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What Are the Obligations of an Employer to a Prospective Employee When an Application for a Hong Kong Work Visa Has Been Refused?

January 16th, 2014

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Musing, Refusals & Appeals / 4 responses


Foreign nationals seeking to work in Hong Kong have a lot of stake in an employment visa application so when it doesn’t work out positively where does that leave their proposed relationship?

2555 continuous (or cumulative) days in Hong Kong for the right of abode? Surely not?



After the recruitment process in a multinational company in Hong Kong, they decided to employ me, so I signed the offer job letter with all terms and conditions and I provided them all documents requested for the visa.

After about a month, a received an email from the company: my employment visa application was refused, as ImmD consider my position could be filled my a person from the local labour market.

I tried to convince my boss to make the application again but they denied saying that a successful result was not guaranteed and they could not wait longer.

Basics of the position:

– Native spanish, fluent english, experience in sales and customer service.

– Salary 16,000 hkd per month

My questions are:

(1)  Doesn’t the company have any responsibility in the application process about starting again the application (in the offer letter says the employment is subject to the Visa working permit)?

(2) Is it common that after a visa application is rejected the company does not provide any help or solution?

(3) Taking into account that companies try always to employ people who already has visa to save money and time, how much is the cost of the working visa for them?

Thank you in advance.

More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting

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I would like to apply for a ‘job seekers’ visa for Hong Kong – how do I go about doing that?

Lame excuses won’t cut it if you’re caught working in Hong Kong without n employment visa

How a Hong Kong employment visa application can go completely wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing



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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.

  • twinkle

    4 Dec 2014 pm31 3:59pm

    My employer has sent all the documents to immD in mid-Oct. Three weeks later, I was told that my work visa got rejected and my employer planned to appeal my case.

    Question: How long does it usually take to hear feedback from immD? Does it really take 3-4months? Currently I haven’t heard any thing from immD yet so does it mean my case with merit?

    Thanks for your time!

  • Dan

    24 Jan 2014 pm31 10:16pm


    I am in a similar position as you however mine is in a rather awful situation. I was offered a role back in September. After going through 3 rounds of interview and successfully outperforming other local candidates to the job. I believe my bilingual skills proved to be more effective.

    Signed all contracts and provided all documents that was requested by my new employer to apply the working visa. After resigning my job, I arrived to HK at the end of October, decided to take some time for holiday while waiting for the visa to go through.

    Received a message from new employer to say i was missing a reference letter document. So i contacted my previous employer for the document and forwarded the letter to new employer. End of November, i called HKID to ask how long will it take, only for my new employer to tell me not to call them as they are processing it with them.

    Heard absolutely nothing until shortly after New Years, new employer responded back saying the application initially had been refused however the regional director has filed a reconsideration application back to HKID. The wait is going to be another month or 2 apparently.

    Now my new employer said by the time the visa does come back and even if it is a yes, they might not even have a role for me no more.

    Now i am in a catch 22 situation where, 1: I can only wait so long due to being out of work which i have no income. 2: My visitors visa can only hold me till March.

    My question is does it really take this long to even find out wether its a yes or no? This experience for hasn’t been a pleasant one. You can imagine how irritating this situation is for me.

    • The Visa Geeza

      28 Jan 2014 am31 8:52am

      I can imagine how frustrating it all is for you. Normal processing time is 4 weeks after ImmD have received all the documents they need to give due and full consideration to an application. This is really more often than not 5-7 weeks all told (by the time there’s been a bit of toi-ing and fro-ing). However, Reconsiderations with merit will take a further 3-4 months! Those without merit get knocked back very quickly. The real issue here, to my mind at least, is the attitude of employers in extending job offers to people overseas who give up a great deal at home in pursuit of a great opportunity in Hong Kong – without having considered the immigration implications of the project FIRST. I have come across your situation enough by now to know that some employers just don’t take this seriously enough – especially those employers who have no prior experience in dealing with visa applications for foreign national staff. Speaking frankly, ImmD don’t often get decisions wrong (although they are not infallible) and it may be that you’re better off seeking an alternate employer in a role that you are more suited to for visa purposes, withdrawing the Reconsideration application and starting again. All the very best in any event


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