Taking Your Domestic Helper on Holidays: A Guide to Visa Requirements

Bringing your domestic helper abroad with you sometimes requires (a lot of) work and planning, especially when it comes to processing the paperwork necessary to obtain the proper visa.

Requirements vary across countries and based on your domestic helper’s nationality as well as the duration of her stay. Here is a compiled list of requirements to facilitate your domestic helper’s visa application and make sure that she can tag along on your next holidays to some of the most popular destinations.

APAC

Australia

In order to enter the country, your domestic helper will have to apply for a subclass 600 Visitor visa. The application process is a tad easier for Filipino nationals as they can apply online.

New Zealand

If you are planning on taking your domestic helper with you to New Zealand, you will have to apply for a Specific Purpose Work Visa for her (and not a tourist visa). Allow for 20 to 25 days for your domestic helper’s application to be processed. Make sure that you get all the necessary documents sorted (return tickets and accommodation evidence, bank funds and a valid passport).

Indonesia

Obviously, if your domestic helper is Indonesian, she won’t need a visa to visit her home country. As for your Filipino domestic helper, she will be granted a short visit permit on arrival that will allow her to stay for up to 30 days.

Malaysia

As a national of an ASEAN country, your Filipino or Indonesian domestic helper won’t need a visa to visit Malaysia. Her visit must not exceed 30 days though; otherwise, she will need one.

Myanmar

Your Filipino or Indonesian domestic helper is exempted from having a visa to visit Myanmar as long as her stay does not exceed 14 days.

Sri Lanka

Your domestic helper will need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for a Short Visit Visa that will enable her to stay for up to 30 days. She will be required to scan her passport and submit certain documents such as her ETA, evidence of return tickets as well as bank funds.

Thailand

If you are heading to Thailand for the holidays, sit back and relax – there is no paperwork to process, as Indonesian and Filipino nationals are exempted from having a visa and can stay up to 30 days.

Vietnam

The good news is that as a national of an ASEAN country, your Indonesian or Filipino domestic helper is exempted from applying for a visa to visit Vietnam.

Europe

Schengen Area

Filipino and Indonesian nationals are required to hold a Schengen visa to visit Europe i.e. 26 countries – excluding the UK and Ireland – for up to 3 months. Obtaining a Schengen visa can be a tough job as many requirements need to be complied with – and some countries (such as France) do have extra requirements.

First things first, you need to create your itinerary to identify the country where you’ll be spending more time. This is crucial as the corresponding embassy or consulate will be in charge of processing your domestic helper’s visa (and not the one of your port of entry as one might think). We recommend that you get in touch with the embassy of the country where you’ll spend more time to know if they’ll actually be processing your domestic helper’s application.

Make sure to sort out all the necessary documentation which should include a detailed itinerary mentioning all transportation and accommodation, confirmed flights, evidence that you have subscribed to travel insurance covering the entire Schengen area, and bank funds (yours and your domestic helper’s). All documents must mention your name and your domestic helper’s.

The Schengen visa can only be applied for up to 3 months before your travel departure date. It can take up to 2 weeks to process your domestic helper’s application.

United Kingdom

To visit the UK, your domestic helper needs to apply for a Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa that will enable her to visit the country for up to 6 months. One of the main requirements is that she must have been working for you for at least one year. Make sure that you plan ahead as this visa can only be applied for up to 3 months before your travel departure date. Allow for up to 3 weeks to process your application.

USA

If you are planning to head over to the US for the holidays and bring your domestic helper with you, you’ll have to hang in there as it is probably one of the toughest application processes. You will have to apply online for a Domestic Employee visa. To be eligible, your domestic helper must have been (among several other requirements) working for you for a minimum of one year.

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Hi! What about Myanmar helper? Do they require visa to visit Malaysia if only stays for 2 to 4 nights?