Arrest, Deportation for Illegal Filipino Maids Working in China

Foreign domestic workers are prohibited from working in China, and Filipino maids employed illegally there will face arrest and deportation from Chinese authorities, a senior Philippine diplomat said.

Despite a rising demand for domestic helpers in China amid growing affluence and middle income households, Philippine Consul General Julius Flores said the Chinese labor market for such jobs is not yet open to foreigners.

“While there is a demand, it is not allowed,” Flores told visiting Filipino journalists here. “There are no contracts.”

Flores reminded Filipinos who are looking for jobs in China as domestic helpers that violators — both employers and workers — will pay a fine of CNY5,000 (around P37,400) each. Illegal workers would also face detention while waiting for deportation to their home countries.

Chinese employers have reportedly preferred Filipino household workers partly because of their English proficiency skills, serving not only as maids but also as tutors to young children.

Filipinos working illegally in China as domestic helpers are mostly overstaying workers whose employment contracts or working visas have expired. They typically earn between CNY4,000 and CNY6,000 (P29,960 and P44,940).

According to Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, China is exploring the possibility of relaxing its ban on the employment of foreign maids.

“They want to open but not in the same scale as in Hong Kong. They want to hire nannies who can teach their kids English or English-speaking domestics,” he said in an interview in Beijing.