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Limit of stay for FDHs unable to go home because of pandemic extended anew

30 September 2020

 By The SUN

 FDWs stranded in HK because of the coronavirus spread will benefit from the new measure 

The Immigration Department has again extended deadlines for foreign domestic workers who are unable to go home because of the coronavirus pandemic, including those who are normally required to take a home leave after renewing their contracts.

Under the new “flexibility arrangement” announced today, Sept 30, by Immigration, those who have renewed their visas can now to stay in Hong Kong continuously for up to nearly the end of their contract period of 24 months.

Today’s announcement says: “If the FDHs concerned who have already been granted further extension of stay…(i.e. the total extension of limit of stay amounts to not more than 21 months) wish to further defer their home leave, the ImmD will, on individual case merits, consider exercising discretion to grant them a further extension of limit of stay for not more than three months.”

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Normally, the home leave extension is granted for no longer than one year from the date of signing the renewal contract.

Extension of stay will also be granted in the following situations:

1) Those with expiring contracts: All FDH contracts that will expire on or before Dec 31, 2020, can apply for an extension up to January 31 next year as long as both the employer and the worker agree. The same rule will apply even to those whose contracts had already been extended previously.

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2) Those on visitor’s visa: FDHs whose existing contracts are due to expire or are terminated on or before Dec 31 may apply to have their visas extended for a maximum period of one month “as visitors for the purpose of finding a new employer in Hong Kong, if they are unable to return to their place of origin due to the pandemic in their place of origin and/or international travel restrictions arising from the pandemic.” The same rule will apply to those who had already been granted a visa extension previously, for the purpose of finding a new employment in Hong Kong. But Immigration says it will exercise discretion in granting extensions to guard against abuse.

PINDUTIN PARA SA DETALYE

3) Those renewing contracts: Those who also intend to apply to postpone going    home after their work contract is approved, may submit both the application for deferral of home leave and contract renewal at the same time. This process can be done at the same time even before the normally prescribed period of eight weeks before the expiration of the existing contract. Employers are, however, reminded to arrange for their FDWs to return to their place of origin for vacation within the allowed extension.

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The statement said Immigration has been fast-tracking the processing of employment visa applications, especially for those who want to change employers after finishing their previous works contracts.

Immigration warns 'job hoppers' will be sent home 

While the faster processing also applies to those with terminated contracts, Immigration warned that it will keep an eye on those who abuse the system by engaging in “job hopping,” or the practice of repeatedly changing employers at whim.

The statement said that applications from terminated workers will be closely checked for the number of and reasons for their premature contract termination in the last 12 months.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

“For suspected "job-hopping" cases, the ImmD will refuse the employment visa applications and require the applicants to leave Hong Kong,” said the statement.

While the faster processing also applies to those with terminated contracts, Immigration warned that it will keep an eye on those who abuse the system by engaging in “job hopping,” or the practice of repeatedly changing employers at whim. 

This is the fourth time that  Immigration has extended the period of stay of FDWs caught up in travel restrictions because of the coronavirus contagion. The same relief measures were granted on Feb. 4, Mar. 19 and Jun 30.

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