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Domestic Helper Contract and Work Visa Renewal in Hong Kong

The most recent measure announced in December 2016 enables foreign domestic helpers from Indonesia and their employers to apply for a contract renewal without having to go through an employment agency in order to process the necessary paperwork. Unlike Indonesian domestic helpers, Filipinas have had the option to renew their contract without the support of an employment agency for quite some time.

The above-mentioned mechanism entered into effect on 1 January 2017 and aims at preventing employment agencies from passing on renewal fees – somewhere around HK$2,000 excluding travel fees – to Indonesian domestic helpers who have been suffering from overcharges.

The newly-implemented policy only applies to Indonesian domestic helpers who are renewing their ending two-year contract with the same employer and is not applicable to newly signed contracts between employers and Indonesian domestic helpers, i.e. change of employer. In the latter case, resorting to an employment agency to process all the employment-related paperwork remains compulsory.

A clear contract renewal procedure must be followed for both Indonesian and Filipino nationals.

Indonesian domestic helper contract renewal procedure

Step 1: Contract notarization at the Indonesian Consulate

The employment contract for hiring a domestic helper must be notarized by the consulate of the domestic helper’s place of origin before submitting the application to the Immigration Department.

Copies (4 with the same serial number) of Standard Employment Contracts are available on the 2/F of the Wan Chai Immigration Tower.

Documentary requirements for contract renewal

  • letter of application mentioning that they are willing to renew the employment contract and all the basic employment rights from the previous contract have been fulfilled;
  • The new Standard Employment Contract is duly filled and signed;
  • Additional supporting documents such as insurance policy, previous employment contract, and identity card photocopies of both the employer and the domestic helper.

Contract notarization fee

HKD388.

Submission and processing time

Contract renewal applications should be submitted at least 8 weeks before the existing contract expires. Allow for 10 working days for the contract to be notarized by the Indonesian Consulate General in Hong Kong.

KJRI Hong Kong (Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong)

Address: 127-129 Leighton Road; 6-8 Keswick Street, Causeway Bay

Office hours: 9:30am to 4:30pm, Mondays to Fridays

Contact number: +852 3651 0200

Step 2: Domestic helper visa application at the Immigration Department

After getting the notarized employment contract from the Consulate, the Indonesian domestic helper must submit the following documents to the Immigration Department in person to apply for a new visa.

Documentary requirements for domestic helper visa application

  • The completed Visa/Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988A);
  • The Application for Employment of Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988B);
  • An original copy of the new employment contract (ID407) notarized by the Indonesian Consulate;
  • The domestic helper’s original passport;
  • A photocopy of the domestic helper’s passport;
  • Copies of the employer’s proof of financial position and residential address.

Visa fee

HKD230. Payable upon collection.

Submission and processing time

The visa application for contract renewal can be submitted by the domestic helper in person at the Immigration (Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai), or online at the Immigration’s website. Allow for 4 to 6 weeks for the visa application to be processed.

Filipino domestic helper contract renewal procedure

Step 1: Contract notarization at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office

Either the employer or the Filipino domestic helper is required to have the new Standard Employment Contract notarized by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) at least 1 month before the contract expires.

Documentary requirements for contract renewal

  • Information Sheet provided by POLO. The Information Sheet may be secured from the POLO Office or downloaded from their website.
  • A Photocopy of the employer’s HKID
  • A Photocopy of the domestic helper’s HKID
  • A Photocopy of passport showing the page with the domestic helper’s picture
  • A Photocopy of the domestic helper’s current work visa
  • A Photocopy of the current employment contract
  • The 4 original copies of the new employment contract

Contract notarization fee

HKD476, which is composed of:

  • OWWA Membership Fee = HKD 196.00 (paid at the POLO Office upon application submission)
  • Verification Fee = HKD 80.00 (paid at the POLO Office upon application submission)
  • Authentication Fee = HKD 200.00 (paid at the Philippine Consulate General upon contract collection)

Submission and processing time

For contract renewal, the Filipino helper or the employer may submit the documentary requirements to the POLO Office 60 days before the expiry date of the helper’s current work visa. Allow for 6 working days for the employment contract to get notarized. Then collect the notarized contract at the Philippine Consulate General.

Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)

Address: 16/F, Mass Mutual Tower, 33 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai

Office hours: 9am to 4pm, Sundays to Thursdays

Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong

Address: 14/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty

Office hours: 9am to 4pm, Sundays to Thursdays

 

Step 2: Domestic helper visa application at the Immigration Department

Immigration procedures are similar for Indonesian and Filipino domestic helpers. The Filipino domestic helper must submit the required documents to the Immigration Department in person, or online at the Immigration’s website, and allow for 4 to 6 weeks for the visa application to be processed.

Domestic helper visa renewal

Foreign domestic workers have to renew their employment visa after their two-year visa has expired. In most cases the Immigration Department expects the domestic workers to return to their home countries, but in case the employer needs the helper to stay for urgent reasons, upon mutual agreement, it is possible to apply for an extension of stay.

The application process is straightforward, but you will have to sign a new standard employment contract. The renewal of the visa with the same employer can be submitted within 8 weeks prior to the expiry of the existing contract and is generally issued within a month.

Change of employer

In case a domestic helper has found a new employer, a new visa application needs to be submitted. In most cases, the Immigration Department expects the worker to return to her home country before she starts her new job. However, if the worker is a Filipino worker who is in a finished contract situation, her employer may apply for her to start her job immediately and delay the vacation leave, which will need to be taken within the one-year extension period.

On a final note, domestic workers who stay beyond their permitted period to remain in Hong Kong could be prosecuted for this and employers will also be held accountable. Employers should be aware of the obligations and conditions of being an employer when hiring a foreign domestic helper so that they will stay out of trouble.

The information provided is a guide only and we do not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or outdated information. For more information, please contact the Consulates and/or the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

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