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Immigration allows extension of FDH contracts, home leave deferral

25 March 2022

By The SUN


Filipino workers in end-of-month crush at WorldWide Plaza (File)

Hong Kong’s Immigration Department has allowed employment contracts of foreign domestic helper visas that are expiring on or before June 30 this year to be extended for a further six months as long as the worker and the employer agree.

It also announced that FDHs who are still unable to take their home leave despite being given a one-year visa extension previously may, with the employer’s concurrence, apply for a further extension of their limit of stay until the end of their two-year contract.

Both applications may be filed within eight weeks before the expiration of the contract or the current limit of stay of the FDH.


In a statement issued earlier today, Immigration said the twin moves are meant to help FDHs and their employers to cope with the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

It comes ahead of the lifting on Apr 1 of the flight ban on nine countries including the Philippines, where thousands of FDHs have been waiting for months to come into Hong Kong to take up or resume their jobs.

The lifting of the travel ban, along with the reduction of hotel quarantine to 7 instead of 14 days, has also raised hopes for Filipino DHs who have been unable to go back to the Philippines for up to four years to finally be able to take their home leaves.

But as has been the practice since the pandemic broke out, employers are no longer obliged to send their helper back to their home country after each contract.


This avoids the tricky question of who should pay for the high cost of hotel quarantine on their return to Hong Kong, despite an undertaking by employers that they will pay for the hotel quarantine of a worker who goes on home leave.

Applicants for visa or contract extensions are urged to use Immigration's online portal

In its statement, Immigration said applications for further extension of contracts which had already been extended under previous flexibility arrangements will not be considered.

This means, employment contracts can only be extended once, for a maximum of six months.

As before, Immigration said the new rule is meant to allow employers to keep their current helper if a replacement worker cannot be arranged to come to Hong Kong within the six-month extension.

Pindutin para sa detalye

If the new helper could still not come despite the six-month extension the employer is advised to consider applying to renew the contract of their existing FDH or let go.

On the other hand, the deferral of home leave for up to the entire two-year duration of the employment contract is meant to prevent workers getting stuck in their home country because of Hong Kong’s strict travel and quarantine restrictions.

However, Immigration advised employers to arrange for their FDHs to return to their place of origin within the extended limit of stay.


The last time Immigration allowed a six-month extension of expiring FDH contracts and a further deferral of home leaves was on Sept 28 last year, for contracts or visas that were expiring on or before  the end of December. 

This was a month after the first travel ban on the Philippines which lasted for four months, was lifted.

Immigration urged both the workers and their employers to take note of the limit of stay of the FDHs and passport validity, and arrange for applications for visas and replacement of passports in advance.


As a final reminder Immigration urged those concerned to submit visa and other employment applications for FDHs through the dedicated "Online Services for Foreign Domestic Helpers" webpage at

This service is meant to reduce face-to-face interactions and cut down on the number of people in Immigration offices, apart from being convenient and time-saving for all.

Upon approval of their applications, the applicants may pay the visa fee through various means and download the "e-Visa" on their personal mobile devices or print the "e-Visa".


The dedicated webpage may also be used to check on the status of their applications and submit supplementary documents or give notice of premature termination of an employment contract. Relevant details may be accessed through this press release:

All enquiries on employment rights and benefits of FDHs may be directed to the Labor Department’s dedicated FDH hotline at 2157 9537 or by email to

The dedicated FDH Portal ( set up by the LD also provides information and useful links relating to the employment of FDHs.

For enquiries on FDH visa applications, contact Immigration’s enquiry hotline at 2824 6111 or send email to

The full statement from Immigration can be accessed here:

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