How To Get An OEC

Being able to secure a Z visa without the aid of a recruitment agency was indeed an accomplishment. But it only gave me a short-lived happiness. Z visa alone can’t help you fly out of the Philippines. You. Need. An. OEC. (Overseas Employment Certificate) issued by POEA. To get one AS AN ENGLISH TEACHER bound for China, you FIRST need to submit a photocopy of the following requirements:

  • Passport
  • Valid work visa or permit
  • Original employment contract verified or authenticated by the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, each page signed by your employer or its authorized representative.
  • Notarized Business license
  • Company profile
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Diploma and Transcript of Records (TOR)
  • PRC License or TESOL if you are a non-education graduate.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Proof of Certificate of Insurance
  • Statement on how the worker secured his/her employment with attached photocopy of employer’s Passport or Chinese ID and contact details

If you have an urgent need for TESOL certificate, contact me right now!

Employment Contract That Works

My employer had drafted a contract for me. My employer could have actually used the contract he had drafted (provided it meets the “Employment Standards” defined by the POEA). But I opted to use this template available for download from the POEA website.

Following the provisions set by POEA is a requirement to getting a contract authenticated. So, there you go. For faster processing, I used the standard contract template. I filled it out, signed it (e-signature) using the FREE Trial version of the Adobe Acrobat and sent it to him. POEA requires that you and your employer must affix your respective signatures on each page of the contract. I told him to sign the contract and bring it to the Philippine Embassy in Beijing along with these requirements:

  • Red Ribbon from the Philippine Embassy in China
  • Business License
  • Business License w/ Translator’s Signature
  • Chinese National ID w/ Translator’s Signature

Notarized Business License.

Check out this link to know the procedure on business license notarization and authentication. Tell your employer to find a translator to translate his business license into English.

Chinese Resident ID.

This is an official identity document for personal identification in the People’s Republic of China. It contains a unique 18-digit Citizen Identity Number. I told him to translate his Chinese ID as well.

School Stamp.

It is the red seal you see on my contract. Your employer will use it to stamp the contract in front of the embassy officer.

(Back to the future). He then photocopied (in colored format) his business license and his Chinese ID. (Colored photocopy was his own choice. Black and white will do fine). One bond paper accommodates his Chinese ID and its English translation. The same holds true with his business license. The translator’s name, signature, and Chinese ID number, must be affixed right below each translated document. There is no need to photocopy the translator’s Chinese ID.

Employer Must Authenticate Documents

Your employer/authorized representative must be willing to go through the steps necessary to get you a Philippine Embassy-authenticated (red-ribbon) employment contract. (There’s no POLO in China.) Your employer (in my case, the actual investor/owner) MUST personally go to Beijing to get your employment contract authenticated.

I had told him before he went to Beijing to also bring a copy of the company profile. It was easier for him since its English version was readily available. I seriously thought the company profile would be included in the documents to be red-ribboned, but it turned out to be not the case.

Company profile included in the DHL package

By the way, as long as all documents are complete, authentication at the Philippine Embassy in Beijing should be quite easy. The contract authentication was finished within hours. He then sent me (via DHL) the company profile (colored and in a separate file), and the employment contract, business license and Chinese ID (translated and red-stamped), now all together bounded by a red-ribbon.

What About The Other Required Documents

Back to the Philippines, the following documents should be with you by now. And you probably are wondering what to do with those.

  • Passport.
  • Work visa.
  • Employment contract from the Philippine Embassy in Beijing.
  • Business license and company profile. (I photocopied the business license that came with the red-ribboned documents and stapled it together with the company profile.)
  • Certificate of Employment. (COE from your previous employers).
  • PRC license or TESOL certificate. (If you need a TESOL certificate, I can help).
  • Resume. (Easy)
  • Proof of Certificate of Insurance. This certificate is also called OFW Compulsory Insurance. Only a couple of insurance companies are authorised to issue this certificate. Don’t worry. It is so easy to acquire. You just have to go and walk in to Paramount Life & General Insurance Corporation in which office is housed at Maranaw Plaza. As you can see, Maranaw Plaza is located right beside POEA. They will require you to submit a photocopy of your passport, work visa, and contract. In my case, I paid $36.00 for a one-year life insurance coverage. Yes, 36 US Dollars. Given the current exchange rate, it should no more than be around Php 1,900.00. Once payment is done, you should get your certificate in no time. The total amount of time spent to get this certificate should not be more than 15 minutes.
  • Notarized statement on how you found your job. One of the easiest documents to make. Look for a Notary Public around you. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one either. I went to Munoz Market in Quezon City, found a guy sitting behind what looked like a hundred year-old typewriter, told him what to do, paid Php 150.00, done!

    The body of the affidavit is what’s important. You have to state how you got to know about the job. Copy the template given below. Make necessary changes and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to staple/attach the photocopy of the translated and stamped Chinese ID of your employer as well as his contact details. For the contact details, I attached the company profile since it contains all contact details of the company such as telephone and mobile numbers, website, and email address. (15-30 minutes)
notarized statement on how employment was secured
Notarized Statement or Affidavit

Entire template not needed! Go to any notary public and show them the contents of the affidavit I provided. They will do the rest.

POEA is at Blas F. Ople Building, Ortigas Avenue, corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City

How To Get An OEC

Yes! With all documents you have in your possession, you are now ready to go to POEA to submit them. You may go as early as 7 o’ clock. Around 7:30 in the morning, guards will call out and give instructions to all direct hires. And you will find yourself in one line going up to the 3rd floor where one guard awaits and hands out queue numbers.

Direct Hires Section

Here’s the MOST IMPORTANT: The guard will ask what’s your name, how old you are, what’s the name of your girlfriend/boyfriend, name of your dog, what are your secrets, your vital statistics! You must have wondered by now what’s going on and if I was serious. Of course, I’m just kidding! Let the guard know why you are there and you’re good. That’s it.

I assume you have organized your documents before stepping into the POEA building. My documents were in one folder when I submitted them. You basically have to wait until your number along with the window number flashes on the TV screen. When it happens, go to the assigned window to submit your documents. Though my passport and all other original documents were all-time ready, the lady responsible for checking them only checked my original red-ribboned employment contract. She instructed me to just give her all photocopies. And I happily did.

POEA office
Waiting Area at Direct Hires Section

After all documents are submitted and double-checked to be complete, you will then get a copy of the checklist of requirements with instructions what to do after. In short, you need to wait like three to five working days until you see your name on the list of direct hires with POEA Clearance.

When you see your name, be happy. But surprise, surprise! You’re not done yet. You have to comply with the following yet another set of requirements.

Where Am I

Always check this list for your name. You have to be early at POEA if you’d like to get your OEC on the same day after your PDOS training. And take note, I got my PDOS at POEA Blas F. Ople Building, Ortigas Avenue. It’s a different story if you are in Cebu or any other satellite branch. So, better check POEA website for more and accurate information.

Create An Account: PEOS & eServices

  • eServices Profile: You need to create an account. Once done, print out your profile. (10-15 minutes)
  • Submit a valid medical certificate issued by a DOH-accredited medical clinic authorized to conduct medical exam for OFWs.
  • PEOS Certificate: Create an account, undergo a Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (online) and print out the certificate. (10-15 minutes)
  • Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). A certificate will be issued right after you have completed the seminar. (2 hours)
    PDOS is a mandatory program which workers must attend before being given clearance to leave the Philippines to work overseas. You need to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar before you are given clearance to leave the Philippines to work or immigrate to another country.

    NOTE: Don’t feel lost. The guard on duty can help you out. Again, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Make sure to photocopy all documents. I make it a habit to have at least 2 back ups/photocopies per document. Once done with your PDOS, go back to the Direct Hires section where you need to get yet another queue number. You need to submit photocopies of the following:

  • eServices Profile.
  • Medical Certificate.
  • PEOS Certificate.
  • PDOS Certificate.
I paid a total of PHP 6893.75 at the POEA.

Besides, submitting the above documents, you also need to fill out the OFW Information Sheet which will be provided to you. The Direct Hires personnel told me to wait after submission. I waited around 30 minutes until finally I heard my name being called out. I was told it’s time to make a payment. It was the final step. And it was quick. I got my OEC, finally.

Don’t forget to get one before you line up

I exited the POEA excited on my way to airport. Yes, it was the toughest moment for me because I had booked my flight already. And I was scheduled to take the flight at 7:00PM. The OEC was issued to me at exactly 12:15PM. The schedule was really tight. But I made it. You KEN do it too.

At last..walking on frozen water (Beijing)

Filipino Teachers Can Go To China Via Direct Hire

Updated as of August 9, 2019

Let me be upfront. As per Chinese government policy, employers in China prefer hiring native English speakers (UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa) to work as English teachers.

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But is it true Filipino teachers can teach English in, let alone go to China via direct hire? Absolutely, YES! And I am going to show you how I did it! Because I believe You KEN do it too. So without further blah blah, let’s get right into it.

It was winter season when I arrived in China.

Requirements For Getting A Chinese Work Permit

Getting a work visa (Z visa) for China may seem daunting.  While it’s true that there are a plenty of steps to follow and it can take some time, there’s really nothing to worry about. I am here to answer all of your questions, and guide you through the entire process to make it as easy as possible. First off, the following are the documents required to start the process:

Update: Beginning May 14, 2019, The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in the Republic of the Philippines has replaced the Red Ribbon Authentication of documents with Apostille stamps or seals. The DFA Offices all over the Philippines will no longer release the red ribbon as an authentication method.

You: Oh my God, is it going to be more difficult for me to obtain authentication for my documents? Shhhh, don’t panic! The process stays the same. The fee stays the same. Just visit the DFA and let them do their job of putting Apostille Stamps/Seals on your documents. Put it this way: The Apostille stamp/seal is the new red-ribbon. That’s it! Check the image below.

DFA Apostille Convention on Authentication of Documents

So, again what are the documents to submit in order for you to get a work permit?

  • Holding at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Diploma and TOR should come with Red-Ribbon Apostille Stamp/Seal from the Department of Foreign Affairs, then Authenticated by the Chinese embassy.

NOTE: When you apply for an overseas employment opportunity, one of the main requirements is to have your TOR (transcript of records) and diploma go through CAV processing.

CAV stands for Certification, Authentication, and Verification, CAV is a process done with the DepEdCHED, and TESDA to ensure that an individual’s school records and documents are indeed authentic and legal.
If you don’t know anything about it, go ask your school registrar about how to process CAV. DFA will never authenticate your DIPLOMA and TOR if those have not been CAVed. Got it?

  • NBI Clearance (no criminal record/some employers may call it: police clearance). It must have an Apostille Stamp/Seal Red-Ribbon by the DFA, then Authenticated by the Chinese embassy. NBI Clearance (multi-purpose, blue-colored document) is the ultimate piece of document to secure proving you have a clean police record in the Philippines. If you work abroad, this is the proper document to submit to your employer. Some employers don’t know the difference between NBI and the local Police Clearance we also issue in the Philippines. Never ever submit Police Clearance to your employer! Copy?
  • PRC License/TESOL certificate. For Education Majors, professional teaching license is something some schools require. Your PRC License has to be DFA and Chinese Embassy-authenticated. But before you bring your PRC ID to the DFA, it has to be authenticated first by the PRC (Professional Regulation Commission). Go to the nearest PRC office/service center .

Bring along either a scanned or photocopy of your PRC ID.

No need for an appointment. Before getting yourself a queue number, make sure you have bought 2 pieces of documentary stamps.

Doc stamps are sold outside PRC offices and centers and each stamp costs around PHP20.00.

PRC authenticated PRC ID license
PRC Authenticated PRC ID License

To authenticate PRC license, follow the steps below:

  1. Get a queue number and tell the guard you are for PRC license authentication.
  2. Fill out authentication form. Click this link to see the form. Have your scanned or photocopied PRC ID and 2 pieces documentary stamps ready. Don’t forget to bring your original PRC ID license.
  3. Wait for your number to be called (Window 2).
  4. Submit application/authentication form along with documentary stamps, and scanned copy of the ID. Present your original PRC ID as well.
  5. Pay PHP75.00 at the cashier.
  6. Show receipt to Window 2.
  7. Wait to be called (Window 1) – Release of authenticated license.

Depending on your employer, though you are an educ grad holding a teaching license, some would require you to secure a TESOL certificate (at least 120 Hours) as well. My suggestion: if you don’t have one, get it today! Some parents also care to double-check if you are TESOL-certified.

For non-education graduates like me (AB-English), TESOL certification is a must. (I came across some employers who require PRC license even for non-education graduates). TESOL/TEFL should be red-ribboned apostillized by the DFA, then authenticated by the Chinese embassy.

Why Invest In Legit TESOL

If you’re getting a TESOL certificate online for as low as $10.00, think again. Yes, getting a TESOL certificate isn’t a joke. Buying so-called great deals like 10USD TESOL and such have its drawbacks. And it might cost you much more than save in the long run.

In June this year (2019), the parents of my entire class asked me if I really am a TESOL-certified teacher.

I ended up explaining and showing them the TESOL organization behind my certificate: how big it is, the monthly activities, the website, Instagram page, Facebook page, affiliations with different organizations. With your 10USD worth TESOL, can you?

In China, (perhaps pretty much everywhere else, be it online or onsite ESL-related job) TESOL is somehow God.

Buying a cheap TESOL cheaper than an iPhone case might cause you to lose your job. Careful.

It happened to me. You never know. It could happen to you.

Invest in a legit TESOL certificate. I can help you get a legit TESOL certificate. Invest one-time and use it lifetime.

One more thing about TESOL: Before the DFA & Chinese Embassy authenticate your TESOL, it must first go through a process called CANA (Certificate of Notarial Act). Step 1. Notary Public where they make an affidavit for your TESOL, COE, Medical Certificate. Step 2. Regional Trial Court where CANA is actually made.

Since I lived near Quezon City Hall, I went straight there. The Hall of Justice building where RTC (Regional Trial Court) is housed can be found at the northeastern side of the city hall’s main building. State your purpose when you reach RTC. I told them I wanted my TESOL certificate CANAd.

They then advised me to go to the notary public located somewhere outside the Hall of Justice building. After the affidavit was made, I went back inside the Hall of Justice building where I submitted the entire document: Photocopy of my TESOL and my passport, affidavit from the notary public, and payment. You will then get a slip/receipt containing the release date of your then bounded CANAd documents.

Optionally, you may first go to a Notary Public nearest you and tell them you want an affidavit (CANA purposes) for your either TESOL, COE, or medical certificate. Never ever forget to let them know: the affidavit is for securing CANA. Prepare around PHP800.00 for this entire CANA process. Good luck!

  • Medical Exam. It must be taken at an accredited DOH/POEA medical facility in a format that meets Chinese embassy requirement. Mine was taken at My Health Clinic. They will give you a medical certificate in English, but my employer demanded the clinic should fill out (handwritten) the physical exam form in Chinese version to which My Health Clinic happily complied. My employer did not require me to authenticate my medical certificate. Some employers however, require. So better ask your employer if you need to authenticate your medical certificate. If your employer demands authentication, then have your medical certificate CANAd first before you go to the DFA and Chinese embassy.
  • Certificate of Employment. At least a combined (online & onsite) 2 year-teaching experience and signed with employer’s email and number. I did not authenticate mine. But some employers require you authenticate them. COEs have to be CANAd before the DFA and Chinese embassy can authenticate them.
  • CV/Resume. No need to authenticate.
  • Copy of passport. Scan the passport information page. It’s the one with your photo and personal info.
  • Passport-size digital photo. I went to the nearest photography studio and had my passport-size photo taken and then got them in 30 minutes. I then scanned 2 copies.

Recap: Required Docs for Work Permit

  1. Bachelor’s Degree (CAV, DFA, Chinese Embassy-authenticated)
  2. NBI Clearance (DFA, Chinese Embassy-authenticated)
  3. PRC License/120- hour TESOL certificate (CAV, DFA, Chinese Embassy-authenticated
  4. Medical Exam
  5. Certificate of Employment
  6. CV/Resume
  7. Copy of passport profile page
  8. Passport-size digital photo

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TESOL Certificate

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DFA Authentication Information

Before you proceed to the DFA office, check out their website for requirements and additional information. By the way, I had all relevant documents authenticated at Ali Mall in Cubao. The process is fast. No long-queue experience. Check out the fees and release timeframe below.

Regular100/documentAfter 4 working days
Express200/documentAfter 1 working day

Chinese Employer Obtains Work Permit

Before you can get your working visa for China, you first need to get a work permit. Your work permit is issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China and your employer is the one responsible for the work permit application.

Work Permit

However, before your employer secures the Work Permit on your behalf, you must prepare, SCAN, and then send VIA EMAIL the above required documents in PDF format to your employer. Some employers demand you send all documents via either FedEx or DHL.

I was lucky. My employer only required me to send the documents via email. Once received and printed out, your employer can now apply for your work permit. In my case, my employer processed the application on a Monday and I got the notification letter of foreigner’s work permit on Friday that same week. I couldn’t believe how fast he made things possible. I got the work permit in just 5 days. The Chinese work permit should come in two language versions: one in Chinese and the other in English. He scanned and sent them to my email. I then printed them out.

Want to work in China? Add me on WeChat: riyuzaki007

Filipino Teachers Can Apply For A Z Visa

Be early when you go to the Chinese embassy. I chose to go there at 4:30 in the morning. You will definitely see people earlier than you. Ask where the line is and claim your spot. The guards won’t let people in until it’s 8 o clock in the morning. However, as early as 5 o’ clock you may enter the building. The guards allow you to register in the log book in exchange for one valid ID. They will then provide you with another ID you have to wear at all times while in the building.

The Chinese embassy opens at 9 o’ clock in the morning. You guys have to wait outside the building from when you get there until 8 o’ clock. While waiting though, if you feel like using the rest room, don’t hesitate to ask the guards anytime, they allow people to use the rest room inside the building. A useful rule of thumb: Be friendly with the security guards. You will meet the same faces several times over the course of securing all necessary documents. One time or another they can help you out in some way.

At 8 o’ clock, you will then be allowed to enter the building and told to form another line somewhere near the elevator on the ground floor. You will stay there for around 15 minutes after which the guards will instruct you to go up the stairs into the 2nd floor. Just follow the flow. When you get there, you will see a lady guard (almost always the one doing it) handing out the queue numbers. State your purpose: either or both authentication, z visa application, or claiming or making a payment.

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Chinese Z Visa Requirements

For some reason I found it easier to apply for a Chinese Z visa than apply for a tourist visa. All you need to submit are the following requirements:

Z visa application form for Filipino teachers
Z visa application form
  • Work Permit in PDF format (Chinese and English). Submit a photocopy of both version. Your Chinese work permit contains a barcode that the embassy can use to verify its authenticity. No need to submit the original nor have your employer sent it to you it via mail courier.
  • Passport (original and photocopies) – Submit (1) one photocopy of passport identification page (the one with your picture) and (1) one photocopy of the last page containing the information of the person to contact in the event of an emergency. If you have old passports, bring and photocopy them. If you have obtained Chinese visas in the past, photocopy all of them. Include them in the submission.
  • Visa Application Form – The form must be filled out completely and legibly, all in capital letters, as advised by the embassy. Fill out the form online/electronically using either Adobe Acrobat Reader DC program or Google Chrome. When you download the Chinese Visa application form from the website, open it with Google Chrome. You’ll discover the PDF file becomes fillable. Provide the needed info. You may have noticed that the texts adjust itself as you type in the information. Don’t worry if some words are bigger than others. It won’t matter. (If you have questions, write them down via the comment section).
  • Digital Photo (2 pieces-passport size and recently-taken) – Make sure to tell the photographer that you need a passport-size digital photo for your Chinese visa application. Paste one of the photos onto your filled-out visa application form and attach the other one to the document with a paper clip.
Z Visa pick up slip

When you submit these documents, the embassy personnel expects them to be well-organized. So what I did was I brought paper clips, correction tape, and a folder where I put every document into. Once confirmed that the documents are complete, the personnel will hand you over a pick up slip containing information as to when you should go back to pay for and claim your visa. Don’t lose it. You’ll pay for your documents on the day you pick them up. There is no express service for Z visa. In my case, I submitted all requirements on December 17 and I got my Z visa on the 20th.

Update as of August 9, 2019. The Chinese embassy requires you to submit the following additional requirements for Z Visa:

  • A photocopy of your CAV: TOR and Diploma
  • Resume
  • COE (Photocopy and original)
  • Business license of your employer (photocopy)
  • Passport/National ID of your employer (photocopy)
  • Employment contract (photocopy and original)

Got My Z Visa In 4 Working Days

I went to the Chinese embassy as usual very early in the morning. At around 8:10 AM, the lady guard gave me a ticket. Tickets contain your queue number and are categorized into 3 colors. The pink ticket is your queue number for making payments. The green one is for authentication. The white one is for visa filing.

Chinese Z work visa issued to Filipino English teacher
Chinese Work (Z)Visa

The guards will guide people though. Don’t hesitate to ask if you are confused. Seating arrangements exists especially for applicants who are picking up and paying for their documents. When it was my turn to pay, I handed the cash and pick up slip to the cashier. It would be better if you give an exact amount. I could still recall when I gave Php 2500 and the cashier told me to go back for my change (Php100) once I would get my documents. (Trust me, there are tons of paying applicants lining up.) Once you get your receipt, you then wait for your turn to claim your documents from the release window which is just on the left side of the payment window.

Document Authentication FeePhp 1200.004 working days
Z Visa Application FeePhp 1400.004 working days

The website of the Chinese embassy in the PH tells you a different amount for authentication fee. Note this section of the website is outdated. In short, follow what’s written on my blog.

Still following the queue/seating flow, I patiently waited for my turn. Then just about 2 or 3 minutes gone by, it was now me and the releasing officer. I couldn’t help thinking about how an elusive Z visa looked on my passport. The passport landed in my hands as the personnel threw it into the window opening, I caught it and flipped the pages fast. And there, OMG, I saw the letter Z imprint with an inviting look. I was ecstatic and so proud. There was no fancy interview, no headache, (and no breakfast). I left the building happy.

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Do you have questions? Let me know through the comments below. Alternatively, check out this website for teaching posts both online and onsite: ETC. Or add me on WeChat (teachr007) if you think you qualify as an ESL teacher in China.

If you need a TESOL certificate now, I can help!