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Half Way Through the Process | Cancel One Hong Kong Employment Visa Application | Start A Second One Instead?

September 1st, 2023

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / 10 responses


Cancel One Hong Kong Employment Visa Application to Start a Second One?

It sometimes happens that 2 job offers emerge in quick succession and you prefer to accept the 2nd one but the visa application for the first one has already started …

Cancel One Hong Kong Employment Visa Application to Start a Second One

So What Happens In A Situation Like This?

Cancel one Hong Kong employment visa application to start a second one? The process of applying for a work visa in Hong Kong involves several steps and parties, including the employer, the Immigration Department, and the applicant. Here are some general considerations regarding your situation:

Withdrawal of Application

If your work visa application is still being processed, it is generally possible to withdraw it. You would need to inform both the company sponsoring you and the Immigration Department as soon as possible.

New Sponsor

If you decide to go with another job offer, the new company would have to start the visa application process from scratch. This would include submitting all the required documents and waiting for the application to be processed, which could take several weeks.

Time Factor

Keep in mind that withdrawing an application and then submitting a new one will likely extend the time it takes to secure a work visa. Make sure you have enough time left on your visitor visa to accommodate this.

Changing Employers Later

If your work visa has already been approved but not yet issued (i.e., you haven’t started working), changing employers becomes more complicated. You would generally need to go through the application process again with your new employer under a change of sponsorship application.

Legal Implications

Depending on your contract with the first company, withdrawing after a visa has been approved could have legal repercussions. Make sure to read your contract carefully and consult a legal advisor if necessary.

Communication is Key

Regardless of the stage you’re at, communication with both your current and potential future employer is crucial. Make sure they are both aware of the situation and are willing to cooperate.


I am currently in Hong Kong and about to sign a contract with a company that will sponsor my work visa since I came here basically to be with my boyfriend. However, there might still be a chance to get an opportunity with another job I have been waiting for an answer from. My question is if it is possible to interrupt the visa processing and change it to another company before it’s issued.

I would really appreciate your advice.

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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.

  • Ray

    23 Nov 2023 am30 11:47am

    Hello, my work visa has already been approved but not yet issued and what happens when other company newly submits my work visa application to immigration department?
    The field of business and position are same, and I want to go with the second company so I’m not going to work with the first company. Is it better to write an email to immigration department for enquiry on withdrawal of frist approved visa applicaiton

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 Nov 2023 am30 10:33am

      You need to withdraw the first application, wait about a week, then submit the new application.

  • LT

    5 Nov 2022 am30 8:23am

    Hello,my problem is,,I finished contract and renew my employer..After I sign my contract and my employer process all application and visa has been approved can I cancel and back out?my end of contract will be on Dec but all application will be done Nov.what happen if I cancel all application and find another employer?Does immigration department issue me a new visa for new employer?thank you for response

    • The Visa Geeza

      5 Nov 2022 am30 10:36am

      I’ma sorry we have no competency in FDH visas – this is why there is nu such content on our websites.

  • Jenny

    3 Dec 2020 am31 12:15am

    What happens when the immigration department already approve your right to work with a company, and you decided to go with the other company?

    For example, I have received approval to work with company A from immigration department 3 weeks from now, but I got a new offer now with another company which I want to go for.

  • Murray

    16 Sep 2019 pm30 10:43pm

    Many thanks for the helpful answer. Does the above also apply where I’m trying to transfer my visa from one HK employer to another? (ie, I’m already working in HK under work visa as opposed to applying for a visa first-time)

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Sep 2019 am30 10:16am

      You can only have on active application ongoing at the same time.

  • Stephen

    22 Apr 2019 pm30 8:00pm

    This covers a question I recently asked also – thank you. With regards to writing to withdraw the application already in process before lodging a new one, is it me at the ‘new’ employee or the ’employer’ that does this? Once the request to withdraw has been sent what is the turnaround time to this being acknowledged and how are we informed? While we await confirmation is it safe to go ahead and lodge the new application? In my situation I have decided to stay with my current employer and move to HK from the U.S. (I am a Brit FYI).

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Apr 2019 am30 11:25am

      It’s YOUR visa so you should drive the bus. It takes ImmD c 10 days to acknowledge withdrawal in writing. You can file the next application about a week after you withdraw. Should be enough time for ImmD to update their records and open the door to any new application.


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