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What’s the Story When You Hold a Hong Kong Work Visa and Face Redundancy?

August 9th, 2012

Posted by / in 60 Second Snapshot, Employment Visas / 8 responses


The Hong Kong Immigration Department are highly sympathetic to foreign nationals who find themselves with an employment visa sponsored by an employer that has had to make them redundant.

In this situation you can expect the employer to notify the HKID of the fact of your redundancy and therefore you need to act on the basis the Immigration Department are fully aware of the change in your employment circumstances resulting from the loss of your job.

Best practice now is for you to independently write to the Director of Immigration and advise them of what has happened to you. Do this within 14 days of the notification to you of your redundancy.

You can then expect that the HKID will then write back to you stating that it’s ok for you to remain in Hong Kong until your current limit of stay expires.

Assuming it is your intention to remain in Hong Kong, this should then provide you with sufficient time to make alternate arrangements to stay in here, either to find another employer or, if you’re so minded, to start up a new or join in an existing business.

In the meantime it is lawful activity to look for, interview and accept a new job offer.

And also pursue the possibility of starting up your own company or investing in someone else’s.

However, it is not lawful to take up a new job until you have secured the permission of the Immigration Department to do so, nor indeed to commence activity in any new business which you are involved with until the HKID have agreed that is ok for you to do this.

So your next move is to make a new application to the HKID either to change your employment visa sponsor to work for an alternate employer or make an application for an investment visa in respect of your new business endeavours.

The availability of the consent of the Immigration Department to these ends will be determined on the individual merits and the circumstances of the new application and should not be assumed as automatically approvable.

You still needed to pass the approvability test for these applications in their own right but you can rest assured it is unlikely the HKID will force you to leave Hong Kong just because you have, through no fault of your own, been made redundant from your job in the HKSAR.

More Stuff to Help You Along

Are there any advantages to being an existing resident when you make an application for Hong Kong investment visa?

Novel solution to an unusual Hong Kong employment-investment visa situation

What to do if your employer is reluctant to help you secure your Hong Kong employment visa?

Can you continue to work if you find yourself in the Hong Kong visa extension twilight zone?

Can a Hong Kong training visa be used as a stepping stone to a full employment visa in due course?


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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.

  • Peter Mason

    13 May 2013 pm31 6:46pm


    1) Which form should I use to advise HKID of the change of employer.
    2) My new employer is a UK company with a HK registered company. Initially my new contract will be from the UK (Parent Co) How/what is the most appropriate way of informing HKID of this and for them to apply for / notify HKID of change of sponsorship

  • Sammy

    10 Aug 2012 am31 1:08am

    thank you very much for this very informative website, it contains so much valuable information.

    About the fact that we can keep our right to reside in Hk after we face redundancy (so through no fault of your own), is it the same thing if I resign from my current job ?

    I have no other job but as my visa expires in 1 year and a half, and I can afford spending a few months trying to find a new job, as things are not going so weel in my current job, I am not fired, but I would like to quit : am I in the same situation than a staff facing redundancy and will HK Immigration let me stay in Hk untill my visa expires?

    Understand from most of your posts this should be possible but wanted to ask you if you already encountered some cases like this before ?

    thanks so much


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