HK government to extend limit of stay for foreign domestic helpers to cope with COVID-19 pandemic

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In response to the latest development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government today (March 21) announced that applications from foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to extend their limit of stay in Hong Kong as visitors will be flexibly considered.


“In view of the special circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which might affect the arrival and departure of FDHs from/to their place of origin, the Immigration Department (ImmD) will flexibly consider applications from FDHs to extend their stay in Hong Kong as visitors for the purpose of finding a new employer in Hong Kong if their existing contract is due to expire or is terminated on or before July 31, 2020.” – HK government

The Government spokesman said, “In view of the special circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which might affect the arrival and departure of FDHs from/to their place of origin, the Immigration Department (ImmD) will flexibly consider applications from FDHs to extend their stay in Hong Kong as visitors for the purpose of finding a new employer in Hong Kong if their existing contract is due to expire or is terminated on or before July 31, 2020. The FDH concerned may apply to ImmD for an extension of stay as a visitor for a maximum period of one month in Hong Kong, if he/she is unable to return to his/her place of origin due to the pandemic in his/her place of origin and/or international travel restrictions arising from the pandemic. ImmD will exercise discretion depending on individual case merits under the special circumstances arising from the pandemic.”

“In addition, under the existing mechanism, an FDH 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 ImmD for deferring home leave for no more than one year after the existing contract ends, subject to agreement of his/her employer or new employer. Owing to the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, an FDH may apply to ImmD for further extension of limit of stay if he/she is unable to return to his/her place of origin for home leave within his/her extended limit of stay. ImmD will, on individual case merits, exercise discretion to grant him/her an extension to further defer the home leave for not more than six months. Arrangements should be made for the FDH to return to his/her place of origin for vacation within the extended period, and to use his/her entry visa (with a validity in line with the extension of stay granted) upon his/her return to Hong Kong for completion of the contract,” the Government spokesman continued.

Source: Labour Department

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