IV. Foreign domestic helpers

Hong Kong residents are permitted to sponsor foreign domestic helpers to immigrate to Hong Kong to work in their homes. The general guidelines of the Immigration Department state that the prospective employer should be able to satisfy the Department that he or she has sufficient financial resources and can accommodate a helper in his or her own home. To obtain permission for a foreign domestic helper, the employer must usually have a household income of not less than HK$15,000 per month or assets that are sufficient to meet the comparable expenses for the entire contractual period. The guidelines as to income and assets are discretionary, and may be adjusted by the Government from time to time.

Employers of foreign domestic helpers who have a record of mistreatment or underpayment may be refused permission to employ by the Immigration Department.

The domestic helper scheme is operated under the general discretion that the Director of Immigration possesses to grant permission to non-residents to live and work in Hong Kong and also to impose conditions on their stay. There is no specific legislation that sets out who may employ, and who may be employed as, a foreign domestic helper. As permission to sponsor a foreign domestic helper is discretionary, the Director of Immigration considers each application on a case by case basis. This means that in exceptional circumstances permission may be obtained even though the usual guidelines are not met. If your application is rejected on the grounds that it does not come within the guidelines and you consider the decision to be unreasonable, then you should seek advice from a legal expert.

  1. How much do I have to pay my foreign domestic helper? Is there a standard employment contract that I can enter into with my domestic helper?
  2. Does my domestic helper have to live in my home?
  3. Is it legal to employ a part-time foreign domestic helper?
  4. Can foreign domestic helpers become permanent residents of Hong Kong?

More information about employing foreign domestic helpers is contained in the Guidebook for Employment of Domestic Helpers from Abroad that is issued by the Immigration Department.

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