A “Filipino maid agent” who organised fake visas for the domestic workers under his charge has been jailed a year and fined RMB5,000 after he got busted by one of the maids who tried (but failed) to return home. Foreign domestic workers are ILLEGAL in China (you don’t want them fighting for jobs with local ayi’s!), but demand for them has remained high with the steady influx of expatriates and rising incomes among locals.
What we found interesting was the maid agent’s modus operandi, as detailed in Shanghai Daily:
Peng said he bought the fake visas from an illegal vendor at 1,200 yuan each and he charged every employer from 18,000 yuan to 20,000 yuan for agent and visa fees.
“I used to pay some other agencies to get real visas, but the fee goes up to around 8,000 yuan for a six-month travel visa. It was too much and I don’t want to take the trouble of taking the maids to some other cities for visa interviews,” Peng told prosecutors.
Almost all Filipino housemaids have visas allowing them to stay in China for up to six months but not to work. “The problem is how to keep them here and keep their job steady,” Peng said.
A common practice is that the maid leaves for Hong Kong and comes back to the mainland with a new visa, which could be very costly.
Peng chose to use fake visas and he was ready to pay fines for Filipino maids if they were caught staying too long in the country. He said he would give the maids up to 7,000 yuan to let them try to fix their problems themselves.
In China, the average monthly income for a Filipino domestic helper is 3,500 yuan. “The maids don’t want to leave because they earn a fairly good living here,” Peng said.
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