Israel is one of the most sought after destinations for OFWs. If you want to work in Israel, then you can do so as a hotel worker. This opportunity is definitely a great fit for those who already have work experience at hotels, but as you will soon find out after reading this article, the requirements are not that hard.
Recently, it was all over the news that the Philippines sent its first batch of hotel workers to Israel around June 2022. In fact, the Department of Migrant Workers along with the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, Ilan Flus, held a send off ceremony for this batch. In this article, one of those hotel workers was interviewed and this conversation was published online. A lot can be learned from the experiences shared by this worker.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
Working as a Filipino Hotel Employee in Israel: Tips and Advice from an OFW
This article is based on a YouTube video from a channel called Ms. Emily. In this video, the vlogger interviewed an OFW hotel worker in Israel who is relatively new to the job. She was asked several questions, including what are the detailed steps she took in order to get the job. If you want to see the full video, then click on the link below:
Learning About the Hotel Work Job Opportunity
The interviewee works at a hotel near the Dead Sea. In the video, she is mentioned as being one of the first batch of hotel workers in Israel. She saw an ad on television back in 2019. Then, she went to POEA to inquire personally, although the application is online.
In other words, you need to e-register at POEA. You will also be part of a group chat on Facebook which will serve as your main communication with co-applicants. In the case of the vlogger, the name of their group chat is Road to Israel.
The first thing you need to do is to apply at the POEA website for an e-registration. You will need to submit the following documents online:
- NBI clearance
- NC2 certification
- UMID card (GSIS)
During the e-registration, you need to fill up your passport number in the form. You also need to scan your passport and upload the picture to the registration page.
Your passport needs to be at least two years valid. However, the interviewee recommends that you have a passport that has more than 2 years of validity since you may have to wait a while after your e-registration before you get hired.
What about the NC2? Well, for the hotel worker job in Israel, there is only one certification you need, and that is for housekeeping. It is not that difficult, and in fact, if you are already used to cleaning your own house, then you already have an advantage.
The interviewee mentioned that when she submitted her requirements for assessment, she didn’t have that NC2 certification yet. However, her application was still accepted even if her documents were incomplete. They just told her to submit the missing documents later, and that she should just wait for a scheduled interview.
Aside from the above-mentioned documents, the interviewee said that it is also very important for you to input the name of your mother and father. As you can see, the requirements are quite easy to attain. In fact, the interviewee expressed hope that this will continue to be so and not change.
Being a Qualified Hotel Cleaner
As mentioned above, you really need to take a housekeeping course. You can do so online, but its much better to undergo training at TESDA through a scholarship. Having said that, if you do online training and you know how to clean your house, fix the bed and take care of guests then that’s all you really need to qualify.
Take note that a hotel cleaning certificate is not what they ask for. You need housekeeping training.
How much does it cost to train to become a housekeeper in TESDA? Well, if you just do an online training , there is no payment. Moreover, you can have free TESDA training scholarship by going to the TESDA nearest you and inquiring about it.
After registering online, submitting your requirements, monitoring the progress of your application, and talking to other applicants through the group chat, what’s the next thing you need to do? Well, you have to wait for your scheduled interview.
Here are some facts offered by the interviewee regarding the interview:
- Wear smart casual attire
- You will be personally interviewed by Filipino officers
- They will ask you about what’s written in your registration
- For example, they can ask you if you have a spouse or parents in Israel
- They can ask you something like, “tell me something about yourself.”
- Another question could be, “Rate yourself from 1 to 10 in terms of English communication”
For that last question, with 10 being the highest, the interviewee said she answered 10. She suggests that you have to be confident and proud that as a Filipino, you can speak English well.
The next thing you need to do is wait, and submit the other documents that you may not have submitted yet. For example, she said that at this point she was already able to submit her NC2 certification for housekeeping.
In addition, she also submitted her PSA birth certificate at this point during her application.
Just like for caregivers, there is also a lottery involved when it comes to who gets the job first. However, there is still a basis for who qualifies for the lottery. The qualifications are as follows:
- Those who have submitted their resume during the e-registration
- Those who’s resume indicates they are bachelor’s degree graduates
- Those who have work experience
If you have those three above-mentioned qualifications, then your chances of getting picked are higher.
It seems that you don’t necessarily need work experience that’s related to working at the hotel, because as the interviewee mentioned, her previous job was as a call center agent. She just underwent TESDA training for house keeping and that was enough to qualify her for this job.
After the lottery, the next step is to pass remaining documents and have a medical exam.
Getting the Medical
The interviewee said that she had batch mates that were chosen during the lottery but they were still unable to get a contract. That’s because they failed the medical exam.
In order to pass the medical, you just need to be fit to work. If you are declared as such, then you will be given a contract.
Here are some important facts about the medical exam:
- You can have your medical anywhere as long as it is accredited by the DOH.
- The POEA will provide a list of hospitals, clinics or other health care institutions that are DOH-accredited.
- You may have to pay around 3,000 pesos for the medical exam, but this depends on where you take it.
- Your clothes will be taken off. You need to be emotionally ready for this.
During the medical exam, you have to be ready to have your clothes removed and be touched in places you normally wouldn’t let a stranger touch you. However, the doctor who will administer you is of the same gender, so that’s okay.
The interviewee said that during the medical exam, she revealed to the doctor that she has a small tattoo at the back of her neck. She said that it’s so small and hidden that if she didn’t reveal it to the doctor, the doctor wouldn’t have found it. Fortunately, the doctor said having that tattoo was okay.
Having said that, the interviewee said she isn’t sure if you can still be approved if you have a larger tattoo.
Some of the other tests include an x-ray, eye test, and psychology test. Moreover, your lungs will also be screened, and you can have this done at a lung center.
If you have a heart problem, you can still be accepted for as long as the examiners feel you are still fit to work. This is especially true if you have medicine for your maintenance and that you have a prescription from your doctor.
If your eyes are not 20-20, that is okay as long as you have glasses. You will even be checked if you are color blind or not. While there are many tests, the interviewee said that during her time, it wasn’t that strict.
The medical results will then be sent by the clinic to the applicant and to POEA. The interviewee then printed out a copy of the results and have it photocopied. She did this so that she won’t have to worry when they ask her for a copy in the future.
The interviewee mentioned that she started her application in 2019, and she was able to leave for Israel on June 2022. That means she waited for 3 years, and that’s mainly due to the pandemic.
After the pandemic, they no longer had to do an interview, because she already passed it. What happened though is that they had a new employer. Those who were able to sign a contract back in 2019 were given the priority.
Doing Hebrew Lessons
The interviewee also said that she didn’t need to take Hebrew lessons, but she had to self study to learn the language. The vlogger asked her if it is an advantage or a disadvantage to undergo Hebrew lessons.
She said that it is a disadvantage not to learn Hebrew before going to Israel, but that she is very grateful because they have Russian co-employees who know how to speak English, and that her employers or managers know how to speak English.
Having said that, you really need to learn how to speak Hebrew even just a little bit. What makes the language confusing, according to the vlogger, is that words are different for singular and plural, as well as for male and female words.
Salary of a Hotel Worker in Israel
The vlogger asked her how much her salary is, and she said it is 5,300 nis. That is equivalent to around 81,833 Philippine pesos, depending on the exchange rate.
The interviewee said that overall, the deductions should not exceed 25 percent of the gross salary. This is the same as that for caregivers, or at least that’s what POEA told them.
How about the deductions when it comes to the apartment, food and electricity? Well, the interviewee simply mentioned that in their contract, all deductions, even those involving food, electricity and housing, should not exceed 25 percent of the gross salary. Having said that, she did mention that 400 shekels was deducted from her salary for these necessities.
Hotel Worker Hiring
The vlogger said that POEA is still waiting for 500 hotel workers to arrive in Israel before they start hiring again. The hotel worker interviewed in this video last June 2022 belongs to the first batch, and there are 61 of them. The second batch is composed of 90 hotel workers left on June 16.
The first batch of hotel workers are the ones that were given the first contracts before the pandemic. When the pandemic hit last 2020, these hotel workers were supposedly the first to go to Israel, but due to the lockdown, everything was closed. In fact, these workers were the ones who resigned from their jobs because they thought they were flying to Israel already.
The interviewee said that to those OFWs who are interested in applying for hotel worker jobs in Israel, they will just have to wait for hiring announcements from the POEA. While waiting, you can start preparing the requirements so that it will be easier on your end when it’s your time to apply. After all, Israel plans to give 5,000 hotel worker jobs to Filipinos.