to be different from those stated under the Standard Employment Contract issued by Philippines authorities (e.g. minimum pay of $600 per month with 1 off day per week). This contract is solely between you and your helper. You do not need to submit this contract to apply for the OEC.

Step 3: Book a return ticket back to domestic helper’s home town. The cheapest fares are usually offered by Cebu Pacific which is a budget airline. I was however able to get a good rate for a commercial airline called Philippines Express for $298 with free 20kg luggage. Look out for maid fares but they tend to be snapped up much faster during school holidays. Print out the travel itinerary for OEC application.

Step 4: Apply for maid insurance through one of the many insurers that offer them (e.g. AXA, NTUC Income). For Filipino helpers, the minimum requirement is a $10,000 Medical Insurance, $5,000 security bond and most importantly a $7,000 Performance Bond. I paid about $333 for my plan with NTUC Income. You’d need physical copies of the medical insurance and $7,000 Performance Bond for OEC application.

Step 5: Renew Work Permit with Ministry of Manpower. Thankfully with technology, you can now renew it online for $20 after some inputs on domestic helper details, revised salary, contract period and confirmation of an appropriate maid insurance plus security bond. Your insurer will forward this information to MOM directly upon confirmation of the cover under Step 4.

Step 6: Collect new work permit. Within a week or two of application, you should receive a letter from MOM informing you that you can come by their Work Permit Division in Tanjong Pagar Complex to collect the new work permit. You need to bring the old work permit, passport and work permit renewal letter duly completed and signed by your domestic helper to collect the work permit. You’d need either the new work permit or a copy of the letter to apply for the OEC. Make photocopies of the new work permit, passport and your NRIC. The photocopier services at the embassy is out to make a buck off you.

Step 7: Go to Philippines Embassy located at 20 Nassim Road to apply for the OEC with all the relevant documents signed and ready. The process itself is really even more complicated than all the steps above combined! Do take note of the opening days and time and that there is no parking at the embassy. We almost got a summon for illegal parking outside the compound. I shall do my best to recount my experience.

  1. At the guard house, obtain a queue number for document verification
  2. Have your documents (Form 1 and 2 above), insurance, photocopies of Work Permit, Passport and Employer NRIC authenticated and verified.
  3. Make payment of $62.50 in cash ONLY for authentication and verification at the cashier counter (counter is closed at lunch time so time your application wisely)
  4. Return to counter with receipt of payment. Officer will give you a slip of paper confirming the acceptance of your documents and application. You’d need to return a week later to get the notarised certificate.
  5. Approach the OWWA counter to submit Form 3 together with Passport and payment of $42 in cash ONLY for membership fees. Wait about 15 minutes for application to be completed on the spot. Officer will staple receipt on the helper’s passport. This has to be kept there for proof of membership.
  6. Head back to guard house to obtain a queue number for OEC application. You cannot get this number earlier unless you already completed authentication/verification process. Show slip as proof. As there is a perpetual queue, the queue numbers are given out during a window period of 1 – 1.30pm for the PM session. But I guess even if you miss it, you can still somehow wriggle your way through the haphazard queue system.
  7. Head to OEC counter to submit Form 4 and 5, receipt of OWWA membership, travel itinerary, new work permit and payment of $5.50 for the OEC and $5.50 for Pag – IBIG (local insurance). You’d also need to show slip of paper as proof that documents have been verified/authenticated. You’d be be issued with a coupon like OEC on the spot. All the elaborate processes above just to get your OEC…
  8. Return a week later to collect your notarised Certificate.

Step 8: Make sure your helper has the OEC with her when she goes for her home leave otherwise she cannot leave her country to return back to Singapore.

Welcome your domestic helper with wide open arms after two weeks without her. However if you made the effort to bond with your children during this period of time, you’d somehow realise that your helpers don’t make great parents of your children. There is no substitute for you.

111 thoughts on “How to apply for Filipino maid home leave DIY

  1. Hi there, thanks for sharing, it’s very informative but I’m still confused.

    My helper’s permit expiring in Oct, I’m letting agency to handle all the renewal. I’ve sent the passport, permit to agency, they’ll renew come October to prolong the time. I’m told we have to do the OWWA ourselves for helper to go on home leave.

    If she chose to go on home leave in Dec, does that mean we have to apply OWWA after we get the new permit?

    1. Hi IZ_MUM,

      The work permit is issued by MOM to allow your helper to continue working in Singapore.

      The OEC is issued by the Philippines Embassy to allow your helper to leave her home country to work overseas. It was only implemented in 2010/2011 I think as my helper who joined me in mid 2010 did not have to apply for it. You helper will need to have this OEC to come back to Singapore to work after her home leave in Dec.

      The OWWA membership is a pre-requisite to apply for the OEC.

      You only need to apply for the OEC prior to the home leave not after getting the new permit. I had to apply for both at the same time because my maid wanted to go on home leave the same time as the expiry of work permit. Hope this clarifies.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for your info, very useful.
    May I check with you the following:
    1. Do I have to bring my helper along to apply for homeleave?
    2. Her WP is only expired Apr2013, but she wan to go back on Oct this year, do we still need to renew her employment contract in your as above?
    3. Do u pay on $62.50 for her homeleave application only ?

    1. Hi Coco,

      Answers to your questions to the best of knowledge –

      1. No you don’t have to bring her along to apply for the OEC at Philippines Embassy or at Lucky Plaza although it might be good to in case you forgot to get her to sign something. I saw many domestic helpers applying for it when I was there. So you can either choose to DIY or just ask her to do it herself but you’d have to give her the money and all the necessary documents.

      2. In this case, she only needs to get hold of the Overseas Employment Certificate so that she can come back to Singapore to work, no need to renew employment contract or work permit yet. According to the Philippines Embassy website (http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/labor/hsw/oec/), you’d need to have a valid employment contract which is the one proposed by them here (http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/forms/labor-contract-HSW-direct.doc). You might already have signed one when you employed her.

      3. Authentication of home leave is $110 but I think could be lesser if you already have an authenticated employment contract. Better to check with embassy direct.

  3. Thanks for your information. It is very useful. I had renewed my maid contract in June and she is going back in nov for her home leave. I am currently contemplating to do this on my own using your DIY steps.

    Just to clarify on the contract. The requirement is to use their standard contract. If we are using our own contract, will they still authenticated our contract? You mentioned that the contract is not required for submission for the oec… I am a bit confused now as we need to submit the standard contract as part of the requirement right? Will we face issues if the contracted salary is less than their stipulated amount?

    1. Hi Doris,

      Initially I contemplated getting myself a new maid so I went round to several agencies to enquire. It was then I found out about this new requirement from POEA. How the agencies circumvent this is to get the helper to sign two contracts, one is the standard contract with the higher salary and number of off days for submission to the Philippines Embassy, and the other is the ‘official’ contract between you and the helper detailing the actual pay and number of off days.

      I asked if it was legal to do this and they told me matter of factly that no one would hire Filipinos if they had to adhere to those conditions so usually the authorities close one eye. I don’t know, maybe one day they will enforce this strictly but till then, can just stick to a salary and no. of off days which both employer and employee agree on.

      So what you need is two contract and it’d be good if you explain this to your helper as well so she doesn’t get confused or have false expectations. You sign and submit the standard employment contract for the OEC application but you also keep a separate contract detailing the actual salary etc (don’t submit this to them). I added a clause in this contract stating that the terms here supercede any other contract to protect myself.

      I think at the end of the day if you’re choosing to DIY the renewal of the maid contract, home leave etc., one important element is how much you trust your helper. If you think she’s eager enough to come back to work for you and have a relatively good relationship, then this shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise it would still be best to go with an agent who can help you mitigate should your helper run off or something.

      Hope this helps. =)

  4. Hi,
    Thanks so much for your reply.
    I’ve checked with the embassy that I renew her employment contract before I can apply OWWA & OEC for my helper. Finally I’ve booked a return ticket for my helper. Just to find out from you again, my helper will be leaving in mid-nov, when is the approprate time to start to buy her $7000 bond and proceed to renew her contract etc?
    Thanks again.

    1. Hi Coco,

      The minimum time required is 2.5 weeks to be safe. You’d need to apply for the $7000 bond which you can do so with NTUC Income or AXA (I haven’t checked other insurance companies but my FA recommended either of these two) via their respective agents or online. Between the time taken to process the paperwork and receive the policy documents is about 2 weeks.

      Then you can fill in all the required documents for the OEC, head down to the embassy to authenticate your standard employment contract first, renew OWWA, and then apply for OEC. You’d be able to collect the OEC on the spot if all the documents are in order. You’d be asked to come back a week later to collect the notarised employment contract but your helper won’t need this to leave the country.

      However if you have the time, by all means you can start applying for it already.

      By the way, will you only need to buy the $7000 bond or do you also need to renew her insurance, as I suspect your current insurance should last till next year April right?

  5. hi,

    Thanks for your reply.. Greatly appreciate that.. It is always good to learn from your experience with the embassy. will try to apply using yr DIY methods πŸ˜‰ … Hopefully my maid will be back in Singapore πŸ˜‰

    Doris

  6. Hi,

    My maid intends to go for home leave when her WP expires on 23 nov. Is it too late for me to start applying everything now? All applications will take about how long?

    1. Hi Celine,

      If you start to make the necessary applications concurrently, you should be able to make it in time.

      1. Buy insurance and letters of guarantee/performance bond – 2 weeks
      2. Book a flight back home – within a week
      3. Renew & collect new work permit after insurance is confirmed – 1 – 2 weeks
      4. Notarise new employment contract and apply for OEC after collection of new work permit – 1 week

      So in total you should need about a month to complete everything including the waiting time for processing etc. Get insurance & book flight > renew WP > Apply for OEC

  7. Hi Rogue,

    Thanks for you advise. Should be only the $7000 performance bond as my helper insurance already renewed last year.

  8. Hi,
    My maid contract with us will be due on mar2013. We actually asked her n she had expressed her intention to renew the contract with us when the existing contract expire. For some reason, she request me to let her have her home leave earlier, beginning december to mid December 2012.
    Do I have to renew her contract/ wp before she leave Singapore?
    As for the performance bond(7000),is this the same as the run-away bond (5000) that we have bought when we 1st employ her?
    thanks for your advise.

    1. Hi Alex, based on the comments received, many helpers request to have their home leave before their contract is up. But there is the complication then because I am not too sure exactly what need or need not be done.

      Well since her WP has not expired, you don’t have to renew it yet.

      As for contract, when she returns for home leave to Philippines, you need to apply an OEC for her, a grant for her to leave her home country and return to SGP to work. To have the OEC, you need to submit the standard contract available on the embassy website. This will effectively begin your new two years.

      I am not sure as to the industry practice as to whether both the employment contract and WP expiry have to be the same but technically it doesn’t.

      Lastly the $5,000 bankers guarantee is for issuance of the WP and required by MOM. While the $7,000 performance bond is different and required by the embassy. It doesn’t cost a lot though.

      Edit: Remember, you may apply for waiver of FWL during your maid’s home leave. The details on MOM website.

  9. Hi Rogue

    Thank you for your sharing. Need your advice. My helper’s 2 year contract expired in Sep and I did up a new one for her. We have agreed to have her go on home leave in Dec. For the Employment Contract for Household Service Worker (Direct) when do I date it? Should I back date it to Sep or date it in Oct the day I go down to the Phil Embassy? Also is her presence needed for contract authentication?

    1. Hi dahon,

      Based on the T&Cs on the standard employment contract, the two years for your renewal begins from the date she leaves her home country to come to Singapore. In that case, I don’t see a need to backdate it.

      No, her presence is not needed but you have to make sure that she has signed all the documents to prevent making a second trip (which I did). Alternatively, ask her to do it herself but you would have to give her all the documents and money for payment.

  10. Hi,
    My helper wants to go back to Philippines in Dec while we are away for 3 weeks, I just wondering if this home leave is issued per trip? Let’s say end of 2013, she wants to go back again, then we have to apply another home leave for her again?

    Another question that the $7000 performance bond is also for 1 time usage or how long does it valid till?

    Thanks a lot

    Cheers

    1. Hi nana, good question. The purpose of the OEC is to for the Php govt to track the movement of their FDWs and prevent illegal hiring. It is like a coupon for single use only.

      And it seems based on the std contract that each time maid leaves her home country, it marks the start of a new 2 year contract?! Seems kinda illogical but technically most contracts allow for one paid home leave usually at end of the 2 yr term.

      The $7000 performance bond is for two years which corresponds with the contract duration.

  11. HI Rougue,

    I read somewhere under comments that home leave can be applied at lucky plaza?
    Can you advise is there a agency handlling that.

    My maid 2yrs contract only ends in june next year however she has already been in singapore for over 2yrs. i am her second employee.

    So i just need to apply for home leave for her. Please advise how to go about it.
    Can i go through an agency and how much would it cost?

    thanks!

    1. Hi Alvina,

      I had difficulty locating the shop in Lucky Plaza as well. Somewhere on #03 but you should be able to identify it when you see a long queue of FDWs holding pieces of paper. According to other blog sources, seems like the process here is rather haphazard compared to the embassy.

      Well the post and comments have pretty much the details you need to apply for the OEC which is necessary for her to go for her home leave and come back to Singapore again to work.

      Of course you can go through your agent which would save you a lot of hassle. My agent quoted me about $1,400 – application of OEC, flight tickets, renewal of insurance and WP etc. But I was able to do it for about $800+.

  12. Hi Rogue,

    Thank you for posting the information and your sharing. I would like to check with you what is “Undertaking of Employer for Employment of HSW” that is required to submit for home leave application for my helper?

    Thank you,
    Gelia

    1. Hi Gelia,

      You can download this Undertaking from here > http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/forms/ under Labour Forms.

      It’s basically an agreement made by employer to abide by certain protocols. You may not agree to all the items but as I mentioned earlier in my comments, agencies usually work around this somehow. Just make sure you discuss it with your FDW on what you will abide by and that it is within the current market practice.

  13. hi rogue
    I am sending my maid back home for vacation in jan , her contract is not up till another year. however I had my maid agency to settle the paper work for me and they are charging me fr it.
    I have already purchased her tickets and insurance. how can I go about to settle her paper work from there? I hope to DIY to save on the cost.
    thanks

    1. Hi Beverly,

      All that remains would be for you to apply for her OEC at the Philippines Embassy.

      You can read about it in the second half of the blog entry. It would cost you another $115.50 for the application fees and at least half a day applying for it.

      May I know how much your agency is charging you for this? By the way, you may want to check with your agency if you will need to renew her contract for two years from the date of return to Singapore or will the contract expiry follow your existing contract?

      I am asking because the standard employment contract you would be required to submit at the embassy states that the two years will begin from the day your helper leaves Philippines. It has left me stump as to whether which employment period we should adhere to if you send your helper back before her contract is up.

  14. Hi Rouge,
    I’m so glad I found this page. The info you have shared is very useful. Just wondering if my helper is going back for home leave in Mar 2013, when should I start applying for OEC?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jasmine,

      You need minimally a month to get all the paperwork done including buying insurance, booking flight back, renewing work permit if required and applying for the OEC. So you may want to start in mid Jan – early Feb. But do take note of CNY hols.

  15. Hi Rogue

    I regret not reading these information given by you earlier. My maid is currently in Philippines on vacation and supposingly to return to S’pore today until she called me at the airport that OWWA/OEC is requried before she can goes thru the immigration. I am totally not aware that we need to apply for OWWA/OEC for her to return to S’pore and it’s definitely my oversight.

    Though I have asked her to send back the original passport and work permit to Spore via FEDEX and I am expectating to receive it by this Wed or Thu, may I know how long would it take to apply for OWWA and OEC as I would like to give some time buffer for purchasing another return airticket.

    FYI, her contract has just been renewed in Oct 12.

    1. Hi Christina, to apply for the OEC, you need to have a –
      1. signed standard employment contract and OFW form by both parties
      2. performance bond of $7,000
      3. confirmed fight itinerary
      4. paid OWWA and Pag Ibig membership
      5. Passport and work permit

      You will be able to get the OEC on the spot if you have all the above documents.

      However I am not sure how long it is going to take if your maid needs to sign the forms as well. Better if she can fedex them back to you at the same time.

      Alternatively I have read elsewhere on the internet that your maid can apply for the OEC from Philippines but she will need the necessary documents signed from you. You can check with her if she knows how.

  16. HELP HELP! I sent my beloved Filipino Maid home without an OEC!!? Didn’t know such a thing existed till i sent her home.

    Oh no. Any ideas anyone?

    1. Hi BabaBlackSheep, coincidentally there is an earlier comment with the same situation as you.

      I can think of a few possible paths –

      1. as per earlier to courier the documents to and fro and apply the OEC from the Philippines embassy here

      2. check with your maid if she knows how to apply the OEC from home and courier her the necessary documents. I am not sure how long this might take though

      3. Check with Philippines embassy on what help they can provide – you might want to check out this path first

      4. Get a local agency with branch in Philippines to help you process the OEC though this might be the most expensive option

  17. Hi,

    Can I know how long the OEC is valid for? My maid’s contract is ending in April, however she will only be going on home leave in June.

    1. Hi Phoe,

      The OEC is valid for 60 days from date of issuance.

      Remember to factor in number of days your helper will be away on home leave.

  18. Hi I have applied IPA for my ex maid. Can i send her the IPA to apply for the necessary documents to work in Singapore in her home town.
    If she can how long and how much will it be roughly.
    Thanks & Regards
    Jag

  19. My maid’s 2 years contract end in May 2013. We decide to keep her and let the maid agency handle the renewal of passport and work permit. But she is going for her home leave in August 2013. My question is when is the right time to apply for the OEC?

    1. Hi Aries,

      Since you would have settled the Work Permit, insurance etc., then just need about two weeks to apply for OEC. Make sure you’ve booked her ticket home before applying.

  20. thanks dear for such a detailed information. I was hunting for help on how to DIY to renew my FDW when her contract expires in OCt 2013.
    Can i ask when should i start doing this? She will be heading for home for 3 weeks or so before commencing work back in Singapore.

    so to speak, it is okay, if i cant afford a $600 std salary as what the embassy has set and instead i propose a revise to my FDW for acceptance in her contract.
    They have a contract to be downloaded from their website and i dont have to use that right?

    1. Hi Jaime, glad I could help.

      If you need to renew her work permit, insurance, get the new contract up, book plane ticket, apply for OEC etc., then optimally give yourself two months to get everything done. The OEC should be last step as it is valid only for 60 days from date of issuance.

      To apply for the OEC, you will need to submit and sign the standard employment contract available on their website. No ways around it.

      If you’re not able to meet the terms though, you can negotiate with your helper to vary it and sign another contract between you and her only.

  21. Tks for sharing. We are going to apply the OEC our self. By the way, my maid renewed her contract which end in May but she intend to go on home leave in August, can we apply the OEC early?

    1. Hi Angry Bird,

      In the earlier comments, I mentioned that the OEC is only valid for 60 days from date of issue. So plan around that timeframe to decide when is the best time to apply for it. However remember to also give yourself time to prepare all the documents required for the OEC application.

  22. Hi,
    The info here is very useful for some of us, including me who isn’t aware of this OEC & OWWA thingy. SImply thinking renewing their work permits will do.

    Just wondering if this needs to be done on an annual basis? This is only the first year, hence this will be the first time renewing my maid’s work permit. She says she will only want to go on her home leave after the 3rd year or so, even if her contract expires next year (2years contract).

    For this year and next year (assuming she really only returns on the 3rd year), is it sufficient to only renew the work permit? Or do I still need to do the OEC & OWWA thingy?

    1. Hi Melly,

      You only need the OEC if your helper is going back to her home country and needs it to return back here for continued employment. Otherwise you don’t need to apply for it. The OEC is a requisite from the Philippines government, not ours.

  23. Hi,
    My maid’s contract is expired in June, she’s going for home leave only in Dec. Do I have to renew her contract with the embassy this june? Or I can do everything when applying for her home leave nearer to Dec?

    1. Hi Winny, yes apply for the OEC only closer to the actual home leave period as the OEC only has a validity of 60 days.

  24. hi,

    I just want to ask or clarify about my homeleave.
    my contract end on June 28 this year,
    and my homeleave expired on July 11 this year.
    and now my work permit on processing for renewal,
    and im going back for holiday this June.

    my question is,do i need to renew my homeleave to get my OEC?
    but my homeleave not expired yet for 2years,
    can u advice me what should I do?

    thanx,

    and if ever how long if the processing of homeleave/
    thanx once again.

  25. Hi Rogue

    We are planning to process the fdw application this month for the first time and we are not going for an agency. I just need ur opinion on what to do if this application become successful then by september we will be going back to phils for birthday celeb of my 2babies and on Oct for the wedding of my bro in law.. Of course she may also wants to go back with us. So is it possible to apply home leave for her already even if shes less than 2years of being a fdw? Do know much will it cost and how to process. Thank you.

    1. Hi Snoopy,

      As long as your FDW returns to Philippines, she needs the OEC whether before her 2 years is up. As to how much and how to process, the blog post and the numerous Q&As speak for itself. Hope it helps.

  26. My FDW is going for home leave but she only work for me for 1 year. I read from Embassy of Phillippines that we can only DIY if FDW work more than 2 years. Else, we need to get a agency to do it. Any experience / comments to share?
    “OEC for Household Service Workers (β€œHome Leave”)
    Eligible and qualified employer to process the authenticated Employment Contract at the Philippine Embassy: Worker has served continuously for at least two (2) years with the same employer. But if less than two (2) years, the processing will be through an accredited Singapore employment agency “

    1. Yup I think that’s the case. You can only apply DIY if you’ve been her employer for 2 years. For me I applied around 1 year 10 months and they still allow me.

  27. Hi Rogue,

    My maid has been working with us over 2 years, I renewed her contract 3 month ago. She will go back for 3 week’s home leave in coming June, I bought her ticket on 6 June. I just realised that OEC is needed for her vacation. It is less than 2 weeks for her vacation, I don’t know whether I can get OEC from embassy in time…wanna to know, if the OEC coming after her return…how should I do then?

    1. I hope it’s still in time. What some of the other people who posted comments here suggested couriering the documents to her in Philippines. As the OEC is required when they leave their country, not when they enter Singapore.

  28. Hi Rogue,

    I renewed my maid contract this January.

    When I filled contract form downloaded from Philippine embassy, i’m not sure what date should be filled in to state Contract starting date? Should I fill in the renewed contract date (Jan 2013) or the 1st contract date (Jan 2011)?

    1. Hi Shirin,

      This is one aspect that I’m rather confused myself. According to the T&Cs, it seems that the 2 years begins from the date she returns to Singapore from her home leave. I haven’t figured out what happens if your FDW returns home way before or after the contract start/end period. In your case, I would think it should be the renewed contract date or you can check with the embassy when you’re submitting the forms.

  29. I am planning my maid’s home leave. She will have her normal monthly salary and transport costs covered? What is the norm regarding her other leave expenses?

    1. Hi everyone,

      Thank you for reading my blog post on DIYing your Filipino maid’s home leave. I hope the information has been useful. I will try my best to answer your questions but may not always have the answer as I too am just an employer.

      For home leave, yes all I had to take care of was to continue giving her the month’s salary (you may want to consider waiting till she comes back to pay her) and also the cost of the return flight (approximately $200 – $300).

      Yes you will need to fill up and submit the std contract available on the website. I just checked if you chose the ‘direct’ form, it doesn’t require you to indicate the recruitment agency. Perhaps you might want to make sure you got the right form.

      For Filipino maids, you need the $7000 performance bond. Pag Ibig is some kind of national savings fund which all workers have to be a member of and contribute membership funds to. Anyway you can just google to find out more. =)

      The insurance is a requirement by MOM as part of the work permit process. As such the date of the insurance should cover the work permit validity period.

      As for the date on the std contract, I think it has to be pegged to when she is going for her home leave. I know it’s weird but there are separate dates for the employment date stamped at the embassy and the work permit dates. If I remember correctly, the issuance of the OEC to come back to Singapore is contingent on there being a notarised employment contract for two years from the date she returns to Singapore.

  30. Hi Rogue,

    Regarding the std employment contract, the maid agency here have done it for us including renewal of passport, insurance, WP and OWWA. As for the OEC my maid is going to do it herself. What i would like to know is regarding the std contract. Can i submit the contract(salary $500) prepared by the maid agency here or do i have to I have print out and submit one from Philippines website? In the form print out from the Embassy website it require me to indicate Recuitment Agency in Philippines with their signature. I wonder whether i have print out the right std employment contract form from the Embassy website. I think that’s is the only one(std emploment contract -direct).
    Tks.

  31. Dear Rogue,

    Good morning to u, what u are doing is really helpful, thank you.

    Can u please tell me, I’m trying to arrange home leave for my maid myself without going thru the agency. There are two embassy performance bonds, $7000 and $2000 which one should I choose?

    Can u also please tell me what is Pag Ibig membership?

    Thanks & regards,

  32. Hi there,

    I’m a malaysian working in singapore and i have an filipino FRIEND currently she working as maid for 27yrs in singapore and she is really interested to transfer to my country as my maid ( look after my father ), Her contract going to be finish this november and she also willing to get a release letter from her employer. What she must do and must not? need ur advice. Thanks

  33. Hi Rogue
    I have some questions here. My current maid’s work permit expires on 6th Sept 2013. She is planning to return home in Oct and will be signing a new contract with us.

    When I buy the insurance (which was last issue on 8th August 2013 and lasts for 26 months, when should I date it as? I understand from the agency that they signed a contract with the Philippines Embassy before the maid arrives and it was on 8th August 2011.

    Should the new contract with the Philippines Embassy (which I am going to submit) start on 9th August or can it start in Sept before her work permit expires?

    Thanks in advance!

  34. Hi, Can i check for Maid home leave..

    do we need to bear all the cost? i remember some one told me .. the OWWA fees or Exit pass should be bear by Maid not Employer?

    Thanks for your advise…

  35. Dear Rogue

    Thank you very much for the info – it has been very helpful. I have read thru the blog and the numerous Q&A which you so patiently answered. May I trouble you to advise on the following too:

    My helper’s contract w me expires on 27 Dec 2013 and she would like to go back for home leave in Dec. She is renewing her passport on 8 oct (expiring in May 2014 so has to renew to have 6 mths validity when she comes back) and should get it within 6-8 weeks ie by 3 Dec.

    I can only renew her work permit after she gets her new passport, then with new work permit apply for OEC right?

    Does the OEC need time to be effected or it is effective the moment we get it? ie if we apply and get OEC on 20 DEC she can leave immediately on 21?

    Do you think we can make it if I book her ticket back for 21Dec ie she leaves for home on 21Dec?

    Thank u for your help

    1. Hi Rachel, I didn’t have to renew her passport so I am not sure about the timeline for it. Best check with MOM.

      After application for OEC, you’d need to wait a week or so before you can collect it. But once collected, it can be used with immediate effect.

  36. hi Rogue,

    Thanks for the detailed info! I still have some questions, which I hope you can help me with πŸ™‚

    My maid’s WP is expiring nx March (2014), however I’m letting her take her home leave in advance, so that she can spend Christmas with her family (Dec 2013).

    I just realized that I need to apply OEC for her, so that she can come back smoothly after her leave.

    My questions:
    1. Can I apply for this OEC myself? I read from Phil Embassy’s webpage, that the maid must have completed 2 yrs of service with the same employer, before the employer is “eligible” to do this ourselves. Otherwise, we need to get a certified agent to do this.
    – I’ve called the agent, & she said I can DIY despite that. So, I’m rather confused.

    2. Since her WP has not expired yet, I assume I do not need to do step5 (renew WP)?

    3. Likewise, her insurance has not expired yet, so I do not need to do step 4 (renew insurance)?

    4. Is there a need to apply for POEA, before I can apply for OEC? I heard the agent mentioned POEA… but since there’s so many abbreviations, somehow I got “lost” in between…:D

    5. The agent is charging me $290 for this Home Leave Processing. I calculated the cost of DIY: 62.5 + 42 + 5.50 + 5.50 = 115.5

    Plus our own transport + time + going back & forth at least twice?

    I’m wondering if it’ll be just more worth it to get the agent to do it? hehe… I’m just bouncing off my thoughts, before I leap into action (DIY vs agent).

    Thanks so much once again, I really would appreciate any advice/input regarding this matter.

  37. Hi Rogue,

    Thanks for the information. I don’t even know about this home leave things until my maid told me but I still don’t believed her until she ask me to call the maid agency…

    After called the maid agency and realised that is too late to let the maid agency to apply for OEC on my behalf. Thank you very much for the step by step procedure.

    But I have a question, do we need to make an appointment with the Philippine Embassy for applying the OEC?

    Thanks and regards
    Sam

  38. Hi Rogue,

    Thanks for the above info.

    May I know do we need to make an appointment with the Philippine Embassy for applying the OEC?

    Thanks and regards,
    Sam

    1. Hi Sam, you don’t need to make an appointment with the embassy, however do take note of the timing of when queue numbers are issued. Might be possible to squeeze yourself in even if you don’t have a Q no but prefer not to take chances.

  39. My uncle has signed a filipino maid for 1 year & the FDW wants to go back in early Jan 14 for 2 weeks. Can I do the OEC & apply the home leave for the FDW at MOM directly rather than going through the maid’s Agency.

    1. Hi Joyous1,

      My understanding is that you need to have at least been an employer of a FDW for two years to apply for the OEC on your own. However heard from other comments that the embassy is willing to accept even if less than two years. I guess you will have to try your luck.

      Hi juian, unfortunately, I cannot help you on this because I haven’t done this before myself. If I am not wrong though, the $2600 the agent charges should include a few months advance payment for the maid wages, i.e. you are paying on behalf of the maid to the agency for tying her up with an employer in Singapore. In return, you don’t have to pay her the full wages for the initial months. Better check exactly what the $2600 entails. I don’t think agent fees are that steep. Besides if you are not experienced in this, I wouldn’t advise handling it by yourself. If anything goes wrong with the helper, you’re on your own to mitigate the problem.

  40. Hi rogue
    Have read through the blog and wonder whether you can give me advice.
    i would like to hire a philippine maid direct without going through agent.agent charge $2600 for bring her into spore.and take 1 to 2 month.
    the maid work in middle east as domestic maid and her contract expire 30.11.13 and she want to work in spore.do you know what are the required document and how to apply? tks for your help

  41. Hi can I ask I’m going home this coming 09 & I will come bck 14 dec.. I ddnt process my OEC because have a schedule..can I go POEA to process in Philippines my OEC… I bring along my original documents like working permit,contract,insurance,owwa,passport . Pls help me

  42. My FDW is a transfer, so the standard contract has the name of the previous owner, not us. Any idea if we need to amend the contract, before we can start this whole home leave application process? Really appreciate your detailed post!

  43. Hi Winniel,
    My situation is exactly similar as yours, can you please let me know could you apply DIY when it is less than 2 years of service.Also which steps you could skip and did you have to renew contract again?
    My helper has not completed 2 years and wants to go on home leave:-
    1)Can i do DIY or have to do through the agent as mentioned in the Philipines embassy website
    2)Do i Need to renew the contract?
    3)Total cost incurred?
    What was the total cost you incurred ,please let me know.
    Thanks in Advance

  44. Hi, I’m so glad to find this page. Could you advise me on my scenario?
    My helper has work with me for 2 years. I just renew her work permit in jan 2014. She will be going back for 2 wks in march 2014.
    Jan 2013, she had gone home for 2 wks too.
    For that trip, I applied the home leave thru agency.
    So now I have the owwa membership dated 20 nov 2012, the std contract verified on 20 nov 2013 as well as the certificate of authentication.
    In this case, can I still use the owwa membership, verified std contract, with the renewed WP to apply for OEC myself?

    For the pag ibig fund, I had paid once last time. I need to pay again this time right? Can this be done at embassy? Thanks
    Thank you

  45. Hi Rogue, thanks for an informative page on OEC. As an update, since I am helping my helper apply for her OEC, is that it is no longer possible to apply for one as a walk-in at the embassy. You need to make an appointment online at the embassy’s website (http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg). It’s a bit inefficient, if I can call it that, that I couldn’t get an appointment within the next 30 days. The embassy also doesn’t process Pag-ibig payments – so you’d have to get it done through an agent.

    1. Thanks for the update! After my last helper went back after 4 years of contract, I decided to try an Indonesian maid so hopefully I won’t to face such admin hassle anymore. Heh.

  46. Hi Rogue,
    May i check do employers have to bear the cost of OEC?
    also this is my first time renewing a maid,agency informed it can be done within a month?i am afraid it will exceed a month as we were not known must renew earlier.
    Thank you

  47. Hello…good morning! friends im here to asks some questions. ..my employer gve me home leave back to phillippine for 3 weeks…. and im not yet finish my 2 years contract. . How to apply home leave? What requirements should I prepared. .
    Whats the first step ? Thanks…

  48. Hi Tobester
    The Pag-ibig payments is borne by the employers or FW? Need to pay how many months?

  49. Hi,
    Just to share our experience w you. Our helper of 18 months had to take urgent home leave recently due to her father’s poor health.
    – as this was urgent the agent was unable to handle on our behalf.
    – prepare all the docs as specified on the OEC website, suggest you make 2 extra copies of the contract and ICs as we ended up having to pay 50c per copy even though we followed exactly the steps given.
    – though its website says <2 yrs employers have to go thru an agency but for urgent cases, you can still get this immediately. It's better if the employer goes down with your helper to help sort out any unexpected requests. No need to get e-appt, it's a waste of time and effort to fill in the online form.
    – the insurance $7k bond, we applied online but as only original can be accepted, we had to rush down to the insurers and get a copy. We dare not risk getting via email.
    – The counter closes at 3pm sharp, Mon-Fri (though it's opened till 5pm for collection of docs). In our case, we were unaware and almost missed the closing time! It is also impossible to speak to someone at the embassy so be very well prepared about what is required and not waste your effort.
    – doing this directly is definitely much cheaper than thru an agent, i think the difference is about $200 more.

    1. Hi Jng, thanks for sharing your experience. You pretty much summed up the frustration of doing it all by yourself very well. But I thought it was worth the experience and the cost savings. =)

  50. Hello Maam Rogue!

    I had read your blogs and obviously, your’e such a great person.Thanks Goodness!would you mind to answer this simple problem of mine?
    I’m a filipino maid.My contract will ends this nov.21,2014.So,does it means that i should exit at the same date too?or it should be few weeks before the date of expiration? My boss is too busy to answer me.←_←
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jean, when you have to exit is an agreement between you and your employer. All I know is that you will need to exit Singapore within 7 days from the expiry of your work permit.

  51. Hi,

    just to share my experience on the home leave application which I have just done last week. What was different from what I read here.

    1) Application of OEC: Have to make appointment online now, through here: http://bmappointment.poea.gov.ph/singapore-appointments/. I only know about this one day before going to the Phil embassy. But I went anyway, and the counter 1 staff told me to make the online appt then return to collect OEC at a later date. But he did helped me process the OEC as I told him the dates available are all too late, about 3 plus weeks away and my helper leaves for Phil in 1.5 weeks. Suggest to get the OEC online date first, before doing the rest of the steps.
    2) Payment of Pag Ibig: Can only be done at Lucky Plaza now. Counter 1 staff told me cannot pay at the Embassy now. So I actually made a trip to Lucky Plaza on the day of collecting the authenticated documents (1 week after application). Get the helper to do it themselves, during their off days. Save one trip. And I paid $7.50. Does it depend on who I go to? Not too sure.
    3) $7000 Performance Bond: I only printed the email copy sent by NTUC income, and they didn’t ask to see the original.
    4) Agree with Jng, I made one set of photocopies of all the required documents for my own keep, and was lucky that I brought it along, because they need 1 more set of passport and work permit photocopies.

    Lastly, don’t wear shorts. I wore shorts (ladies dressy type of shorts) and slippers (so happens my shoe broke and I had a pair of spare slippers with me) and they refused me entry. Guard told me to go Orchard Road and get a scarf of skirt, but that was 9plus in the morning! Fortunately, I have a shawl in my bag too, so guard told me to wrap with the shawl and they let me in. It was a lucky day for me! I was well prepared! LOL. It took me less than 1 hour to get all the required stuff done.

    Side note: Raymond from the Embassy was really helpful. It was my first DIY and he actually helped me a lot, allowing me to skip the OEC procedure and gave me clear instructions on where to go and what to do. He got my HP number and reminded me by SMS to look for him at another counter on the day of collection for the authenticated documents and OEC.

  52. Hi,
    Just wan to find out, total we need to go to Philippine Embassy for how many times in order to get the OEC?

  53. Hi Amy,

    If we get all the documents ready, may I know we need to go to the Philippine Embassy for how many times in order to get the OEC?

    Can everything submit and done in one day?

  54. Hi..I’m planning to take home leave this coming December..Currently working to my employer for more than 2 yrs. BUTthe problem is my employer don’t have a copy of my renewed contract last year. My first contract 2011-2013 is with here only..She said I don’t have any agency after my renewal…is it consider direct hired? What to do have a new contract? My employer can do it?.Thanks

  55. Hi may I know how do we get the maid’s contract authenticated? Or is the agent holding on to it?

  56. Hello
    I work her singapore 1yr&2mnth.
    My employer’s go philippine for vacation 7days
    If i go w/them to go my home country i still need apply OEC?

    Tnx:)

  57. Hi i just want to know the complete requirements for applying my home leave…im going back home next month to philippines and i want to do it there please.

  58. I want to go home as soon as possible bcoz my husband was died and i stay 3 day only on the philippines.i must get oec?im only 5months here in sg.how can i do.pls help me

  59. Hi.
    Thanks for the detailed and helpful website.
    I would like to know regarding the renewal of contract.

    When I hire my domestic helper through an agent, the agreed salary is lower than the minimum wages of USD 400. My helper knows and understand clearly.
    Over these 2 years, I had increased her salary twice but it is still a littler lesser than the minimum wages of USD 400.

    What should I do when I renew her contract in the embassy? Will the embassy disallow me to renew the contract? You mention something about preparing two different contract. What does that mean?

  60. Hi all,currently i’m having some frustration when applying the OEC appointment online,i can’t seems to update the passport expiration date,the visa validity date,the last departure date and the last arrival date.So by not able to update all this date,i always had this error on the flight schedule.It keep prompting me that there is a need to renew the passport because it has less than 6 months validity but in true the passport valid till 2017.

    Can i check its not a must to apply for OEC appointment online right?can we go to embassy straight away?I’m kind of anxious now because my helper is leaving for home leave within 3 weeks.BTW i do purchase the insurance,performance bond and have the work permit renew already.

    Please help.Thanks

  61. good evening
    may i ask how do i get oec? tnx planning to apply home leave this month leaving on december first week thank u so much.

  62. Hi Good day..I am working for my my employer for almost 1 year.I have to take my short vaccation and ask me to do my Home leave papers.Can a Domestic helper process the papers alone or must have agent to process it since my contract is not over yet?

  63. Hello good day,!can I ask how to get a new certicate of authentication, and what document should I need to bring!? Can I get without an appointment?
    Thank you so much!!!!

  64. Hi there! I need some advice, can I possibly take home leave this month, my passport expires on Jan 1.2017. My passport renewal is on appointment. Got my new work permit and ntuc. insurance. Just finished contract last May. Emergency reason that’s why I want to go home. Thanks!

  65. Hi!
    I am a first time employer employing a Philippines maid for my
    Mum. She has worked about 6 months and now she complained of back pain. She doesn’t lift my mum or bathe and I am not sure how she get her back pain. Brought her to see 1 doctors but she said medicine no help here and wants to go home to rest. Should I let her take a break ? What should I do ? Should I return her to the agency ?

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