Hong Kong Visas Made Easy

21

Jul 2019

I Have Lived in Hong Kong for 5 Years. Can I Extend My Work Visa for 2 Years, Quit My Job, Study Full-Time, then Apply for RoA?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / 8 responses

First Published October 9, 2012

Whilst the implementation of Hong Kong immigration policy is essentially very flexible, as an employment visa holder, until you have gone on to receive the right of abode (RoA) or unconditional stay after seven years continuous ordinary residence, your permissions to remain in Hong Kong are governed very tightly. I am grateful to this questioner for providing an opportunity to have a discussion about ‘strategic immigration status management’ through to the point where it is possible to make an application for permanent residency in the HKSAR.

QUESTION

“Thanks for being so helpful, your posts are very useful. I have 2 questions:

 1) If my visa is expiring in 31 April 2013 and the company extends it 15 March 2013 which gets approved (before the original visas expiry date, i.e. approval on 30 March 2013) to extend until April 2015 – what happens if I quit before the original visa’s expiry date (but my extension has already been approved)? Am I allowed to stay in HK until 2015?

 2) If my visa is expiring 31 April 2015, and I decide to quit, can I apply for university courses or a degree course on the employment visa that I am on or do I need to re-apply for a student visa (end date of the course does not surpass the visa expiration date)?

Does this educational period count towards Right of Abode?”

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

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Employment ended? What visa options do you have to stay in Hong Kong for another 2 years to get your permanent residency?

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18

Jul 2019

Why There’s no Such Thing as Migrating to Hong Kong But Rather, It’s All About Your Rationale

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

Question:

Hi there,

I am interested in migrating to Hong Kong, wasn’t sure what is the best route – getting employment take times, and I wonder what might be the alternative. I am going to open a domain company but not sure if that works.

I need some help to explore some of options but I notice your fee structure is based on specific visa type. Since I wasn’t even sure what approach I should take, I am particularly sure to approach this with your company.

Any advice would be appreciated, including the exploration of skilled talent immigration.

Also can you share with me what are the different level means and what is the differentiator of each service level?

Thanks

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15

Jul 2019

Long Term Business Visit to Hong Kong – Do I Need an Employment Visa?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 2 responses

Business visit to Hong Kong? With Hong Kong having such a liberal visa-upon-arrival regime (with more than 160 nationalities being granted permission to visit for between 7 and 180 days – depending on which passport you carry), it is understandable that there is confusion as to what is permitted activity if you are a ‘business visitor’ in the HKSAR.

This question provides an opportunity to get to the heart of this issue once and for all.

QUESTION

“Hi, Your websites are really informative. Thanks for making all this information available for free. I do have one question which I would like to have an answer for though.

I co-own and manage a small company in the UK (6 staff altogether) and we do a lot of business with one company in Hong Kong especially. Due to a contract we have just signed, I need to transfer myself to HK for up to one year in total, although I will probably travel to and from the UK several times in that period. I am trying to understand if I need to get an employment visa for Hong Kong. My business will carry on as normal in the UK (my brother and I run it together) but for all practical purposes I will be based out of Hong Kong for those 12 months.

Any advice you can offer would be really appreciated. Thank you!”

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13

Jul 2019

Can I Come to Hong Kong as Visitor, Find a Job, Then Change to an Employment Visa?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 9 responses

First Published June 20, 2012

Down the years a great many foreign nationals arrive in Hong Kong as visitors ‘on spec’ and are able to successfully change their immigration status in order for them to take up employment when a job offer manifests itself here. This question discusses this very issue and provides the answer that a lot of people are asking about.

QUESTION

“Hi Stephen, 

Thanks for getting back to me on Twitter (@xxxxxx).

Basically, my partner has been offered a teaching post, to commence mid-August 2012, so she should be able to get her visa fine.

We are engaged but weren’t planning on getting married any time soon.

I am currently a Senior HR Manager in the US and would like to pick up the same job in Hong Kong, however I will have to enter on a visitors visa and I am worried about being seen looking for recruitment as I know they don’t like it.

If I do this, what happens if I get a job offer?

Can I leave to Macau to then come back into the country?”

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PODCAST ANSWER
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11

Jul 2019

My Employment Visa Has Been Refused – What Can I Do Now?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Refusals & Appeals, Your Question Answered / 4 responses

My employment visa has been refused …. We have been contacted a lot recently by applicants who’s cases have been refused  – so this question is both timely and, for all those affected, of great significance.

QUESTION

“I would like to know if, once  I have received the first rejection letter from an Officer of the HKID for my employment visa application, I can either:

i) file Reconsideration and if still rejected,

ii) then file S53 Review, or

iii) make direct application to the Chief Executive after second rejection?”

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Hong Kong Visa Handbook – Refusals &  Appeals

Appeal options available

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09

Jul 2019

Joining in a Side Business in Hong Kong – An Obvious Visa Solution for Certain Types of Employed Professionals

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Investment Visas, Your Question Answered / 2 responses

First Published August 2, 2012

Thinking about joining in a side business in Hong Kong? Certain foreign national professionals who teach in Hong Kong, especially those at university, often find themselves wishing to participate in their profession whilst educating others. The question is begged as to how they can, from a visa and immigration perspective, go about doing this.

QUESTION

“Hi there.

I’m hoping to discuss gaining a Hong Kong work permit, if possible. My situation is as folllows:

I’ve just arrived in Hong Kong to work. I have a 1-year contract to teach complementary medicine at a university in Hong Kong and who have sponsored my work visa too. This contract may well be open to renewal each year (though it’s not a rolling contract): my department boss informally/verbally indicated that, subject to basic performance requirements, there’d be no reason why it wouldn’t be renewed.

However, besides teaching, I’m also a qualified Reiki practitioner, and this is why I seek advice.

I would like to be able to practice Reiki in Hong Kong, and ultimately for Reiki to become my main or only work here, perhaps alongside some teaching too.

However, as my work visa for this year has been sponsored by the university specifically to teach for them, both they and the Hong Kong Immigration Department would, I understand, need to give me permission to do this work (ie to join an existing clinic or, ultimately, set up my own clinic, have a work permit from the Immigration Department to do so, pay taxes on this work, etc). This current work visa expires in June, 2013.

I have already approached a clinic, and they are willing to take me on, though they also know that I still have the Immigration Department hurdle to deal with.

So my questions are: 

(1) Could you advise what the most efficient and effective way would be for me to be able to practice Reiki legally, both as soon as possible and for the long term, whilst also keeping open the possibility in future of teaching in Hong Kong as another money-earning activity?

(2) Should I set up my own company in Hong Kong as a vehicle for my activities here?

(3) Also, may I ask how long the process might take from now to the end? (I ask because the clinic that wants to take me is waiting).

With thanks and kind regards.”

ANSWER

Thanks for your engaging question. Essentially, these are your choices as I see them at this time:

Option One: You secure the consent of the university for you to join in a side business in Hong Kong practicing Reiki with the clinic as an independant contractor. You’d have to register yourself as a Sole Proprietor (as a minimum) with the Inland Revenue Department and secure a Business Registration Certificate to this end AND make an argument with the Hong Kong Immigration Department (“HKID”) as to why this would be beneficial to the HKSAR.

Please refer the section on Joining in a Side Business on this presentation  from the Hong Kong Visa Handbook (flash).

You can expect this process to take between 6 and 8 weeks to complete.

Option Two You cease working for the university and start working for the clinic as a full time, sponsored employee, with the clinic sponsoring you for full time employment visa permissions. You’d have to make a change of sponsorship application and argue with the HKID that you possess special skills knowledge or experience of value to and not readily available in Hong Kong. As, from my understanding, Reiki is an ‘alternative’ therapy, you should not assume that the HKID will immediately recognize Reiki’s bona fides but in the final analysis it’s all about the argument in the context of the offer of employment on the table and the sophistication of your proposed employer.

Please refer to the Employment Visa Information document in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook which sets out the the criteria the HKID will apply to such an application.

Time to finalisation of such an application will be in the region of 4-6 weeks after all the information the Immigration Department have requested has been supplied to allow them to consider and decide on your application.

Option ThreeYou cease working for the university and go into business for yourself. You would need to apply for a business investment visa. Not an easy challenge as you would for certain have to open clinic premises and anticipate the recruitment of at least one local staff. You would still have the challenge of arguing the bona fides of Reiki as a therapy and go about educating the Immigration Department to this end. You’d need to have a reserve of cash at your disposal to undergo the act of ‘investment’ for the purposes of the approvability test for this visa.

Please refer to the various presentations on the Hong Kong Investment Visa elsewhere in this Blog found here.

A business investment visa normally takes 12-16 weeks to finalise, from beginning to end.

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07

Jul 2019

Can I Come to Install Equipment in Hong Kong Without an Employment Visa?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 9 responses

Can I Come & Install Equipment in Hong Kong Without an Employment Visa.?

Permitted activity under the Visitor visa category seems to be something of a grey area and in the final analysis it all boils down to the attitude of the Immigration Department for a breach of conditions of stay. However, some activities are self-evidently ‘employment‘ in nature and the answer to this questions addresses it squarely.

QUESTION

“Hello,

I work for a German company involved in the pharmaceuticals industry and I am traveling to Hong Kong for work related reasons (installing equipment) and wondering if I require a work visa?

Every place I look, it says ‘to take up employment’. If I work for a German company, do I need a visa to do business with another company there? Such as have a meeting? I will only be there for one week.”

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