Tuesday, March 6, 2012

POEA warns OFWs against use of visit visa

Overseas Filipino workers without the proper employment documents are more prone to abuses and exploitation by their employers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said as it warned OFWs anew against the use of tourist or visit visas to secure overseas jobs.

Cacdac said illegal recruiters are using a third or fourth country, usually Asean member countries where visa is not required of its citizens, and other countries in the Middle East as jump-off points to send Filipino workers to banned destinations.

The POEA has existing deployment bans on Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan,
Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Nigeria.

Cacdac cited the case of undocumented household workers repatriated from Syria and Lebanon who complained of low or unpaid wages, long hours of work, and physical and verbal abuse suffered from their employers. The workers were found to have left the country using short-term visit visas.

The POEA administrator said Dubai is one of the favorite destinations of Filipino workers wanting to find work overseas. But Cacdac said a foreigner holding a visit visa is not allowed to work in Dubai and other countries. In addition, holding a visit visa which expires in 60 days has pressured many Filipinos to agree to a substandard employment contract or submit themselves to physical and emotional exploitation.

“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.

Cacdac also reminded job applicants of the new guidelines issued by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation establishing stricter procedure on screening Filipinos leaving as tourist. A traveler found to be misrepresenting the purpose of his or her foreign trip will not be allowed to board the plane.

Source: POEA

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