Your helper’s children in the Philippines are planning a visit into town to see their mother and you are wondering how things are going to unfold, logistically speaking. The following information will shed some light on the – sometimes quite tedious – process your helper must go through to have her family over.
What’s the process like for my helper?
Your helper will have to go through various steps and make sure that all the necessary paperwork has been processed – especially in her home country – so that visiting members can get a 14-day tourist visa. She must ensure that all visiting members of her family have a travel insurance. Should one or several of her minor children visit her unaccompanied by their father, she needs to ensure that they are carrying a written and notarized Permission to Travel Letter from their father allowing them to leave the country – without such document they will not be allowed out of the country; no matter if she is travelling with them. Besides, all travelling members should possess a round trip ticket. Should her family stay in a hotel or boarding house while in Hong Kong they must carry with them a proof of accommodation stating the accommodation details as this can be required by immigration officers at any time.
Must my helper’s family stay with me when they visit her?
The decision of whether they should stay with you or not is entirely up to you. Legally, you are not under the obligation of hosting her relatives when they are in Hong Kong. How many people will be visiting at the same time; when will they be visiting; how much space is available to host them and how long they are going to stay – are all key elements to consider. If she has her own room, her family members might just stay with her and share her room. You might just need to add an extra mattress for example. Discuss it with her to know where she stands about this. Whatever your decision is, discuss it with her and lay all the details so that there are no unmet expectations. If you are unable to meet her request, tell her but make sure you let her know why that is not possible.
What do I have to do?
Legally, nothing. However, should you want to facilitate the process for your helper you can decide to back her up by writing an invitation letter mentioning that you agree to accommodate her family members during their stay in Hong Kong – obviously only if you decide to have them over.
What other alternatives do they have if they cannot stay with me?
Hong Kong is well-known for its very limited living space and teeny tiny apartments. If your main concern has to do with space, worry not; alternatives do exist. You could advise your helper to check out nearby affordable hostels or boarding houses to accommodate her family while they are visiting.
Should I take in charge the costs associated with her relatives coming over?
You are not obligated to take in charge any of the expenses related to her family’s visit; whether it is their flight tickets, food or accommodation – unless you want to, obviously.
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