Find a domestic helper that matches your family’s needs and expectations is only the beginning of the hiring process. Handling the paperwork for the work visa can be confusing and time-consuming. In Hong Kong, the domestic helper visa processing involves 2 steps: employment contract notarization at the consulate and visa application at the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Pay attention to every single part of the process so that you do not make unnecessary mistakes.
Prepare the documents
To get the new domestic helper work visa on time, it is important to prepare all the required documents for domestic helper visa application in advance. In Hong Kong, employment contracts for Filipino and Indonesian domestic helpers must be notarized by the helper’s consulate before being submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration for visa application. The contract notarization usually takes 1-2 weeks.
Note that the Philippine Consulate and the Indonesian Consulate only accept contract notarization applications submitted by an employment agency in the case of changing employer. Only Filipino domestic helpers with a finished contract can submit the new contract for notarization without using an agency.
Find an ethical employment agency
There are many employment agencies which can help you with the paperwork, but some of them charge domestic helpers high fees while agencies in Hong Kong are only allowed to charge maximum 10% of the worker’s first-month salary as placement fee. As such, if you have to go through an employment agency for visa processing, find one that does not overcharge domestic helpers. HelperChoice can refer you to employment agencies that do not have hidden fees for both you and the domestic helper.
Hire a helper with terminated/break contract, or overseas hire
If you plan to hire a domestic helper directly from her home country to Hong Kong, or a helper with terminated/break contract, there are extra steps at the helper’s home country.
Before the processing starts, the domestic helper will have to take a medical check-up at her home country to make sure she is fit to work. The employment agency normally will move forward only after the helper passes the medical check-up.
In addition, if the domestic helper you are hiring is a first-timer, that is without any experience working abroad as a domestic helper, she will have to undergo mandatory training to fulfil her home country’s requirement for working abroad. The worker is responsible for shouldering the cost of this mandatory training.
Submit the domestic helper visa application
After the employment contract is notarized by the consulate in Hong Kong, the domestic helper will have to submit her work visa application at the Hong Kong Immigration Department in person. If you use an employment agency, they usually help you take care of this step.
The Immigration procedure usually takes 4 weeks. An application reference number will be issued when the helper’s visa application is submitted to the Immigration, you can use this reference number to track the processing status. Remember, the domestic helper cannot start working for you until she obtains a new working visa.
Subscribe to helper insurance
Employers of domestic helpers in Hong Kong have the responsibility to provide the worker with free medical treatment during the employment period. Thus, we recommend you to subscribe to comprehensive helper insurance which provides thorough medical coverage for your domestic helper before she is on board.