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Is There A Minimum Number Of Days You Need To Be In Hong Kong In Order To Maintain Your Investment Visa Status?

May 15th, 2024

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Special Programmes, Your Question Answered / 4 responses


Hong Kong is a small place with borders on our doorstep so how much time do you need to be physically in Hong Kong to retain your Hong Kong investment visa?

Investment Visa


I would like to know, if I am able to hold a visa in Hong Kong, then what is the minimum time per year I need to stay in Hong Kong to still qualify as a resident?

I travel a lot, but am looking to set up a business in Hong Kong and would like to become a resident in Hong Kong but am afraid I might be out of the country in large periods of time.



Really good question, this one. And I think you might be surprised at the answer in actual fact. As part of an application to secure a residence visa, in order to establish a business in Hong Kong, you need to go through the processes of showing you can make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong and get yourself a business investment visa.

And, at the time that you make the application, there’s no need to disclose to the Immigration Department exactly how much time you think you will be spending inside Hong Kong and how much time you think you’ll be spending away from Hong Kong. So the emphasis at the point of application should be on passing the approvability test.

Therefore, assuming you get approved, if you then go on to spend the majority of your time outside of Hong Kong, this doesn’t need to be a preclusion to getting your extensions. As you go through the one, two to three year pattern extension process after your initial approval, so long as you’ve got a really good business reason for being away from Hong Kong, as long as you have been.

Upon any review of your business undertaken as part of the investment visa extension exercise, you can clearly demonstrate to the Immigration Department’s satisfaction that you are indeed making a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong. So, with the investment visa, indeed, for that matter, all residence visas, you must demonstrate that you have a need for the visa, and that is that you intend to be genuinely resident in Hong Kong. And if you can satisfy the Immigration Department about your genuine need, the question of time spent inside and also away from Hong Kong will really only present itself as an issue for you for deep consideration at the seven year mark when you’ve been continuously an ordinary resident in Hong Kong for not less than seven years, when you make your application for permanent residency, seeking to secure the right of abode, because the test for the right of abode says that any absences from Hong Kong in that seven years, either of a longer or short duration, must have been of a merely temporary nature, as evidenced by what you leave behind to return back to at the end of each temporary stay abroad.

So typically, so long as you’ve got a genuine need to be resident and you’ve got a really good excuse or reason for why you’re spending a lot of time away and you’re maintaining the qualifying criteria all throughout the seven years that you, in this case, hold your investment visa, the time spent away shouldn’t represent itself as a problem.

However, come time to secure permanent residency, you will probably have a lot to answer for; and whilst it doesn’t suggest that automatically you might not get permanent residency, the analysis of what you’ve been doing while you spent all that time away from Hong Kong during those seven years will very much come into play.

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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.

  • Pramod Pradhan

    6 Feb 2020 pm29 8:38pm

    Hi there, I am in Hong Kong as in a work visa here. This is my 6th year continuous work visa. Due to the current virus danger I wish to go back to my country for sometime. So how many months or days I can stay out of Hong Kong to continue the privilege of 7 years ( permanent resident). My employer is okay with the no pay leave till I come back and rejoin. If I go for a long leave does it affect my continuity?

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Feb 2020 pm29 12:57pm

      As long as your employment subsists and you are working remotely then it doesn’t matter that you are temporarily working away from HK.


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