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Immigration again allows 6-month extension of FDH contracts, exit deferrals

27 June 2022

By The SUN


Expiring FDH contracts may again be extened for a maximum of 6 months

All foreign domestic helper contracts that are expiring on or before Sept 30 this year will be allowed an extension of up to six months, according to an advisory issued by the government today.

This is meant to allow a replacement FDH enough time to get to Hong Kong amid continuing border restrictions, including the seven-day hotel quarantine requirement for all inbound travelers.

If the replacement helper is still unable to come during that six-month contract extension period, the employer is advised to renew the contract of the current helper, or release her.


All these arrangements should be mutually agreed upon between the employer and the helper, said the government. That means a helper whose contract is expiring is not obliged to agree to the extension period if she does not want to.

At the same time, the Immigration Department said it will extend the “flexibility arrangement” for FDHs who are unable to return to their place of origin within the one-year period stipulated in their new or newly extended employment contract.

“If an FDH is unable to return to his/her place of origin within the aforementioned one-year period, he/she may, upon agreement with the employer, apply to the ImmD for a further extension of the limit of stay until the end of his/her contract such that he/she may return to the place of origin within that period,” said the government statement.


This is the latest relaxation of the previous policy of requiring all FDHs to exit Hong Kong after each contract, subject only to a one-year extension at the employer’s request.

Due to this initiative first taken in early 2020 after the pandemic made traveling to other countries difficult, if not impossible because of travel bans, long quarantine periods and other border restrictions, most FDHs have been stuck in Hong Kong for the past three years.

While some see this as an advantage because of the additional income from accumulated leave credits or unspent holidays, others feel trapped because they can no longer spend their annual holiday back home as a matter of right.

Instead of paying for costly and often difficult-to-book hotel quarantine stays, many employers have opted to just pay for the unspent annual leave of their helpers

Previously, or under normal circumstances, FDHs on a renewed contract or due to start working for a new employer could only apply to extend their mandatory home leave for  a maximum period of one year, subject to the agreement of their employers.

As with the other flexibility arrangement, the application to defer the FDH’s home leave should always be with the consent of the worker.


The government also reminded employers that the requirement to make the FDHs return to their place of origin after each contract remains in place

“Employers should arrange for their FDHs to return to their place of origin within the extended limit of stay,” said the statement.

“The government will continue to closely monitor the situation and review the above measures and flexibility arrangements as and when necessary.”

Press for details

The government also appealed to the parties concerned to submit visa applications for FDHs online as much as possible. This could be done through mobile application or through the dedicated webpage for online services fo FDHs:

Electronic visa application services that have been in place since Dec 28 last year allows visa payments to be made through various means and for supporting documents and notification of premature termination of contracts to be made online.

Details may be found in a government press release issued earlier:


Employers and their FDHs are also reminded to take note of the limit of stay and  passport validity of the FDHs so they can arrange for renewing them in advance.

For enquiries on employment rights and benefits of FDHs, contact the dedicated FDH hotline of the Labour Department, 2157 9537 (manned by 1823) 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 by sending email to


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