Can domestic helpers with broken or terminated contracts process in Hong Kong without returning home?
14-day permission to remain after end-of-contract
According to Hong Kong government regulations, when a domestic helper’s contract is prematurely terminated, the helper is permitted to remain in Hong Kong for 14 days after the termination of the contract, or for the remainder of the permitted stay on the employment visa, whichever is earlier.
This rule applies to situations where either the employer or the worker, or both, have decided to prematurely terminate the contract (so-called broken or terminated contracts).
Broken or terminated contracts cannot process a new contract in Hong Kong
Because of the 2-week rule described above, domestic helpers with broken or terminated contracts are not allowed to process locally. Instead they will need to return to their country of origin in order to process the new employment visa.
While the option of processing locally was previously given by the Hong Kong Immigration Department during the Covid-19 pandemic, processing broken or terminated contracts in Hong Kong is no longer possible.
Be wary of domestic helper agencies offering you this option as the visa application will be rejected by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. This will waste the time and money of both the employer and the helper. In addition to this, the domestic helper will get a ‘rejected visa’ record in their application history with the Immigration Department, which may impact their future applications negatively.
In which cases can domestic helpers process a new contract in Hong Kong without returning home?
Local processing of a new employment contract is only possible in the following three cases:
- If the domestic helper is renewing the contract with the same employer.
- If the domestic helper is leaving a finished 2-year contract.
- If the domestic helper’s previous contract has been prematurely terminated due to a so-called ‘special case’ (only due to employer passing, relocation out of Hong Kong, or financial difficulties).*
*There is no written guidance by the Hong Kong Immigration Department on special case processing. Instead, the special case processing guidelines above are based on our extensive processing experience as a recruitment agency.
Last updated on July 6th, 2023