Working Abroad? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use a Tourist Visa

MANILA – The head of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) urged potential overseas Filipino workers not to leave the country using tourist visa.

“Foreign workers without proper employment documents cannot work legally in any country and are constant target of crackdowns. They are also more prone to exploitation by employers,” said Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Cacdac said OFWs need to have approved and appropriate work permit or work visa before they leave the country.

He also said that OFWs should not accept offers if they are to leave using tourist visa and even with the assurance from the recruiter that they will find work upon their arrival in the country of destination.

Cacdac cited Dubai as one of the favorite destinations of Filipino “tourists” wanting to find work abroad.

“Unfortunately, it is not easy to find work in Dubai. Holding a visit visa which will expire in a month, the worker could be pressured to agree to a substandard employment contract and submit to physical and emotional abuse just to have a work visa,” Cacdac pointed out.

He also reminded OFWs to not allow themselves to be sweet-talked by illegal recruiters and traffickers who promise immediate deployment to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and other ASEAN countries where visit visa is not prior requirement from citizens of its members.

“The legal way is to obtain an employment contract and employment visa or work permit and submit them to the POEA for processing and issuance of exit clearance,” Cacdac added.

The POEA chief said the Bureau of Immigration has strict procedure being implemented in screening Filipinos leaving as tourists. A traveler found to be misrepresenting the purpose of the foreign trip will not be allowed to board the plane.


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