Browse Our Most Recent Content (& Beyond)

Hong Kong being a small, dynamic city which punches above its weight in the region, this situation happens all the time. So what IS the impact on your subsequent eligibility for the Right of Abode if your employer wants to shift you off-shore temporarily to manage a project? QUESTION I have been working in Hong Kong […] Keep Reading...>

April 19th, 2021

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme is designed to attract ‘top notch’ talents to the HKSAR and, by my reckoning, only about 5% of applicants ever receive a Golden Ticket. Of course if you happen to have a Nobel prize or you are an Olympiad with a medal to your name, the odds of an approval […] Keep Reading...>

April 17th, 2021

This question really is all about the Catch 22 which I have posted on quite a few times previously. However, there is an interesting twist in that the questioner has entered Hong Kong on an APEC Business Travel Card and none of his clients are actually based in Hong Kong. So I am grateful for […] Keep Reading...>

April 15th, 2021

First Published September 1, 2018 Not every stint for work or business means full time residency in Hong Kong so what to do about ‘half-timers’? QUESTION I am pursuing options to take up employment in Hong Kong and would like to know if there is any residence requirement for retention of a work visa. For […] Keep Reading...>

April 13th, 2021

This question seeks to understand what you should make of repeat requests for information from the Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) during the course of your visa application. QUESTION “Good day. In the course of what would appear to be a straightforward application, two sets of requests for further information have been sent by the […] Keep Reading...>

April 11th, 2021

Qualify for the right of abode in Hong Kong ? A critical part of eligibility for the right of abode in Hong Kong is your intention, at the time you apply, to make Hong Kong your only place of permanent residence… First Published on October 15, 2013   QUESTION Hello, I have been working in Hong […] Keep Reading...>

April 9th, 2021

First Published June 27, 2018 Documenting proof of the genuine nature of your relationship is a condition precedent to the grant of a dependant visa with the burden of proof decreasing the longer you have been married. Consequently, the newer your relationship / marriage the greater the onus is on you to satisfy ImmD that […] Keep Reading...>

April 7th, 2021

First Published August 7, 2013 What’s the deal if you’re in Hong Kong with a dependant visa and your spouse wants to leave but you want to stay? QUESTION Hello, I am here on a dependent visa with my husband. He is planning to leave his employment in Hong Kong and return to his home […] Keep Reading...>

April 5th, 2021

QUESTION I currently hold a Hong Kong employment visa with a company where I am receiving a monthly salary of HK$50,000 (fixed salary, no bonuses), and have been working with this company for the past 4 years. My contract, and visa, are due to expire soon so I am in the process of looking for a […] Keep Reading...>

April 3rd, 2021

First Published July 11, 2018 It happens a lot more often that you might imagine. You’d think that the many early years in Hong Kong ought to count towards your right of abode but all too often disappointment is in the offing… QUESTION Thank you very much for this informative website! I hope you’ll be […] Keep Reading...>

April 1st, 2021

First Published July 13, 2018 Sometimes the sun and the moon simply doesn’t align on your Hong Kong immigration situation and, with the system working against you, find yourself orphaned from the rest of your family and questioning the fairness of it all… QUESTION I’m about to kill myself over this visa situation I’m in. […] Keep Reading...>

March 31st, 2021

How A Hong Kong Right of Abode Application Plays Out I am grateful to a user of our websites who has sent me this report of his experience in his right of abode application recently to share with everyone. 28/01/2021 ROP145 submitted online (as Chinese citizen holding foreign passport, with one period of continuous absence […] Keep Reading...>

March 29th, 2021

Can you freelance or start your own business under a Hong Kong working holiday visa? The working holiday visa for Hong Kong is designed for certain types of employment activity – but does this include freelance work or starting or your own business? First Published On April 15, 2013 QUESTION Hi I have recently moved […] Keep Reading...>

March 26th, 2021

It happens a lot. You stay and work in Hong Kong for 3, 4, 5 years and get over the hump en route to the magic 7 years needed for a Permanent Identity Card. Then you find yourself having to spend time away from Hong Kong to further your career, education or due to special […] Keep Reading...>

March 24th, 2021

The times they are a changin’… The National Security Law – Impact On Hong Kong Visa & Immigration Applications It is inevitable that the National Security Law will impact how the Hong Kong Immigration Department will undertake their duties as the front line guardians of our borders. As is all things Hong Kong immigration, ImmD […] Keep Reading...>

March 22nd, 2021

First Published October 14, 2012 This is a popular topic that people query our websites about, so it’s timely that we received this question out of the blue yesterday. In my answer I refer to the following content resources: QMAS, Dependant Visa, Business Investment Visa. QUESTION “I have been working in HK since 2007 on […] Keep Reading...>

March 19th, 2021

The question of immigration status for mainland resident spouses of current or aspiring Hong Kong residents is a bit of a hot potato. As this PodCast answer sets out, there is a dual track system in place in the immigration system which makes for winners and losers – and for once, those with the Right […] Keep Reading...>

March 17th, 2021

First Published June 19, 2018 With Hong Kong having such a liberal visa-upon-arrival regime (with more than 160 nationalities being granted permission to visit for between 7 and 180 days – depending on which passport you carry), it is understandable that there is confusion as to what is permitted activity if you are a ‘business […] Keep Reading...>

March 15th, 2021

So, what happens if a defacto partner ‘trailing spouse’ wants to take up employment in Hong Kong under a prolonged visitor visa? Is this possible? QUESTION Hi Visa Geeza, I have been offered a job in Hong Kong and me and my de-facto partner are considering the move. Whilst the company will sponsor me,  my […] Keep Reading...>

March 13th, 2021

Sometimes, correspondence gets lost and ImmD might close an application believing it has been abandoned when they hear nothing further from an applicant. Meanwhile, the applicant is on tenterhooks awaiting the outcome. What can you do to rectify this ultimate disconnect? QUESTION The company that is sponsoring me applied for an employment visa for me […] Keep Reading...>

March 10th, 2021

This post was first published on December 9, 2012. The question of what constitutes ‘ordinary residence’ in the determination of a Hong Kong right of abode application for a 7 year foreign national resident, can, ultimately, only be settled by the Court. The Hong Kong Immigration Department have their own means of assessing whether an […] Keep Reading...>

March 8th, 2021

First Published May 23, 2018 So, what would the Hong Kong Immigration Department make of a relationship forged via the Internet? QUESTION Hello, I’m resident in Peru,  South America. I met a Hong Kong woman by chat; she lives in Hong Kong. We have been planning for me to go there and stay, only problem […] Keep Reading...>

March 6th, 2021

Dead simple question this one with a very short answer (for a change!) QUESTION What paperwork/ piece of paper, if any, goes in to your passport to recognize that you are a permanent resident of the HKSAR?  For the last 7 years I’ve had a dependant visa.  I need to know as I have one […] Keep Reading...>

March 3rd, 2021

Overstayed in Hong Kong for a very long time previously…? Great question this, not so much because the answer is mostly quite obvious, but because it gives me a chance to have a discussion about overstaying generally. QUESTION I was looking for a male helper and found a suitable one for our family. However, he […] Keep Reading...>

March 1st, 2021

A frequently experienced conundrum. How can a foreign company temporarily sponsor Hong Kong employment visa permissions for its employees and contractors who need to work here in pursuit of a commercial arrangement which is of an indefinite or fixed duration here? QUESTION How can one visit and deliver short-term (typically 1-5 days duration) training courses […] Keep Reading...>

February 27th, 2021

Employment law and immigration law are often overlapping but must be dealt with separately… What can I do If my employment contract ends on the same day as my Hong Kong work visa and I need to stay here a while longer to sort out my affairs? QUESTION I am in a fix with a […] Keep Reading...>

February 25th, 2021

Once you have persuaded the Hong Kong Immigration Department of your ability to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong and have been granted an investment visa, can you then argue, after the fact, that actually, you have no practical need to establish office premises of your own after all? QUESTION I […] Keep Reading...>

February 23rd, 2021

UPDATE: February 21, 2021 – Local English press are reporting the Bubble might be up for grabs next month. Fingers crossed: **** COVID19 continues apace. Bubble put back until 2021 at the earliest… I’ll update this post with news as it comes in. Sigh… **** Hong Kong – Singapore Travel Bubble! The long-awaited air travel […] Keep Reading...>

February 21st, 2021

I hold a Hong Kong employment visa and want to start freelancing…   As a foreign national temporarily resident in Hong Kong on a sponsored employment visa, there are a number of different compliance issues that need to be addressed if you lose your job and you fancy embarking down the path of freelancing on […] Keep Reading...>

February 20th, 2021

So what DO the Immigration Department make of applicants who too-frequently seek to change their Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship? QUESTION I was previously working in Hong Kong for a company for the past 2.5 years and switched jobs 32 days ago. My previous employer is now offering me a much senior position and really […] Keep Reading...>

February 18th, 2021

What can you do about your dependant visa status in Hong Kong if you have sadly lost your much loved spouse-as-sponsor? QUESTION Hello, I came to Hong Kong on a dependent visa (my wife, a PR, sponsoring me). I have already completed 3.5 years and my visa is about due for extension. The dilemma I […] Keep Reading...>

February 16th, 2021

First Published November 19, 2017 Complex immigration scenarios sometimes present themselves with unforeseen consequences – which I am grateful to be able to explore in this excellent question just in… QUESTION I am Canadian and have lived in Hong Kong for almost 6 years. I recently quit my job and my working visa will expire […] Keep Reading...>

February 14th, 2021

First Published November 23, 2017 What type of Hong Kong visa do you turn to when you have an eclectic mix of artistic talent and capabilities? QUESTION I am a Canadian Artist, Designer and Model at present I have been creating lots of project around Asia, and am looking at basing my self in Hong […] Keep Reading...>

February 12th, 2021

What happens if you work for a Hong Kong company but are stationed the majority of your time outside of Hong Kong? Less than 180 days in Hong Kong during the last three years – impact on PR eligibility? QUESTION I studied in Hong Kong for 4 years, and when I graduated, I got an […] Keep Reading...>

February 10th, 2021

What happens if your application for a Hong Kong training visa gets refused – will you be able to arrive and visit Hong Kong subsequently – or not? QUESTION I’ve been accepted into a startup accelerator in Hong Kong. It’s not one of the “pre-approved” ones for the so-called Start-up visa so I’ve been recommended […] Keep Reading...>

February 8th, 2021

Can you swap a Foreign Domestic Helper visa into a Regular employment visa? This is a reasonable question that has an obvious answer although not for the reasons you might typically expect. In 20 years of practising Hong Kong visa and immigration consultancy, the only successful change of status application from FDH to residence visa […] Keep Reading...>

February 6th, 2021

Changing jobs in Hong Kong requires the permission of the Director of Immigration… Dear Stephen, How can I get the approval of the Immigration Department to change my Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship without my current employer learning about it? I have a stable job in Hong Kong and am finalizing an offer with a […] Keep Reading...>

February 4th, 2021

First Published January 16, 2018 Two-pronged question today starting with how to change Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship into a new job sector… QUESTION My current work visa is about to expire 5 days from now. I’ve applied for a transfer and extension simultaneously almost 4 weeks ago as I am moving to a new […] Keep Reading...>

February 2nd, 2021

Will time spent in prison in Hong Kong break continuity of ordinary residence for PR purposes? First Published on April 10, 2016 QUESTION I am interested to know if there is anything I could do to strengthen the case of my application for the right of abode (permanent residency) and I am also unsure if […] Keep Reading...>

January 30th, 2021

Can you get a self-sponsored change of sponsorship Hong Kong work visa? Fantastic question this which took me 10 minutes to think the answer through for! QUESTION As an expat, I currently work for a company that sponsored me in Hong Kong for my work visa.  I now no longer want to work exclusively for […] Keep Reading...>

January 28th, 2021

Like the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster, I’ve heard mention of this mythical beast several times down the years, so I was really pleased when this question came in recently as it gives me an opportunity to slay a sacred cow or 2. QUESTION Is there a flexible work visa in Hong Kong? Because […] Keep Reading...>

January 26th, 2021

First Published January 29, 2018 Work full time in Hong Kong without an employment visa ? This is a bit of a hoary old chestnut this question but a really important one nonetheless so I am grateful to the questioner for posing it. QUESTION Hi there, My Hong Kong employment visa application has just been […] Keep Reading...>

January 23rd, 2021

You always need a Hong Kong working visa to take up employment in Hong Kong whether paid or unpaid. What about if you are serving out your notice period on gardening leave? (First Published June 4, 2015) QUESTION My friend resigned from his job with his Hong Kong employer in May and he was on […] Keep Reading...>

January 21st, 2021

How important is sponsor-profitability, especially for start up businesses less than 12 months old? QUESTION I have been recruited by a newly established company (12 months old as of this week). They have never hired a foreigner and have tasked me with completing the visa forms, both employee and employer versions. The Employer-side application requires […] Keep Reading...>

January 17th, 2021

First Published November 27, 2017 Unusual set of facts in this case and a question never posed to me in this fashion previously… Remain in Hong Kong under an Employment Visa sponsored by an ex-Employer? QUESTION I have been in Hong Kong since 2011 under an employment visa but have recently quit my job. The […] Keep Reading...>

January 15th, 2021

First Published August 2, 2017 QUESTION As a school we regularly invite specialist teachers (generally musicians or artists) to visit from overseas and provide workshops for both students and staff.  We pay these specialists a fee and provide accommodation and flights.  Generally the visit will last two weeks.  Is it necessary to obtain an employment […] Keep Reading...>

January 13th, 2021

It hardly matters how you skin this cat, ImmD will approach it in exactly the same way… as a new business situation. QUESTION I plan to start a business with three other partners. Two of these are Hong Kong permanent residents and one of them is in the same situation as myself: recently unemployed and […] Keep Reading...>

January 11th, 2021

If you are a graduate is it hard and fast that you need at least 2 years post graduation working experience in a managerial or supervisory capacity in order to secure a Hong Kong work visa – or is there some wriggle room in this regard? QUESTION Hi there, I have heard in one of […] Keep Reading...>

January 8th, 2021

First Published On May 19, 2012   It’s funny how this question just keeps on cropping up. I’m not quite certain where this red herring originates from as the Hong Kong Immigration Department standard communications do not specifically call for such a document (and we do not expressly request one from our clients in support […] Keep Reading...>

January 6th, 2021

Happy New Year Everyone. Bit of good news just before the new year break: The Immigration Department accepts applications for return to Hong Kong from Hong Kong non-permanent residents outside Hong Kong under the pandemic. *****************************************************************************     Immigration Department (ImmD) today (December 31) announced that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hong Kong non-permanent […] Keep Reading...>

January 4th, 2021