Hong Kong Visas Made Easy


Apr 2020

Hong Kong Working Visas – Is it Possible to Build a New Business Here Relying Solely on Highly Specialist Foreign National Skills and Talent?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 5 responses

Hong Kong working visas – what would the Hong Kong Immigration Department make of  a new, highly specialised business who’s fundamental ability to exist was driven by the need to import unique foreign national skills and talent?



Hi Steve, two questions really (the 2nd one stemming from me hearing you on RTHK Radio 3 earlier this week).

First, I’ve recently set up my own business in a specialised area (Wildlife Management Consultancy) and have been getting requests by post grads that I’ve lectured to working in this field who are from abroad as to whether there are any intern slots available.

I’ll need some help in developing the business and wondered whether there was a particular working visa that could satisfy this visa query?

I looked on  the Immigration Department website and nothing sprung to mind.

Secondly, I heard you talking about difficulties in F&B getting professional status for potential employees (normally only chefs).

If I’m to grow the business I need help & there are some people I’d like to approach who have very particular set of skills (habitat conservation, species migration, specialist animal handling skills, etc) that I would want them to have.

Supposing I could offer a position to that special somebody, is there a working visa that this person could get?

If I only can rely on Hong Kong employees I can’t see the business model working.

More Stuff You Might Find Interesting or Useful

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Can a Hong Kong training visa be used as a stepping stone to a full employment visa?

New graduate management trainee position – can you get a Hong Kong employment visa to take up this role?

How do you go about changing your Hong Kong working visa sponsorship down at Immigration Tower?


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Apr 2020

How Hard is it to Transfer From a Hong Kong Working Holiday Visa to a Full Employment Visa?

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

You know how it is… you arrive in Hong Kong for a year of fun and adventure and then you want to stay…



Hi there!

I’m an Australian citizen in Hong Kong, working under a working holiday visa which only permits me to work 3 months per employer.

Is the only way around this to be sponsored by my employer or can I transfer to another visa?

I presume it’s quite expensive and tricky to be sponsored for an employment visa by a company – is that true?

Thanks in advance for your help! 

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

Is the Travel Pass as good as a Hong Kong working visa?

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Eligibility criteria for the Hong Kong working holiday visa

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Am I allowed to work full time in Hong Kong even though I only have a one year working holiday visa?


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Apr 2020

Can a Non-Graduate Get a Hong Kong Work Visa to Work as a Language Teacher?

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

Hong Kong  work visa to work as a language teacher but no degree?


The challenge of securing a Hong Kong work visa for language teachers is rife with contradictions. This question speak to what might work in the very unusual set of circumstances posed.


“Hi, one of my friends has just recommended you guys to me so I decided to write about my case to see if there is something I can do. First of all, here’s a bit of information on my current situation.

I came to HK approx. 2 years ago to continue my studies. I got into university and studied for 18 months (the student visa was not a problem at all), then for some strong reasons I had to withdraw from university. That was almost six months ago. Then, I went back to my home country and came back. Since then I have been living with my boyfriend in HK and I’ve been trying to get a job. but even that I have got some offers none of the companies have been able to get me a working permit. I’d like to point out that I had to travel outside HK a couple times to renew my tourist visa.

I recently had an offer to teach French at a small learning centre which just opened around 7 months ago. I got plenty of experience teaching but I don’t have a certificate or relevant studies on this matter. Although, I studied a higher diploma and I got a couple of university certificates, one in Computer Studies (2nd year – Hong kong) and also I studied Business management (3rd year – Montreal).

Long story short, I would like to work in HK for some time and then get back to school. What could you recommend me in this case? Do you think there is a chance for me to get the visa permit for this job? The centre does not know the procedures to follow in a case like this. I hope you can help me to get this through.


Related Post Referenced in the PodCast 

The seven things an employer needs to know about getting a Hong Kong employment visa for foreign national staff

More Stuff to Help You Along

What happens if you inadvertently breach your conditions of stay by taking up an unauthorized employment in Hong Kong without first applying for a change of sponsorship?

The perils of contriving a job offer just for the purposes of a Hong Kong employment visa application

100% visa application success rate? Take it all with a pinch of salt

Is it better to apply for your visa before or after you relocate to Hong Kong?


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Apr 2020

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Apr 2020

Will A Domestic Dispute With Police Attending Compromise Your Present or Future Hong Kong Immigration Status?

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

Never has this question has been posed in this way previously so I am grateful to receive it…



Great website! I hope this reaches you well.

I’m writing on behalf of my partner, who has been in Hong Kong for over 6 years. He’s coming up to his 7th year of continuous residency, and he hopes to apply for the right of abode next year.

He has a great reputation at work, employed at a well known institution, and has always paid his taxes on time. He’s the perfect candidate for permanent residency, and has worked hard to get here.

The problem is that we recently had a bit of trouble with the police. It was a minor domestic issue, we had a fight that got out of control, and the police were called in. No charges were made, but there’s definitely a record of the incident in the police files.

It’s extremely regrettable, and after the dust settled I realized that this may have adverse effects on his future visa applications.

Do you think this jeopardizes his application?

Could he have his application denied because of this?

I’ve considered going to the police to explain the situation and ask to remove or at least mitigate the record, if possible. 

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STOP PRESS…! Hitler’s HKSAR passport application has just been refused!


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Apr 2020

I Run an Internet Company Based Out of Hong Kong But Choose to Spend Most of My Time Away – Can I Get Permanent Residency in Hong Kong After 7 Years?

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

First Published July 9, 2016

The modern, connected economy throws up myriad ways for people to organize their lives and business affairs and, as can be seen from this great question, how might ImmD respond to an application for the Right of Abode where an internet entrepreneur bases himself here with his family but they choose to spend a considerable amount of time elsewhere?



Hi Stephen – I just stumbled across your website and found it to be quite informative, especially regarding the Hong Kong Right of Abode Application – Arguing Away Missing Periods of Residence.

It seems to fit my facts quite similarly.

My wife and I first arrived here in April of 2011. I was on a working visa but in some ways it was similar to an investor visa. I have always been an online internet entrepreneur, opening, running and closing dozens of online businesses. They have always been run from an offshore “haven” location where essentially there is no need to maintain books or file annual tax returns.

As my citizenships don’t require me to pay taxes on worldwide income and as I had been essentially a resident of nowhere, basically a perpetual tourist for the past many years, I haven’t really had to settle down in any way.

So, in early 2011, upon hearing from me that I wanted to move to and settle into Hong Kong, my lawyer arranged for my offshore company to buy a defunct Hong Kong company and then have that Hong Kong company sponsor me for an employment based visa in Hong Kong.

That all seemed to work quite smoothly and I was in HK in just a few months from start to finish.

Since arriving in Hong Kong with my non-Hong Kong wife in early 2011, we have recently had a baby. The problem is that we like Hong Kong and have made it our primary home, renting a nice flat, sponsoring a live-in DH, moved our bank accounts here, receive all of our mail here, pay our salaries annual taxes here, I own the business here, pay its fees, rent an office, pay the business profits taxes, etc., etc. – basically spend a lot of money in Hong Kong for all of these things to put up the appearance of being a full-time resident.

But, we really don’t like spending all of our time in Hong Kong. We have homes in several other countries, whether our own or family homes, and I really don’t need to be in any one location in Hong Kong or anywhere to run my business affairs.

Until our children are required to be in school for 8-9 months of the year, I’d prefer to keep traveling.

My work is all done via laptop and cell phone. Arguably I could say that some of this travel is necessary for work, as I do meet or host clients from time to time, but maybe 1/3 at the very most and I don’t keep receipts or claim them as business expenses. 

The only employees of the Hong Kong subsidiary are me and two admins, and they really only take care of Hong Kong affairs and little else. We do like spending some time in Hong Kong, maybe a few months per year in total, but spend the rest of our time on holiday, as much as 9-10 months of the year. I hope to continue this pattern until we have reached the 7 year mark in early 2018, at which time I’d like to apply for and hopefully receive our permanent residency.

And, despite what may seem like lack of ties to Hong Kong, we have by far much more attachments to Hong Kong than anywhere else in the world  , though my wife and I are each dual nationals of two different countries (4 passports between the both of us) so we certainly would call Hong Kong home above all else.

Would this pattern jeopardize our permanent residency application? It would be precisely at this time, when 7 years will have been reached that we’ll finally be forced to settled down and set our oldest child into primary school and we would plan to do so in Hong Kong.

I do want to ultimately obtain PR status, but also want to spend most of my time until that time traveling abroad. I’d like to find out now rather than later, for if I am wasting my time with this and there is a chance my PR application would be rejected, I’d just as well give up the HK office, the HK business, the 2 admins, the rented flat, the DH, basically all of it, move everything back offshore and rent a suite at the four seasons for the 2 months of the year that I might actually be in Hong Kong, for it would be a LOT cheaper.

So, am I wasting my money continuing this charade for many more years or will it all work out in the end as long as I maintain all of the things that tie us to Hong Kong?

So, can I get Permanent Residency in Hong Kong?

First Published in 2013

More Stuff You May Find Useful

Will a break in continuous employment mean a break in continuous residence for the purposes of a Hong Kong right of abode application?

Hong Kong right of abode application – consider your strategy and plan early

Time spent outside of Hong Kong with work – the impact on your eligibility for permanent residency

Work in Hong Kong for 5 years – leave for 2 – will I lose my continuous residence for PR purposes?

10 Must Have resources for a successful Hong Kong right of abode application


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Apr 2020

Should I Change My Hong Kong Visa Category From Sponsored Employment to Business Investment or Seek Permission to Join in a Side Business Instead?

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

Change my Hong Kong visa? This question is less either / or from an immigration perspective but more an issue of full time entrepreneur or not…



Hi Stephen,

I am currently already on an employment visa (valid for two more years) and would like to start my own company too.

My current employer is supportive.

 1) I understand I can’t work for my own company as of now and i need to submit a letter to ImmD.

Is it better that I submit a letter to ask permission to work for my own company (that I will setup) or should I go in for a transfer of sponsorship.

Are the processes of  ImmD significantly different for the two above – light versus heavy ?

The main benefit of a transfer of sponsorship will be to bring in my dependant wife next year after planned marriage (as compared to being exposed to getting fired at the current place).

2) In either of cases above, shall I be able to issue invoice and bill clients as soon as my company and payment system is setup?

Kindly let me know your views.

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

Join in a side business or change visa category to full investment visa – which is better?

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The immigration considerations when starting a business in Hong Kong

Can an offshore company sponsor a Hong Kong employment or business investment visa?


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