For Filipinos wishing to work abroad, take this simple note: Visitor visas are for tourists, work visas are for workers.
To avoid getting in trouble with authorities in the Philippines and abroad, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued the warning to Filipinos taking on overseas jobs, stressing that they should get approved work permits or visas before leaving the country.
“Foreign workers without the proper employment documents cannot work legally in any country and are a constant target of crackdowns on illegal expatriates. They are also more prone to abuse and exploitation by employers,” POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a statement.
Cacdac added that job applicants should not fall for false promises of recruiters who promise immediate job deployment on countries that do not require visit visas for Philippine passport holders, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The POEA chief urged Filipino workers not to accept job offers without being issued proper work permit or be made to leave using tourist or student visas, even on promises that partner agencies abroad will help arrange their employment abroad.
“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 said.