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At the POLO Dubai office.

PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA


POLO Dubai warns against fake online appointments for contract verification

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai (POLO Dubai) has warned the public against scammers offering fake online appointments for contract verification.

“These individuals are not recognized by POLO Dubai and the appointment they provide is fake,” according to POLO Dubai in its advisory on Tuesday (June 28).

The agency issued the warning following reports of scammers demanding fees from victims and promising them an online appointment for contract verification. POLO Dubai reminded the public that “securing an appointment via the online appointment system does not involve fees”.

“In no instance will our officers or personnel require payment through online banking or online [money] transfers in exchange of an alleged appointment for contract verification or OWWA membership at POLO Dubai,” according to the advisory.

The agency urged the public to report scammers and individuals demanding payment in exchange for an alleged appointment for contract verification or other services at POLO Dubai.

Contract verification explained

Filipinos wanting to have their UAE employment contracts verified at POLO Dubai are required to secure an online appointment via https://owwadubaiappointmentsystem.setmore.com before visiting the agency.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has made it mandatory for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were not previously registered with the authority to have their work contract verified. This applies to those who flew to the UAE on visit visa or tourist visa, and then transferred to an employment or residence visa after finding work here.

ALSO READ: Who needs a verified contract?

Philippine authorities require a verified employment contract in order to issue the OFW an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), which serves as an exit pass at the Philippine airport when he or she returns to his or her workplace abroad. The OEC is presented to the immigration officer at the airport of exit in the Philippines. A worker exiting from the Philippines without OEC may be prevented by the immigration officer from leaving the country.

Online submission system aimed at reducing applicant queues

In recent months, hundreds of Filipinos who were unable to travel to the Philippines during the pandemic descended on POLO Dubai to have their contracts verified ahead of their trip to the country. The surge of applicants resulted in long queues in and around the POLO Dubai premises as the agency entertained both those with appointments and “emergency cases” or those unable to secure an online appointment but have confirmed flights.

In response to the issue, POLO Dubai launched a supplementary online service to ease the number of applicants queueing on site. As Expatmedia.net first reported, POLO Dubai began its partial online contract verification system on June 20. The service is specific to those with flights on certain dates determined by POLO Dubai. The system is on pilot stage and is limited to 300 applicants per batch. Successful applicants are still required to visit the POLO Dubai office to make a payment of Dh40 for contract verification, and to claim their verified contract.

The launch of the online submission system has sparked a flurry of applications from Filipinos hoping to get their UAE employment contracts verified with POLO Dubai ahead of their trip to the Philippines. Many have said they were still unable to secure an online appointment.

ALSO READ: All you need to know about contract verification for Filipinos

Amid reports of scammers demanding fees for fake online appointments, POLO Dubai reminded the public that there is no pre-payment for the service. “Payment for contract verification is only collected by our cashier and only cash payment is accepted. A official receipt is given for each official transaction,” according to POLO Dubai.

“We urge the public to report to POLO any individual taking advantage and demanding payment in exchange of an alleged appointment for contract verification or OWWA membership at POLO Dubai,” the agency said.

It also issued a warning against anyone who prepares, uses or advertises fake documents, saying that violators will face “suspension or disqualification in the Overseas Employment Program” and will also be punished under UAE law. ICA/Expat Media

ALSO READ: POLO Dubai won’t issue OEC to Filipino who enter UAE on visit visa, tourist visa


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