HK Immigration Reject Visa Applications of Over 1,800 “Job Hopping” Domestic Helpers

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department since 2013 has denied visa applications of 1,817 foreign domestic helpers who have been “job-hopping”.

According to Labour and Welfare Secretary Dr Law Chi-kwong, the Department has implemented a crackdown on domestic workers who are involved in frequent premature contract termination in an effort to change employers.

Law said the ImmD received around 544,000 employment visa applications from FDHs from June 2013 to the end of October 2018. Of this number, he said 11,077 applications or two percent of the total number were “subjected to further scrutiny.”

“Among the 11,077 cases closely scrutinised by ImmD, various exceptional circumstances may be involved, including premature contract termination on grounds of the transfer, migration, death or financial reasons of the ex-employer, or where there was evidence suggesting that the FDH had been abused or exploited,” Law said.

The Labour chief said out of the 11,077 cases, 1,817 were refused by the Immigration Department.

In assessing FDHs’ applications for employment visa, ImmD “closely scrutinized the case details” such as the number and reasons for premature contract termination in the last 12 months, with a view to detecting any abuse of the arrangements for premature contract termination.

Secretary Law issued the statement after Legislative Council member Chiang Law-wan raised a question relating the possible collusion between employment agencies and domestic workers for financial gain.

The lawmaker said some employment agencies “have abetted FDHs to deliberately perform badly to get themselves fired, so that such FDHs can obtain one month’s wages in lieu of notice as well as free air tickets while the agency concerned can collect intermediary fees from new employers.”

Migrants groups have denied accusations that FDHs were job-hopping, adding that a foreign domestic worker would be required to pay agency fees if they get a new employer.

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