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Strategy on How to Craft an Argument to Appeal a Refused Hong Kong Right of Abode Application

July 28th, 2021

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Refusals & Appeals, Your Question Answered / 13 responses


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.


I have recently been declined Permanent Residency status from HK Immigration, but believe I have grounds to appeal, and would like your advice. 

I am a Canadian citizen residing in Hong Kong as an Ordinary Resident from October 2004.

From June 2008 – January 2009 I was out of work (no employment visa), but still living in Hong Kong, staying on a tourist visa. HK Immigration declined my application based on this time period stating that: 

“Being a person with visitor status at the material time, section 11(10) of the Immigration Ordinance Cap 115 under which any permission given to a person to land or remain in Hong Kong shall, if in force on the day that person departs from Hong Kong, expire immediately after his departure, is applicable to your period of stay in Hong Kong on visitor status.”

During this period I was searching for work, and was still paying rent and utilities in Hong Kong, holding and utilizing my Hong Kong bank account, and conducting myself with the intention of settlement in Hong Kong. I did have a new job contract which stated I could commence work when my new employment visa was approved which came through on the 12th January 2009.

I understand that there has been a break in my continuous ordinary residence of 7 months, however I believe I may have grounds to appeal based on:

I was residing in Hong Kong during this period searching for work (I have a contract stating that I would commence my new job based on this) with the intention (Which still exists today) of settlement in Hong Kong.

 – I was paying rental/utilities, had a bank accounts in place with the intention of taking Hong Kong as my place of residence.

 – The application for my employment visa was placed in November and the application timeframe has pushed out the period from 5 months to 7 months

 – I have all taxation forms for the last 7 years proving it is my intention to settle in Hong Kong.

 Listening to your podcasts, I understand I will only get one shot at an appeal.

 My questions are:

 – If I build an appeal based on the circumstances above, would I have a good chance of having the ruling over-turned and Permanent Residency granted?

 – Do you know of other cases where there has been a break in the 7 year continuous period but Permanent Residency status was granted? And if so, on what grounds was the break in ordinary residence over-looked?

Look forward to hearing from you.

More Stuff to May Find Useful or Interesting

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Why would you choose unconditional stay after 7 years residence in Hong Kong when the right of abode is available instead




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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.

  • Adel

    4 Feb 2022 pm28 3:44pm

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I have dependent visa
    Will complete 7 years

    At 15/5/2022

    What time is suitable for applying

    Can before 15/5/2022

    Or should At 15/5/2022

    Please give me suitable time to applying for permanent HKID

    Best regards

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Feb 2022 pm28 12:34pm

      You can submit your papers 28 days before your 7 year anniversary but you must be physically present in Hong Kong on the day you submit you papers and also on the 7 year anniversary itself. You will need to have a valid dependant visa on and after 15/5 until your PR application is approved.

  • BG

    20 Aug 2019 pm31 5:14pm

    I was born in HongKong in 1998.according to Hk government rules right of abode section send me a letter before I reached at the age of 21 . And after filling up the form and mailed it I got a response from the right of abode section stating that my right to abode has been cancelled and changed to right to land .and as I asked for the reason they told me that I was not making Hk as my hometown and neither my parents but I used to come here once in every 3 years because I was studying abroad so I can’t be here and my parents were taking care of me so is it appropriate that they can change my right to abode to right to land .
    And I wanna appeal so may I get any ideas .
    Thank u !!

    • The Visa Geeza

      21 Aug 2019 am31 11:58am

      If you were living together with your family in your country of origin while completing your studies for more than 3 years then you have no real chance. To appeal, take your case here:


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