Don't Employ Illegal Workers

Don't Employ Illegal Workers - poster

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Q1: What should an employer do before employing a person?

The law requires an employer to take all practical steps to ensure that the job seeker is lawfully employable. If the job seeker is not holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card, the law requires an employer to inspect the job seeker's valid travel document.

Moreover, an employer should take note of whether the job seeker has replaced a smart identity card.

Q2: Are all holders of Hong Kong permanent identity cards lawfully employable?

Yes. All holders of Hong Kong permanent identity cards are lawfully employable.

Q3: Are all holders of non-Hong Kong permanent identity cards lawfully employable?

No. Not all holders of non-Hong Kong permanent identity cards are lawfully employable.

Q4: How to distinguish a Hong Kong permanent identity card from a non-permanent identity card?

A Hong Kong permanent identity card contains the following statement at the back of the card: "The holder of this card has the right of abode in Hong Kong." A non-Hong Kong permanent identity card does not contain the "right of abode in Hong Kong" statement.

Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card Non-Hong Kong Permanent Identity Card
Sample of Hong Kong Permanent Smart Identity Card issued with effect from 23 June 2003 Sample of Non-Hong Kong Permanent Smart Identity Card issued with effect from 23 June 2003
Q5: What should employers do if they intend to employ non-Hong Kong permanent identity card holders?

They have to inspect the job seekers' valid travel documents to ensure that they are free to take up any employment in Hong Kong without the Director of Immigration's prior permission and have not breached any condition of stay. To employ a person permitted to remain on visitor, student, employment condition or a person whose travel document is endorsed with a condition of stay that "Employment is not permitted", requires prior approval from the Director of Immigration.

Q6: Can you cite some examples of non-Hong Kong permanent identity card holders who are not free to take up employment in Hong Kong?

Common examples are persons permitted to remain on employment status such as imported workers under the Importation of Labour Schemes and foreign domestic helpers.

Q7: How to identify imported workers and foreign domestic helpers?

All imported workers under the Importation of Labour Schemes and foreign domestic helpers are holding W-prefixed or WX-prefixed identity cards.

Q8: How to identify foreign domestic helpers not holding W-prefixed or WX-prefixed identity cards?

Look at the immigration stamp/landing slip in the job seeker's travel document. A bilingual immigration stamp endorsed or landing slip attached on the travel documents of foreign domestic helpers states clearly that "change of employer is not permitted". Stamps/landing slips for extension of stay granted to foreign domestic helpers are also bilingual.

Q10: How to identify a visitor?

They should not have a Hong Kong identity card. The immigration stamp/landing slip on their travel documents has the word "Visitor".

Q11: What are the penalties if an employer employs a person not lawfully employable?

The employer is liable to a maximum fine of $350,000 and three years' imprisonment.

Q13: What should employers do if they have doubts on the job seekers' employability?

They should make enquiries through the immigration enquiry telephone hotline 2824 1551 or faxline 2824 1166 or e-mail to anti_crime@immd.gov.hk.

Employers Should Inspect Documents of Job-Seekers

Employers are required by law to inspect the job seeker's:

  1. Hong Kong identity card
    and
  2. valid travel document if he/she is not holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card
    in order to ensure the job seeker is lawfully employable before they enter into a contract of employment. Persons permitted to remain on visitor, student, employment conditions or persons whose travel documents are endorsed with a condition of stay that "Employment is not permitted" are not lawfully employable without first obtaining approval from the Director of Immigration.

who are lawfully employable

If in doubt, please call

Enquiry Hotline

Telephone No : 2824 1551

Faxline No : 2824 1166

E-mail : anti_crime@immd.gov.hk

Endorsement / Land Slip Samples

Points to note for employers before employing a person (Video)

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