Hong Kong Visas Made Easy


Oct 2019

Will My Hong Kong Employment Visa be Compromised If I Leave My Job Due to Intolerable Working Conditions?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 8 responses

Should you be worried that your employment visa status in Hong Kong might be undermined if you choose to leave the employ of an unsavoury employer?


Hello, my current employer and visa sponsor is a small business, and my working conditions are intolerable – twice the amount of hours than stated on the contract, poor pay, fines for sick days off and unexplained additional fines deducted from my salary without notice nor explanation, plus late payment of salary.

I have been with them for seven months and paid to get here myself.

They have also asked me to lie to the inland revenue to say my contract started two months after it did – because it took me two months to get a free day to go to Macau and activate my visa.

It’s all very shabby.

Three other similar staff have ‘left in the night’ because there is a HK$25,000 fee to leave the contract (plus work two months unpaid, and pay another undisclosed fee for leaving without serving two months notice).

I have another company who will sponsor me and I would like to know if I can release my sponsorship with my present employer myself, or do they have the power to refuse the release and transfer of my visa to another company?

Can they stop me working anywhere else if I walk?

I can not continue working in these conditions, but I do not want to leave Hong Kong and I have other employers waiting.

Am I trapped please?

Thank you very much in advance for any advice you can give. 

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Oct 2019

Entry Employment Visa & Employment Visa Extension of Stay Applications Significantly Delayed Amid General Tightening Up All Quarters

Posted by / in Feature Article, Musing / 9 responses

It’s inevitable really.

Photo Credit: RTHK

By any view of social media over these last 12 weeks it is clear that unlawful acts by certain parties in favour of the aims of ‘the movement’ has commanded broad and general support from within a certain demographic of the population (both local Chinese and foreign national alike.)

In the last 2 weeks or so I have been asked to advise on or have had reported to me the following ‘extraordinary’ visa application and Immigration Department enforcement scenarios:

(1) Routine employment visa extension of stay applications which usually complete in one day are now being treated ‘by letter’ meaning that ImmD are not treating such extensions as merely administrative but are undertaking more extensive background checks under the security component of the General Employment Policy.

(2) Routine employment visa applications for foreign national teachers are now taking so long to finalize that the start of School term will be missed (an absolute no-no in normal times).

(3) Continuing ImmD raids on F+B premises, seeking to ensure that all foreigners working there are doing so lawfully.

(4) Stringent assessment of frequent visitors here tending to stay more than 180 days cumulatively in Hong Kong over a 12 month period.

Amongst other murmurs…

After 26 years of practice, I can only conclude that ImmD are seeking to ferret out foreign nationals who have openly supported unlawful acts of any kind during these troubled times and then seek to deny them continuing access to the HKSAR.

Social media can be both a blessing and a curse it seems.


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Oct 2019

How Important is a Good Set of Financial Projections in a Hong Kong Business Investment Visa Application?

Posted by / in Investment Visas, Your Question Answered / 1 response

ImmD expect to be able to take a view of a proposed new from 39,000 feet and for this a good set of financial projections are expected to form part of a business investment visa application.


Does the Immigration Department look for forecasts for profitability and actually estimates of employee hiring?

I have written in my business plan a general outline of positions I intend to hire, and some initial support staff in the first year, but this is in a description format rather than a list.

Welcome your thoughts and many thanks!

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Oct 2019

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 / 2 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?

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Oct 2019

Can I Remain in Hong Kong as a Visitor After My Employment Visa Expires?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 1 response

Simple question this one with an easy answer and indicative of the fact that, even though quite a straight forward issue, the information is not otherwise readily available anywhere else on the web.


I am a Canadian citizen, working in Hong Kong holding an employment visa for 7 weeks. I want to stay after my job is finished (work visa will expire at the same time) to see Hong Kong, then travel to Macau and Thailand.

Do I need to have my visa changed from employment to visitor?

Thank you so much for your help.

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Oct 2019

How Do Lengthy Employment Secondments Away From Hong Kong Impact on Continuity of Ordinary Residence for a Right of Abode Application After 7 Years?

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / 2 responses

First Published December 4, 2013

What do the Hong Kong Immigration Department make of lengthy, albeit temporary, secondments away from the HKSAR in pursuit of your employer’s business interests overseas?


Thank you for the Hong Kong Visa Handbook, which advises applicants for Right of Abode to be mindful of a 6 months plus absence from Hong Kong. 

I would be grateful if you could advise on following Questions A and B. 

I work as a Change Consultant for the Hong Kong office of a British firm and have been on secondment inside a client in Korea since October 2011. 

Based on the facts set forth below, (Question A) do you think it matters for my Right of Abode application whether or not I make a quick trip to Hong Kong during December 2013 prior to my permanent return to Hong Kong during first week of February 2014 when my secondment ends, and (Question B) based on your experience, do I have a reasonable chance of gaining Right of Abode when applying end of 2014? 

(i) I’ve been based in the Hong Kong office of my firm since end of Dec 2007 (such that I would have been based in the HKSAR for 7 years in Dec 2014).  My Hong Kong work visas have covered all periods with no gaps since Dec 2007 to present.  I have filed HK tax forms every year.  

(ii) I was sent in end of Oct 2011 from the Hong Kong office to be seconded inside a client in Korea for one year.  I received a Korean work visa for my secondment.  In Oct 2012, by request of the client, my secondment was extended to April 2013.  In April 2013, by request of the client, my secondment was extended to end of January 2014.  The secondment and each extension is documented by contract with the client. 

 (iii) Since Oct 2011 when I was sent to Seoul, I maintained my Hong Kong apartment lease (under my name) until August 2013; since then I moved to another apartment for which the lease is under a friend’s name.  Since Oct 2011, I have visited Hong Kong around twice every 6 months (each time for a day or weekend, to take care of errands in HK).  I also flew to Hong Kong in November 2012 to take certain Hong Kong vocational examinations (which I passed). These examinations are critical  (by law) to me being able to undertake certain specialist work in the HKSAR.

(iv) The last time I was in Hong Kong is mid-August 2013, and six months from that is mid-February 2014.

Again, I would be most grateful if you have any thoughts about my Questions A and B above.

Many Thanks.

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Oct 2019

Can I Apply for Right of Abode if My Employment Visa Expires on the Exact 7 Year Anniversary of My Residence in Hong Kong But I Have No Job on That Date?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / 3 responses

First Published June 4, 2103

Do you need to be employed on the date that your 7 year anniversary of your residence in Hong Kong comes up which then allows you apply for the right of abode with the wrinkle that your current employment visa expires on exactly the same date?


I started working in Hong Kong with a working visa on 21st of April 2007.

Since then I have been continuously in Hong Kong, but have been made redundant this year.

My current working visa will expire on the 21st of April 2014.

Since I do not have a job, I will not get a new visa, so that day I will also have to leave Hong Kong.

My question: can I apply for the permanent residency on 25th of  April 2014 (as I have been at least 7 years now in Hong Kong, continuously, and I have decided to make it my home) and then leave Hong Kong and come back on a tourist visa while waiting for the -hopefully- approval?

Or just wait abroad untill they contact me?  If not, what should I do to ensure that I at least qualify the requirements for application?

I love Hong Kong so much that it would be a shame to just lose the PR because of that small period I am missing.

Thanks a lot.

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