An Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) will be spending 24 weeks in jail after she failed to obtain a work visa for the past 6 years.
The 46-year-old Filipina was sentenced to 24 weeks jail term by a Shatin magistrate after she failed to extend her work visa but chose to continue to work with her employer for the past 6 years.
Her reason – a missing passport.
Connie Lauron pleaded guilty to the accusations of two counts of breach of the condition of stay as she appeared in front of Magistrate Ko Wai-hung last Nov. 26.
The first charge which was filed against Lauron was with her offense when she overstayed her visa. Lauron first came to Hong Kong last October 2009 with a domestic worker visa but stayed despite the validity of her visa only until Oct 4, 2013.
The second offense which was filed against her was when she worked illegally for more than 6 years until last month, Oct 27. The Filipina mother of two breached her conditions of stay.
The defense counsel, however, finds the case unusual by the fact that she’d worked for the same employer for the past 6 years.
Unlike others who overstayed, the case of Lauron was a lot different as she failed to seek an extension of her visa due to the fact that she lost her passport before even completing the second contract. According to Lauron, she does not know what to do to resolve the matter and refused to approach the Philippine Consulate from any help.
There is still an ongoing investigation of whether the employer will be charged as well for keeping Lauron despite her expired work visa.