Did you know that domestic helpers are only allowed to stay in Hong Kong for two weeks after their last working day if their contract is terminated prematurely or they are released before their two-year employment visa expires?
During this period, most domestic helpers go for interviews and get appointed into employment without having to go through an employment agency and without going back to their country of origin. However, in order for these matters to be settled smoothly, or if they wish to stay longer than two weeks, they must first apply for a visitor visa at Immigration before their current visa expires. The fee for a visitor visa is HK$230. Each visa’s exact duration and approval are subject to Immigration’s final decision. If you want to know how to go about this process, be sure to read the rest of this guide.
[HELPER GUIDE] Here’s How to Apply For A Visitor Visa After Your Last Working Date
Two weeks is a short time for someone who needs to fix her documents and find work to legally stay in Hong Kong. What you should be wary of during this period is not to commit overstaying because this could lead you to getting arrested, expelled, or worse, blacklisted from working in this country.
According to the law, overstaying means “failing to leave Hong Kong on or before the date that is stamped on the travel document of a visitor or foreign employee. This is a breach of conditions of stay, and the offender will normally be expelled from Hong Kong.”
To make sure that you don’t get into trouble with the law for overstaying here in Hong Kong, you may apply for a visit visa. In doing so, here are some things that you need to remember:
Be timely & keep in mind Immigration’s operating hours.
If the domestic helper’s visa expiration date falls on a Sunday, she should go to Immigration on Saturday morning or Friday to apply for a visitor visa. If the domestic worker does not apply for a visitor visa before her current visa expires, she is considered to be overstaying and may face further investigation and prosecution.
Bring all the necessary documents
- Complete and signed Application For Extension of Stay (ID 91)
- domestic helper’s passport
- Any other relevant documents such as signed Termination Form (ID407E),
- Flight ticket to show cancellation/rebooking,
- Explanation letter to support application
- HK$230 visa fee
Who will pay for the visa fee?
The domestic worker is responsible for paying the visitor visa fee. If, on the other hand, the visitor visa is required because a flight that the employer has arranged has been cancelled or rescheduled, it would be a gracious gesture for the employer to pay or share the cost of the visa fee.
After submitting the visa application, what are the next steps?
If the domestic worker has found a new job and her visa application has been submitted to Immigration, she is permitted to remain in Hong Kong temporarily until the next steps of visa processing are completed.
The next steps would involve the employer providing the domestic helper with a standard employment contract to be notarized by the helper’s embassy and then submitted to the Immigration Department.
If you have specific questions or concerns regarding your visa application, whether as a visitor or for work here in Hong Kong, you may visit the Immigration Department’s official website here to learn more or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.