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Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration Now Needed

March 5th, 2023

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Feature Article, Investment Visas, Refusals & Appeals, Sherpa, Special Programmes, VG Front Page / No responses


Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration

Applicable to New CIES Visas Too

Wider Applicability

Starting in February last year, the government announced that various immigration programmes in Hong Kong would be modified, requiring applicants to declare their criminal record status before obtaining an entry visa to come and live in the HKSAR (and not just those arriving for employment). With the recent launch of the New Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, this requirement has been extended to that programme too.

Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration

Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration

Updated March 5, 2024

Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration A Must

A Hong Kong work visas-criminal record declaration is now needed as the Immigration Department confirmed last week that changes would also be made to talent admission schemes, the General Employment Policy and basically every other soul seeking to come and live in Hong Kong for any reason!

In addition to Employment, Training and Entrepreneur visas, specific programmes impacted are:

Starting  June 19, 2023 all applicants for these programs will now have to disclose any criminal convictions during their application. This rounded up the arrangements which came into force in February for just some of the visa types.

This change follows the controversy surrounding He Jiakui, a Chinese scientist who was granted a visa under the Top Talent Pass Scheme despite his previous criminal record.

Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration – Spent Convictions?

Of course, the million dollar question right now is will the existence of a prior criminal conviction automatically disqualify an applicant? If not, what is the threshold? Will ‘spent’ convictions need to be disclosed?

Will spent convictions ‘clear the decks’?

I recently appeared on RTHK Radi0 3 Backchat to discuss this. You can listen here.

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Hong Kong Work Visas-Criminal Record Declaration

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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.



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