Hong Kong visa ban on foreign workers who switch bosses too often

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 4:46pm

The Immigration Department is refusing work visa applications from foreign workers deemed to have cut short their contracts too often or without legitimate reasons.

The department said this in a statement last night amid public concern that some foreign domestic helpers were switching jobs to earn severance pay by terminating their contracts before the two-year work period was up.

The department said it had refused 45 applicants who were suspected to be involved in such abuse in the past two months.

It also said employers who were found to have exploited their domestic workers would also be denied applications in the future to employ foreign domestic workers.

Joseph Law, chairman of the Hong Kong Employers of Domestic Helpers Association, said some domestic workers were known to have colluded with employment agencies to get greater benefits by prompting their employers to terminate their contracts soon after they arrive.

He said the department should spell out how many changes of employer by a worker would constitute an abuse of the system.

"Once any foreign domestic helper is found to have changed jobs without a legitimate reason, the Immigration Department should consider, say, stopping processing her employment visa applications for six months," Law said.