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Hadley Says

Visa Processing Time Hong Kong – The Reality Behind The “4 Weeks” Application Consideration Time Frame

June 29th, 2023

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Hadley Says…, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Special Programmes, Visitor Visas / 82 responses


Visa Processing Time Hong Kong – What’s The Actual Reality?

Visa processing time Hong Kong? When you make most any type of Hong Kong visa or immigration application, you will find yourself in the Hong Kong Immigration Department’s infamous 4 Weeks Zone.

Visa Processing Time Hong Kong – Is It Really 4 Weeks?

When it comes to visa processing time in Hong Kong, you see, the Immigration Department (“ImmD”) cite that they need 4 weeks to finalise an application once they have received from you all of the documents they need to  decide on your case.

What is not stated, of course, is the time that is required to undergo the inevitable requests for information and documentation to enable the Department to enter into the 4 Week Zone.

Unless you are adept at reading between the lines in the official correspondence of ImmD, it is easy, therefore, to conclude that it should take just 4 weeks for an application to be finalized.

Visa Processing Time Hong Kong – Better Set Your Expectations For 6-8 Weeks

In fact, it’s usually more like 6 – 8 weeks from case submission to case finalization by the time the Immigration Department have on hand everything they need and, in the instance of a business investment (entrepreneur) visa application, more than 12-16 weeks.

Visa Processing Time Hong Kong – ImmD Do Not Usually Take Their Time …

However, in fairness to the Department, if the application is readily approvable once they have all the documents in hand, they more often than not do not need the full 4 weeks to finalise your case and the reality is that Immigration Officers genuinely do try their hardest to get cases completed in the quickest time possible.

They do, in reality, provide a truly excellent, cost effective service!

More Stuff  You May Find Useful Or Interesting

Checking The Status Of Your Hong Kong Visa Application On Line – Yeah Right!

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

Immd – What An Efficient Organisation They Really Are!

Winning A Hong Kong Right Of Abode Application In Record Time – Just 4 Days!

How To Gee Up A Hong Kong Visa Application That Is Taking Too Long To Finalise


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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.

  • SM

    16 Mar 2023 pm31 5:36pm

    hello geeza hope you are doing well. My sis and her husband is getting married in HKG soon while my sis is permanent HKG ID holder but her husband was dependent son from his stepmother sponsor and his natural father and somehow got divorced within 4 years which was unknown to him as well and when he applied for permanent in 7 years he came to know truth and was denied to stay in HKG with deportation letter. his solicitor fought cases for 3 years already and now finally my sis is getting married with him. my question is how long does it take to apply for dependent visa is it even possible? well i heard it takes lot of time like 3,4 years for them to give him visa? well both of them are Nepalese ethnicity and my sis was born in HKG.

    • The Visa Geeza

      22 Mar 2023 am31 8:18am

      Yes, this highly complex case is going to take a long time I’m afraid.

  • SS

    7 Oct 2022 pm31 11:46pm

    Hi, I came to Hong Kong in 2016 on dependent visa from my husband but I was divorced in 2020. And after that I got work permit (employment visa). Due to corona virus I didn’t leave the country when my dependent visa expired and I was changed to employment visa right after without having to leave the country. So my question is would I still be able to get citizenship in Hong Kong after 7 years (from 2016) or will my process start again from 2020? They also didn’t change my ID card and have the same one from 2016. Thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Oct 2022 am31 8:09am

      You don’t get Citizenship automatically at 7 years. You first apply for PR then you apply to Naturalise as a Chinese citizen and after that as a permanent resident of HK you get a HKSAR passport. You have to give up your existing nationality to achieve this outcome. The change in visa category and the ID card questions you ask will not impact the start date of 2016.

  • Abhilash

    15 Jul 2022 am31 9:35am

    Thanks Mr. Barnes, This is exactly what I was searching for too, but couldn’t find this max 90 days criteria in any of the immd’s docs online.

    • Abhilash

      15 Jul 2022 am31 9:37am

      This is in reference to Adya’s query: I am employment visa holder in HK , and Indian passport holder, my parents are 55 yrs old , for how long can i plan their visit to india ?

      • The Visa Geeza

        17 Jul 2022 pm31 2:27pm

        Maxiumum 3 months upon initial application extendable by a month once in HK. No more than 6 months in any 12 months period.

  • Rehan

    12 Mar 2022 pm31 5:05pm

    Hello there Visa Geeze,
    My sponsor apply my work visa from Hong-Kong in November 2021 and still i didn’t get any update from embassy as they said that will take 2,3 months to process but now already 5 months, is that cause of covid immigration work is slow.
    I’m from Pakistan. Kindly reply 🙏

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Mar 2022 am31 11:06am

      Yes could very well be.

  • AA

    21 Sep 2021 pm30 4:21pm

    Hi Sir, I applied for my HK student visa via my university. The processing time for my student visa application started on the 10th of August. I have booked my trip to HK for Oct 2. On the 14th of September, the immigration office requested a confirmation letter to withdraw my previous student visa from the other university. Roughly when will my new student visa application be completed based on your experience?

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Oct 2021 pm31 12:39pm

      4-6 weeks

  • SS

    15 Apr 2021 pm30 1:15pm

    I have applied my dependent visa for second time

    I have send all documents to immigration department.
    I have also refrence number that show my status progress
    But 3 month i have wait for next processing
    But no any one letter is send to me by immigration
    When i call to imm department and then reply from imm department is that”your file is in progress and i have no need any more documents and wait for letter.
    But i have wait for 3 month for the next processing

    How much time takes a more
    And why he said that no more paper need
    I think is result negative or positive

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Apr 2021 am30 11:50am

      This generally means they are doing deep background checks in the genuine nature of the relationship.

  • adya

    10 Mar 2020 pm31 2:45pm

    I am employment visa holder in HK , and Indian passport holder, my parents are 55 yrs old , for how long can i plan their visit to india ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Mar 2020 am31 10:23am

      Maximum 90 days each visit with a visitor visa applied for in advance – total 180 days per year,

  • Ashish Vishwakarma

    31 Jan 2020 am31 3:57am

    Hi Sir, Could you please let me know how much time it takes to get work permit visa along with dependents for HONG KONG?

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Feb 2020 am29 9:34am

      6-10 weeks.

  • Sarabjit singh

    13 Nov 2019 pm30 11:03pm

    I have send reconsideration letter to immigration before 2 months ago(25 aug 2019)
    But no response by immigration

    How much time take a immigration on reconsideration letter

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Nov 2019 am30 11:48am

      Many months I’m afraid.


    15 Aug 2019 am31 12:02am


    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Aug 2019 am31 9:54am

      Up to 12 months

      • Praveen Kumar

        17 Aug 2019 pm31 6:00pm

        my consultant told me it tale only 45 working days !!

        • The Visa Geeza

          19 Aug 2019 pm31 2:40pm

          He just wants your money. More than likely a scam…

    • krishnaRawale

      15 Sep 2019 pm30 11:37pm


      • The Visa Geeza

        16 Sep 2019 am30 9:57am

        10-16 months.

  • The Visa Geeza

    13 Aug 2019 pm31 12:54pm

    Just wait out the process. Your DV will be extended at the same time. If you are not going to travel during the time your visas have expired but before ImmD finalise your applications your immigration status quo anti is preserved and there is no need to leave HK or file a visitor visa request. See:

  • The Visa Geeza

    13 Aug 2019 pm31 12:51pm

    Another 4 weeks potentially.

  • Sohwish

    16 May 2019 am31 9:33am

    For dependant visa – Immigration ask to wait for 6 weeks after the submission of enquiry. May I know that Saturday and sunday are also included in 6 weeks? and what about the public holidays?

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 May 2019 pm31 1:32pm

      6 Calendar weeks

  • Taher

    24 Apr 2019 pm30 2:22pm


    If I applied for WP and DPs and after it is approved. What is time duration for DPs to travel Hong Kong?


    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Apr 2019 pm30 4:14pm

      Within 90 days.

  • raju thapa

    29 Mar 2019 pm31 3:25pm

    hello sir i am a nepalese passport holder from nepal … i have applied in dependent in hong kong .. my wife is a hong kong ID holder having a good salary .. the 1st letter has came in 6 weeks … the second letter haven’t came its been 14 weeks .. want to ask how long will the time take to get visa .. thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Apr 2019 pm30 5:01pm

      No idea. It could a very long time or indeed if at all.

  • Chandrasekhar Doppalapudi

    3 Dec 2018 pm31 10:25pm

    Hii Sir ,i was applied QMAS visa through a consultancy.

    i got a letter from ImmD and in the letter they are given the refarance number . just was curious that how long more does it take after your reference number is given to you by the hk immigration department . Is there another letter after i receive my first letter to get the approval letter .
    I look online the status is showing in process .
    I have received first letter in the month of Nov 15 (1st week).
    and could you please tell me the next process.
    expecting your valuble advise.

    • The Visa Geeza

      7 Dec 2018 am31 8:51am

      You will be engaged in a backwards and forwards correspondence exercise for 6-9 months and then you can expect the outcome after about 12 months.

  • Michael B

    12 Nov 2018 pm30 4:24pm

    hi, i just need your advice, a company in HK hired me and submitted my working visa application by September 4, 2018, up to this date my working visa was not yet approved while my friend who is also hired by the same company got her visa approved in 5 weeks time after the company received the courier containing documents for visa application. as of this moment, the HR told me that is under process as of Nov.6, 2018, does anyone here knows how long it will take for my visa application to get approved? or is there a possibility that they cancel my application through the company secures me an employment contract? please help me with my queries…

    thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Nov 2018 am30 9:08am

      If it’s taking so long ImmD are closely assessing elements of the approval criteria. Suggest you call the officer dorectly and enquire as to timing / any issues. You can get the officer’s name and contact details from any official correspondence received from ImmD other than the official receipt and file reference number.

  • Ali Mohammed

    2 Oct 2018 pm31 6:53pm

    Hi Visa Geeza!
    Hope this message finds you well and healthy! Firstly, I would like to say, you have an amazing website full of resources and important information.
    I am in a situation really and was wondering if you could shed some guidance or advice on my issue.
    I am a British Citizen and I have the right to travel to Hong Kong visa free, my wife is a Pakistani National and so she has a Pakistani Passport and also has a British Residence card. Foolishly without getting the correct information, I booked my flight tickets and accommodation before applying for her Visitor Visa for Hong Kong. I submitted the Hong Kong visitor application in the UK and it has been just over two weeks and I have had no response. I was not given any application reference number so I can not chase it up either. I have just 4 weeks remaining before my departure flight and I am slowly losing hope. I would have to cancel my flight and accommodation and lose out on a lot of money if the visa does not come through within the next 4 weeks.
    Is there anything you could recommend me doing in order to get an update? I have already contacted the embassy in Hong Kong embassy twice by email and phone but I get told that someone will contact you.

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Oct 2018 am31 10:58am

      Call the Immigration Department hotline and see what they have to say.

      • Ali Mohammed

        3 Oct 2018 pm31 12:59pm

        Hi, thanks for the quick response.
        I have already emailed them twice and called the embassy in Hong Kong also. The reply from the emails were that we will forward your details to the correct department and they will get back to you, this was over a week ago.
        The phone call I made, I gave them my details and I was told to expect an email in 3-4 working days, no news so far.
        It’s amazing how there’s no express service or a dedicated office here in the UK that can help to track and update people regarding their applications.
        I submitted our papers about two weeks ago and we have four weeks left to travel so I’m hoping for the best.

        • Trang

          10 Oct 2018 am31 6:17am

          Hi Ali,

          Is there any progress on your wife’s application?
          I am in a similar situation though I’ve just submitted my documents one week ago.

  • MAK

    13 Jun 2018 pm30 3:18pm

    Hi ,

    My Sponsor have applied my work visa on May 16th. As of today(13th July) it is in process status.

    As per the Hong Kong Standards I am earning good salary as well as 7 yrs of experience in the same field (IT).

    When can i expect my visa to be approved? It is already almost 4 weeks of time.

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Jun 2018 pm30 7:11pm

      Its summer rush at ImmD – expect it to take 6-8 weeks or longer if there are complications

  • Bishal Ale Magar

    1 May 2018 pm31 6:02pm

    Hello, i am submitting my documents for visit visa this 4 May 2018, i havent booked ticket yet. What is the best date for flight booking? How long is it gonna take for the arrival of visa once i submit my documents?so i dont need to rebook my ticket.

    • The Visa Geeza

      7 May 2018 am31 8:32am

      6-8 weeks.

  • Ern

    9 Jan 2018 pm31 1:34pm

    I need urgent help and advice.
    I was hired to a new company last year 2017 Nov. I’m want to know why my company told they don’t get news from immd until now about the working visa now is Jan 2018. Is there I need to do personally to come to immigration and inquire about the status of the processing? Please help and advice thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jan 2018 pm31 4:16pm

      If you have your file reference number you can approach 24/F of Immigration Tower and seek an update from them directly.

  • Suga

    4 Jan 2018 pm31 6:03pm

    I have submitted the tourist visa application last week in person at immd 2nd floor wanchai. But havent received any acknowledgement letter or reference number to check the status online. Any idea please .

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Jan 2018 am31 11:29am

      It takes 10 days to 2 weeks to get a receipt

      • Alana

        19 Jun 2018 pm30 12:58pm

        In what form does the receipt come; letter, email? So that I know what to look out for. I posted my application just over 2 weeks ago and not heard anything. I am concerned that it has been lost in the post as I stupidly didn’t do recorded delivery!

        • The Visa Geeza

          19 Jun 2018 pm30 6:29pm

          2 weeks is a very short time. ImmD will contact you via the method you indicated on your application from

  • Tanvir

    23 Nov 2017 am30 6:40am

    Hi, I am a Bangladeshi passport holder living in Tokyo. I will need transit visa for Hongkong. What is the usual processing time to get the transit visa in case if I apply through the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Nov 2017 pm30 4:28pm

      Allow 4 weeks processing time after submission.

  • Wena

    30 Oct 2017 am31 9:52am

    Hi and good day Sir, I will be giving birth on the second week of next month and have applied my mother for a transit visa. Her ticket is on November 5 checked the status online still in progress will be 3 weeks now. Any chance she could enter as a tourist first in case that date comes without any result yet and just wait for her visa when she arrived here in HK? Thank you so much, appreciate it a lot. Warm regards!

    • The Visa Geeza

      31 Oct 2017 am31 9:15am

      You need to tell me the nationality of your mother. Wihthout that I cannot help.

  • Jess

    26 Oct 2017 pm31 3:11pm

    I submitted my documents for dependent visa application on Tuesday Oct 24 2017, these are the documents submitted between my spouse and I together:
    cover letter requesting to join spouse in hong kong along with index
    marrigae certificate (from Gibraltar, original copy and apostilled)
    both our birth certiicates
    rental slips from over a year as proof of acommodation
    inland revenue from 2011-2017 (240,000) a year plus rent support (18,000 per month)
    tax slips
    transunion credit report
    copy spouse HK id card
    copy both our passports
    photo before weding
    photo during wedding ceremony with friends and family
    photo after marriage
    whatsapp history of 5 months everyday chatted while we were away
    family letters with original envelopes
    spouse last will and testament including me as wife on it

    I would like to point out that on March after a trip to Macau i was refused entry to hk twice my spouse got solicitor ro help m back in and on my colombian passport only give me one week, instead of 90 days. i am back in hk as a visitor permitted for 90 days with one month remaining.

    Any idea of how long visa for dependant spouse takes? And if I apply for visitor extension is there a chance?

    • The Visa Geeza

      31 Oct 2017 am31 9:19am

      Normal application time for a DV is 6 weeks.

  • Edmund

    12 Oct 2017 pm31 2:44pm

    hi, my wife is a Vietnamese passport holder, we have applied for a tourist visa on 6th oct 2017 to HongKong, What is our chances to get a reply before the end of this month ?as we plan to travel on the 31st Oct.

    kindly pls advised, thank you.
    Mr Edmund Liew

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Oct 2017 pm31 6:46pm

      Not great. You should allow 6 weeks for visa processing typically.

  • Waqar Ahmed

    30 Sep 2017 pm30 6:57pm

    Dear RespectedTeam.
    I have applied for HK visa & waiting for the confirmation ,I have a business meeting in HK between 16 Oct to 24 Oct , I need visa confirmation before that can you please help me in this case ?
    Further I have received Visa Reference number from HK immigration .if you required will send to you .
    Waiting for your positive response.
    Best regards.
    Waqar Ahmed .

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2017 am31 11:40am

      If you have already submitted your application to ImmD please follow up directly with them as we don’t intervene in cases which have already been submitted.

  • Christine

    19 Sep 2017 pm30 9:56pm

    Hi sir!

    My company has applied for me a working visa. The comoany said to wait for the approval of the immd. It has been already 2 months since the application. Is it normal or do I have to expect that the application was rejected? Thank you in advance.

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Sep 2017 am30 9:26am

      This time frame is not unusual.

  • Ravi Prakash Sharma

    4 Aug 2016 am31 10:38am

    Hello Sir , just was curious that how long more does it take after your reference number is given to you by the hk immigration department . Is there another letter after i receive my first letter to get the approval letter . I look online the status is showing in process .
    I have received first letter in the month of June 16 (1st week) it has almost 8 weeks completed and letter date is 25th May 2016

    • The Visa Geeza

      7 Aug 2016 pm31 1:45pm

      It takes about 12 months for a QMAS application and about 4-6 weeks for an employment visa application.


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