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POLO: Impact of Philippine Law on Canadian Immigration


What is POLO? An exit visa process for Filipino foreign nationals.

Who needs POLO? Only Filipino foreign nationals currently located in the Philippines

Immigration laws are vital for regulating the movement of people across borders, ensuring national security, and managing the influx of foreign workers. In the Philippines, the regulation of overseas employment and the protection of Filipino workers abroad are crucial aspects of immigration law. One significant institution responsible for overseeing these matters is the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) plays a crucial role in the immigration process for Filipinos seeking to work in Canada. With the increasing demand for skilled workers in Canada, many Filipinos are looking to pursue opportunities abroad and POLO serves as a vital link between these job seekers and the Canadian government, as well as Canadian employers.

What is POLO?

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that regulates all Filipino nationals leaving the country to work overseas: the Migrant Workers Office (MWO), also known as Philippines Overseas Labor Office/Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POLO/POEA). In short, MWO or POLO, operates to ensure that the employment contracts of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are consistent with the prevailing employment laws, standards, and practices in both the Philippines and the host country. Verification is done by the MWO, to ensure that all employment rights, benefits, and welfare of Filipino migrant workers at the worksite are duly protected.

POLO is not law regulated by the Canadian Government, and indeed not something required for all Filipino nationals who come and work in Canada, but only for those who are currently in the Philippines (so Filipino workers currently outside the country are exempt from POLO). For instance, if you are a Filipino foreign national residing in Dubai or any other country except the Philippines you are exempted from the POLO.

The process to be approved through MWO/POLO requires employers to submit some documents and fill out forms to the POLO office and pay a nominal processing fee (around CAD70). The whole process takes about 6-10 weeks, though processing times can of course, vary depending on the available documents and complete eligibility.

The POLO process can only start after the Canadian Work Visa has been issued.

Impact of POLO on Immigration Law:

Through its partnership with the Canadian government, POLO ensures that Filipino workers are properly screened and have the necessary skills and qualifications to fill in the labor gaps in Canada. The office also facilitates the processing of work permits and visas, making the application process more streamlined for Filipinos. Moreover, POLO regularly conducts information campaigns and seminars to educate Filipinos about the Canadian immigration process, including the importance of following rules and regulations to avoid being victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking.

Additionally, POLO collaborates with various Canadian organizations to provide training programs for Filipinos to enhance their skills and increase their chances of getting employed in Canada. POLO also offers support services to Filipino workers already in Canada, such as legal assistance, repatriation, and reintegration programs. Through its efforts, POLO not only helps Filipinos fulfill their dreams of working in Canada but also ensures their safety and well-being in a foreign country. The strong partnership between POLO and the Canadian government has opened countless opportunities for Filipinos, making it a win-win situation for both countries.

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