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Hadley Says

Will a Criminal Record Impact on Your Application for a Hong Kong Residence Visa?

July 23rd, 2012

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Hadley Says…, Investment Visas, Long Stay & PR, Refusals & Appeals, Special Programmes, Visitor Visas / 74 responses


 

Every now and again the question of criminal convictions and the impact they have on the Hong Kong visa process raises its head. Hadley here waxes lyrical on this subject and surprisingly, has quite a lot to say!

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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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RESPONSES
  • Lola

    12 Oct 2019 am31 2:33am
    01

    Hi. I am currently under investigation for harassment in the UK and have a job offer in HK. Is this likely to affect the visa application? If charged once in HK, will this affect the visa?

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Oct 2019 pm31 12:06pm
      02

      The test is “no known record of serious crime.”.

  • Kikabing

    29 Aug 2019 pm31 6:42pm
    03

    Hi Visa Geeza – I have a question. I am a naturalised HK citizen (HK Passport) but prior to becoming one I was on work visa and before I became a HK PR (which was 6 years before I took up HK citizenship) I had a drink driving offence. I actually got my Citizenship/Passport 6 years after this case. I was fined at the time by order of the Magistrate court and my driving license was suspended for a period of 1 year – other than that nothing else. I have had no other offences. I am now planning to move to another country for work and for this a Police Clearance Certificate would be required – so would my drink driving offence cause issues?

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Sep 2019 pm30 3:25pm
      04

      Sorry – I have no idea. Every country is different and I only know about Hong Kong.

  • Kyle

    29 Jul 2019 pm31 3:21pm
    05

    Hi, I’m from the Uk and have two cautions for possession of controlled substance, one was from 7 years ago which was a class B and the other was from 4 years ago which was class A.

    My parents were both born in Hong Kong, and both migrated to the Uk, where I was born, but they didn’t apply for residency for me when I was younger – My Dad moved back to Hong Kong about 4 years ago and Mum still lives in the UK.

    I’m 26 in October, and starting to study in University this September for three years.

    I want to know if it will still be possible to apply for a permanent residency since most my relatives and family live there?

    • The Visa Geeza

      2 Aug 2019 am31 10:07am
      06

      HUGELY complicated area with no one line answers I;m afraid. It all depends on the UK immigration status your parents had at the time of your birth and when you acquired UK nationality. The best you mighe eventually be able to te it ASSG. see: http://www.hongkongvisahandbook.com/second-generation-chinese/

  • jimy2011

    13 Jul 2019 pm31 7:39pm
    07

    Hi , I am from Pakistan. I have illegal work in Hk 2014. I have sentenced 15 months. after come out form prison. I had got married with a Chinese woman. she applied my dependent Visa August 2016. then after octer 2017 immigration refused my case. then I came back Pakistan 2018 , i didn’t reacive any deportation paper or any stemp on my passport. 2019 my wife have applied again my dependent Visa, can it is possible i can get my dependent Visa or not, if yes after how long i can get my dependent Visa. Thanks for replying me

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Jul 2019 am31 10:32am
      08

      With a record of immigration offences and imprisonment ImmD will not give you a visa.

  • blazeh

    10 Jul 2019 am31 1:21am
    09

    can i get a work visa in hong kong if i have a past criminal records in canada for felony charges with imprisonment of more than 2 years..but been clean for the last 6 years ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Jul 2019 am31 10:35am
      10

      Possibly. You don’t have to expressly disclose your criminal record unless ImmD specifically ask you.

  • Nick

    16 May 2019 am31 2:44am
    11

    Hi my name is nick I applied for the dependent visa 14 months ago immd have asked for documents many times which I have submitted overtime despite that visa is still not approved I was convinced For illegal employment in 2014! I wanted to ask would this effect my case if it doesn’t the. how long would it take them to approve my visa!
    regards

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 May 2019 pm31 1:33pm
      12

      Yes prior immigration offences blacken your record. Essentially ImmD don’t want you in HK again so you will struggle to get approved sorry to say.

  • Anon

    10 May 2019 am31 10:45am
    13

    Hi Visa Geeza,

    Wanted your view on something. I’ve been working in HK for four years under an employment visa, and last year got convicted for assault, which resulted in a community service order. Prior to this, I had a clean record in Hong Kong and all other jurisdictions. The immigration department recently sent me a letter saying they are aware of my conviction, and that it wouldn’t affect my current visa term, but would be taken into consideration for future extensions.

    My current work visa is valid until October 2020, however I’m changing jobs and so am going through the visa sponsorship transfer process. Do you think my conviction will impact my ability to 1) extend my visa or 2) transfer employment sponsorship?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 May 2019 pm31 1:38pm
      14

      Non-custodial sentences w/o any direct police request for negative consideration tend not to impact future immigration applications where it is a single, first time offence.

      • Anon

        28 May 2019 pm31 4:08pm
        15

        Thank you for your response, that’s very helpful. And I take it that the Immigration Department being informed and having it on record, is not in itself an indication that the police have requested negative consideration?

        • The Visa Geeza

          30 May 2019 pm31 2:04pm
          16

          Correct.

  • Mr HK

    26 Apr 2019 pm30 7:38pm
    17

    Hello

    Hello,

    I currently hold a Hong Kong work visa to 2020 as I am sponsored by the company I work for. I recently was convicted of assault on a public servant in Europe and convicted to serve 14 days and a fine as taxi drivers are considered public servants in this country I was in. Will this affect my current work visa that I am on in Hong Kong if my employer gives this information to the immergration departmen? would I be in breach of my work VISA even if this happened outside of Hong Kong?

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Apr 2019 pm30 4:17pm
      18

      There’s no reason to disclose any of this routinely as part of your HK employment visa extension of stay application unless ImmD expressly ask. If you voluntarily disclose it ImmD will likely assess it’s significance on the grant of your extension of stay.

  • Tony

    9 Feb 2019 pm28 8:33pm
    19

    Hi,

    I have a caution for battery for a fight i was in when i was 18 im from the UK, i was hoping to go to hong kong to study chinese for a year would i get a visa or would i likely be rejected?

    • Tony

      9 Feb 2019 pm28 8:44pm
      20

      Also this is probably a stupid question, but my grandad was actually from hong kong and moved to the UK it was a british colony back then but is there any way you can get residence through things like that, thanks for all your help.

      • The Visa Geeza

        12 Feb 2019 am28 9:56am
        21

        No, sorry to say.

    • The Visa Geeza

      12 Feb 2019 am28 9:56am
      22

      This shouldn’t be a problem for you.

  • Zaid

    9 Jan 2019 pm31 10:55pm
    23

    I am a U.S. citizen. Applied to the Hong Kong Education Bureau as an English teacher. I received a notice that my application was accepted pending employment visa paperwork. I have a criminal background check with sex offender check from the state I live in. Will I need an FBI national level check? I had the state check done because it was easier and my original plan was to go to a school in China.

    Thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      16 Jan 2019 am31 10:53am
      24

      From an immigration perspective normally these things are not called for unless the employer makes it a condition precedent t progress with the employment. So it all turns on your employer rather than ImmD.

  • moonkija56

    20 Dec 2018 am31 6:15am
    25

    Hi. I was charged and convicted with a impaired driving under alcohol three years ago. $2,000 fine. I learn the lesson and have been clean ever since. I was offered a job in Hong Kong. Now I am about to apply for a work visa. Will I have a problem?

    • The Visa Geeza

      21 Dec 2018 pm31 5:31pm
      26

      This should not prove to be a problem.

  • vivi

    7 Dec 2018 pm31 7:18pm
    27

    hello, I’m is Indonesian domestic helpers
    I want to ask, how do I apply for a work visa, so that I can work in other fields of work, besides domestic helper (stay out job), can I do it?

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Dec 2018 am31 11:11am
      28

      No it’s basically impossible.

  • imrath

    29 Aug 2018 pm31 2:18pm
    29

    hi, i m Pakistan national , recently my dependent visa rejected bcoz i had criminal record in hk , i go to prison for 6 month,
    i want to know (if possible) how many limit after we apply again for dependent visa , one thing i know if visa refused next day can apply again but immigration office again reject for criminal record, what is ur experience when i apply again ,

    • The Visa Geeza

      30 Aug 2018 am31 10:07am
      30

      To be honest you’re pretty much wasting your time. Your criminal record trumps your privilege of a dependant visa (you must come to ImmD with clean hands).

  • Jake

    22 Aug 2018 pm31 11:17pm
    31

    Hi.
    Does a uk citizen need a degree to live and work in Hong Kong?
    Thank you

  • Danish

    7 Aug 2018 pm31 7:09pm
    33

    I recently applied HK visit visa and got refused.
    I had been employed in Qatar and have pending Credit Card cases.
    Is this the most likely reason of rejection? I shared all my travel and past employment visa details.
    Kindly advise.

    • The Visa Geeza

      10 Aug 2018 am31 10:54am
      34

      I have no idea why you might have been denied. Could have been anything really.

  • GC

    22 Jun 2018 pm30 11:14pm
    35

    hi, i have some felony drug charges that are 15 years old, can i get a hong kong visa and teach english

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Jun 2018 pm30 12:00pm
      36

      It depends. The rule is there should be no known record of serious crime. ImmD do not ask you to disclose any prior criminal record. Not having a criminal record is no guarantee of an employment visa to teach English though.

  • C…

    5 Jun 2018 pm30 10:19pm
    37

    Hi ! I am accused of shoplifting hk$800 clothes where i have no time to plead not guilty and fight the case because of my sick mother so i have decided to plead guilty will this criminal record of shop theft will effect my permanent residence application ? Right now im
    In dependent visa and i shall be permanent in 2020 ?my husband is permanent resident here in hongkong please help

    • The Visa Geeza

      7 Jun 2018 pm30 7:04pm
      38

      It all depends on the sentence and the police report to your ImmD file. It may or may not. If you were to go to jail then yes certainly. One time minor offences tend not to be a problem. If you’re not guilty it is not a good idea to plead guilty though…

  • F

    22 Jan 2018 pm31 9:36pm
    39

    I was charged with one charge of breach of condition of stay and the case is regularly adjourned every 3 months and I don’t have any criminal records in Hong Kong . Right now my police records is clear records.
    Will it be affect my dependent visa application?

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 Jan 2018 am31 8:57am
      40

      Yes. Until it’s resolved ImmD will not finalise your applciation

  • Mark

    9 Oct 2017 am31 10:05am
    41

    Hi, I was convicted for theft 1+ year ago in Hong Kong (clothes for HK$240). First conviction ever (in HK or elsewhere). I have been leaving in HK for 4+ years and I am planning to apply for working visa renewal for the second time. Any chance to be rejected?

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Oct 2017 pm31 2:51pm
      42

      If the police have no objection and the offence did not involve imprisonment then it is unlikely that you will be refused an extension of stay.

  • Polly

    19 Aug 2017 am31 8:27am
    43

    Hi,
    My boyfriend wanted to know if he has to go through a special procedure to enter Hong Kong and if he has to pay to enter or fill out any paperwork for having a past DUI?

    Thank you!

    • The Visa Geeza

      22 Aug 2017 am31 9:26am
      44

      No.

  • Jamie

    28 Jul 2017 am31 3:39am
    45

    Hi

    I have a job offer as a UK national to HK but declared my record spent (5 years in UK) and therefore clean as we can do this here.

    I have: ‘theft of article x 2’ ‘theft by employee’ and ‘fraudulent use of article’: all gambling related in 2008/09, sentencing was fine and community order (12 months), all mitigating through addiction.

    since then gained teaching qualifications and master.

    Will I be granted a working visa (working with children)

    Thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Jul 2017 am31 11:50am
      46

      I doubt this will be an issue for you.

  • Violet

    20 Jul 2017 pm31 1:38pm
    47

    I am from Czech Republic and am living in UK now. I would like to apply for a spouse visa as my fiancee is a Hongkonger. However, I had custodial sentence 9 years ago and still need 1 year to be eligible to erase the record. May I ask if the probability that my application will be declined is high? Thanks a lot.

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 Jul 2017 am31 11:50am
      48

      Normally ImmD do not specifically ask about criminal records but if they do you will need to disclose it and then see how the cards fall. if they don’t ask then it’s unlikely they will refuse your application. You will never know until you apply.

  • Mark

    26 Jun 2017 am30 11:34am
    49

    Hi there,
    I have 3 unspent offenses next to my name

    2009 custody of a knife in a public place (fined)
    2009 Exceed speed limit <45 Km/H (fined)
    2010 Damage to property (fined + convicted, 12 month bond)

    It's 2017 now and I haven't been in trouble since 2010. How do my chances look for a working visa in HK?

    • The Visa Geeza

      28 Jun 2017 pm30 12:34pm
      50

      Shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Jen

    18 Nov 2015 am30 10:42am
    51

    I have a drink driving conviction in Australia (fine only) and an otherwise clean criminal record. Will I be automatically denied a QMAS visa. I have 110 on the points test.

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Nov 2015 am30 11:18am
      52

      Nope.

  • Maccau

    8 Mar 2015 pm31 4:24pm
    53

    Would the same general rules apply for a Blue Card application in Macau?

    • The Visa Geeza

      9 Mar 2015 pm31 12:14pm
      54

      I doubt it as we are 2 different immigration jurisdictions but I have no expertise in Macau immigration law.

  • Stephanie

    4 Mar 2014 am31 9:12am
    55

    Thank u for the reply. Does fines count as a custodial sentence? No jail time or anything.

    • The Visa Geeza

      6 Mar 2014 am31 8:42am
      56

      No, a fine is not the same as a custodial sentence and is usually not deemed to be a ‘serious crime’.

  • stephanie

    3 Mar 2014 pm31 5:20pm
    57

    with a reckless driving conviction in the u.s.
    will applying for work visa be difficult or be declined?

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