New Content Daily Sign Up Here

Your Questions Answered

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

February 6th, 2021

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 17 responses


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?




Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

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.

  • JL

    7 Sep 2021 am30 11:41am

    I am a fdh in hk and I have hk resident boyfriend where planning to do bussiness here can I swap my visa to be a bussiness visa here? Thanks for ur reply

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Oct 2021 pm31 12:53pm

      No, sorry.

  • Emma

    10 May 2021 pm31 7:25pm

    Hello, I’m a domestic helper in Hong Kong. My contract ends this month, but I’ve already found new work. Is it possible for my FDH visa to be changed to a normal employment visa? My new employer wants to recruit me.

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 May 2021 pm31 12:16pm

      No, sorry to say, this is essentially impossible.

  • Jamela

    13 Jan 2021 pm31 10:51pm

    Good day Geeza I’m a fdh I’m a second wife of My husband is a Pakistani but he is a hk resident and his first wife in Pakistan my main question is he had a Indian shop what kind of visa we can apply so I can work his shop thank you God bless us

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Jan 2021 pm31 2:26pm

      Sorry to say, none.

  • MC

    23 Apr 2020 am30 8:56am

    hi im a domestic helper here ,I just want to ask if I can change my Visa as working visa in the company . my contract will end on July .I go to school here and get certificates. can I apply to be as regular worker that related to my schooling and to change my status from helper to a regular employment visa as a worker..please u need some opinion and advise..thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Apr 2020 pm30 1:20pm

      This is not practical. Once you declare your status as a FDH in order to secure a FDH visa, then it is very hard to subsequently denote that you’re a Professional as required for a general employment visa

  • Jimmy

    29 Feb 2020 pm29 8:42pm

    Hey There Sir
    i am Brazilian visitor living in HK about 1 Month i have my philippines girlfriend she is working as domestic helper can we marry here in Hk.thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Mar 2020 pm31 1:08pm

      You can marry but no immigration privileges will flow.

  • TMA

    12 Feb 2020 pm29 1:49pm

    Hi IAM domestic helper in hongkong next month my contract is finish but I find already new employer is it possible fdh visa can change to regular employment Visa my new employer they want to hire me

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Feb 2020 pm29 1:51pm

      Impossible. Sorry.


CommentLuv badge