New Content Daily Sign Up Here


Checking the Status of Your Hong Kong Visa Application On-Line…..Yeah Right!

April 21st, 2019

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Investment Visas, Musing, Special Programmes / 102 responses


If you’ve made an application for a residence visa here, the Hong Kong Immigration Department provide you with a website URL and login credentials so that you can ‘track’ the progress of your case as it travels its way through the visa labyrinth that is the Immigration Tower.

So goes the theory anyway.

In fact, the experience is a lot more sombre than that.

The journey begins with the Official Receipt for your application which arrives via mail between 7-10 days after you have filed your application.

This snail mail communication invites you to go to which, once visited, takes you through a couple of  other pages/disclaimer options before you get to the meat and potatoes of the experience.

Then you input your official Reference Number.

Then the date of birth of the applicant.

The Eldorado that awaits you is one of three status updates:

In progress (= wait some more, we’re still working on it).

Approved (= congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of Hong Kong residency).

Application closed (= your application has been approved and you’ve already collected your visa label OR  you’ve been refused – for one reason or another – but we haven’t got around to informing you yet).

Of course, this is about all you might expect of this process. It is the government after all.

But given that approvals tend to be faxed out the same day they are finalised, the only 2 things you can expect to learn from the system is that ImmD are still working on the file (which you already knew anyway) or that a visa is not coming your way after all (a bit of shock, no doubt – a bit like learning a loved one has died in a ski-ing accident when you turn on the news).

In fact, this post was prompted by an email exchange I had with a visitor to this Blog just last weekend.


“I have checked the visa status. Previously it showed as “In progress”. Now it is showing as “Application closed”. Can you tell me what does it mean? Please respond to it ASAP.”


It means the case is either cancelled by ImmD due to lack of response on the part of the applicant, or it has been refused. It does not mean it is approved (unless you have already collected your visa label but in that case you wouldn’t be posing this question of course…).


“I have applied for a Hong Kong long term business visa but it was refused. Can I reapply for the same as it is very important for me to travel. My company is applying on behalf of me where I am going to be working.”


You need to apply for a Reconsideration. More information here. Good luck in your appeal.


This happened on a Saturday so this poor soul had his weekend ruined by the system.

Of course, he was destined to learn the outcome one way or t’other but you can’t but help conclude from the way that the online status check system is designed that the rationale for this ‘service’ is just to keep applicants from calling their Case Officers to find out if there’s any progress on their cases.

In fact, we hardly ever use the online status update service.

It’s barely any use at all and not worth the time it takes to log-in.

More Stuff You May Find Interesting

Getting a working visa is just a matter of filling in the forms – right?

The Hong Kong Immigration Department are out to refuse – not approve – visa applications (aren’t they?)

The Hong Kong Immigration Department official video – 10 minutes of ‘why bother’?

The Hong Kong Immigration Department – what an efficient organisation they really are!

The 10 key reasons why foreigners seek to live and work in Hong Kong


Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

  • Sid

    28 Nov 2023 pm30 8:07pm

    Hi . ive been direct hired by a company in hongkong and passed all the needed requirement last May but until now the company that hire me said that the Visa application is still on process. Does it really take that long? base on my research it’s only take 4-8weeks. Thanks for the answer

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Dec 2023 am31 11:00am

      Should not take so long.

  • kma

    12 Nov 2023 pm30 11:44pm

    The reason of getting the visa was attending a fair which was on October. Before a couple of day, the ImmD asking for other docs!!, shall I send the requested docs? And if so do u think that they’ll grant the visa although the fair is finished? And in case not provide them, do u think it’ll affect future visa? Thank u for ur cooperation

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Nov 2023 am30 11:00am

      I doubt they’ll grant the visa if the main reaos was the fair. If you’tr not coming after all better to withdraw the application and try again next time but in good time to get the visa.

      • kma

        15 Nov 2023 pm30 5:38pm

        thank u 4 ur advise and I appreciate it, but when u say (withdraw the application) u mean not responding to their email and leave the current application with no reply and do nothing?

        • The Visa Geeza

          16 Nov 2023 am30 10:53am

          No. Write to ImmD and formally withdraw the application stating that you no longer wish to pursue it.

          • kma

            16 Nov 2023 pm30 4:05pm

            again thank u 4 ur advise and I appreciate it ..

  • some1

    19 Oct 2023 am31 1:39am

    boss i have applied for the visa, and since 10 days it is still In progress, is it normal to take this time? and once approved what is the next step? because i am applying to attend a fair there and want to prepare the ticket and hotel.. rgd

    • The Visa Geeza

      21 Oct 2023 am31 9:41am

      it will take 4-6 weeks.

  • H

    5 Sep 2023 pm30 3:05pm

    Hi, I sponsored my friend and applied for his HK visit visa on 4 August 2023 and it has not been done yet till now. its been more than 4 weeks but I haven’t received an acknowledgment letter. Could u please tell me what should I do? Why it’s taking longer

    • The Visa Geeza

      5 Sep 2023 pm30 4:26pm

      It’s a 6 week application process. I have no idea why you haven’t had a receipt. Suggest you visit ImmD after 6 weeks if no news before then.

      • H

        12 Sep 2023 am30 9:02am

        Could you please help me out, on which floor I should go? and I don’t have a reference number, how can I ask?

        • The Visa Geeza

          13 Sep 2023 pm30 4:23pm

          Name and passport number of the applicant. Date of submission. Start your enquiry on the 2/F general enquiry section and then ask them how to proceed

          • H

            18 Sep 2023 am30 11:58am

            Today is week 6th, but acknowledgement letter, I emailed them but no one replied yet. I will go there directly

            could you please let me know how to find agent or lawyer to help, how much will be there fee?

          • The Visa Geeza

            19 Sep 2023 pm30 2:02pm

            At this stage save your money. Just visit ImmD and ask them if they have everything they need to work efficiently on your file.

  • Sajid Mahmoud

    4 Sep 2022 am30 3:23am

    I can’t check my visa status when I check show me this ..
    E-1002: Record not found. Possible causes:
    1. The application reference number is invalid.
    2. The application is not supported by Application Status Enquiry.
    3. The application has been closed or finalized for 1 month.
    4. The application status has not yet been updated (application status to be updated daily at 8am).What is mean plz tell me

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Sep 2022 am30 11:07am

      No idea – we’re not experts on ImmD’s BETA on line system. You need to contact ImmD directly.

  • Hnin

    31 Aug 2021 pm31 11:54pm

    Hi I have applied my HK work visa from mid of June, 2021 and it has not been done yet till now. Although the immigration got back to us and asked more documents twice. It’s been more than 2 months since then. May I ask how long it will take again to proceed to get it done?

    • The Visa Geeza

      5 Sep 2021 pm30 2:24pm

      No idea. Unless I see all the papers I can’t ascertain what the delay could be.

  • Sam

    27 Jul 2021 pm31 9:54pm

    Hello sir/madam,

    My study visa is under process by HKID, I received acknowledgment letter on 15th July.
    Six weeks to get visa are start after getting the acknowledgment letter or they start when j submit my application?

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Aug 2021 pm31 4:19pm

      Date of acknowledgment letter (generally).

  • MM

    24 Feb 2021 am28 2:09am

    Hi there,

    Singaporean who is moving over to HK. My company submitted the visa application but surprisingly (or not) was not given the reference number. This seems really odd and tracking through the courier shows that the necessary documents were received by ImmD in Wan Chai. Am I an anomaly or has my application made it to the trash?

    Funny thing though, the documents were sent via DHL on the 18th, took 2 delivery attempts before they were delivered on the 28th of Jan. Wondering what went wrong here. My partner and sibling are based in HK, wondering if I should enlist their help by heading down to the Immigration Dept in Wan Chai. Email and phone calls have led no where.

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Feb 2021 pm28 12:14pm

      ImmD are still getting back to normal. A reference number is not issued upon submission when you’re not yet a HK resident. The official receipt and file reference number usually takes about 10 days to be dispatched – usually to the employer if they have indicated on the application forms that they are the point of contact for the case. You can always send someone to the 24/F ImmD Tower to ‘chase up’ but I would wait at least 5 weeks from the date of submission to do this.

    • singaporean

      26 Feb 2022 pm28 10:02pm

      Hi MM, can i check if you have managed to resolve the issue thereafter? Am facing the exact same issue, have submitted by post twice and have not received any acknowledgement at all. Emails and phone calls have no results.

      • The Visa Geeza

        1 Mar 2022 am31 10:07am

        Under the ImmD WFH arrangements at present it’s the same for everyone. Chaotic to say the least.

  • Sun

    23 Feb 2021 pm28 11:25pm

    I have applied for Eligibility of Permanent HKID card and now I can see a status “Processing of application completed and reply letter sent”. Does this mean it’s rejected? I know I can just wait for the reply letter, but the suspense is killing me.

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Feb 2021 pm28 12:15pm

      No. ImmD always write their decisions when it comes to PR application so you cannot read anything into their online status update.

  • Anne

    25 Oct 2020 pm31 10:52pm

    It is written that “The journey begins with the Official Receipt for your application which arrives via mail between 7-10 days after you have filed your application”.
    1) Does it mean that when ImmD receives by mail the documents , the processing of these documents starts only after 7-10 days?
    2) Are these 7-10 days included in the total time of the processing? Or 7-10 days plus processing time?

  • Marine

    4 Oct 2020 pm31 4:04pm


    I applied for a Dependant visa 3 weeks ago.
    I currently have a working visa valid until end of December (but not working with my company anymore).
    I today went on the status check online website and it was written « application closed ».
    Does it means it is denied?
    We got married (both French) in HK 5 months ago and we’ve been together since 12 years (I even added pictures from us from 2008 until today to prove our relationship).
    I haven’t received any letters yet from the Immigration Department.
    Thanks for your help 🙂

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2020 am31 11:21am

      I would go and visit ImmD to find out what’s going on.

  • William

    29 Aug 2020 pm31 11:58pm


    I had applied for employment visa(GEP). After 2 months of processing status shows APPLICATION REFUSED.
    All the required documents were submitted to the Immigration Office.
    How to clarify with Immgrattion department to provide me a reason WHY reject?
    Will you please guide me on this.

  • Madalayne Rockarts

    5 Aug 2019 am31 9:59am


    I have applied for a student visa through the city university of Hong Kong, however the visa is going to be mailed to me as I am in Canada. I checked my visa status a few days ago and it said approved, now it is says the application is closed. What does this mean? Is there an issue? I am asking because I see you said that it is only closed if you have collected the visa or it is denied, but I have not collected it nor was it denied (as it said approved before)

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Aug 2019 pm31 12:58pm

      You need to authoress someone in HK to collect it for you.

    • faham

      7 Sep 2019 am30 9:47am

      They will sent stickers through HONG KONG POST.
      It took around 7 to 8 days to get that at you given address.

  • Anil

    12 Jul 2019 pm31 2:25pm

    How visa label will come via post or email

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Jul 2019 am31 10:33am

      Post but you need to check with your officer as normally the labels are collected by someone in HK.

  • Anil

    12 Jul 2019 pm31 2:21pm

    Hi i am Anilkumar,M i applied for QMAS visa i got refernce number on 8th april ,
    how long its take time to get second letter.

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Jul 2019 am31 10:34am

      2-4 months.

  • may

    27 Jun 2019 pm30 10:05pm

    Immigration received my application for employee to visa on 4th June. On 26th June, they send a letter asking for more documents. Does it mean I have to wait another 4 weeks ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      2 Jul 2019 pm31 8:16pm

      It means you have to send more documents and after you submit them wait another 4 weeks.

      • may

        1 Aug 2019 pm31 6:51pm

        On 31st July they send another letter asking for more documents. So does it mean another 4 weeks upon submission.

        • The Visa Geeza

          2 Aug 2019 am31 10:04am

          Yes, potentially.

  • Hussain

    5 Jun 2019 pm30 3:06pm

    Hi, My university (CityU of HK) applied on behalf of me for the student Visa on April 10. The status has been changed to application approved on 24 May, today is june 5, but still same status (application approved). May I inquire how long it takes to get VISa after approval???

    • The Visa Geeza

      10 Jun 2019 am30 10:23am

      You have to arrange collection directly with ImmD.

  • Alex

    3 Jun 2019 pm30 3:28pm

    Hi, first of all, thank for the site. Maybe u can explain to me cuz you definitely have more experience than me.
    I put all my documents and my wife’s on April 5th. Today is the 3rd of June. It still says in progress. Working visa.
    How long it could take? Thank you!

  • Abdul rahamaan

    29 Apr 2019 pm30 1:59pm

    I have applied QMAS Visa and in got reference on 4th April. How long it will take to get my result?

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Apr 2019 pm30 4:11pm

      12 months.

  • Anil kumar K S

    28 Mar 2019 pm31 12:46pm


    My PAR was unsuccessful and had applied for the visitor visa and after one week of continuous(aggressive :D) mails to retrieve the application status, i received the reference number today. but when i tried to check the status on the application status inquiry page it is saying error with below details

    Record not found. Possible causes:
    1. The application reference number is invalid.
    2. The application is not supported by Application Status Enquiry.
    3. The application has been closed or finalized for 1 month. [504-E-1002]

    can you let me know what does this mean or should i contact them again and ask for the correct reference number.

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Mar 2019 am31 9:32am

      Contact ImmD.

  • RV

    26 Feb 2019 am28 10:05am

    My husband and I applied for our permanent ID verification on the same day online. A few days later we received the letters acknowledging receipt of the applications. A few weeks later, I received a letter asking for more documents (which I uploaded no problem). However, my husband never received a letter asking for more documents. I assumed he would need to submit his work stuff at least, and the declaration of taking HK as home (which is what I had to submit). Whille both applications still just say “In progress”, at this point, should he call and check? I’d hate for his application to be refused because the letter got lost, or went into the wrong mailbox?

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Feb 2019 am28 10:46am

      Could be lost. Call the officer and see if ImmD are missing anything.


    22 Oct 2018 am31 1:17am

    I have got my online visa status approved. So, does this mean I can collect my Visa from the immigration? I print out the status of my approval. But somepeople told me i have to wait for the official letter. What can I do please help me?

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Oct 2018 am31 9:20am

      You can print out the approval notice and collect against that

    • SMK

      17 Jan 2023 pm31 12:34pm

      Hi, how long did it took for your visa status to be approved?

  • heesh

    15 Jun 2018 pm30 11:50pm

    What if the visa labels did not receive on time due to postal strike?
    Can we proceed with the visa approval confirmation letter sent by Hong Kong immigration?

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Jun 2018 pm30 6:31pm

      No. Only the visa label is evidence of visa grant sufficient to warrant admission into HK

  • Youb Raj Saru

    19 May 2018 pm31 10:58pm

    I had applied for the Dependent VISA as my wife is a Hong Kong ID holder.Exactly after one month of processing status shows APPLICATION REFUSED.All the required documents were submitted to the Immigration Office.Will you please guide me on this.

    Thank You

  • Luke

    14 May 2018 pm31 5:27pm

    Hi. I’m currently on a work visa which will expire 30 June when I leave my employer. I have applied for the dependent visa, but can I start my new job whilst it is in progress?
    Thanks 🙂

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 May 2018 am31 9:01am

      No. You need to await the issue of your dependent visa before you become lawfully employable.

  • vidhi

    19 Apr 2018 pm30 1:59pm


    I applied for visa to HK for visiting for our exhibition
    The application was faxed & hard copy sent by DHL on 27th March 2018

    Now on checking the status on website using application Ref Number it says
    Record Not found. Possible Causes
    1. Application Reference number is Invalid . ( I checked again & it is entered correctly )
    2. The application is not supported by Application Status Enquiry
    3. The application has been closed or Finalized for 1 month [504-E-1002]

    Pls advise what this means & what is the exact status

  • MP

    3 Nov 2017 pm30 8:15pm


    Hong Kong pre arrival Registration

    Step 1: ok
    Step 2: ok
    Step 3: unsuccessful.

    how to know reason why it is unsuccessful. How to get it successful.?

    Nationality : INDIAN

  • Sameeksha

    30 Aug 2017 pm31 8:52pm

    Hi ,
    My PAR has shown unsuccessful so , I applied for the visa in the first week of august . I received the acknowledgement mail on 21 at of august . My travel date is 31 st of august and I haven’t yet got my Visa. I’m so worried .

    • The Visa Geeza

      31 Aug 2017 am31 10:25am

      Yes, you need a minimum of 4 weeks and more than likely 6.

  • Saru0608

    11 Jul 2017 pm31 12:11pm

    What is the current processing time for work visa? I am at 5 weeks and 5 days…. My anticipated commencement day at work has passed it.. I am native to Japan with over 10+ years of international experience in a specific industry. Any timeline for the recent approvals? Thank you in advance.

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Jul 2017 pm31 9:31pm

      Presently between 7 and 9 weeks depending on whether or not you have received a post submission request for further information from ImmD to enable continued processing of your application.

  • Kamala

    28 Jun 2017 pm30 12:50pm

    How long will it take time to change the status from progress to approved status…?

    • The Visa Geeza

      2 Jul 2017 pm31 6:29pm

      It depends on the visa type.

  • Mai Phuong Nam

    14 Jun 2017 am30 9:35am

    Dear Sir,

    We have submitted our visa application documents by post and the documents have reach the Hong Kong Immigration Department on 24th April and we follow strictly the Guidebook ID(E)1004. After that there was another 2 additional documents submission (as per your officer request) on 10th May (by post) and on 20th May (by email) to supplement and to clarify our visa application.
    Today is 14th June,it is only 2 weeks remaining to our departure for Hong Kong but the online status is still “in progress”. Do you have any idea how long before the departure for Hong Kong does the office usually issue the visa? My family really concern that we dont have enough time to get the visa label.

    Thank you so much for your big help in advance
    Mai Phuong Nam

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jun 2017 am30 10:38am

      Honestly have no idea. Best bet is to call the officer who is processing your application and enquire of him/her the time needed for application finalisation given your pending travel dates.

      • Mai Phuong Nam

        27 Jun 2017 pm30 6:07pm

        Dear Sir,
        I received the approval letter for my visit visa this morning and the letter said that the office will post the visa label to my address by airmail. My departure is on 30th June, only 2 days remaining to collect the visa labels. How long does it usually take to post the visa label to my address, I live in Vietnam. I am afraid that the visa would reach me overdue my departure date.
        Thank you so much,
        Mai Phuong Nam

        • The Visa Geeza

          28 Jun 2017 pm30 12:39pm

          Sorry I have no idea. This is really a question about postage times and not immigration. Best to call the officer detailed on your approval letter and ask him what he thinks.


    12 Feb 2017 pm28 2:32pm

    STEP 1 OK
    STEP 2 OK
    STEO 3 OK

    PASSPORT Z2093625


    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Feb 2017 pm28 7:46pm

      I’m sorry but WE ARE NOT the Hong Kong Immigration Department website.

  • kiran y.

    30 Jan 2017 am31 11:38am


    I had been applied for qmas visa it almost 3 months completed still it showing in progress status let me confirmed how much time it will take.

    • The Visa Geeza

      31 Jan 2017 pm31 8:30pm

      Up to 12 months.

  • Dr Junaid

    8 Dec 2016 pm31 7:38pm


    Recently Vlex Immigration services India have submitted my application for QMAS it has been more than 5 months the application status which it was showing online was in process but since three days it is showing as application closed. What does that mean? I havent received any information from Embassy neither from those immigration services consultants. I am trying to reach through emails to honk kong embassy to know my status for rejection or approval would you help me in this situation?

    • The Visa Geeza

      10 Dec 2016 pm31 12:29pm

      It means your case is denied.

  • Josephine Salem

    27 Oct 2016 pm31 9:36pm

    I was workingredients in HK as a Domestic Helper, but due to small misunderstanding to my employer they terminated my contrace and fortunetell I find a new Employer and signed the Contract they applied for mynew Visa and after three months I am coming to know that my application is Refused. Since last three months I am waiting Philippines expecting when visa will be approved. Now in this instance I lost already my three months and I don’t under what to do now. Please advise and help me if u can.


    • The Visa Geeza

      28 Oct 2016 pm31 3:54pm

      Hello – alas we have no competency in FDH visas and so am not really qualified to answer your question.

  • Rajesh harrish

    28 Jun 2016 am30 4:37am

    I Have applied for visa more than 6month ago under qmas is rejection and unsuccessful showing in progress . how time it will take please advice then why my visa is rejected plz give me reason.

    • The Visa Geeza

      30 Jun 2016 am30 8:03am

      No idea!

  • Hamad

    25 Jan 2016 pm31 8:05pm

    I have applied for Hong Kong visa a couple of weeks ago, at first the status were showing in progress, now when i checked it says application approved, does it means that my visa sticker have been issued?

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Jan 2016 am31 10:06am

      No – you should get an approval letter from ImmD with instructions on how to collect the visa label.

  • Rajesh Sharma

    11 May 2015 pm31 2:43pm

    I have applied for visa more than one years ago under qmas is still showing in progress . how time it will take please advice

    Rajesh sharma

    • The Visa Geeza

      12 May 2015 pm31 1:19pm

      Up to another 6 months. QMAS applications take a long time…


CommentLuv badge