Hong Kong to extend PH domestic workers' stay amid China travel ban

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2020 11:06 PM

Hong Kong to extend PH domestic workers' stay amid China travel ban 1
People wear masks as they walk at a marketplace in downtown following the outbreak of the new coronavirus (2019 n-CoV), in Hong Kong. Manila imposed a temporary travel ban on foreigners between the Philippines and mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau amid the spread of the 2019 n-CoV that has already killed more than 400 people and infected over 20,000 others. Tyrone Siu, Reuters

MANILA - The Hong Kong government on Tuesday said it will extend the validity period of Filipino domestic workers there, amid the temporary travel ban imposed by the Philippines due to the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

"In processing affected employers' applications, the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) Government will work to extend the validity period of the employers' contracts with their outgoing foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to help them cope with the special situation," the administration said in a statement.

"The flexibility arrangement aims to assist those employers whose contracts with their existing FDHs are due to expire soon, but the newly hired FDHs or the FDHs they intend to hire cannot fly in to commence the new contracts due to the temporary ban," it added.

Hong Kong's Commission for Labor said Filipino domestic workers with contracts that will expire on or before March 31, 2020 will be given a chance to apply directly to the Director of Immigration for extension of stay.

"Upon receiving the applications, the Immigration Department will process them in accordance with its established procedures and policies when deciding the extension of stay applications," a Hong Kong official said.

Applications may be submitted directly, during office hours or by post, to the Foreign Domestic Helpers Section at Immigration Tower in Wan Chai, the administration said.

Below are the required documents for submitting applications:
 

  • Visa/Extension of Stay Application Form for Domestic Helper from Abroad (ID 988A)
  • Current SEC (ID 407) (send copy only if applying by post) kept by employer and the FDH with an amendment clause on extending the period of employment duly signed by both parties
  • Supporting letter signed by employer stating reason(s) for extending the period of employment
  • FDH’s travel document (send copy only if applying by post)
  • Visa fee of $230.

Manila imposed a temporary travel ban on foreigners between the Philippines and mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau amid the spread of the 2019 n-CoV that has already killed more than 400 people and infected over 20,000 others.

Earlier Tuesday, a Hong Kong official appealed to the Philippines to allow Filipino workers to return to the Chinese territory after Manila's travel ban left a number of them stranded in their home country.

Philippine Consul General Raly Tejada told ABS-CBN News the request was conveyed by Hong Kong Labor Secretary Law Chi-Kwong.

"Labor Secretary Law Chi-Kwong made strong representations for the Philippine government to allow Filipinos to return to Hong Kong," Tejada said.--with a report from Jan Yumul, ABS-CBN News