Thought I’d share with you the steps I took in successfully applying for home leave on my own, without going through an agency in Singapore, bc we’ve just applied and received ours this week! I brought my dog Milk here from the US without one detailed in the post here (though it was a super frustrating and LONG process), so I figured I can do this too. It wasn’t easy (but way easier than going through AVA for Milk!) as the philippine embassy want to make it as confusing for you as possible so that you end up paying up and hiring the agency to do it for you. But trust me, it can be with a bit of patience and persistence! I’ve tried to best summarize the steps so that you can just follow the steps below and not think twice about it.
(For the readers of my blog, yes! we hired a wonderful live-in maid as soon as we got back to Singapore. We will expand on this in an another “Living in SIngapore” blog entry soon!)
Few things to note:
- Start this 2~3 months prior her departure date.
- If you go through a Lucky Plaza agency to do this for you, it’ll cost you anywhere from $280 to 400. You can have your maid go and compare the rates amongst the agencies. You do not and should not go through the agency in which you hired your maid (unless it’s one of the few that has this service in Lucky Plaza), as they will basically hire a third-party agency (yes, those in Lucky Plaza that you can find yourself) to do it for them and charge you another $50~100 on top for the referral fee.
- If you do this on your own, it’ll cost you anywhere between $100~180, depending on the documents that you already have.
- Despite what is generally known, you CAN apply without an agency even if your helper has not yet finished her contract. My helper has worked with me only for 3 months and we have successfully done this on our own.
- The maid can, during a weekday (Philippine Embassy hours: Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) go to embassy on her own and apply herself. You, the employer, do not need to be there.
- Make sure to make copies of all the documents (at least three or more for each, as it seems to differ for each officer), the embassy otherwise charges $0.50 cents per.
- Make sure your maid is dressed in pants BELOW her knees and closed sandals, or she won’t be allowed in the embassy.