Zhuhai, China. Photo: iStock.

Migrant workers are now willing to overstay in mainland China to work jobs with higher pay than they can earn in Macau.

The lack of a fixed minimum wage and the high cost of living in Macau are prompting foreign domestic workers to illegally overstay in China, where wages are higher, Macau Daily Times reported.

In China, domestic workers who are proficient in English are sought after by employers who want their children to learn foreign languages.

Migrant workers seeking to do so are able to acquire a “144” visa, which allows visitors to enter Zhuhai and return to Macau on the same day for only 35 Macanese Pataca (US$4.) However, the visa requires that visitors must travel in groups of a minimum of three.

Som are using the visa to enter Zhuhai without returning, many of them doing so in order to seek jobs as domestic workers. There they can earn 5,000 to 6,500 Yuan (US$745-969) per month, which is considerably higher than a domestic worker’s wage in Macau or in Hong Kong, where the minimum wage for domestic workers is US$577. The lower cost of living in China also plays a factor.

Apart from the domestic workers, agents are also able to rake in profits, charging as much as 20,000 Yuan (US$2,982) when they link a domestic worker with a potential employer.

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