How to Work in Brunei as an OFW

Have you ever been to Brunei? The Sultanate of Brunei is a small country located on the island of Borneo. It is known for having huge reserves of oil and natural gas, making it an attractive destination for many job seekers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Aside from the oil and gas industry, career opportunities in Brunei also include jobs in construction, engineering, education, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, information technology, and domestic work. In this article, we will talk about how you can become an OFW in one of our neighboring countries, Brunei.

How to Work in Brunei as an OFW


If you would like to work in Brunei, you need to have a valid work visa, which is approved by the Department of Immigration and National Registration. Notably, Malaysia and Singapore nationals are exempted from a work visa.

Of course, prior to getting a work visa, you need to have a job offer from a Brunei-based employer. In any case, the following preliminary requirements must be met:

  • The employer should have a quota license from the Department of Labor;
  • There must be a confirmation letter from the work pass division of the Department of Immigration and National Registration;
  • The job applicant should have a passport that is valid for more than 6 months before entering Brunei; and
  • The job applicant must have confirmation from the employer about cooperation.

Types of Visas

There are different types of work-related visas that you can apply for if you want to work in Brunei. These include the Special Permit, LPA and Work Permit, Business Visa, and APEC Business Travel Card. Let’s take a look at each type:

1. Special Permit

The Special Permit is given to job applicants who plan to work in the oil, construction, or information technology industries for less than 1 year. This type of work permit is not subject to renewal.

2. LPA and Work Permit

LPA stands for “Lesen Pekerja Asing” or foreign worker license. Together with a work permit, it is issued to job applicants who will be involved in long-term work and large projects.

NOTE: If the employee will be working in Brunei for 3 months or longer, he/she should also apply for a Green Identity Card, which is part of Brunei’s national registration identity card system.

3. Business Visa

As the term says, the Business Visa is a short-term pass issued to those who will be going business in the country. It may be used for attending business meetings, contract negotiations, buying and selling of goods, and other business-related activities.

4. APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)

Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), whose APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) contains the code “BRN” may enter Brunei for business purposes without a visa. They have visa-free entry to the country for up to 90 days.

NOTE: The ABTC is issued to citizens of the following countries/regions: Australia, Brunei, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Both the employer and employee must prepare the requirements for working in Brunei. Here are the lists of required documents for the “Lesen Pekerja Asing” (LPA) and visa application, respectively:

1. For LPA

  • 2 copies of foreign worker application form;
  • Copy of valid passport for each applicant;
  • Copy of identity card and passport for each applicant, owner, or partner in the company;
  • Copy of occupational license or certification (if applicable);
  • Copy of approval letters from government agencies (if applicable);
  • List of local employees verified by “Tabung Amanah Pekerja” (TAP), a mandatory employee trust fund;
  • Copy of tenancy agreement for office, business premises, or company or worker residence (if applicable);
  • Verification of mandatory registration from JobCentre Brunei, a subsidiary under Brunei’s Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC); and
  • Copies of ongoing or upcoming projects (for construction activities).

2. For Visa Application

  • Visa application form;
  • Employment pass application form;
  • Application letter from employer to the Director of the Department of Immigration and National Registration;
  • Employer’s labor license;
  • Department of Labor Form 500;
  • Passport valid for more than 6 months before entering Brunei, and
  • Required visa fees.

Most Popular Jobs in Brunei for Overseas Filipino Workers

Currently, the most active industries in Brunei are: construction and engineering, domestic work, education, finance and accounting, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, oil and gas, and information technology.

Correspondingly, here are the most in-demand jobs in the country, grouped according to industry:

  • Construction and Engineering – architects, carpenters, civil engineers, construction laborers, electricians, project managers, etc.;
  • Domestic Work – domestic helpers, drivers, cooks, etc.
  • Education – subject teachers, English language teachers, etc.;
  • Finance and Accounting – accountants, auditors, finance managers, etc.;
  • Healthcare – nurses, doctors, medical technologists, physical therapists, etc.;
  • Hospitality and Tourism – hotel managers, receptionists, restaurant managers, chefs, waiters, etc.;
  • Information Technology (IT) – computer programmers, cybersecurity specialists, software developers, etc.; and
  • Oil and Gas – drillers, geologists, petroleum engineers, etc.

How to Become an OFW in Brunei

If you are planning to apply for long-term work in Brunei, you are going to need a foreign worker license, better known as the “Lesen Pekerja Asing” (LPA), and a work visa. Below is an overview of the application process for these two major requirements. As mentioned earlier, you will be working closely with your employer (or employer agency) throughout the entire application process.

1. Applying for LPA

As part of the process of applying for the LPA, your employer needs to accomplish the following: (a) register and advertise job vacancies; (b) obtain clearance from JobCentre Brunei; and (c) get an endorsement from “Tabung Amanah Pekerja” (TAB), or the Employees Trust Fund.

Moreover, your employer or company should be registered with the Registry of Companies and Business Names (ROCBN). When it comes to hiring foreign workers into Brunei, the employer should also abide by the rules of the Department of Labor as well as the Department of Immigration and National Registration.

After submitting all the documentary requirements, the employer should make a “security deposit” payment to the Department of Labor’s finance unit. Once everything is complete, the LPA will be issued. All in all, it usually takes around 14 days to process the LPA.

2. Applying for Visa

As soon as the LPA is approved, the visa application comes next. This includes undergoing a pre-employment medical test at a health center accredited by the Brunei Ministry of Health. After your medical report is approved, you can submit the visa requirements mentioned earlier (i.e. passport, visa application form, employer’s labor license, etc.).

Once your documents have been verified and your visa application is approved, you can get your work pass from the Brunei Embassy in Manila, Philippines. This pass has a validity period of 2 years, with the possibility of renewal for 2 years each time.

In addition, since you will be engaging in long-term work, you need to apply for a Green Identity Card (IC), which is part of the country’s national registration identity card system. Whenever your employment pass is up for renewal, your IC must be renewed also.

Licensed Recruitment Agencies to Brunei

When applying for a job in Brunei — or any other country, for that matter — make sure that you are dealing with a licensed manpower agency; particularly, one that is accredited by the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). Otherwise, an illegal recruiter would only steal your money, get you in trouble, or worse… you could become a victim of human trafficking!

Based on the DMW website, here is a list of manpower agencies that are licensed to recruit OFWs to Brunei:

  • 10th Story Placement Agency, Inc.;
  • 1st Northern International Placement Inc.;
  • 9K International Manpower and Recruitment Services Corp;
  • A-Vantage International Recruitment Corp.;
  • Admiral Overseas Employment Corporation;
  • Advance Group Link Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Age International Gulf Employment Co.;
  • Al-Kingsmen International Manpower Services Co.;
  • Al-Waheed International Manpower Specialist Inc.;
  • Alpha Manpowerlink Agency Co.;
  • Asia Reach International Management and Contractor Services Inc.;
  • Baguio Benguet International Recruitment Agency Inc.;
  • Best Work International Manpower Resources Inc.;
  • Building Better Lives Manpower Services International Inc.;
  • Caves Treasures Manpower and Construction Corporation;
  • Cinderella International Manpower Services Corp.;
  • CSV Internatonal Placement Agency Inc.;
  • Dream Force International Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Dynamic Star International Manpower Services;
  • E-GMP International Corporation;
  • EJM Global Manpower Corporation;
  • EMR Construction and Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Energy Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Ephesians Overseas Manpower Supply Inc.;
  • Eurasiamquest Inc.;
  • Excel Green Kard International Inc.;
  • Finas Manpower Recruitment Corporation;
  • Findstaff Placement Services Inc.;
  • Finest Asia Resources Inc.;
  • Fluor Manpower Agency Inc.;
  • GBMLT Manpower Services Inc.;
  • Gerdin International Manpower Inc.;
  • Global Professional Resources Phil. Inc.;
  • Globalpro Multiservices Inc.;
  • Goodhands Employment Agency Inc.;
  • Grand Placement and General Services Corp.; and
  • Great One International Placement Agency Inc.

NOTE: To see the full list of manpower agencies that are licensed to deploy land-based as well as sea-based OFWs all over the world, please visit the official website of the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Meanwhile, here are some commonly asked questions — and answers — about how to become an OFW in Brunei:

1. Who are qualified to work in Brunei?

To be eligible for work in Brunei, you need to have a valid work visa approved by the country’s Department of Immigration and National Registration. This involves getting a job offer from a Brunei-based employer, among other requirements.

2. What are the requirements?

When applying for long-term work in Brunei, you need to have a foreign worker license, a.k.a. “Lesen Pekerja Asing” (LPA) and a working visa. Both you and your employer (or employment agency) must work together to prepare and submit the requirements.

For the LPA, the necessary documents include foreign worker application forms, copies of valid passports for every applicant, verification of registration with JobCentre Brunei, and other requirements. Meanwhile, for the visa application, you need to submit filled-up visa application forms, employment pass application forms, and employer’s labor license, among others.

3. What are the most in-demand jobs for OFWs?

At present, the most popular industries in Brunei are construction and engineering, education, finance and accounting, domestic work, hospitality and tourism, healthcare, oil and gas, and information technology.

Hence, the most in-demand jobs in the country include: civil engineers, construction laborers, domestic helpers, drivers, subject teachers, English language teachers, finance managers, accountants, medical technologists, physical therapists, hotel managers, restaurant managers, computer programmers, software developers, drillers, and petroleum engineers.

4. How can I become an OFW in Brunei?

Before you become an OFW in Brunei, you and your employer (or employment agency) must apply for the “Lesen Pekerja Asing” and work visa. This involves preparing documents, undergoing a medical exam, getting your work visa, and other important steps. Typically, a work pass is valid for 2 years, with the possibility of renewal.

5. How can I learn more about working in Brunei?

To learn more about working in Brunei, you can get in touch with the Brunei Embassy in the Philippines, whose contact details are provided below.

Contact Information: Brunei Embassy in Manila

Here are the contact details and location map of the Brunei Embassy in the Philippines. It is located in Makati City, Metro Manila:

Address: 6th Floor, 111 Paseo De Roxas Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legazpi Street, Makati, 1229, Philippines
Telephone: +63 2 8816 2836 to 38

Google Map:

Video: Life of a Pinay OFW in Brunei

Are you wondering what’s it like to live and work in Brunei? Check out this video shared by the YouTube channel, “Cynthia Vlog (OFWsaBRUNEI).” The vlogger has been working in Brunei since, 2014, when she was hired as an office assistant.

In this video, the vlogger talks about her work experience in the country. To aspiring OFWs, she also reminds them to connect with accredited agencies only, since Brunei employers hire foreign workers only through licensed agencies.

Additional Reminders

Indeed, aside from getting the necessary papers, you also need to prepare for your actual stay in Brunei. And so, here are some tips and information about this small, yet wealthy nation:

Languages. Since most Filipinos are proficient in English, you shouldn’t have any problems with communication. English is the “language of work” in Brunei, and just like in the Philippines, the schools here follow a bilingual education policy, with students learning both English and Malay in school.

Transportation Options. When it comes to public transport, there are very few buses and taxis in Brunei. Having your own car is a must, especially if you’ll be going to work everyday. But don’t worry, brand new and secondhand cars are relatively affordable. And besides, with plenty of petrol to go around, gas prices are much lower here compared to prices in the Philippines!

Alcohol Purchase and Consumption. Being a predominantly Muslim country, Brunei does not allow the sale and public consumption of alcohol. However, non-Muslims are allowed to bring in a certain amount of alcohol from other countries. In fact, you could cross the border to Malaysia, buy 12 bottles of beer, and return to Brunei. That’s it! Once again, public consumption of alcohol is banned; so you can only drink it at home.

Outdoor Activities. If you like the outdoors, you will enjoy traveling around Brunei! There are sidewalks for walking and cycling, and several sports clubs and centers around. In most towns, you could even walk straight to the beach! What’s more, there are several hiking trails and parks all over the country that you can explore!

Religious Freedom. Most Bruneians are Muslim, so you will see mosques in many places around the country. However, there are Catholic and Anglican churches around, too. So you can still practice your faith even while staying in this country. The important thing is to be respectful of people’s religion, culture, and traditions.

Friendly Locals. Similar to Malaysia and Singapore, the people of Brunei are a diverse mix of cultures. Don’t be surprised to see people of Chinese and Indian ethnicities, alongside the native (Malay) Bruneians. Everybody is friendly, and you will likely get invited to Muslim co-workers’ homes during Hari Raya (Eid celebrations), or to Chinese colleagues’ houses during Chinese New Year. You’ll enjoy meeting and making new friends, for sure!

Delicious Cuisines. Just like many other Southeast Asians, Bruneians love spicy food. A quick trip to any restaurant will show you that there’s always hot chili sauce around. Be sure to try the local favorites: “nasi katok” (fried chicken, rice, and chilies), “pulut panggang” (glutinous rice with filling — quite similar to the Philippine “suman”), and of course, different varieties of “kuih” (a broad term for snacks like cakes, puddings, pastries, cookies, biscuits, and dumplings). Yum!

Filipino Community. As of 2018, it was reported that there were more than 20,000 Filipinos in Brunei. In fact, Pinoys have been coming here for several decades now, and the Filipino community is growing. Be sure to connect with your fellow kababayans here, so that you won’t get too homesick!


Brunei may be one of the world’s smallest countries, yet it certainly is among the richest! There are many job opportunities around, for professionals as well as skilled workers. The fact that it is just a few hour’s flight from the Philippines makes it a great choice, as well. If you are planning to come to Brunei soon, we hope that you learned a lot from this guide!

Meanwhile, another Muslim nation that many Filipino job seekers are heading to is Bahrain, which is located in the Middle East. Check out this article to know more about how you can work as an OFW in Bahrain!