Hong Kong Visas Made Easy


May 2021

Can You Claim Right of Abode in Hong Kong if Your Deceased Spouse Had PR Here But You Didn’t Live With Him at the Time of His Death?

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / No responses

Is the Right of Abode in Hong Kong passed along to the spouse of a permanent resident such that is claimable after the death of your PR holding husband..?


This query is for  my cousin who is an adult.

She was born in Pakistan and got married to a Hong Kong non-Chinese permanent resident.

She has been in Hong Kong many times first after her marriage in 1994 then various times up to  2003.

She has two children one of which was born in Hong Kong.

She currently resides in Pakistan.

She was in Pakistan with her 2 children when she found out her husband passed away in Hong Kong.

She returned once to Hong Kong to verify this,but then came back to Pakistan with her children who were infants at the time.

She now feels able to cope with life in Hong Kong without her husband now that he children are older.

My query: Is there any basis or chance that she may be able to gain right of abode?

I would be grateful if you could help.


As a foreign national seeking to become a permanent resident of Hong Kong, there is a very defined way to go about procuring permanent residency status and unfortunately, it doesn’t transfer to a spouse of a diseased permanent resident by virtue of the fact of death.

The Right of Abode in Hong Kong is directly tied to having been continuously an ordinary resident in Hong Kong for a period of not less than seven years immediately before you apply for the status. So, if we look at your cousin’s immigration profile in Hong Kong, it would appear that sometime after 1994 when she got married assumingly to a person who subsequently went on to become a permanent resident of Hong Kong after 1997, she would have during her time together with her husband have had a dependent visa sponsored by him so from the period after 1997 if she did not live continuously in Hong Kong for at least seven years in her own right, then she at best would have at the time that she made her last departure in 2003 have been merely a dependent visa holder.

And if that dependent visa, on the one hand, was not extended, whilst she was in Pakistan and to even if it had been extended if she was not resident in Hong Kong with her husband and indeed her children at that time it would very difficult to sustain the idea that she was continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong after 2003. But I don’t have any specific instructions as to what her immigration status was at that point in time.

So I will just make the assumption that as of 2003 she was not a permanent resident and that she would not be entitled to apply for permanent residency by virtue of the fact that she was not resident in Hong Kong she was indeed at all times after 2003 resident in Pakistan.

So, given that her husband subsequently died holding a permanent residency for Hong Kong, unfortunately in her own rights notwithstanding her marriage to an individual with that status if she’s not in Hong Kong herself holding a dependent visa she can’t claim ordinary residence so she will never be able to qualify for the Right of Abode.

So, unfortunately, that closes the avenue in relation to her husband. Now, you also make the point that one of her two children was born in Hong Kong, again, without any evidence as to the immigration status of the child it’s difficult to advise whether this would apply to her or not but I will make an assumption that one of the children did secure or at least have the eligibility for the Right Of Abode established at the time of his or her birth and on the basis that until he’s 21 he can show that he’s been settled in Hong Kong, he will at the age of 21 be able to become a permanent resident in his own or her own right and on the basis that your cousin is an over 60 years of age and this child who is holding the Right Of Abode can show to the Immigration Department that he is settled in Hong Kong rather tthan being settled in Pakistan then that child will be able to sponsor its mother, who will be over 60 years of age, for dependent visa permissions as a dependent elderly parent.

But that’s a couple of initiatives sort of down the track as it were, but that would appear to be an option going forward. But it’s not sufficient just to have a status at the age of 21 as a child, he needs have been settled in Hong Kong to be able to be a valid sponsor for an elderly parent’s dependent visa permission. And then assuming that your cousin comes to Hong Kong and lives in Hong Kong continuously for seven years as a dependent elderly parent sponsored by a permanent resident child who settled in Hong Kong she will be able to then go on to secure Right of Abode subsequently but she won’t be able to do while sitting in Pakistan. She’ll have to be in Hong Kong.

Okay, I’ll be found this useful.

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May 2021

How Can I Prove the Veracity of My CV for My Hong Kong Employment Visa Application if a Prior Employer is No Longer in Business?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / No responses

If you’re claiming skills, knowledge or experience on your CV as part of your argument for a Hong Kong Employment Visa Application – what’s the gig if you can’t fully  support your claims with references or testimonials?


Hi, I am 8 weeks into applying for an employment visa (I’m British).

I have given the documents and a couple of weeks ago had to supply a reference which I managed to get hold of.

And yesterday my would be company heard from them again asking for another reference that was listed on my CV.

However.. the person has now left the company (the company may have even closed and now they have changed careers (it was a 5 year ago position I was referencing).

Do you think it’s OK for this person to state that they have left the company and just provide a letterheaded reference from their current place?

My other friend said it may be tricky.

Please help if you can. I’m not sure what to do.

Thanks a lot!


Naturally enough if you are claiming certain skills and experience on your CV and you’re expecting the Immigration Department to rely on them as being a true and accurate statement of your experience and work capabilities, it’s incumbent upon you to produce the kind of documentation which speaks to the veracity of your CV.

Now, of course, on occasion, it might prove impossible as you’ve encountered to pick up a particular reference from sometime prior particularly if that employer is no longer in business. So usually what the Immigration Department is prepared to do is to at least receive the second best evidence that you can supply and if that happens to be a reference or a document that speaks to your time in that business, or that employer organization and it’s from someone who knew at that time or possible was your superior, the Immigration Department will certainly take that into consideration. Whether it will prove ultimately satisfactory or not, in the final analysis, depends on just how important the time spent in that employment is to the relevance of your current application.

If for example, you’re saying that you’ve been responsible for producing moon widgets for that company and your special skills knowledge and experience for the new employer is to show that you’re going to be producing moon widgets and the Immigration Department have got no way of concluding effectively that you have the experience that you claim, then you know, it could speak to the approvability all told. However, it’s just general affirmation that you spend time in that role in that position, it’s nothing too sensational about it from the approvability perspective, and then you can expect that second best evidence will suffice.

But the final analysis you have the burden of proof in relation to the extent of your CV. So, as far as you can satisfy the requirements the stronger you’re putting yourself forward for an eventual approval.

Okay, I hope you find this useful.

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May 2021

Can I Employ Myself by Getting a Hong Kong Business Investment Visa?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Investment Visas, Your Question Answered / 13 responses

This is a typical question about what is really a Hong Kong business investment visa application – but most often people don’t know, understandably enough, how to couch it…


First Published April 21, 2012




I’m interested in getting HK residence permit (working visa). Please advise what’s the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to do it.

My idea is to register Hong Kong based company and who will hire myself as a director.

Am I able to be self-employed expat in HK or it’s wise to use nominee shareholder services?

What are the minimal salary criteria in my case?

How long will it take?”


I’m afraid there is no easy, fast or cheap way to secure Hong Kong residency on the basis you are mooting. Please find the following collection of resources covering this subject:

One man businesses


Idea of self-sponsorship and use of nominees.


Newcomer’s guide to employment visas in Hong Kong


Please also see the Investment Visa Information sheet on the Hong Kong Visa Handbook.

And this Case Study which speaks to one businesses and how we eventually got their visas approved.


“Many thanks for your prompt reply, useful links and awesome infographics. It’s getting much more clear now.

Well, I’m definitely not planning to invest HK$10M in the next some yeas to get an Investments visa. Because I’m just not able to do this.

You’re saying that it’s not a good idea to use nominee shareholders because HK immigration authorities might discover this fact and it will take a lot of efforts to approve this new company as a valid sponsor.

So for now it seems (please correct me if I’m not right) that cheapest and easiest way to get HK RP for me is to:

– find a local sponsor, private person, or

– get a job in an existing company

Regarding sponsor, I have a friend in HK who is probably able to be my sponsor (using my own funds).

But getting a job seems to be an easiest solution so far.

I believe there are some companies known to the HKID that you might also know who are stable enough and can hire me as employee and start paying me salary (using my own funds). I hope that you can recommend me this kind of company, probably one of your customers can help me.

I’m well known in my industry (internet technology) as a noted professional (proper references from worldwide known companies could be provided) so I assume that there is a chance for me to be be admitted as qualified migrant.

As an example, my Italian residence permit is based on ‘high skilled migrants’ immigration program, so most of the documents confirming my skills are ok and we can try use them in future in HK.

Please let me know if I understand everything in a proper way and we can proceed somehow.”


Unless you have a pre-existing consulting business overseas which you intend to ‘relocate’ to Hong Kong and support that relocation with resources to pass the investment visa approvability test (as detailed on the Visa Information PDF I sent you previously) the only option will be for you to secure a genuine job  offer in Hong Kong from an independent third party employer and in the context of that job offer pass the employment visa approvability test as detailed here.

There is no option of having a Hong Kong resident,  in his private capacity, of sponsoring you for residence permissions in Hong Kong unless you are legal family.

You can find information on the Quality Migrant Scheme here. In my experience, unless you have at least 125 points, you’re unlikely to get in the running for an eventual approval – but you will never know if you don’t try.

One final point.

What you are proposing about using your own funds to contrive an employment would involve you making misrepresentations to the Hong Kong Immigration Department on the part of the ‘employer’, yourself and my firm.

This is illegal and neither my firm nor I will play any part in such a scheme and I urge you to readjust your expectations as to how to go about becoming a lawful Hong Kong resident.

As I have stated, there is no easy, fast or cheap way to secure residence in the HKSAR. There only the legal way.

I trust this advice guides you accordingly.

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But Stephen, how do you make any money if you give away all of your Hong Kong visa expertise away for free?

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May 2021

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May 2021

I Would Like to Apply for a Job Seekers Visa For Hong Kong – How Do I Go About Doing It?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / No responses

Hong Kong immigration is rife with visa gossip and rumours so I am pleased this question has been raised as it allows me to slay an old dragon once and for all!


Hi Stephen,

Thanks ever so much for your amazing website. I have never seen anything like this before – and I can’t believe it’s all free!

I have been looking around for details about the Job Seekers Visa For Hong Kong but can’t find anything.

Does this visa actually exist?

I have been told by a couple of people that I can come and live here for 3 months no questions asked as I look for a job, then swap that job seekers visa over to a work visa.

How do I go about doing this?

Thank you again!


In Hong Kong there is no such animal as a job seekers visa, that’s the bottom line!

This old chestnut has been kicking around for quite some time now and I’m glad that this question has been raised in the way that it has because it allows me to deal with it.

I think there’s a certain amount of confusion between the immigration status that you get as a visitor at the border for those nationals that are entitled to a 90-day period of stay when they arrive.

And potentially also under the working holiday visa, which allows you to work for 90 days for any single employer during the 12-month period that you hold such a working holiday visa.

So in a sense, you might be confusing the visitor visa and the working holiday visa, which both avail the ability to look for work. Given that seeking a job in Hong Kong as a visitor and indeed as a working holiday visa holder is permitted activity.

Whilst if you’re a visitor visa holder looking for a job, it isn’t permitted activity to take up any employment offer that results from you looking for that work.

But to suggest that there is a discrete immigration status called a job seekers visa is erroneous. And it could possibly be a confusion from some other jurisdiction that that perhaps avails that type of permission to be in Hong Kong to look for work.

So, there is no such thing as a job seekers visa. Come as a visitor – it is permitted activities to look for work as a visitor. If you have a working holiday visa, in any event, you can look for work. And indeed you can take up employment for up to three months with a single employer during the currency of that visa.

But job seekers visa itself, no, doesn’t exist.

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Apr 2021

How Do Foreign National Children Resident in Hong Kong for 7 Years Go On to Acquire Permanent Residency Here?

Posted by / in Family Visas, Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / No responses

The test for the right of abode for foreign national children resident in Hong Kong for 7 years is the same as for adults but the manifestation of that PR takes a slightly different form…


I’ve heard that our children can independently hold permanent residency once they turn 7.  Is this correct and if so, how do we go about applying for it?



Once a child that was not born in Hong Kong has lived here continuously prepared and not less than seven years and that child goes on to make an application to have his eligibility for permanent identity card verified and that exercise involves exactly the same approvability test as is applied to adult counterparts that are also seeking to go ahead and secure the right of abode in Hong Kong.

So using the context of children that are naturally resident in Hong Kong with their parents, the evidence that’s submitted in support of that application is that they are together with their parents and that they are in school. And the Immigration Department take proof of schooling typically as being definitive evidence that they have been a continuously ordinarily residents in Hong Kong.

And of course they do check to see their whereabouts during that time, so insofar as the test goes, it is essentially the same as it is for adults when it comes to children. But the manifestation of the right of abode is reflected not in the issue of a permanent identity card. Because the child, if it’s under 11 years of age, can’t secure a permanent ID, can’t secure any kind of identity card.

Effectively once they get to 11 they get a juvenile ID card and that juvenile ID card states that the holder has the right of abode but prior to that the actuality of having had your very verification for eligibility for the right of abode is reflected in a sticker that’s placed in the back of the passport of the child and then the child then presents that at the boundaries and at the airport when the child is travelling and of course, the Immigration Department immediately admits the child on the strength of the child having the right of abode.

So that’s it it’s – an endorsement to the passport first until the issue of the first ID card where upon the permanent identity card is formally issued. The only wrinkle to that is that at the point of issuing the ID card at the age of 11, there will be a further examination to ensure that the child has remained continuously and ordinarily in Hong Kong.

Throughout the proceeding, say in this case three or four years, if the child had his eligibility verified at the age of seven and if the child has not been continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong throughout all at that time and/or has been absent I should say from Hong Kong for more than three years at a stretch then the ID card that will be issued will be a right to land ID card and will not be a permanent identity card.

So eligibility can be verified through the placements of the sticker in the passport, but you still need to maintain your connections to Hong Kong under the basic law. Which means that a child must have been in Hong Kong on at least one occasion during the interim period over a course of three years in order to maintain eligibility for the right of abode and the issue of the permanent identity card accordingly.

Otherwise, as I’ve stated the child will be issued with an ID card that grants him the right to land.

More Stuff You May Find Interesting or Useful

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Applying for the right of abode in Hong Kong – a complete resource set

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Apr 2021

What Pathways to an Employment Visa Exist For a Fresh, Foreign University Graduate Arriving in Hong Kong Seeking Career Opportunities Here?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Special Programmes, Your Question Answered / No responses

Whilst the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates afford a clean pathway to working permission for foreign nationals freshly graduating from Hong Kong universities, the situation is very different if your degree is from overseas and you’re seeking to work in the HKSAR straight after university.


Hi Stephen,

I would like to ask, I’m a fresh grad student in interior design from Australia. I am seeking an opportunity in Hong Kong.

I had a few companies that are willing to hire me here in Hong Kong, but the problem is that the employment visa / working permit is an issue for them.

I would like to tap your expertise in this situation.

What other alternatives exist to manage this immigration issue?


Naturally in Hong Kong like any other jurisdiction that cares for its younger population and wants to ford the best possible opportunities for their graduates as they can, it is the position of the Immigration Department to not approve applications for employment visas from completely fresh graduates of foreign universities that come to Hong Kong looking for opportunities here.

And it’s hardly surprising because you know the vast majority of countries as I said would also implement the same policy to protect jobs for their new graduates too. So if you do have a very strong commitment to pursuing a career opportunity in Hong Kong you need to in a sense stop anticipating that there’s a simple solution available to you and start considering that you’re going to have to start making an investment in relation to Hong Kong in a way that you might not have anticipated until now. So just blue-skying this and thinking about the way to bring about a possible positive outcome for you.

One opportunity that might exist is if you find yourself a job offer from a company in Hong Kong that has an office in Australia where perhaps you could spend six months in Hong Kong on a training visa with the expectation that at the end of those six months you would then be sent back to the Australian arm of the group of companies where you would spend two years in Australia working on the ground for the same organization and then at some stage after you have qualified as a professional for the purposes of the general employment policy under Hong Kong immigration rules, then be transferred back to Hong Kong to work for the Hong Kong arm of that business as a full-time employee.

So in those circumstances, you would qualify as a professional because you’d be a graduate and you would have at least two years relevant working experience in your field assuming of course that you have undertaken duties of a supervisory and managerial nature during all of that time. So that’s one way to think about it.

Another way to think about it is well, why not further your education in Hong Kong and go on to get a master’s degree – spend one year studying in Hong Kong. You won’t be allowed to work during that time. But spend one year studying and get yourself an advanced degree. And then immediately take advantage of the immigration arrangements for non-local graduates, which will effectively see you move straight into lawful employability without the need to have a particular job offer, at the point of converting your student visa into the one year fresh non-local graduate arrangements under the immigration arrangement for non-local graduates.

So that’s another key way that you could get in. If you come from a background of commerce and you can muster up the requisite finance and you’ve got a half-decent business plan and the sufficient business acumen to think about going into business for yourself. Quite a risky strategy gave that you freshly out of university but if you’ve got all those resources collected around you, you might think about starting a business in Hong Kong and securing the consent of the Immigration Department to join in that business.

There you’d have to show that you’re in a position to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong but I’m not going to spend too much time talking about that because I’ve dealt with it [00:03:51inaudible] elsewhere on this blog. So that’s the business investment visa and then finally if you come from a particularly well-heeled family and you can show that you’ve owned assets in your own name for at least two years to the tune of a minimum of 10 million Hong Kong dollars you could make an application under the capital investment entrance scheme which would take six to eight months to finalize but at the end of that process, you would find yourself being lawfully employable in Hong Kong without any further questions asked. So that would represent  an expensive albeit quite realistic chance of securing the outcome that you’re what you’re looking for so that you can be in Hong Kong to carry on your career here.

So those are the options in a nutshell from 39,000 feet and I hope you found this useful.

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