Filipina fights HK rule denying permanent residence to domestics


By Associated Press
A Filipino woman is challenging a legal provision denying permanent residency to the hundreds of thousands of foreign maids in Hong Kong in a landmark court case that sees them fighting for equal treatment with the city’s other foreign residents.

A Hong Kong High Court judge started hearing arguments Monday in a judicial review launched by Evangeline Banao Vallejos, a longtime foreign domestic helper.

Lawyers for Vallejos argued that the provision denying helpers the right to apply for permanent residency after seven years in Hong Kong contravenes the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution.

Other foreigners in Hong Kong can apply for permanent residency after seven years.

Vallejos came to Hong Kong in 1986 to work as a maid and has been employed by the same family since 1987. She decided to apply last year for a judicial review of a decision denying her an appeal against an immigration department decision in 2008 rejecting her permanent residency application.

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