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How can domestic helpers get a visa extension?

It’s important to be aware of when to get a visa extension as the consequences of overstaying on a visa are severe, including imprisonment. 

There are three scenarios where a domestic helper needs to obtain an extension of an employment visa. We’ve described them below. Scenario one and two require a full visa extension and Scenario three describes where an extension of a short period is needed.

Scenario 1:

The domestic helper started working for the employer immediately after the visa was released and she has not exited Hong Kong within her first year of employment

When deferring Home-Leave, the domestic helper is issued 2 visas by Immigration Department; one one-year visa allowing her to remain in Hong Kong to immediately start working for you, and the other one-year visa to be activated when exiting and re-entering Hong Kong

If the domestic helper was not able to exit Hong Kong to fulfill this Home-Leave requirement before her existing visa expires, she needs to apply for a visa extension from the Hong Kong Immigration Department. 

Example:

The 2-year employment contract commenced on 19 Mar 2020 and the contract should end on 19 Mar 2022  but the visa (permission to remain) is only until 19 Mar 2021 since the Immigration requires workers to exit Hong Kong within the first year of employment. The domestic helper will get the remaining one-year visa until 19 Mar 2022 upon her entry to Hong Kong after her no less than 7-day home leave. 

  • See image 1 to see where you can check for these dates on the visa.
domestic helper visa extension fair employment agency

image 1

Scenario 2:

The domestic helper has not obtained her full 2-year visa since her passport did not have 2-year validity at the time of visa application

The domestic helper should renew his/her passport preferably 1 year prior to the passport expiry date. After the passport is renewed, then she needs to apply for a visa extension at the HK Immigration Department.

Example:

The two-year contract commenced on 28 Jan 2021 when the worker arrived in Hong Kong and the two year contract should end on 28 Jan 2023 but the visa (permitted to remain) is only until 04 Feb 2022 since the passport is valid until 04 Mar 2022.

  • See image 2 for where you can check on a Republic of the Philippines passport for the date that is “Valid until” 
  • See image 3 for an example of this shortened visa.
domestic helper visa extension fair employment agency

image 2

domestic helper visa extension fair employment agency

image 3

Want us to take this off your plate?

Fair Agency offers visa extension service at HK$800. Get in touch:

Full Visa Extension

Scenario 1 and 2 require obtaining a Full Visa extension. Here is how to get a full visa extension:

The following documents are required:

  1. Completed and signed Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988A);
  2. Worker’s original old and new passports;
  3. Original employment contract;
  4. Employer’s supporting letter to confirm continuing employment (template below);
  5. If the employer has changed address, a copy of a gas / water / electricity utility bill + completed and signed Revised Schedule of Accommodation and Domestic Duties (ID 407G)
  6. Employer’s undertaking: The undertaking indicates that employers will arrange for:
    • the COVID-19 test and hotel quarantine for their domestic helper, and
    • be responsible for the relevant costs when their FDHs are arriving on or after July 25, 2020.
    • The undertaking can be downloaded from the website of ImmD: HERE  and obtained free of charge from the Immigration Department Headquarters and Immigration Branch Offices.
  7. HKD 230 visa fee

Ways to obtain the Full Visa from the HK Immigration Department

  1. Fair Agency offers visa extension service at $800. Please feel free to contact us for details. 
  2. Use the Immigration Department’s “Smart Renewal” service to submit an online application to extend/renew visas or defer home leave. You will be able to pay the visa fee online and receive the visa by post. 
  3. Do a walk-in appointment or book an appointment 8 weeks prior to visa expiry date, via http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/immigration/nonpermanent/bookextensionstay.htm
  4. The visa extension application can be submitted by drop-in or post to 3/F, Immigration Tower, Wanchai. Please include photocopies of the following  documents 1- 6.  Put all the documents in an envelope and do drop-in on Immigration 3/F or by post (Foreign Domestic Helpers Section, 3/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai). Immigration will contact the domestic helper to pick up the visa extension when it’s ready.

Scenario 3:

The employer and domestic helper mutually agree to extend the two-year contract by a short period

If the domestic helper and employer wish to lengthen the two-year contract by a short period, the domestic helper should apply to the Director of Immigration for an extension of stay in Hong Kong. 

Such extension of stay will only be granted where there are exceptional circumstances. Extension will not normally be granted in respect of renewal of contracts. The Director of Immigration has sole discretion to determine whether an extension of stay will be granted.

An extension of more than one month will not normally be granted but the Government announced (link) on 28 Jun 2021 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 will expire on or before Sep 30, 2021, the Commissioner for Labour has given in-principle consent for extending the employment period for a maximum period of three months.

Want us to take this off your plate?

Fair Agency offers visa extension service at HK$800. Get in touch:

Short term visa extension

Here is how to get a short term visa extension.

The following documents are required:

  1. Completed and signed Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988A)
  2. Original copies of the current standard Employment Contract (ID407) kept by the Employer and Domestic Helper with an amendment clause on such extension duly signed by both parties at the end of page 4 
  3.  A supporting letter signed by the employer stating the reason(s) for such extension
  4. Original of the Helper’s travel document (please send a copy if applying by post)
  5. Employer’s undertaking HERE 
  6. HK$230 visa fee

Ways to Apply for the Short-term Visa Extension from the HK Immigration Department

  1. Fair Agency offers visa extension service at $800. Please feel free to contact us for details. 
  2. Do a walk-in appointment or book an appointment 8 weeks prior to visa expiry date, via http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/immigration/nonpermanent/bookextensionstay.htm
  3. The visa extension application can be submitted by drop-in or post to 3/F, Immigration Tower, Wanchai. Please include photocopies of the required documents. Put all the documents in an envelope and do drop-in on Immigration 3/F or by post (Foreign Domestic Helpers Section, 3/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai). Immigration will contact the domestic helper to pick up the visa when it’s ready.

When to apply for the visa extension

You can apply for the extension as far as 8 weeks prior to the current visa expiry date in advance, or at least 10 working days before the visa expiry date.

Who’s responsible for the visa fee? 

If a new visa is needed due to the worker’s passport validity, it is reasonable for the domestic helper to pay the visa fee. If a new visa is needed since both employers and workers mutually agree to defer the home leave, we would recommend sharing the visa fee with the domestic helper as a gesture of goodwill.  

We do our best to keep our articles up-to-date. Please double-check with the relevant organisations directly for the latest. 

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Last updated on July 7th, 2021
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