Understanding the Essential Documents Required for OFWs

Key Points:

  • OFWs are required to submit various documents that verify their identity and qualifications, as well as the specifics of their employment.
  • It’s important to check if your documents are up-to-date and compliant with your host country’s requirements.
  • Depending on the country, you may need to provide a certificate of true translation for your documents.

Before getting the go-ahead to work abroad, aspiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) must first prepare a lot of paperwork to verify their identity, qualifications, and guarantee of a job.

These documents typically contain the information needed to vet foreign workers, and as such, applicants may also need to provide certified translations of documents as required by agencies, embassies, and employers.

As an applicant, you must know all the essential documents and whether or not you need a translation company to provide the necessary document translations.

Here’s a quick guide to all the documents required for OFWs—and why a professional translation service may help smooth the flow of your application process.


What Documents Do You Need to Be an OFW?

Certain documents are necessary for you to be able to work and live abroad. These include:

  • Valid Passport – The passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of travel.
  • Work Visa or Permit – This document allows OFWs to work legally in their country of destination.
  • Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) – OEC is issued by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), formerly the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The OEC serves as proof that the OFW is a documented worker.
  • Employment Contract – This is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of the OFW’s employment, such as salary, job responsibilities, and duration of the contract.
  • Certificate of Employment (CoE) – This document serves as proof of the OFW’s work experience and is sometimes required by employers abroad.
  • Training or Certification Documents – For some industries, such as healthcare or hospitality, OFWs might need to provide proof of training or certification in order to be employed.
  • Birth Certificate – This document is required for identification purposes and is often needed to apply for a passport.


Make sure that all documents are complete and up-to-date to prevent any issues or complications. Your documents must also be translated accurately, so it’s best to engage with a trusted professional translation service to ensure that your documents are flawlessly translated.


Essential documents for OFWs.

Which Documents Require Certified Translations?

Some immigration documents may need to have certified translations, preferably from a translation service Philippines-based agencies and embassies trust in terms of track record. 

These are the common primary and secondary documents that usually need to be translated:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate and Divorce Documents (if applicable)
  • Police Records (i.e., NBI and Police Clearance)
  • Bank Statements

To be sure, check with the concerned authorities, such as your employment agency, DMW, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for translation and authentication requirements (i.e., notarized certificates).


The general rule is that if your documents are in a local language, you should ideally have them translated into English or your host country’s language and provide a certificate of true translation from the translations company.

What are the Benefits of Document Translations for OFWs?

Hiring a bona fide translations company helps close the communication gap between the applicant and the potential employer. 

Here’s why getting professional native speakers to translate document requirements for you can be highly beneficial:


1. Precision in Communication

Correct translations prevent any misunderstandings that would make the applicant unhirable.

2. Cultural Awareness

Nuanced translations take into account the cultural variations between two countries, bridging the gap between cultures as well. 

3. Professionalism

Employers can tell that a candidate takes the hiring process seriously if they prepare their documents through a professional translation service.

4. Legal Obligation

Certain documents must be translated in some countries as a legal requirement for employment. 

5. Competitive Advantage

Using a certified translation service gives an applicant a competitive edge over others who may not have taken the time or effort to have their documents professionally translated, especially in high-demand positions.

5 benefits of document translation.

Get Certified Translations for OFW Documents

Beyond knowing the essential paperwork, you also need to ensure your documents’ validity and alignment with your host country’s language requirements. Taking the time to hire a professional translation service sends the message that you respect these application procedures and your employer’s culture, proving that you’re truly qualified to make a living abroad.

By properly preparing your documents, translations included, you can further avoid delays and complications in the application process and ensure a smoother transition to working overseas.

We at Elite Translations can connect you to our professional translators, who can help with your international application procedures. In addition to utmost accuracy—we offer FREE revisions—we also have a stringent data privacy and security policy, ensuring that your vital information is in safe hands.

Get a FREE quote from Elite Translations now!