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Do I need to use an employment agency?

Filipino domestic helpers

If you are hiring a domestic helper from the Philippines, whether you need to use an agency depends on the circumstances of the domestic helper you are hiring.

First-time, terminated or broken contracts

If you want to hire a domestic helper from the Philippines, the Filipino government requires that you use an agency if:

  • It is the domestic helpers first time coming to Hong Kong
  • If the domestic helper is currently outside of Hong Kong
  • If the domestic helper has been terminated or will break their contract (even if they are already in Hong Kong). However, there are some special cases where you may still be able to process without any agency (see below).

Finished contracts or special cases

If you are hiring a domestic helper who is finishing their contract, you can choose to process the visa without an agency if you wish.

If the domestic worker is being released for one of the following reasons, you can also process the visa yourself without an agency:

  • their employer died
  • their employer relocated outside of Hong Kong
  • their employer entered a period of financial difficulty
  • there was any form of abuse or exploitation by their last employer


To prove a special case, the Immigration Department will require a valid release letter and typically will ask for some proof of one of the reasons above. We can help with this if you choose to use our Direct Hire service.

If you do choose to use an employment agency, be wary of agencies that run on unethical practices or sneak in hidden fees throughout the hiring process. Fair Employment Agency is a non-profit agency and we pride ourselves on doing things differently. We are completely transparent about what’s included in our pricing from the start and our talented team knows the system inside out. As part of our ethical code, we never charge fees to domestic workers and only place people who are a good match with your family. View our pricing and see which of our options is right for you to get started on the hiring process.

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Last updated on June 25th, 2021