To get the Right of Abode in Hong Kong you need to:
– Spend seven years continuously resident in the HKSAR
– Have taken Hong Kong as your only place of permanent residence
– Be obviously settled here, and
– Have no outstanding taxation liabilities
Moreover, you need to have held a resident visa in all of that time, except for short periods when your immigration status was in a state of administrative flux.
This means that you can start counting the 7 years from when your first residence visa was issued through to the 7th year anniversary.
In that time, any short periods where you unexpectedly had to have a visitor visa (say, if you were changing employers at the time your employment visa expired, or you had to leave Hong Kong temporarily and your visa expired while you were away) will not count against your ‘continuity of residence’ for the purposes of your permanent residency application.
But it is absolutely vital that you have a valid residence visa at the time you file your application for the Right of Abode AND at the time of its approval – otherwise you simply will not qualify.