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Can domestic helpers process in Hong Kong since it is difficult to travel with COVID-19?

With the travel challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many domestic helpers and their employers are asking if it would be possible for domestic helpers to stay in Hong Kong while processing their new visas.

Normally, domestic helpers with broken or terminated contracts are required to return home while their visa is in processing.

Fair Agency has handled more than a hundred cases in the past year where the Hong Kong Immigration made an exemption and allowed the domestic helper to process locally. We are happy to help with the processing. We charge a different service fee for this type of cases. Please contact us for more details. 

However, exemptions are not guaranteed, AND  the new application must be submitted before the 14-day visitor visa ends.

Please read carefully below.

14-day permission to remain after end-of-contract

When a domestic helper’s contract is terminated, she is permitted to remain in Hong Kong for 2 weeks after the termination of the contract or the remainder of the permitted stay, whichever is earlier (HK Gov). Because of this, the domestic helper must submit a new visa application within 14-days of termination of their previous employment contract. 

Potential visa rejections

What do you need?

When submitting to the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the domestic helper should prepare a letter to request to be able to process locally and supporting documents. This can include:

  • An explanation that the current COVID-19 restrictions and measures will mean that she will not be able to report to work at the necessary time. 
  • Show that there are limited travel options to her hometown. This could be a screenshot of a flight search showing the limited/expensive flights available. There may also be information about limited transportation from the airport to her hometown.
  • An explanation for leaving the current contract 
  • Any supporting letter from the current employer 

It would be helpful if the new employer can write a supporting letter to the Immigration too.

Does processing locally mean that timelines will be the same as finished-contract processing?

No. Processing timelines for broken and terminated contracts are longer than that for domestic helpers with finished contracts. Even with permission to process locally, the process will take at least 6-8 weeks minimum.

Need help?

Get in touch with Fair Agency to help you and your domestic helper with this process with our Direct Hire service.

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Fair Employment Agency is a nonprofit agency. We put a lot of work into producing high quality, accurate and updated information resources because when employers and domestic helpers are informed, they are empowered to make good choices.

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Last updated on August 31st, 2021
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