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Please Help Me Help You By Asking Hong Kong Immigration Questions I Can Actually Answer!

April 15th, 2022

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Refusals & Appeals, Special Programmes, Visitor Visas, Your Question Answered / 52 responses


IMPORTANT: Please note that we have no competency in Foreign Domestic Helper visas. Any such questions are best directed at an FDH agency who have significant experience in those types of visas.

I receive 70-100 questions a week on this Blog and most of these are very succinct, allowing me to quickly drill down on the key issues and deliver value by augmenting the extensive content on both this Blog and also our D-I-Y immigration guide, the Hong Kong Visa Handbook.

But sometimes, I receive questions that just leave me stumped.

Not that I don’t have an answer, it’s just that the questions are so broad, all-encompassing and devoid of meaningful detail that it is impossible for me to address them without spending hours setting the scene, working to assumptions and, most critically, covering ground that is already well traveled elsewhere on our websites.

Questions such as these which came in last week:

I m interested for HK immigration.  I have been living in Zhuhai for last 10+ years. I’m Indian , wife is Chinese, son 7 years Chinese passport and daughter 10 months HK passport.  My education is from India – BBA, MBA , PhD ( doctorate ). Kindly send me detailed policies, procedures, your fee structure to obtain HK resident permit. Good day.


I have got some questions regarding Immigration. I am based in UK on Student visa, I arrived here in 2010 and completed my Masters in Marketing & Innovation. I have got 7 years professional experience in Airlines Industry as sales / Marketing / Customer services expert and currently working with the leading Airlines in London,UK. I got married and my wife is graduated in Education as well as in Fashion designing. I have been visited around 14 countries for visit as well as for my official training. Kindly mention that can I apply Immigration from UK as I am on Student Visa. Second thing if I can apply what will be the process how long does it takes to get it done and third what will be the charges for all this process and fourth what type of documents,I required for me and my wife.

Here’s the problem with these 2 questions:

Red Question

The questioner is interested in immigrating to Hong Kong. Lots of people are and they all need a visa rationale for being here.

I have no clue as to why he wants to come to Hong Kong so I have no idea what kind of visa might be suitable for him.

Does he want to work, join in or establish a business, study, invest capital or take a punt as a Quality Migrant?

Is he seeking some kind of leverage from the fact that his daughter is a HKSAR passport holder (making her a permanent resident?)

I can guess, of course, but that just takes me down the path of assumption which is not productive nor, in fact, is it required as the Hong Kong Visa Handbook sets out the various immigration categories quite clearly, allowing detailed self-assessment prior to reaching out to me to fill in the gaps.

This is why I spent 12 months writing, producing and publishing the Hong Kong Visa Handbook in the first place.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that there appear to be 3 travel documents in play: Indian, Chinese and HKSAR.

Lots of complexity here.

Finally, is the request for detailed policies and procedures (along with our service fee information).

Again, without understanding this questioner’s circumstances, visa rationale for Hong Kong or the immigration background that led to one of their children acquiring a HKSAR passport, it is impossible for me to even conceive of a solution for them, let alone price it.

Green Question 

Do you see a theme emerging here? I have no idea what nationality this questioner is, nor what he wants to do when he comes to Hong Kong.

He wants me to lay out the process for all suitable visa types along with the documents for the same.

Where am I supposed to begin answering a question like this?

I want to help, I really do.

At the Hong Kong Visa Centre we are very transparent about our desire to provide knowledge, information and detailed insight into the Hong Kong visa process so that visa applicants can make informed decisions about their immigration objectives for Hong Kong.

We also are wide open to discourse, provide a 100% free Your Questions Answered service where I PodCast responses to your questions within 48 hours and, as any of our clients or people who know me will attest, I am happy to chat with anyone who has a Hong Kong visa problem or query and is looking for answers.

But please, for me to help you, I need detail.

This means an investment of time on your part, setting out the scene for me and reviewing our extensive immigration content on this Blog and also on the Hong Kong Visa Handbook.

Then when you’re ready, lay out your question and I’ll PodCast you a complete answer.

It only takes me 5-10 minutes to do this and affords other people in the future access to these Q&As, allowing me to add to the public Hong Kong immigration knowledge base which is building steadily over time.

If you pose your question in the very general manner of the 2 examples given above, you are effectively asking me to spend hours and hours composing a response.

This is time I simply do not have and anticipates me repeating the detailed material already covered in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook.

So, please.

Help me help you by asking Hong Kong  immigration questions I can actually answer!

More Stuff You Might Find Useful or Interesting

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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.

  • Henry

    26 Oct 2022 pm31 11:38pm

    I’m currently in the middle of renewing my UK passport and my second extension of my employment visa is coming up in November. I’m a bit worried that my new passport will not come back in time for the extension.

    How should I go about this? I still have the same job I applied the extension with and nothing else has changed (minus the new passport).

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Oct 2022 am31 7:58am

      Apply using the old passport details and advise ImmD that you’ve applied for the new passport (give them proof). They will hold the finalisation of your extension until your new passport arrives. DO NOT OVER STAY.

  • Jenny

    2 Oct 2021 pm31 11:51pm

    My partner is currently working in Hong Kong on an employment visa (2 years from August last year). He is currently working remotely. His mother is in ill health back in his home country and he wishes to visit her for a few weeks. As he is currently working remotely in Hong Kong, his manager has granted him permission to work online from overseas for 3 months. During this period, my partner has been contacted by a company offering him a one month contract to work on a project in his hometown.

    After providing the details of his circumstance, our question is:

    Can he legally take up short-term work in his home country while also working online for his company in Hong Kong?

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Oct 2021 am31 11:58am

      Yes – ImmD are not concerned about what he does outside of HK. He might need to check his employment contract though as his current employer might have something to say about that – but it’s not immigration related.

  • TGC

    18 Oct 2020 pm31 9:06pm

    If I come to hk on a working visa can I take up short term courses?

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Oct 2020 am31 8:51am

      Yes. Part time studies under an employment visa is permitted.

  • Sandeep kumar

    10 Aug 2019 pm31 2:21pm

    Are non local students studing in hong kong in full time locally accredited non local programmes (programme is affiliated by university of another country) at the undergraduate level or above eligible to take up internship , part time on campus employment and summer jobs ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Aug 2019 pm31 12:55pm

      Refer what your student visa approval latter says. If if mentioned work, then follow the rules in the letter. If it doesn’t mention work then the answer is NO.

  • Waripel Togonon

    9 Mar 2019 am31 9:04am

    Hello have a good day.just ask a question about that what we called a BTA. cause I have a friend in Poland to come over here in it really sure that must need a BTA before entering here in HK? And if have really how much is it.thanks and more power.

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Mar 2019 am31 8:52am

      No idea what BTA means.

  • Alexandr

    15 Jan 2019 pm31 2:20pm

    Hello, I am craft brewer from Kazakhstan and I got a job offer to work for Hong Kong”s craft brewery.
    I studied in France and I got university degree in biotechnology in beverages (so a suitable degree for this work) plus I have 2 years of professional experience in brewing field.
    I applied for a work visa (with a help of the company that invites me to work) in November 2018 by the end of December ImmD asked a few questions for the company and me. So until today no reply was received. On website it says that my current status is “under processing”. Should I start to worry about not getting a work visa?
    P.S. I’m 25 y.o. Married . No children .

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jan 2019 am31 10:55am

      Doesn’t like it will be a problem. As you are from a high risk nation (from an immigration perspective) your application will normally take longer and actually your application is right in the middle of Xmas / New Year and coming up for CNY so you’ll need to be patient.

  • vivi

    27 Dec 2018 am31 11:01am

    hello,i was in hongkong 2 year 9 months just want to ask about visa changes. I am a domestic helper, and I have visa domestic workers. how to get employment bisa for get another job in hk?thanks

    • The Visa Geeza

      28 Dec 2018 pm31 4:10pm

      You basically cannot. If you assume the mantle of a FDH to arrive here you cannot then seek to be a Professional – and you need to be a Professional in order to qualify for an employment visa.

  • Question

    16 Oct 2018 pm31 12:45pm


    I’ve been working here for 7 year and applied for permanent residency 2.5 weeks ago, it seems the amount of time it takes varies from a few weeks for some people to over a month. The IMMD says that it can take up to 6 weeks, but it seems that’s just the a canned answer. Is there a general timeframe for approval?

    Thanks for the help.

    • The Visa Geeza

      20 Oct 2018 am31 11:24am

      4-6 weeks.

  • Elle

    2 Oct 2018 pm31 11:23pm

    Hi! 3 years ago i had a problem with OVERSTAY in HK they took my passport started investigation also was was like a nightmare. On that time i didn’t check my last day correctly in the end was problem like that. Now, i have to visit hk because of work for a few days, i need a tourist visa. Can i apply or they can refuse? Thanks

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Oct 2018 am31 10:59am

      They will most likely refuse I am sorry to say. You can of course apply for the visa and see what they say.

  • Kumar

    21 Sep 2018 am30 1:48am

    Hi I am having PAR from 28th March 2018 and it expires on 27th September 2018. I want visit hongkong from 25th September for 5 return date is 30th September. Pl advice i need to take another PAR or not.

    Thank you


  • YAYA

    13 Sep 2018 pm30 4:29pm


    Thank you for your kindness and the great website. I’m a HK permanent ID card holder. Whilst I was still on dependent visa and new to HK, I applied for a one-off allowance form the Community Care Fund. This was a 6k allowance for new arrivals that was somehow similar to the 6k give-outs the gov gave to permanent residents at the time. I have since then been paying taxes and now have a stable job and accommodation. Will that allowance affect an application to sponsor my elderly father to come to HK as a dependent? Thank you. Do you think it may affect an application for naturalization?

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Sep 2018 am30 10:28am

      It should not do, assuming you are not financially stable.. You will have to show a history of funding your father overseas (6 months proof of sending him money is usually sufficient).

  • Rakshita

    25 Aug 2018 pm31 2:14pm


    I wanted to know if there is employment opportunity in Hong Kong in the field of medical transcription. I’m having an experience of 12 years and 8 years of editing. If there is an opening please do revert back and I’m ready to apply for an employment Visa through your agency.

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Aug 2018 am31 7:53am

      Sorry have no idea. We only secure visas for people after they have attained a job offer.

  • srijan

    12 Jul 2018 am31 1:55am

    do i need medical test to get spouse visa for hk? plz answer

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Jul 2018 am31 11:36am


  • Ela

    1 Nov 2017 pm30 9:17pm

    My dependant visa has been approved. How long do I have before I collect the visa label? How long can immigration department hold on to it before I collect it?

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Nov 2017 am30 9:40am

      Usually 30 days. But you can write to the officer and get an extension for a short time if you have a good reason.

  • Paola C.

    17 Jul 2017 pm31 6:15pm

    I am a Filipina, single, holding a Philippine passport, currently working as a Food and Beverage employee in a 5-star hotel in Macau for six years. My employment visa will be expired on October 20, 2017. My boyfriend is currently living in Hong Kong under an employment visa. We’ve wanted to be together and live in Hong Kong. So I was thinking this solution.

    I am a photographer at heart and was thinking of starting up a photography business in Hong Kong in order for me to get a visa and be with my partner, and to start my career. The photography business would include taking photos in a wedding, food photography for restaurants that need professional photos and videos, and companies that need a promotional and marketing media to boost their traffic online. You already get the idea. I don’t have a company yet, but I do have an online portfolio.

    My question is:

    How can I attain a business visa by starting up my business in Hong Kong as a photographer? What are the steps I need to do? Should I have a big chunk of money in my bank account? How much would it cost me throughout the process? Do I need a lawyer? How long should it take?

    Thanks a lot and God bless!

  • James arner

    15 Jul 2017 am31 3:33am

    Hi there,
    I have managed to secure a 3 month internship with a real estate firm in Hong Kong. I am currently going through the process of applying for a professional work visa (been 4 weeks and counting). I am just hesitant as October last year I received a dui conviction ( received fine and 12 month ban, reduced to 9). Only conviction ever received. I have a first class university degree which hopefully shows the more sensible and true side of myself. I am just wondering if this will stop me getting the visa or should it be ok?
    Many thanks.

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jul 2017 pm31 6:37pm

      It shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Steve

    14 Jul 2017 am31 10:09am


    This site and blog are so helpful it’s a life saver. My girlfriend and I are wanting to come to HK on a working holiday visa. We are both from the UK so I understand that means we can work for one employer for the 12 months there is no 3 month restriction. We are both curious about the employment in Hk and how difficult it is to get a job etc. I have a degree and a tefl certificate and so I was thinking I could do that maybe but I was also curious about other work? Is it mostly hospitality for working holiday visas etc?

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jul 2017 pm31 6:38pm

      Mostly I’d say. Some younger (25 years old +) professionals are able to use it as a stepping stone visa on to more permanent work. You need to get here and starting meeting people.

  • Julius Jones

    27 Jun 2017 pm30 5:03pm

    I work within the financial services industry in London and am a UK national, I am interested in applying for a role advertised internally at my corporation that would be based in Hong Kong.

    Two years ago I received a police caution for possession of a class a substance. How will this impact my application for a employment VISA and what, if anything, needs to be disclosed. Given a UK caution is “spent” from the point at which it is issued and does not constitute a “conviction” in the eyes of UK Police force does that mean I effectively have a clean criminal record for the HK employment Visa application process?

    Were a standard CRB check to be run against me it would come up as clear – am I able to furnish my application with this in place of my police certificate which does show the aforementioned record?

    What is the likelihood of my getting an employment VISA approved?

    Thanks in advance


    • The Visa Geeza

      28 Jun 2017 pm30 12:38pm

      I doubt this will be a problem. You don’t have to specifically disclose the prior conviction and ImmD do not do extensive background checks routinely.

  • estelle

    31 Aug 2016 pm31 9:31pm

    I have an employment visa of 5 years with my current employer and would like to extend my visa but with a new employer. How do I go about this? Is it as easy as doing an extension visa with employment letter and new contract?


  • Anupam Puri

    24 Jun 2016 pm30 6:47pm

    I am an Indian national. Worked in HK on an employment visa from March 2009 to end of 2012. I was made redundant. Resident visa was valid till March 2014. In November 2013 I started my own company and changed my visa status to an investment visa. Was granted extension till March 2015. I applied again for extension and was given extension till March 2016. In 2013 I had to leave HK for more than 6 months for 2 reasons – try to get business for the intended company to be set up which i managed to achieve. And tend to an ailing sister who has no support – I have medical records and reports. HKID has denied permanent right of abode stating that since I was technically unemployed in 2013, leaving HK for more than 6 months, even if it was for the 2 reasons I stated above, means I am not eligible. I feel that the intention to stay in HK was clear as I set up the company in 2013 and the absence from HK was temporary. Do you reckon it’s worth putting in an appeal?

    • The Visa Geeza

      30 Jun 2016 am30 8:05am

      No – you clearly broke your continuity of ordinary residence whatever the reason for it.

  • Question

    15 Apr 2016 pm30 6:54pm

    I am applying for a HK Permanent ID soon. My visa is valid until June 3, 2016.

    I have been living in HK for the past 7 years continuously but my first employment visa was granted August 18, 2009 – the reason for which is that I had to wait for the processing time. However I have been in HK since May-June 2009 trying to settle and set up my registered business in HK before my first visa was granted (in which I have proof based on some documents e.g. bank statement etc). I am director and partner of the company but with an employment visa.

    If I wait until August 2016 to apply for permanent HKID, then this means I have a two month no visa from June-July of this year.

    My question is, will this qualify me to apply now for a permanent HKID as my visa will expire in June 3, 2016?

    Thank you so much and hope to hear from you soon.

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Apr 2016 pm30 5:06pm

      The 7 years only starts counting from the date your first residence visa was activated, which appears to be August 18 2009. Time spent as a visitor in HK waiting for the grant of that visa doesn’t count as ordinary residence. Consequently, you should seek an extension of your current visa permissions when they expire in June and then apply for PR in August.

  • David Rincon

    16 Nov 2015 pm30 2:44pm

    Good afternoon, I have Colombian passport. I ve been visiting Hong Kong for several Months and going to shenzhen, shanghai, Delhi and Seoul. The last two times I’ve been stopped by immigration in the Hong Kong International Airport, They wanted to know why Im coming to Hong Kong and why Im staying long time. I told them my partner lives here (he has Hk ID). Im going to start my own business here so Im in the process to prepare the business plan, rent the office etc. My question is should I leave hong kong or I can apply here and just wait while they reply from the immigration office.

    thanks and br

    David R

    • The Visa Geeza

      21 Nov 2015 am30 10:51am

      Each time you present yourself at the boundary or airport seeking admission as a Visitor you need to demonstrate, to the examining Immigration Officer’s satisfaction, of your bona fides as a visitor. The mere fact of having a business investment visa application pending with ImmD is not sufficient in of itself to automatically mean the officer will admit you, but it helps (in my experience). Whether you should seek to remain in HK whilst your investment visa application is ongoing is really a question of whether you need to be in Hong Kong to create the early facts on the ground in your efforts to demonstrate to ImmD by your actions and investment activity that you can make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong. ImmD usually prefer you to be away from Hong Kong during this time, according to the official position, but in practice most business investment visa applicants are present in the HKSAR during the 4-6 months process involved in getting that type of visa application approved.


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