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Sunday, Jun 23, 2024

Covid contract easing to end in May

The SAR government said on Friday that the employment contract extensions for foreign domestic helpers and deferring their return to hometowns under flexible arrangements amid the Covid pandemic will be discontinued from May 1.
It said employers and helpers should discuss matters relating to employment, contract renewals, or returning to their places of origin as soon as possible to ensure the relevant requirements are met.

Considering the pandemic's development and the gradual relaxation of inbound control measures, the government announced on December 19, 2022, that they will discontinue the flexibility arrangements on May 1.

For all contracts expiring before April 30, employers may apply for an extension of the contract's validity period. By mutual consent, the extension will be for a maximum of six months.

However, further extension applications will not be considered for those whose contracts have been extended under the flexible arrangement. Employers must apply for contract renewals after the extension period. All applications must be submitted to the Immigration Department by April 30.

Returning helpers who renew or start a new contract may apply for an extension of stay for a period not exceeding one year.

Under the flexible arrangement, if helpers cannot return to their place of origin within a year, they may apply for a further extension of their stay within eight weeks before the expiry date.

If the one-year delay period expires after April 30, the helper will not be granted any further extension.

The government reminded helpers and prospective employers that under the existing policy, helpers must leave upon completion of the contract or within two weeks of termination of employment.

Considering the large number of applications, the government urged the public to apply for helper visas and renewal of employment online at www.immd.gov.hk/fdh or through the Immigration Department's mobile app as soon as possible.

The government also said people with inquiries on the helper’s visa applications should contact the Immigration Department via the hotline at 2824 6111 or by emailing enquiry@immd.gov.hk.

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