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Immigration rejects 355 visa applications from 'job hoppers' in Jan-Feb

26 March 2021

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Immigration says it sent home 319 job hoppers last year despite the pandemic

Foreign domestic helpers planning to change employers for flimsy reasons should read this before they take the leap.

Immigration figures show that a total of 355 applications for FDH work visa applications were rejected in the first two months of the year, more than the total number recorded for the entire 2020.

And just this Tuesday, Mar 23, Immigration said it held a joint operation with the Labour Department to inspect “relevant” employment agencies and remind them not to encourage or induce FDHs to engage in job hopping.

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“If there is sufficient evidence to prove that EAs have induced FDHs to job-hop or have other misconduct, the ImmD and the LD will take enforcement actions as appropriate,” Immigration said in a statement sent to The SUN.

No mention was made as to why or how the agencies were targeted for the operation.

But Cynthia Tellez, general manager of the Mission for Migrant Workers, has consistently said there is no such things as "job hoppers." 

In her view, which she reiterated Thursday night in the online show "Talakayang Migrante", migrant domestic workers will only leave if their employers have been treating them badly. 

No amount of incentive, either from an agency or an employer, would make them take the chance of changing employers if they're being treated well by the one they currently work with, Tellez said, citing the long wait for processing a new work visa as one of the reasons.


Immigration said its special duties team has strengthened its assessment of visa applications from FDHs who change employers frequently in view of recent concerns about job-hopping. 

To compare, the team reportedly rejected 165 visa applications for suspected “job-hopping” in 2018. The rejection cases increased to 267 in 2019, and rose further to 319 last year.

This was despite Immigration’s relaxation of its two-week rule (which dictates that FDHs whose contracts are pre-terminated without justifiable reason should leave within 14 days) amid pandemic-related travel restrictions in 2020.

Priscilla Leung is one of the legislators demanding a crackdown on 'job hoppers'

But amid complaints from some legislators that FDHs were taking advantage of the relaxed rules to job-hop, Immigration announced in December that it was tightening visa application rules for FDHs again.

Pindutin para sa detalye

According to the Immigration statement, its special duties team will take into account a number of factors, including the number and reasons for the premature termination of contracts, the workers’ conduct and the previous records of both the employer and helper.

FDHs suspected of job hopping will be denied a new employment visa and required to leave Hong Kong.

“ImmD will also strengthen communication and exchange of information with LD with a view to combating job-hopping in a more proactive and focused manner,” the statement added.

Immigration said it has all along been rigorously processing employment visa applications of FDHs, refusing those from applicants with adverse records or breaches. 

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The department also reminded FDHs who wish to sign up with another employer after finishing their existing contract that they must, in general, leave and return to their place of origin after submitting a new work visa application to Immigration.

Visa applications from FDHs who have not returned to their place of origin as required will normally not be approved except in exceptional circumstances, said the statement.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

The advisory came with the warning that FDHs who overstay their visas will be prosecuted.

The seeming crackdown, however, may still be blunted by employers’ strong preference for FDHs who are already in Hong Kong, due to the worrying coronavirus situation in sending countries like the Philippines and the high cost of bringing them over.


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