First Published October 14, 2012
This is a popular topic that people query our websites about, so it’s timely that we received this question out of the blue yesterday. In my answer I refer to the following content resources: QMAS, Dependant Visa, Business Investment Visa.
“I have been working in HK since 2007 on a working visa, which expired in August 2012. Is there any legal status that I can apply for, except getting another job in HK or investing HK10m, to extend my past 5 years so that I can apply for a permanent residency in HK in 2 years time?
I travel often to other countries but I have been practically living in HK and renting an apartment since 1997. I hold a Canadian passport. Currently I am here as a visitor.”
This is a very interesting question, but it’s also quite involved because it requires the essay of three particular visa categories, that may be open for your consideration to assist you to get back into residents visa permissions.
The three visa consents that you are looking at applying under potentially, which don’t include going and getting an employment visa or investing ten million dollars under the Capital Investment Entrance Scheme Visa. The only other three options available to you are the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme program, a Dependant visa or in fact a Business Investment visa.
Just dealing with these programs very quickly. The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme program could be available to you if you are particularly well educated or very well accomplished in your particular professional area of expertise. The dependant visa could be that if you were in a loving committed relationship and residents of Hong Kong and you’re not presently married obviously, then you could make an application for a dependant visa and that would give you the residents permission that you need to continue your residence here. Thirdly, if you are entrepreneurial in spirit and you’ve got a modicum of funds to invest and you can show that you can make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong, you could consider an application for Business Investment visa. Now each of these three visa categories, I’m going to include links in the body of this post, to give you access to the information.
So, those are effectively your options to bring your existing visitor visa and to regularization that a resident visa consent and then you just need to deal with the issue about the impact that all of this will have on your subsequent application after you have been here for seven years for a permanent residency status, and getting a permanent identity card in the process.
The more time you spend as a visitor without taking any steps towards regularizing your resident visa will after the fact count against you for the continuation of the ordinary residency.
However, if you are able to quickly get a new application into the system and subsequently go on to have that application approved no matter how long it takes, then that time spent as a visitor should not count against your continuous ordinary residence. I mention this particularly because the QMAS program takes five to seven months to complete. The business investment visa application only takes three to four months to complete and a dependant visa is really just an administrative exercise so that will take three or four weeks for that process to play itself out.
So there is a consideration that you need to bring into play as to what the most realistic way of getting status is available to you and how fast it will be for you to be able to bring your current tourist visa into a resident visa status.
Okay, I hope that helps in your quest to stay in Hong Kong.
More Stuff You May Find Useful or Interesting
Work in Hong Kong for 5 years – leave for 2 – then return: will I lose my continuous residence for PR purposes?
If You Stay in Hong Kong for 7 Years as a De-facto Spouse Holding a Prolonged Visitor Visa Will You Qualify for Permanent Residency?