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Special cases: How do I process a domestic helper visa without an agency?

There are certain circumstances where you can apply for a domestic helper visa without an agency. All domestic helpers who are terminated prematurely should leave Hong Kong within 14 days of termination. However, there are some circumstances under which Hong Kong Immigration may treat the case as a “special case”.  In these cases, the domestic helper can process locally in Hong Kong without returning home.

Although there is no written guidance on this, in our experience, domestic helpers who are leaving one of the following situations may be treated as a “special case”:

  • their employer died
  • their employer relocated outside of Hong Kong
  • their employer entered a period of financial difficulty

If this is the case, you may be able to process the domestic helper visa without an agency. But we are also happy to take care of this for you. Call us at 3568 6858, or see our Direct Hire page for more on this service.

STEP 1: Pick up & sign the contracts

Employers or domestic helpers can pick up the contracts and supporting information from Hong Kong Immigration. You don’t need an appointment for this.

You will be given four copies of the contract (one will stay at the Consulate (see step 4), one will stay with Immigration (see step 5) and the other copies are for the employer and domestic helper). All four copies should be signed by both the employer and domestic helper and should be completed identically. If there are any mistakes, sign next to the revision.

STEP 2: First interview with Immigration

As soon as possible, the domestic helper should book an appointment online or go for a walk-in appointment at Hong Kong Immigration (Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai) with the following supporting documents:

  • Photocopies of the employer’s:
    • HKID
    • Passport and visa (if not a permanent resident),
    • Proof of address (a recent utility bill is best)
    • Proof of income (recent bank statements showing a salary deposit of at least HK$15,000 for 3 months or total assets of more than HK$350,000)
    • Release letter for previous domestic helper (if applicable)
  • Photocopies of the domestic helper’s:
    • HKID
    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Landing slip
    • Previous contract
    • Release letter from the previous employer

At this first interview, the domestic helper will receive a white and green letter. The employer should sign the white letter. The green letter will state when the second interview is. Once this interview has happened, the domestic helper can stay in Hong Kong until the date on the green letter. From here, Immigration will investigate the case.

STEP 3: Second interview with Immigration

This is usually scheduled 4-5 weeks after the first interview. Domestic helpers should bring both the green and white letters with them to the interview. At this appointment, Immigration will confirm whether or not the domestic helper can be processed as a special case.

If the domestic helper can process as a special case, she can remain in Hong Kong and will be given a third Immigration appointment (this will be the same as the visa release day).

STEP 4: Notarise the contracts

Next, your domestic helper needs to submit all four copies of the signed employment contracts to the Consulate of their native country for notarisation. There is a fee for this service and you should reimburse your domestic helper for this.

For Filipino helpers, the process is as follows:

  • Go to the Philippines Consulate (16F, Tower 1, Admiralty Centre), and fill out the OFW Information Sheet (this can be obtained from the guard at the Philippines Consulate)
  • Attach the completed OFW Information Sheet to the new Employment Contract with other supporting documents
  • Other supporting documents needed by the Consulate are photocopies of: employer’s HKID, domestic helper’s HKID, passport, visa, previous contract
  • Give all the documents to the cashier with the exact amount of HK$297.50 as a processing fee (this fee should be covered by the employer). Make sure to keep the original receipt!
  • Bring HKID and original receipt to 14F, United Center after 5 working days to collect the notarized contract

STEP 5: Third interview with Immigration

At this appointment, the visa will be released. Domestic helpers should attend in person with:

  • Original passport
  • One copy of notarized contract
  • Visa fee as stated in the letter (HK$190 or HK$380)

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Last updated on August 12th, 2019
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