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  • Writer's pictureABBA Personnel Services Inc.

Do You Need A DMW-Licensed Agency For A USRN Application? Find Out Here.

In recent years, the surge in demand for nurses across the United States has sparked tight competition within the USRN recruitment industry. Although this heightened competition may not directly alter the opportunities present to Filipino nurses, it significantly impacts the market and its players. Key players in the industry have shown to level up their strategies in the market field, displaying increased aggressiveness in securing deals with clients, boosting recruitment initiatives, and allocating substantial resources to deploy greater numbers of nurses, in an effort to outmatch other competitors. 

The intensity of competition in the USRN recruitment industry affects not only direct competitors but also indirect market players who are recruiting Filipino nurses for other vacancies in various countries. In order to attract more nurses, most players in the USRN market would offer the E.B.-3 immigrant visa, endorsed by U.S. Immigration, to foreign nursing professionals like you. This visa will grant you, as a Filipino nurse, the opportunity for permanent residency in the United States with your eligible dependents. This feature renders the U.S. a more appealing employment destination compared to other countries, which may only offer working visas for nursing professionals.

With numerous USRN recruiters present in the market, the question arises: How does one choose the right agency to partner with? But before diving into this, it's crucial to clarify a common confusion among nurses and industry players alike: Is a DMW-licensed agency necessary for your USRN application process? Scroll down ahead to find out.

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), serves as the Philippine government agency tasked with the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). For this government agency to fulfill its mandate, they would require OFWs to present an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to the immigration authorities before their deployment abroad. This certificate, issued solely by a DMW-licensed private recruitment agency, serves as the exit permit for OFWs, ensuring the compliance with regulations while protecting your best interests throughout the deployment process.

For a recruitment agency to obtain DMW licensing, the agency must first adhere to certain conditions. Recruitment Agencies must’ve conducted thorough operations, wherein they have carefully pre-screened and selected foreign employers via the DMW accreditation, guaranteeing the legitimacy of each employer they do business with. Subsequently, agencies should’ve executed a comprehensive recruitment process, from sourcing, pre-screening, interviewing, up to candidate deployment. This process ensures that applicants like you, are equipped with the necessary readiness for the challenges and opportunities awaiting you abroad.

But, despite the strict guidelines of the immigration procedures for U.S. bound nurses, there’s still a notable discrepancy that arises. While the OEC is typically mandated for nurses with work visas, those holding immigrant visas are often allowed to go straight to board their flights abroad. Because of this, many aspiring USRNs are able to circumvent the need of an OEC requirement. This loophole led some of the USRN employers to question the need for DMW involvement in the recruitment process, especially when E.B.-3 immigrant visas are being issued to nurses.

While the DMW may not be able to monitor every instance, it's crucial to recognize that its rules and regulations encompass all sorts of Overseas Filipino Workers, whether you possess proper documentation like Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) or are undocumented. In accordance with the 2023 DMW Rules and Regulations, any private institution engaged in recruiting Filipinos for overseas employment must be duly licensed with the DMW. So, if you, an aspiring USRN, encounter an individual or company offering employment opportunities abroad, regardless of the visa type, that individual or company must be licensed at least by the DMW. This is why you'll often find that reputable and long-standing USRN employers collaborate with agencies licensed by the DMW.

Now that we have cleared the confusion surrounding the necessary involvement of a DMW-licensed agency for the USRN application process, let’s move on to the main question: How does one choose the right DMW-licensed agency to partner with? There are actually hundreds of agencies that nurses can choose from, so there must be a way to make choosing easier for you. Luckily, we got you covered! Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing the right agency: 

  • Experience: It’s important to go for the one with experience. Yes, there may be over 700 land-based recruitment agencies that are licensed with the DMW, but only a few have significant and relevant experience in nurse and healthcare recruitment. We’re proud to say that Abba Personnel Services Inc. has been deploying nurses and healthcare workers to various countries abroad for almost 26 years! Since 1998, Abba has deployed Filipino nurses and healthcare workers to the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Singapore, Qatar, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and many others. This length of experience has made Abba the DMW-licensed agency that has deployed the most number of Filipino healthcare workers abroad! 

  • Expertise: Expertise also plays an important role when it comes to choosing a DMW-licensed agency. Some agencies may claim that they’ve been deploying nurses and healthcare workers for so many years. But really, how many of their employees can be considered true experts in the healthcare recruitment process? At Abba, recruiters are trained and exposed to the overseas healthcare recruitment process from the very beginning until the end. This means that Abba Recruiters are knowledgeable of each phase of the process—from sourcing, pre-screening, interviews, processing, and deployment—so that you’re always able to get integrated and holistic services from any of them. You would not be referred to different point persons or departments for your various concerns. In Abba, you will always have at least one consistent recruiter handling your application from beginning to end. 

  • Excellence: A DMW-licensed agency with certain recognitions will also come in handy. Out of the hundreds of DMW-licensed agencies, less than 20 are considered as DMW Awardees of Excellence, recognitions that are given to select agencies for excelling in terms of deployments, compliance with recruitment laws and regulations, marketing practices and techniques, and welfare services. Abba is a proud recipient of this, and is actually a lifetime beneficiary of the exclusive advantages that the recognition offers. When you’re dealing with an Awardee, you can expect high-quality service that is further enhanced by the benefits that the recognition gives to the agency. 

So, if you’re interested in choosing a path to become a USRN, Abba may just be the best choice of DMW-licensed agency for you: Its experience, expertise, and DMW recognition will all ensure a smooth, efficient and reliable application journey for you! In fact, you may attend its upcoming in-person interviews in Manila, Cebu and Davao this June 2024! Check out the details below:

In case you missed, Abba will also be having an FB Live Event discussing the importance of choosing a DMW-Licensed Agency for your USRN Application and why your choice of agency matters. Catch them on May 31, 2024 at 4PM on their official Facebook page at  If you would already like to jumpstart your USRN application with Abba, feel free to sign up at or send your updated CV to For further inquiries, reach out to Aila at +63917-128 4132 or +63998-293 2051 for assistance.

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