Browse Our Most Recent Content (& Beyond)

First Published December 4, 2013 What do the Hong Kong Immigration Department make of lengthy, albeit temporary, secondments away from the HKSAR in pursuit of your employer’s business interests overseas? QUESTION Thank you for the Hong Kong Visa Handbook, which advises applicants for Right of Abode to be mindful of a 6 months plus absence […] Keep Reading...>

October 14th, 2019

First Published June 4, 2103 Do you need to be employed on the date that your 7 year anniversary of your residence in Hong Kong comes up which then allows you apply for the right of abode with the wrinkle that your current employment visa expires on exactly the same date? QUESTION I started working […] Keep Reading...>

October 12th, 2019

How long should a Hong Kong Employment Visa Application take to finalize – especially in light of the 4 weeks cited on the Hong Kong Immigration Department website? QUESTION My working visa application is now almost into its 7th week (49 days and counting). There were documents that immigration requested from my sponsor which may have delayed […] Keep Reading...>

October 9th, 2019

First Published September 3, 2013 Sometimes, people find themselves in a state of ‘administrative flux’ as one employment visa ends and the circumstances for a new employment visa have not yet, for one reason or another, materialised. The question is, however, can you easily return to / be in Hong Kong as a visitor whilst […] Keep Reading...>

October 6th, 2019

What is the law about visitors working in Hong Kong as freelancers but not engaging in the local economy? QUESTION Hi Stephen, I’ve lived in Hong Kong for 2 years and now I’m freelancing and getting all of my income from overseas. I wish to stay in HK, so am I required to get a […] Keep Reading...>

October 2nd, 2019

I just love the easy Hong Kong immigration questions – gives me a break from thinking too hard! QUESTION Hi there! I’m Australian and I have an approved Working Holiday Visa, but am wondering if I can work full-time (albeit for a max of 3 months per employer), or whether only part-time hours are allowed? […] Keep Reading...>

September 30th, 2019

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...>

September 27th, 2019

First Published On April 11, 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 […] Keep Reading...>

September 25th, 2019

First Published July 29, 2013 The Immigration Department need documentation to understand when to demarcate new from old sponsorship arrangements when changing employers and the million dollar question is……. what will suffice? QUESTION I have a sponsored visa from my current employer until November 2014. I am now wanting to leave this company and start […] Keep Reading...>

September 22nd, 2019

This question gets to the heart of permitted activity as a Visitor and the ability to remain here on an indefinite basis on that status. QUESTION Hi, I am a New Zealander currently staying in Hong Kong with my partner who is a permanent HKID card holder. I do not have a HKID card, just […] Keep Reading...>

September 20th, 2019

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...>

September 16th, 2019

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...>

September 13th, 2019

Excellent question earlier this week. Great opportunity to slay a few sacred cows. QUESTION Hi, one of the requirements for the work visa application is a proof of genuine vacancy. What if a sponsoring company doesn’t do job ads? What can he present? He does recruit locally via his network since he is just a […] Keep Reading...>

September 11th, 2019

First Published June 20, 2013 This question raises its head in many different guises but this is the first time that anyone has asked it in such a pointed way in the context of training visas – so I’m pleased to be able to shed some light! QUESTION Hi, Great that you provide this service! […] Keep Reading...>

September 9th, 2019

How do the Hong Kong Immigration Department consider the likely impact of possible criminal charges on a foreign national temporary resident and his or her ability to remain here pending the outcome of the processes leading to a determination as to whether or not to press charges? Here follows a question-answer dialogue I had by […] Keep Reading...>

September 6th, 2019

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 example, how long can one […] Keep Reading...>

September 3rd, 2019

What a great question – never been asked this before! QUESTION I have been resident in Hong Kong for 5 and a half years on a working visa. I lost my job over 6 months ago and thought that I had no option but to leave. I obtained the MPF refund in May and signed […] Keep Reading...>

September 1st, 2019

It’s inevitable really. Photo Credit: RTHK By any view of social media over these last 12 weeks it is clear that unlawful acts by certain parties in favour of the aims of ‘the movement’ has commanded broad and general support from within a certain demographic of the population (both local Chinese and foreign national alike.) […] Keep Reading...>

August 29th, 2019

First Published November 29, 2012 An excellent question on the Right of Abode came in just now. Raises a really interesting point of professional practice the likes of which very rarely present themselves these days. QUESTION I have recently been declined Permanent Residency status from HK Immigration, but believe I have grounds to appeal, and […] Keep Reading...>

August 25th, 2019

First Published December 7, 2012 Life in Hong Kong can throw up many challenges, none too much greater than the following: QUESTION Hello, and thank you for the opportunity to ask my question! I have questions, but I will frame my situation first. In June of this year, I made a big mistake and got […] Keep Reading...>

August 22nd, 2019

First Published June 10, 2013 Once you have achieved 7 years continuous ordinary residence in Hong Kong, your long stay immigration options open up considerably… QUESTION My current working visa is due to expire at the end of  September, (previously I was given an extension of 3 years in 2010), this I assume was so that […] Keep Reading...>

August 18th, 2019

A Message To Mrs Carrie Lam And All Aggrieved Parties in Hong Kong I have twice closed my professional practice Hong Kong Visa Centre to allow my colleagues to participate in lawful and peaceful protest. On Monday August 5th wanton violence and disruption ensued after lawful demonstrations which made me come to learn that my […] Keep Reading...>

August 15th, 2019

First Published February 27, 2013 It’s a situation that seems to happen all too frequently these days, especially in the banking sector. Can a married couple, both working, effectively swap their Hong Kong employment and spouse visas around? QUESTION Thank you for all your insight to the working of the Hong Kong Immigration Department that I […] Keep Reading...>

August 11th, 2019

There is quite often confusion surrounding the interplay between China and Hong Kong immigration laws and processes so this question from an Iranian national studying in Beijing, provides an opportunity to address this issue here on the Visa Geeza blog. QUESTION “Hi, this is Danush from Iran. I’m studying in Beijing and I plan go […] Keep Reading...>

August 9th, 2019

I have received 2 questions on the topic of ‘long stay’ visitor visas and the extension possibilities in the last 24 hours so am taking the opportunity to merge them into a single answer here. QUESTION “Hi, I think I could use some of your quality advice. My situation seems to be quite complicated, so I […] Keep Reading...>

August 6th, 2019

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 this relationship does not exist […] Keep Reading...>

August 2nd, 2019

Sometimes people have solid, genuine reasons for spending extended periods of time in Hong Kong as a visitor as in the case of this question from a Kiwi who wants to spent time with his girlfriend here. But the patience of the Hong Kong Immigration Department can extend only so far and eventually time runs […] Keep Reading...>

July 30th, 2019

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...>

July 28th, 2019

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...>

July 24th, 2019

First Published October 9, 2012 Whilst the implementation of Hong Kong immigration policy is essentially very flexible, as an employment visa holder, until you have gone on to receive the right of abode (RoA) or unconditional stay after seven years continuous ordinary residence, your permissions to remain in Hong Kong are governed very tightly. I am […] Keep Reading...>

July 21st, 2019

Question: Hi there, I am interested in migrating to Hong Kong, wasn’t sure what is the best route – getting employment take times, and I wonder what might be the alternative. I am going to open a domain company but not sure if that works. I need some help to explore some of options but […] Keep Reading...>

July 18th, 2019

Business visit to Hong Kong? 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...>

July 15th, 2019

First Published June 20, 2012 Down the years a great many foreign nationals arrive in Hong Kong as visitors ‘on spec’ and are able to successfully change their immigration status in order for them to take up employment when a job offer manifests itself here. This question discusses this very issue and provides the answer […] Keep Reading...>

July 13th, 2019

My employment visa has been refused …. We have been contacted a lot recently by applicants who’s cases have been refused  – so this question is both timely and, for all those affected, of great significance. QUESTION “I would like to know if, once  I have received the first rejection letter from an Officer of the […] Keep Reading...>

July 11th, 2019

First Published August 2, 2012 Thinking about joining in a side business in Hong Kong? Certain foreign national professionals who teach in Hong Kong, especially those at university, often find themselves wishing to participate in their profession whilst educating others. The question is begged as to how they can, from a visa and immigration perspective, […] Keep Reading...>

July 9th, 2019

Can I Come & Install Equipment in Hong Kong Without an Employment Visa.? Permitted activity under the Visitor visa category seems to be something of a grey area and in the final analysis it all boils down to the attitude of the Immigration Department for a breach of conditions of stay. However, some activities are […] Keep Reading...>

July 7th, 2019

Sometimes, the sun and the moon align beautifully on a set of circumstances to allow an unmarried couple to spend time together in Hong Kong when ordinarily visa circumstances conspire against them. Not on this occasion, however! QUESTION “Hi there, I have just recently returned from Hong Kong to Canada where I am a citizen. […] Keep Reading...>

July 5th, 2019

First Published May 13, 2013 HIV Health Checks Hong Kong Visa Application ? Amazing really. more than 20 years in the business of Hong Kong immigration and this is the first time I can remember this question ever being raised. So, now you know! QUESTION Hi Stephen, I do not see this issue addressed on […] Keep Reading...>

July 2nd, 2019

Sometimes, round-pegs-in-square-holes situations crop up which make the challenge of securing a Hong Kong employment visa especially daunting! This question raises a very interesting set of circumstances which make for an interesting visa application experience ahead! QUESTION “I have been working for the same group of companies for the last 7 years. We have operations […] Keep Reading...>

June 26th, 2019

First Published July 27, 2012 – Advice Still Highly Relevant Today This question comes in 2 parts. The first relates to positive planning in respect of an eventual Hong Kong right of abode application. The second touches on the mechanics of an aligned change of sponsorship application to the Immigration Department in the run in to […] Keep Reading...>

June 24th, 2019

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...>

June 21st, 2019

First Published August 22, 2013 Which type of Hong Kong visa has been most in demand in the last 20 years and how easy has it been to get approval for this visa type? On June 6th, 2013 I was interviewed by five law students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong about my experiences […] Keep Reading...>

June 19th, 2019

First Published July 18, 2013 On June 6th, 2013 I was interviewed by five law students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong about my experiences practicing immigration here over the last 20 years. We covered a great deal of ground in the 90 minutes we spent together and over the next few weeks I […] Keep Reading...>

June 17th, 2019

First Published July 24, 2013 On June 6th, 2013 I was interviewed by five law students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong about my experiences practicing immigration here over the last 20 years. We covered a great deal of ground in the 90 minutes we spent together and over the next few weeks I […] Keep Reading...>

June 14th, 2019

QUESTION I’m a Chinese National and now working in HK on IANG Visa.  I have been living in Hong Kong continuously for 6 years (I came here in August 2013, then 1 year study and 5 year work).  My current IANG visa is valid until July 2022 (all visas are back to back).  Theoretically I […] Keep Reading...>

June 11th, 2019

There is a great deal of confusion about Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship and this short video cuts through all the noise and sets it out definitively. More Stuff You Might Find Useful or Interesting Your employer must help you get your Hong Kong employment visa The 7 things to tell your employer about Hong […] Keep Reading...>

June 10th, 2019

How to qualify for a Hong Kong work visa – from 39,000 feet! We are presently building the website for our new corporate services proposition, Hong Kong Visa Sherpa. We are bringing a whole new line of content to help companies with more than 100 employees to do their cases by themselves without needing to pay […] Keep Reading...>

June 8th, 2019

First Published March 27, 2013   The Court of Final Appeal quashed the hopes of 1,067 long stay foreign domestic helpers(“FDHs”) earlier this week when they ruled that time spent in Hong Kong as a foreign domestic helper is not ‘ordinary residence’ for the purposes of a right of abode application. Putting the human dimension […] Keep Reading...>

June 4th, 2019

I am grateful to my sister ‘Detty’ Ellis for sending this picture to me which, I have since discovered, was taken in the early 90’s on Ma Tau Wei Road in To Kwa Wan. No doubt this fine book purveyor would be stocking every last word on the Hong Kong visa process and how to […] Keep Reading...>

June 3rd, 2019

A foreign national seeking to come to Hong Kong to work, paid or unpaid, for a long or short duration, requires the permission of the Hong Kong Director of Immigration. QUESTION Dear Stephen Your on-line book is very clear and helpful. I just need to clarify my position – and you must get lots of […] Keep Reading...>

May 30th, 2019