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Forum Follies

Why Internet Forums Are A Cr@p Source of Hong Kong Visa & Immigration Advice

April 8th, 2016

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Forum Folly, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Refusals & Appeals, Special Programmes, Visitor Visas / 35 responses


Hong Kong visa forums?

Q – Would you ask a public forum for advice on how to get your teenage daughter off drugs?

Q – Would you ask a public forum for advice on how to answer a tax question from the HK IRD?

Q – Would you ask a public forum about how to make an application to the court to secure custody for your child?

In the main, of course, the answer is no.

You would seek the advice of an expert.

These questions are simply too important to be dealt with via the well meaning but ultimately emperically derived experience of strangers who have no accountability for the advice that they offer up.

The same applies to Hong Kong immigration questions too.

Down the years I have tried to answer a great many Hong Kong visa and immigration questions posed on public forums but mostly the webmasters refuse to post my answers because they contain links to really good advice on our websites.

They are concerned that the quality of our content will direct visitor traffic away from their forums – which is understandable.

However this means that the advice offered up on their websites is of massively variable quality.

There is some shockingly bad advice posted on public forums, but also some accurate advice too.

The problem is, which is which?

Just like advertising, only 50% of it works – it’s just that nobody actually knows which half!

So do Hong Kong visa and immigration public forums actually help?

My response is to provide an alternate opportunity to access expert immigration advice and provide accurate answers via PodCast or otherwise in a video format – also pointing out the folly of some of the suggested answers to the questions posed.

Let’s at least get some quality advice circulating.


Ask Your Hong Kong Visa & Immigration Question &
Get A PodCast Answer  Within 48 Hours, For Free!


More Stuff You Might Find Interesting or Useful

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The Visa Geeza on RTHK Radio 3


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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.

  • Caren

    5 Oct 2021 pm31 11:36pm

    If I’m a US citizen (no HK PR) and my partner (unmarried) is a HK citizen, would our child that’s born in hong kong be eligible to apply for hong kong PR and passport?

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Oct 2021 am31 11:56am

      Yes – assuming the father acknowledges paternity and appears on the birth certificate.


    28 Jun 2019 am30 2:53am

    I want to apply for leisure visit visa to Hong Kong. My wive is a housewife. Do I need to mention monthly income / deposit in the Visa form? I will be attaching her savings bank account details with the Visa form.
    Thanks in Advance..please advice

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Jul 2019 am31 9:47am

      Yes you need to prove you can complete the visit to HK fully without running out of money

  • CCCK

    20 May 2019 pm31 12:58pm


    I am on an employment visa but that will be ending on 3rd July 2019.

    I have resigned and my last day will be June 27th.

    I plan on staying a few more weeks to sight see and wrap things up.

    Will my employment Visa turn in to a Tourist Visa? or do I need to leave and return? (I have a Belgian passport and HKID card).

    If I have to leave and return, do I use my HKID to leave and return through immigration?

    Many thanks!

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 May 2019 am31 11:36am

      You have to leave and return on the last day of your current visa – otherwise you will be an overstayer. You can exit on your ID card but come back on your passport. Leave on the 11 pm ferry to Macau on 3/7 and come back on the 1 am ferry from Macau on the 4/7

  • Walia

    25 Dec 2016 pm31 2:59pm

    Hi Guys..looking for some help..i am an Indian working and living in singapore…under the new rule..i tried to fill up the prearrival registration form, but it says “pre-registration unsuccessful”Went to China embassy, but no help.
    I am traveling in feb for 4 days as a leisure visit.
    This is my first visit to HK.
    Please help me with some pointers.

  • Nagaraj

    15 Dec 2016 am31 7:21am

    Hi. Good morning. Myself Nagaraj from India. Last month I came for a short visa to hongkong for sightseeing along with cousin who has been ter more than twice ). Immigration officers on hongkong enquired a lot about my visit. We told all the information. Although we had a conformation booking of the hotel and return flight ticket the immigration officers denied our visa and send back to india for no reason. We had quite a lot of hkd dollar too. NOt only that, they snatched all our belongings and not allowing to even make a call for indian embassy or any lawyers and send back to india. I am not sure this is the right place for posting this problem. Is yes, I demand an explantion. If not, please let me know where should I complain and they forced us to sign in sme document where theu din allow us even to read. Worst experience ever.

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Dec 2016 am31 11:05am

      I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do. ImmD officers have all the power under law to subject you to the experience you had which is unfortunate but recently Indian nationals have come under extensive scrutinity due a serious problem of ‘fake refugees’ traveling from India to Hong Kong. Indeed, starting next month there is a special pre-travel registration requirement for Indian nationals seeking visa free travel to Hong Kong. Please see:

      Indian nationals need to register online before enjoying the current 14-day visa- free visit to Hong Kong from January 23 next year.
      The move aims to stop the flood of bogus refugees and asylum-seekers from the sub-continent, the Immigration Department said.

      Indian travelers need to access the “Pre-arrival Registration for Indian Nationals platform” section at the GovHK website and provide the necessary information and the result will be released immediately. They have to print the notification slip generated by the system for immigration check.
      The pre-arrival registration is valid for six months, during which the registrant can make multiple visits to Hong Kong with the valid notification slip and the Indian passport linked to the registration.

      In case registration is unsuccessful, an entry visa can be obtained from the Immigration Department directly.
      “Pre-arrival registration for Indian nationals is implemented with a view to ensuring a proper balance between facilitation of genuine visitors from India and the need to safeguard the integrity of immigration control,” an Immigration Department spokesman said.

      The new arrangement will not impede genuine applicants from visiting Hong Kong, he added.

      Holders of an Indian diplomatic or official passport or a Hong Kong Travel Pass, and Indian nationals who have successfully enrolled for the e-Channel service for frequent visitors are exempted from the new requirement. The online registration scheme is available from Monday and is free of charge.

  • mari

    15 Dec 2015 pm31 11:02pm

    I am an hk resident and have applied for a dependent visa for my spouse. I submitted my application more than a month ago but haven’t recieved a reply yet. I would like to know what other documents will the dept be requiring from me other than employment proof and marriage certificate. I am of south asian background by the way and I’ve heard that the dept scrutinizes cases from such nationalities much more. Thanks.

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Dec 2015 pm31 4:20pm

      4 weeks is short. Normally takes 6 weeks minimum. ImmD are interested in assessing the genuine nature of the relationship. Countries where family orchestrated marriage introductions often struggle with the genuine nature of the relationship assessment and could take a lot more time to successfully complete.

  • sham

    13 Dec 2015 pm31 4:13pm

    Im an Indian Citizen working under a job permit in visa..once my visa expires I would like to stay in HK for one more week..Do i need to do a re-entry to HK by going to any other place like Macau or some country..pls advise

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Dec 2015 am31 10:59am

      Yes, make an exit to Macau on the 11 pm ferry on the last day of your employment visa and then come back on the 1 am ferry from Macau the next day – ImmD will give you 2 weeks as a visitor in order to finalize your affairs. There is NO GRACE PERIOD so do not be tempted to overstay your employment visa limit of stay.


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