Navigating the process of securing a domestic helper visa can be a daunting task for many. In Hong Kong, employing a foreign domestic helper involves a series of well-defined steps. But worry not, Sunlight is here to guide you through this process. Let's explore the key steps to apply for a helper visa online, understand the processing time, and streamline your helper's visa application process.
First, let's understand what a domestic helper visa is. This visa is a type of employment visa issued by the Hong Kong Immigration Department to foreign domestic helpers. The visa allows foreign domestic helpers to legally reside and perform domestic duties in Hong Kong for a specified contractual period. Here are the steps to apply for a domestic helper visa:
Your domestic helper visa application begins with two forms: ID 988A and ID 988B. The domestic helper completes form ID 988A, and the employer fills out form ID 988B. You can obtain these forms free of charge from the Immigration Department Headquarters, Immigration Branch Offices or download them online from the Immigration Department's website.
The helper should complete the Visa/Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988A) and four copies of the Standard Employment Contract (ID 407). The helper's passport should be valid, and the signatures on the forms and the standard employment contract should match those on the helper's passport.
The employer then completes the Application for Employment of Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988B). Every item on the form should be filled out, and the signature should match that on the standard employment contract.
You must include documents to support your domestic helper's visa application, such as proof of the employer's residence address, a copy of the employer's Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card, and evidence of your financial status. The employer also needs to provide proof of the helper's two years working experience as a domestic helper (if it is their first time working in Hong Kong).
Submit your helper visa application online via GovHK or mail all the required documents to the Director of Immigration at the Immigration Tower. Make sure to provide sufficient postage for mail items.
The Immigration Department typically processes a domestic helper visa application in four to six weeks. Once the applications are approved, you can pay the relevant fees through the GovHK website or the ImmD Mobile Application.
The domestic helper visa application must be endorsed by the Filipino or Indonesian consulate once the Hong Kong Immigration Department has issued an "Approval-in-Principle" for the helper's visa application.
This "Approval-in-Principle" means that the Immigration Department has essentially approved the visa application, but the helper cannot start working in Hong Kong until the consulate of their home country also endorses the application.
In the case of the Filipino consulate, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is responsible for verifying and endorsing the employment contract of the helper. The verified contract is then submitted to the Hong Kong Immigration Department as part of the visa application.
Similarly, for Indonesian helpers, the Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong needs to endorse the employment contract. The contract is then submitted to the Immigration Department along with the visa application.
After the endorsement, the Hong Kong Immigration Department will issue a visa label or an entry visa, which needs to be affixed to the helper's passport. This is the final step in the visa application process, and once this is done, the domestic helper can legally start working in Hong Kong.
Be aware that the endorsement process might extend the overall domestic helper visa processing time, so it's crucial to account for this when planning your helper's start date.
Remember, making false statements or representations to an immigration officer is an offense. Also, an application with incomplete supporting documents won't be accepted. If necessary, you may need to submit further supporting documents as requested.
To streamline the domestic helper visa application process, ensure you have all required documents ready and correctly filled out. This will help you avoid unnecessary delays or refusals of your application.
Employing a foreign domestic helper can be a significant help in managing household chores and other errands. By following the above steps, you can ensure a smooth and efficient online visa application process for your domestic helper. Remember, a proper visa is key to legally securing help from talented domestic workers from abroad.
In conclusion, applying for a domestic helper visa doesn't have to be a challenging task. With Sunlight's step-by-step guide, we hope to have simplified the process for you. So, start your online visa application for your domestic helper today and provide a helping hand to your household.