Filipino maids are quite popular among foreign business circle, even wealthy Chinese people in China given their skills and language advantage. Despite the demand in China, Filipino maids are not permitted to work so far, partially to protect the domestic workers in this industry. One of our clients was even expelled and banned from entering into China due to illegally hiring a Filipino maid years ago. It however appears that some newly issued visa rules for free trade zone in Guangdong (“Guangdong Rules”) open a window to meet the demand for Filipino maids.
The Guangdong Rules were issued on July 18, 2016 and took effect on August 1, 2016. Detailed implementing rules were also issued by Public Security Department of Guangdong Province later. "These new exit-entry policies and measures are based on the free trade zone's urgent demand for high-level foreign talent, overseas Chinese returning to start businesses, young foreign students and investors to realize innovation-driven development of the zone." according to the Ministry of Public Security.
According to Guangdong Rules, the following foreigners in Guangdong are allowed to hire "foreign housekeeping personals":
- high- level foreign talent who has acquired permanent residence in Guangdong；
- high-level foreign talent who has acquired working permits in Guangdong；
- the Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan high-level talent in Guangdong.
It is interestingly noted that, although Guangdong Rules were meant to retain talents in the free trade zone in Guangdong, the permission to hire "foreign housekeeping personal" is applicable across Guangdong Province. Furthermore, we notice that similar rules were issued back on July 1, 2015, but with limited application, as compared to Guangdong Rules.
Since Guangdong Rules are newly issues, it is not clear how "high level" will be interpreted in practice. It is reported that a measure specifically on this is on the pipeline and will be issued soon.
It remains to be seen if Guangdong Rules will be able to assist Guangdong in attracting and retaining foreign professionals and returnees.