Under Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, the primary clientele of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas are:
- Filipino permanent migrants or permanent residents abroad
- Filipinos overseas who have become naturalized citizens of other countries or dual citizens
- Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals leaving the country
- Descendants of Filipinos overseas, as defined in Batas Pambansa Blg. 79
- Filipino youth overseas
- Exchange Visitor Program participants
However, the recent passage of RA10022 expanded the definition of the term Overseas Filipinos, to include generally all Filipinos residing and living overseas, whether on the long term or short term. This redefinition also emphasizes the inter-agency nature of the Commission encompassing other cabinet-level line agencies involved in issues of migration.