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Is it Ever Possible to Swap a Foreign Domestic Helper Visa into a Regular Employment Visa in Hong Kong?

June 22nd, 2022

Posted in Employment Visas, The Hong Kong Visa Geeza, Your Question Answered /


Can you swap a Foreign Domestic Helper visa into a Regular employment visa? This is a reasonable question that has an obvious answer although not for the reasons you might typically expect. In 20 years of practising Hong Kong visa and immigration consultancy, the only successful change of status application from FDH to residence visa that I have ever experienced, naturally enough, is from FDH to dependant visa where there has been a legal marriage.



“I have an Indonesian furniture retail and design store in Aberdeen.  I was wondering if I could apply for a work visa for an existing domestic helper to come and work in my business. My shop is specialized in Indonesian furniture, both standard design and also bespoke.

She is Indonesian and has immense knowledge and skills in this field, having been educated to Bachelor level in design and with 7 years of experience working for a producer in Bali. Our store is an interactive and educative shop where we educate the local community on design possibilities and ways to get excellent value for money in buying furniture from Indonesia.

I have advertised locally extensively for a shop assistant but no great response. I got only one response and have had to hire her despite the person not being qualified.  It has been very hard to recruit.

This FDH is good and has good qualifications. Is it possible to apply for a work visa for my business?”

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

The 5 key factors which impact on eligibility for a Hong Kong employment visa

Why applying for a Foreign Domestic Helper visa for your girlfriend is not a good idea

Can you have 2 employment visa applications in process at the same time?

I am an independent contractor not an employee – can I get an employment visa as an inter company transferee?

Do you need to leave Hong Kong to ‘Activate’ your recently secured employment visa extension?




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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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