Working abroad as a domestic helper will require a lot of sacrifices. Aside from living apart from your loved ones, you also have to prepare funds for your application and trip to other countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, or the Middle East.
What exactly and how much do you need to prepare for your application and costs to work as a domestic helper in Hong Kong? Continue reading below to find out…
Disclaimer: The information published is based on the experience shared by the vlogger/YouTuber. The information provided may change without prior notice and may differ in actual scenarios. Let this article serve as a guide only.
Here is the video guide shared by a Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong, Jean, a.k.a. Pinay Nanny Vlogger in Hong Kong on YouTube. If you find her tips helpful, you may check out her YouTube channel to catch more interesting content about her work and life as an OFW in Hong Kong.
Fees that You Need to Pay for when Applying as a Domestic Helper in Hong Kong
If you are planning to work abroad as a domestic helper, you will come across several fees which include your medical, training, assessment, and placement/processing fees.
These are expenses that you need to pay/comply with if you wish to push through with your application in other countries including Hong Kong.
Although the POEA has announced that agencies should not charge any processing fees to applicants, many of them still do because this is where they earn a living.
If you’re wondering how much exactly do you need to prepare for your application, Jean shares that the fees vary from one placement agency to another. At the time of her application back in 2015, she had to prepare Php 55,000 just for her placement/processing fee. This includes medical fees (Php 5,000) and training fees (Php 35,000) at the agency.
On top of these, you also have to pay for your expenses if you’re coming from the province and do not have any relatives or friends in Manila who can provide you with accommodation.
Some applicants stay in a boarding house or a dormitory while they are processing their applications for work abroad. During this time, they also have to have funds for their daily expenses such as transportation, food, and other essentials.
And apart from the fees at the agency, there are also other fees that you need to pay from your pocket as part of the requirements to work abroad as a domestic helper. These are:
- Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)
- TESDA training, assessment and certification
- Processing expenses (transportation, food, etc.)
So as you can see, it will cost you more than just the placement/processing fee to work abroad as a domestic helper. This is one of the reasons why many applicants fall into debt or get into a lot of trouble just to get work abroad as a domestic helper.
This is also one of the main reasons why the OWWA has pushed for the no-placement fee policy among recruitment agencies: to avoid Filipinos falling into debt or getting jailed abroad because they need to pay off the loans they took out back home just to pay the processing fee at their agency.
Though far from ideal, if you do your research, you will learn that many agencies still charge processing fees from applicants.
So, What Can You Do?
First, you have to understand that these people also need to earn a living. And a large part of their income will come from fees paid by their applicants whom they will assist to find work abroad.
However, as mentioned, not all agencies charge the same, so you need to do a little bit of research to find out which ones offer the most reasonable price to help you get the job abroad.
According to Jean, one of her friends was able to get a job in Hong Kong by only paying Php 30,000 for their placement fee. So, based on this, we know that there are agencies that charge 45-50% lower or higher than others.
It will be your responsibility to look for those agencies that offer the most reasonable price considering everything else that you need to pay from your own pocket. However, do not just look for the agency with the cheapest fees. These agencies must also be officially recognized by the POEA as a service provider to ensure the quality of their work and that you do not become a victim of scams.
And once you’ve found the right agency, try to limit your expenses especially if you’ll be traveling all the way from the province to Manila, where most agencies can be found and where you will need to process most of your documents for work abroad.
In Jean’s case, she was able to save up on her accommodation because she was taken in by her friends, and so she only had to chip in for food at their house.
It will help you with your finances greatly if you have any relatives you can stay with (in Manila) while you are processing your documents for work abroad.
Also, consider the location where you will be staying in because you will need to process your documents, which means a lot of traveling if you’re staying in a place where important locations (agency office, training center, government offices) are difficult to get to. This will become additional expenses on your part.
And finally, limit your spending as much as you can. Remember your goals for working abroad. We’ve mentioned that working abroad will require a lot of sacrifices, and until you get the job, try to focus on what you need to do and do your best in everything – training, interview, assessments, etc. In the end, everything will be worth it.
Also, according to Jean, although she had to pay for almost Php 80,000 for all her expenses to find a job in Hong Kong, once she got the job, it only took her around 2 1/2 months to gain back what she has shelled out. This only shows that working abroad will be worth all the sacrifices, especially if you stick to your goals and remember your purpose throughout this process.
What’s your application experience like? Did you also have to pay as much as Jean did, or lower? Are there any tips that you would like to share with other aspiring domestic helpers or OFWs who wish to find work in Hong Kong? Let us know by leaving your comments in the section below!