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The Hong Kong Immigration Department Are Out to Deny – Not Approve – Visa Applications (Aren’t They?)

November 27th, 2023

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Hadley Says…, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Visitor Visas / 39 responses


Are The Hong Kong Immigration Department Are Out to Deny Rather Than Approve Visa Applications?

It is often said that the Hong Kong Immigration Department are out to refuse visa applications rather than approve them.

Updated October 2023

Hong Kong Immigration Department Are Out to Deny?  Not True!

Nothing could be further from the truth.

ImmD  have a huge job of work administering the population records and immigration status needs of our fine city and it is churlish to anticipate that they see their mission to thwart the desires of foreign nationals seeking to take up residence, for whatever reason, in the HKSAR.

The bottom line is that if you genuinely qualify for immigration status you are seeking, the Immigration Department will grant it to you.

This is especially the case now in 2023 as we seek to solve our present talent crisis.

But remember, the onus is on you, the applicant, to have all your application ducks lined up a row, your documents in good order and your dealings with the Department timely and efficient.

Somewhere among the 200,000 entry visas, 52,000 visitor visas (not issued at the airport or boundaries) and the more than 250,000 visit permit applications received from Taiwanese residents annually, falls your Hong Kong visa application!

Each year, from out of this melee emerges 25,000 employment visa approvals, 5,000 non-local graduates visas, 200-300 business investment visa approvals, 18,000 family visa approvals and 7,500 permits issued under the Mainland Talents and Professionals Scheme.

Hong Kong Immigration Department Are Out to Deny? 80,000 Approvals in 7 Months!

And in the last 7 months, they have approved 80,000 of 100,000 Top Talent Pass applications!

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Business Investment Visas – A Leg Up For Start-Ups In Hong Kong

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Hong Kong Immigration Department Are Out to Deny

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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.

  • PP

    5 Jul 2020 pm31 5:44pm

    Hi there I was approved for a working visa in Feb, because of covid19 my employer in hong Kong wrote to immigration to ask to hold visa open until September 20. My employer didn’t think to tell me this and I was under the impression, my job was no longer there. So I found a new sponsor and was offered another contract.
    I was informed that it would be a simple process of company change. Well new application went in 4 weeks ago now, so with the new application number I check every day. It says “in progress” pfftt unbelievably when I put in my 1st application number in it says approved. Both companies are from the same industry and have actually worked together to sort out new application i dont understand the logic ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Jul 2020 pm31 1:24pm

      2 separate file reference numbers. As the first approval was never activated the application was never formally completed. Your new approval supersedes the old one.

  • Carlo

    5 Feb 2020 pm29 8:48pm

    I got new visa from my second sponsor wife but before I have already 5 years from my first wife..I would like to aske if my visa will continue to 7 years or back to the beginning ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Feb 2020 pm29 12:59pm

      It depends if there was a break in dependant visas between spouses. If not then no problem. If yes, then you likely lost your continuity of ordinary residence for the first marriage.

  • Jena

    29 Oct 2019 pm31 10:49pm

    I was convicted of theft, 6 days imprisonment. i am a domestic helper, do i still have a chance to apply again for visa?

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Nov 2019 pm30 2:59pm

      Nope. Sorry.

  • Wani

    8 Sep 2019 pm30 9:22pm

    My husband is Pakistani refugee in hk. We marry in 2013-2019 till now. He got last visa of hk resident last year in October. He didn’t care me as a wife and just care his permanent. I want to cancel his hkID not need to be permanent and I don’t want to be his sponsor anymore. I will write a letter to immigration about it. How I do and where I can pass the letter to the immigration head??

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Sep 2019 am30 10:54am

      Just write to ImmD residents section 5/F Immigration Tower attention Senior Immigration Officer.

  • Greg Basham

    17 Nov 2017 am30 6:24am

    Should I be applying for new ID card now that I’m Permanent Resident although I’m not sure if or when I might return there to work and live?

    In October 2015 I moved back to Canada from Hong Kong the same day I was granted Permanent Resident status.

    The Immigration Officer knew I was on my way to the airport and told me to give the officer there my letter that says I have Permanent Residence status and that I must retain my current ID card – but not use it electronically. At the Airport the Officer had to call the Supervisor and he confirmed that she not use my card.

    When I return to Hong Kong in Hong Kong I’ll show the letter with my passport and of course the HKID as they will know when they scan my same passport that it links to a resident.

    No one in Hong Kong gives the kind of expert advice you give as it was extremely helpful during my application for Permanent Resident status. You consistently proved that you know the processes at an expert level.

    Thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Nov 2017 pm30 12:09pm

      Hi Greg

      You can apply for your PHKID card anytime you are next in Hong Kong so long as it is within the three years since you last left. Show ImmD the documents you have when you arrive at the airport with your passport and they will admit you unconditionally. Then go to ImmD tower 8 floor and apply for your smartID card.




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