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Hadley Says

The ‘Shenzhen Shuttle’ – A Good Way to Extend Your Hong Kong Visitor Visa?

August 7th, 2012

Posted by / in Hadley Says…, Visitor Visas / 12 responses


Many people chose to shuttle between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in order to secure a defacto extension to their visitor visa?

The question, however, is this a good idea?

What most people who do this don’t realise is that the Hong Kong Immigration Department are keeping count.

You see, once you reach more than 180 days in Hong Kong as a visitor in any given 12 month period, the Officers at the border are put on notice that your protracted periods of stay in Hong Kong may amount to you not being a bona fide visitor to Hong Kong – and you could be stopped and interviewed at any time without notice.

And as you pass across the boundary, you can never know when the hammer is going to fall.

So, if you don’t have a residence visa for Hong Kong and prefer to incessantly shuttle between Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Shenzhen or Macau as a visitor don’t be surprised one day if it all goes pear shaped.

The officer at the border may question you about your bona fides and may or may not allow you to enter.

Even so, the officer may let you in, but could very well endorse SCL inside your passport,

Short Conditional Landing is the death knell if you are a 90 day visitor visa national as you will only get 30 days’ entry, then 14, then 7 then no more at all – for at least another year!

And the only way to release the SCL status against your visitor profile is to go on to get a residence visa subsequently.

You have been warned!

More Stuff to Help You Along

Hong Kong visa extension advice and assistance – 100% free

Extending your Hong Kong visitor visa – a How to Guide

Can I come to Hong Kong as a visitor, find a job then change my status to employment visa?

Will one month as a visitor between residence visas break my continuity of residence for the right of abode in Hong Kong?

What can you do to get a longer period of stay as a visitor if the period of stay granted at CLK upon arrival doesn’t meet your needs?


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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.



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