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How can domestic helpers extend their contracts with the same employer for 1-3 months?
Extension of stay in Hong Kong
If the domestic helper and employer wish to lengthen the two-year contract by a short period, the Helper should apply to the Director of Immigration for an extension of stay in Hong Kong.
The Government announced on September 21, 2022 (link) that they will continue to implement the previous measure to enable employers to extend the existing contracts with their outgoing helpers. For all contracts that expire on or before December 31, 2022, the Commissioner for Labour has given in-principle consent for extending the employment period for a maximum period of six months, on the basis that such variation is agreed upon by both the employer and the domestic worker. However, the government announced the flexibility arrangements to assist foreign domestic helpers and their employers under the epidemic of Covid – including extending their contracts and deferring returning their origin places – will be discontinued on May 1, 2023 next year.
The following flexibility arrangements will be implemented until April 30, 2023.
- Extension of validity period of existing contracts: For all helper contracts expiring on or before April 30, 2023, employers may apply for extending the validity period of the existing contracts with their outgoing helper. However, applications for further extension of contracts which have already been extended under the previously announced flexibility arrangements will not be considered. If an employer needs to continue to employ his/her helper beyond the six-month extended period, the employer should consider applying for a contract renewal with the existing helper. All applications should reach the Immigration Department (ImmD) on or before April 30, 2023.
- Under normal circumstances, a helper on a renewed contract with the same employer, or due to start a new contract with a new employer upon the expiry of an existing contract, may apply to the ImmD for deferring her return to the place of origin for not more than one year after the existing contract ends. Under the relevant flexibility arrangement, if the helper is unable to return to his/her place of origin within the one-year period, she may, upon agreement with the employer, apply to the ImmD for a further extension of the limit of stay until the end of her contract such that she may return to the place of origin within that period.
If the one-year period expires on or before April 30, 2023, the helper may submit such application to the ImmD within eight weeks prior to the expiry of the existing limit of stay to further extend the limit of stay until the end of her contract. For helper with the one-year period expiring on or after May 1, 2023, the period for them to return to the place of origin will not be further extended.
The following documents are required:
- Completed and signed Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988A)
- Original copies of the current standard Employment Contract (ID407) kept by the employer and Helper with an amendment clause on such extension duly signed by both parties at the end of page 4. Sample:
- A supporting letter signed by the employer stating the reason(s) for such extension.
- Original of the Helper’s travel document (please send a copy if applying by post).
- Employer’s undertaking HERE
- HK$230 visa fee.
Who’s responsible for the visa fee?
Since a new visa is needed since both employers and workers mutually agree to defer the home leave/extend the contract by a short period, we would recommend paying or sharing the visa fee with your worker as a gesture of good will.
Immigration has launched an electronic visa application service and an “e-Visa” arrangement on December 28, 2021. This new service allows applicants to complete the entire process of visa application, including application submission, payment and “e-Visa” collection, online without having to attend an Immigration office in person. Upon approval of their applications, the applicants may pay the visa fee through various means and download the “e-Visa” on their personal mobile devices or print the “e-Visa”.
Fair Agency offers visa extension service at $900. Please feel free to contact us for details.
You may also like:
- Coronavirus updates affecting domestic helpers
- Quick guide for Employers of Domestic Helpers
- Signup for the Fair Bulletin: Monthly newsletter from Fair Agency
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Last updated on February 7th, 2023