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Hadley Says

How Do You Go About Changing Your Hong Kong Employment Visa Sponsorship at Immigration Tower?

September 2nd, 2017

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Hadley Says…, VG Front Page / 16 responses


If you have left the employ of your current employment visa sponsor, or even just thinking of doing so, you need to undergo what is known as a change of sponsorship application before you start working for anyone else in Hong Kong, including yourself!


To do this you have to consider it just like an entirely new visa application.

Just because you have a stamp in your passport that says ‘employment’ this is not a carte blanche approval to work for just anyone you like or can act on an entrepreneurial seizure without considering the ramifications of unauthorised immigration activity in Hong Kong.

If you are seeking to work for another employer you have to pass the employment visa approvability test.

If you are seeking to work for yourself – or in partnership with someone else – you have to pass the investment visa approvability test.

Complete details on how to do this are contained in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook and elsewhere on the Hong Kong Visa Geeza blog.

To go about changing your Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship you have to submit your application bundle on the 5th floor residents section of Immigration Tower with the correct application forms and expect the process to take between 4 and 8 weeks to complete.

It could very possibly take much longer depending on the strength and quality of your application, the length of time you have been previously resident in Hong Kong and whether or not you have already breached your conditions of stay by taking up an unauthorised employment before realizing that it’s illegal to start your own business or work for any employer other than your current employment visa sponsor.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a ‘flexible’ working visa in Hong Kong.

Every new employment or business activity proposed must be cleared first by the Director of Immigration and you could find yourself in some very hot water if you do not comply with Hong Kong’s immigration laws as ignorance is no defence!

More Stuff to Help You Along

I want to change jobs with a significant reduction in my base salary – how will this impact on my Hong Kong employment visa change of sponsorship application?

What do you need to to do if there has been a change in the details of your Hong Kong employment visa sponsor but no change in your employer?

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

I’ve lost my job – what happens to my Hong Kong employment visa?


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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.

  • DP

    28 Mar 2021 pm31 2:16pm

    ” Your spouse’s dependent visa is not impacted by your own change of employer/sponsorship arrangements”
    On similar note – if employer changes and Visa transfer is initiated, what about the dependent visa of family ( Wife and Children )

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Mar 2021 am31 10:37am

      No impact.

  • mary

    22 Dec 2020 pm31 4:58pm

    I dont know how to ask questions here but if someone can answer me correctly…
    if your in hongkong working as a domestic helper
    then after 4 yrs I found a new job but not a dh
    is there a possible way that I can apply to another job such as hotel management, dishwasher, waiter… there any one can answer me please thank you.

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Dec 2020 pm31 12:07pm

      No it’s impossible. The best you can do is to change to a dependent visa if you married a HK resident.

  • MM

    23 Jul 2020 am31 9:54am


    Let me brief my scenario before my question. I am working with some employer in Hong Kong and they separated there IT section with some other company name and transferring my employer in visa, so in that case do i also need to transfer my sponsor(wife) visa also which is sponsored by myself if yes then what would be the procedure?.

    Thanks & Regards

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Jul 2020 am31 11:09am

      Your spouse’s dependent visa is not impacted by your own change of employer/sponsorship arrangements.

  • chantelle

    15 Jun 2020 am30 11:09am

    What forms do I need to fill out when doing my change of sponsorship application?
    Do I need to fill out the ID91 extension of stay?

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Jun 2020 pm30 12:18pm

      This information is dealt with extensively on our websites. Use form ID91


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