10 POEA Reminders vs Illegal Recruitment

Illegal recruitment can be a lucrative business unscrupulous people do because there are folks who are easily duped into paying large amounts of money in exchange for a placement on jobs that do not exist. Therefore it’s a constant effort from government agencies to educate prospective job applicants so they won’t fall for false promises illegal recruiters often make.

Here are some of the common yet effective ways to combat illegal recruitment.

Apply only with licensed recruitment agencies.

Don’t apply with consultancy firms, training centers, travel agencies and foundations that promise jobs abroad. Listings online may be outdated and therefore unreliable. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to verify their license as valid so you can continue transacting with them or expired so you can ignore them.

Check with POEA

Whether the position you are applying for has an approved job order. Approved job orders are listed at POEA website and applicants can verify with corresponding employment agency whether these jobs are still available or already filled out.

Transact only with authorized representative

Verifying an agency as valid or illegal is just the first step of the application. The next step is to ensure that job applicants are dealing with legitimate staff / employees of that agencies. Busy offices within those agencies may be infested with illegal recruiters posing as regular employees, offer to expedite the process of your application and take away your money.

Transact business only at the registered agency address

Do not immediately entertain offers coming from your social media inbox or referred by a random person. Make sure you deal your business at a registered agency address. In this way, you’ll be assured of its legality as a recruitment entity. Now, you just need to look for the appropriate people to transact with.

Pay only the allowable placement fee.

It should be equivalent to one month salary (or some variations not far off from this figure), except in cases where charging of placement fees is prohibited. Illegal recruiters often charge hefty sums as price for the risk they take as they attempt to fool people into applying for a fake job offer.

Pay the placement fee only after you have signed an employment contract.

Demand an official receipt reflecting the actual amount paid and purpose for which payment was made. Although it’s possible to recover illegally collected fees without presenting a receipt, don’t take chances and demand the official receipt to create a more transparent paper trail.

Be wary of job offers through the Internet that require applicants to remit immediately

One of the most obvious signs of illegal recruitment is demanding money early in the processing of job application. Usually these illegal recruiters demand payment for intended visa, air fare and processing costs via MoneyGram or Western Union. In many cases employers pay for the visa so be wary of such possible attempt to make money from these made up fees.

Be wary of ads or brochures requiring you to reply and to enclose payment

Some illegal recruiters ask for payment for application forms and processing of papers. Applying for jobs abroad never would include such procedure.

Make sure you have the appropriate work visa/permit.

Be wary of job offers using tourist or visit visas. Such visas allow you to enter a country for a specific purpose: tour the country. This means you’re expected to be there as tourist and not as a worker. If agency tries to explain this apparent “workaround”, walk away and better yet, report this agency to POEA to prevent it from fooling other applicants.

Make sure you get a valid employment visa or work permit. This will bring you peace of mind and avoid worrying you’ll be arrested and deported for trying to work abroad while holding a different type of visa entitlement.

Transact directly with government offices/personnel.

Never deal with fixers. We understand that job application in the Philippines can be a daunting task that combines both bureaucratic red tape (at least the one-stop shop is trying to reduce it!) and unreasonable list of requirements by employers. Fixers try to make life easier for you. Or at leas that’s what they promise. But in reality, they’ll do more harm than good. Just avoid them, period.

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