A helper can start to work as soon as he/she is issued with a new visa. If he/she still has a current valid visa, she is not allowed to work with any other employers.

‘Finished contract’ helpers can usually start 4-6 weeks after starting the paperwork process.

Helpers who are terminated due to relocation or financial reasons can usually start 5 to 7 weeks after processing starts.

Helpers with ‘break’ and ‘terminated’ contract status can usually only start their jobs after 8-12 weeks

Those who are overseas and moving to Hong Kong for the first time will normally be able to start 10-12 weeks from signing.

Remember, your domestic worker can only start working for you once his or her visa has been processed. In the meantime, you can prepare your helper’s living space (which must be ‘suitable’ and must have reasonable privacy, according to the Immigration Department’s rules) and take out a mandatory insurance policy that covers your liability should your helper be injured on the job.