Fees to Be Paid Before Working Abroad from the Philippines

Wondering about the fees you need to pay before working abroad from the Philippines? This comprehensive guide covers the various fees, their purposes, and important considerations for Filipino workers. Discover everything you need to know to navigate the process smoothly and make informed decisions.


Working abroad is an exciting opportunity for many Filipinos seeking better job prospects and improved financial stability. However, before embarking on this journey, it’s crucial to understand the fees involved in the process. This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the fees that must be paid before you can work abroad from the Philippines. Whether you’re considering employment opportunities in the Middle East, North America, Europe, or any other region, understanding these fees will help you plan your finances and ensure a smooth transition.

What Are The Fees to Be Paid Before I can Work Abroad from the Philippines?

Before you can start your journey towards working abroad, it’s important to be aware of the fees you need to pay. These fees cover various aspects of the application process and ensure compliance with legal requirements. Here are some of the key fees you can expect:

1. Placement Fee

The placement fee is the amount you pay to a recruitment agency or a licensed manpower agency for their services in finding employment opportunities abroad. The fee varies depending on the agency and the destination country. It is important to research and compare the fees charged by different agencies to ensure transparency and avoid excessive charges.

2. Documentation and Processing Fees

To work abroad, you need to complete several documents and go through various processes. These may include passport application or renewal, visa application, medical examinations, and other clearances required by the destination country. Each of these processes may have associated fees, so it’s essential to inquire about them and budget accordingly.

3. Training and Seminar Fees

In some cases, you may be required to undergo specific training or seminars to meet the requirements of your chosen overseas employment. These fees are typically charged by training centers or institutions authorized by the Philippine government. The training may include language proficiency courses, skills enhancement programs, or cultural orientation sessions.

4. Visa and Work Permit Fees

Depending on the destination country, you may need to obtain a visa and work permit to legally work abroad. These fees vary and can be quite substantial. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific visa and work permit requirements of your chosen country and budget accordingly.

5. Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) Fee

Before leaving the Philippines, you are required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). This seminar aims to provide information on the rights and responsibilities of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), cultural integration, and coping mechanisms for living and working in a foreign country. A fee is charged for attending this seminar.

6. Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) Fee

The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) serves as proof that you are a documented OFW. It is a document that you need to secure before leaving the Philippines. The OEC fee covers the cost of processing this certificate.

7. Medical and Insurance Fees

Some countries require mandatory medical examinations to ensure that workers are fit for employment. These medical examinations may include tests for infectious diseases, physical assessments, and other health screenings. Additionally, it is essential to have health insurance coverage that protects you while working abroad. The fees for medical examinations and insurance vary depending on the destination country and the coverage you choose.

8. Travel Expenses

While not directly a fee, it’s important to consider travel expenses when planning to work abroad. These expenses include airfare, transportation to the airport, baggage fees

, and any other travel-related costs. It’s important to budget for these expenses as they can significantly impact your overall financial preparation for working abroad.

9. Currency Exchange Fees

When you work abroad, you’ll likely need to convert your Philippine pesos into the local currency of your destination country. Currency exchange fees and charges may apply when converting your money. It’s advisable to research and compare exchange rates and fees offered by different banks or currency exchange providers to ensure you get the best value for your money.

10. Miscellaneous Fees

There may be additional miscellaneous fees that vary depending on your circumstances and destination country. These fees can include fees for obtaining additional documents, notarization services, and even fees associated with local requirements in the destination country.

FAQs about Fees to Be Paid Before Working Abroad from the Philippines

FAQ 1: What Are the Placement Fees and How Much Should I Expect to Pay?

Placement fees are charges imposed by recruitment agencies or licensed manpower agencies for their services in securing overseas employment opportunities. The amount varies depending on the agency and the country of destination. It’s important to inquire about the specific placement fees from the agency you choose and ensure that they are transparent about the charges.

FAQ 2: Are There Any Exemptions from Placement Fees?

Yes, certain exemptions from placement fees exist for specific categories of workers, such as skilled professionals, household service workers, and seafarers. These exemptions are outlined by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and are intended to protect the rights of workers. Make sure to check if you fall under any exemption categories.

FAQ 3: Can I Negotiate the Placement Fee with the Recruitment Agency?

While negotiation is possible, it’s important to be cautious. Placement fees are regulated by the POEA, and agencies must follow the prescribed guidelines. It’s advisable to research the average placement fees charged by reputable agencies to have a better understanding of reasonable rates before engaging in any negotiation.

FAQ 4: Are Medical and Insurance Fees Mandatory?

The requirement for medical examinations and insurance coverage varies depending on the destination country. Some countries have mandatory medical screening to ensure the health and well-being of workers. Similarly, having appropriate health insurance coverage is highly recommended to safeguard yourself against unexpected medical expenses. It’s important to check the specific requirements of your destination country and comply accordingly.

FAQ 5: Can I Get a Refund for the Fees Paid if the Overseas Employment Doesn’t Push Through?

Refund policies differ among recruitment agencies, and it’s crucial to clarify this aspect before paying any fees. Some agencies may have refundable portions of the fees, while others may have non-refundable fees. It’s advisable to review the agency’s contract and discuss the refund policy before making any payments.

FAQ 6: How Can I Ensure Transparency in the Fees Charged by Recruitment Agencies?

To ensure transparency, it’s recommended to choose licensed recruitment agencies and check their accreditation with the POEA. These agencies are required to follow specific guidelines and display transparency in their fees. You can also consult with other Filipino workers who have previously gone through the agency’s services to gather feedback and assess their experiences.


Working abroad from the Philippines offers numerous opportunities for career growth and financial stability. However, it’s important to understand and plan for the fees associated with the process. By familiarizing yourself with the various fees, such as placement fees, documentation and processing fees, training fees, visa and work permit fees, and travel expenses, you can make informed financial decisions and ensure a smoother transition.

Remember to research and compare fees charged by different agencies, inquire about possible exemptions, and understand the

refund policies before making any payments. Additionally, stay updated on the specific requirements of your destination country regarding medical examinations, insurance coverage, and other mandatory fees.

Working abroad can be a life-changing experience, but it’s essential to be prepared financially. Take the time to budget and save for the fees mentioned in this article. Seek guidance from reputable recruitment agencies and ensure transparency in all financial transactions. By doing so, you can embark on your overseas employment journey with confidence and peace of mind.