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Macao’s foreign domestic helpers will be able to work in Hengqin, official says

Senior Hengqin official confirms that foreign domestic helpers will be able to accompany their Macao employers to homes in Hengqin
  • He did not say when this would be possible, but noted that the authorities were ‘already’ working on it

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Domestic workers employed by people from Macao will soon be allowed to work in Hengqin if their employers move there, according to Hengqin Livelihood Affairs Bureau director Huang Yujie. He told TDM that an official policy “should be announced soon”.

Huang noted that authorities had “already started” a process that would enable SAR residents to bring foreign domestic helpers to Hengqin, which is administratively part of the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. As of March, around 20,600 people from Macao lived in Hengqin – an annual increase of 22.4 percent.

Huang said that once registration procedures were in place, approved helpers would also be permitted to travel to different places within the mainland. Their right to work would be limited to Hengqin, however.

[See more: Macao must boost protections for migrant workers, says Indonesian minister]

The official added that the maximum period of time a foreign domestic helper could remain in Hengqin would be determined by the Public Security Department, but could be limited to a one year contract.

In recent years, local and provincial governments have been looking to integrate Macao with Hengqin through initiatives such as the Macau New Neighbourhood housing development, a unified customs regime, as well as multiple-entry visas between the two territories. 

As of the start of this year, there were almost 26,000 non-resident domestic helpers working in Macao. Most hold either Filipino, Vietnamese and Indonesian nationality. 

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