Hong Kong Visas Made Easy


Dec 2018

Will One Month As A Visitor Between Residence Visas Break My Continuity of Residence for the Right of Abode in Hong Kong?

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / No responses

First Published On June 20, 2013

This question raises its head in many different guises but this is the first time that anyone has asked it in such a pointed way in the context of training visas – so I’m pleased to be able to shed some light!



Great that you provide this service!

I have a question.

I am currently on a 1 year training visa (expiring 30 June). I do not yet have another job offer lined up. I am currently interviewing for other employers, but things are slow.

It is likely that I will need to leave Hong Kong just before the expiry and then re-enter on a tourist visa.

My question is – if my visa expires on 30th June (with no new job offer or sponsor lined up by this time) but I get a job offer in say in mid-July….will the month or so spent in Hong Kong on a tourist visa count against me in obtaining the ‘7 years’ to acquire PR?

Will the clock be reset to zero if I am on a tourist visa, even for just a month or two?

Many thanks for answering!


Typically if you find yourself in Hong Kong between residences visas, the only immigration status that tends to be available to you as you move from one period of residency into another period of residency, is a visitor visa.

And this question really gets to the heart of the possibility of any time spent in Hong Kong between residence visa periods of stay spent as a visitor, will that time spent as a visitor break your continuity of residence for the eventual right of abode application seven years down the road.

Well the bottom line is that, if you move through from one residence visa through to another residence visa, as long as the time spent in Hong Kong as a visitor results from a state of what I’ve termed ‘administrative flux’, where it can be objectively said that you haven’t abandoned your residency in Hong Kong, whilst you attempt to reorganize your life circumstances so that you can re-establish yourself with a residence visa once again. As long as any time in Hong Kong spent as a visitor is between residence visas in a state of administrative flux then, in my experience, Immigration Department do not hold that time spent as a visitor against you, allowing you to break your continuity avoiding residence, unless it’s for a manifestly long period of time all things considered.

So in your situation, if you’ve been here as a training visa holder for a year, with the expectation on a training visa by the way, that you’re going to leave Hong Kong once your period of training is up, that you’ve been allowed to remain in Hong Kong to complete that training and take the value associated with that training back to your home country. Given that the training visa regime anticipates a return back to your home country, if you’ve now subsequently determined that you wish to remain in Hong Kong, you’re going to leave the employee engagement to the party that is extending the training to you and then seek to join the local workforce, whilst it’s certainly possible for you to go out and find alternative employer, submit and application to adjust your status from visitor through to employment and thereby getting a new residence visa again.

If you find that’s several months are passing, in the interim before you’re able to secure a job offer and get  to a residence visa again, it is possible after two or three months possibly even more, that your continuity of ordinarily residence will be broken in your circumstances simply because you came to Hong Kong temporarily in pursuit of training, effectively made an undertaking at the end of that 12 months that you would leave Hong Kong. If you decide to adjust your status, to apply to adjust your status through to employment once again, then that application is expected to kind of occur immediately, consecutive to your previous residence visa situation. And as I said, the longer you leave it and the longer you stay in Hong Kong as a visitor, the more likely the Immigration Department will hold it against you hard and fast come the seven year mark.

So get your skates on, basically that’s what I’m saying and don’t anticipate that anything longer than three possibly four months will hold you in good stead because in my experience, in your situation with only one year prior residence on a training visa, I suspect the Immigration Department might conclude that the time spent as a visitor in the wake of your expiry of your training visa could have broken your continuity of ordinarily residence.

Ok, I hope that helps.

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Dec 2018

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Nov 2018

Hong Kong’s Not Got Talents – Visa Geeza on RTHK Backchat – November 21, 2018

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Feature Article, Musing / No responses

November 21, 2018

Visa Geeza on RTHK Backchat  –  Hong Kong’s Not Got Talents

Last Wednesday I was invited to participate in a discussion entitled Hong Kong’s Not Got Talents on RTHK Radio 3 ‘s Backchat show hosted by Hugh Chiverton and Jenny Lam.

My fellow contributors were Mark Michelson, Chairman CEO Forum, IMA Asia; Kerry Wong, VP Greater China of a HR firm and Anthony Au, Honorary President of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation.

It was an all round robust discussion focused on  a recent news report denoting that Switzerland was the best locale for nurturing and promoting home grown talent, leaving Hong Kong far behind in its wake.

You can listen to the session below and the Backchat Facebook page can be found here.



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Nov 2018

Freelance Consulting in Hong Kong – Can You Get a Visa?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Investment Visas, Your Question Answered / 6 responses

First Published April 22, 2012

Visas for one-man consulting businesses figure constantly in our enquiries Inbox. This post will attempt to put to bed this question once and for all…


“I am currently working as a consultant for a South African company and I am doing consulting for a large international conglomerate in Hong Kong. My current role involves project management and functional consulting.

Given my expertise and experience, I am interested to change my current position and do freelance consulting in Hong Kong – which will require me to have an investment visa, right?

Do you believe this is possible?

Thanks a lot in advance for your feedback.”


Many thanks for your enquiry.

Yes, you are right. If you intend to start a business for yourself you will require an investment visa.

Every case is unique and has to be taken on its own merits.

One man consulting business DO get approved by the Hong Kong Immigration Department, but it is important that the right conditions be present in the proposed new business situation and also that the story is told in a favourable way to promote an argument which serves to satisfy the investment visa approvability test of being able to show that you will be in a position to make a substantial contribution to the economy of Hong Kong.

I am including below some information resources on this topic that you may not have seen. I trust they help to guide you in your thinking in order that you can make an informed decision about your next move.

One-Man Businesses – What’s Required

One-Man Business – Case Studies

One-Man Businesses – Business Review After Approval

Of course, complete information on the investment visa is contained in the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. You can access all of these resources via this PDF and then click on the icons to take you to the extended detail.

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Nov 2018

How Can I Prove the Veracity of My CV for My Hong Kong Employment Visa Application if a Prior Employer is No Longer in Business?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Your Question Answered / No responses

If you’re claiming skills, knowledge or experience on your CV as part of your argument for a Hong Kong Employment Visa Application – what’s the gig if you can’t fully  support your claims with references or testimonials?


Hi, I am 8 weeks into applying for an employment visa (I’m British).

I have given the documents and a couple of weeks ago had to supply a reference which I managed to get hold of.

And yesterday my would be company heard from them again asking for another reference that was listed on my CV.

However.. the person has now left the company (the company may have even closed and now they have changed careers (it was a 5 year ago position I was referencing).

Do you think it’s OK for this person to state that they have left the company and just provide a letterheaded reference from their current place?

My other friend said it may be tricky.

Please help if you can. I’m not sure what to do.

Thanks a lot!


Naturally enough if you are claiming certain skills and experience on your CV and you’re expecting the Immigration Department to rely on them as being a true and accurate statement of your experience and work capabilities, it’s incumbent upon you to produce the kind of documentation which speaks to the veracity of your CV.

Now, of course, on occasion, it might prove impossible as you’ve encountered to pick up a particular reference from sometime prior particularly if that employer is no longer in business. So usually what the Immigration Department is prepared to do is to at least receive the second best evidence that you can supply and if that happens to be a reference or a document that speaks to your time in that business, or that employer organization and it’s from someone who knew at that time or possible was your superior, the Immigration Department will certainly take that into consideration. Whether it will prove ultimately satisfactory or not, in the final analysis, depends on just how important the time spent in that employment is to the relevance of your current application.

If for example, you’re saying that you’ve been responsible for producing moon widgets for that company and your special skills knowledge and experience for the new employer is to show that you’re going to be producing moon widgets and the Immigration Department have got no way of concluding effectively that you have the experience that you claim, then you know, it could speak to the approvability all told. However, it’s just general affirmation that you spend time in that role in that position, it’s nothing too sensational about it from the approvability perspective, and then you can expect that second best evidence will suffice.

But the final analysis you have the burden of proof in relation to the extent of your CV. So, as far as you can satisfy the requirements the stronger you’re putting yourself forward for an eventual approval.

Okay, I hope you find this useful.

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Nov 2018

Can You Claim Right of Abode in Hong Kong if Your Deceased Spouse Had PR Here But You Didn’t Live With Him at the Time of His Death?

Posted by / in Long Stay & PR, Your Question Answered / No responses

Is the Right of Abode in Hong Kong passed along to the spouse of a permanent resident such that is claimable after the death of your PR holding husband..?


This query is for  my cousin who is an adult.

She was born in Pakistan and got married to a Hong Kong non-Chinese permanent resident.

She has been in Hong Kong many times first after her marriage in 1994 then various times up to  2003.

She has two children one of which was born in Hong Kong.

She currently resides in Pakistan.

She was in Pakistan with her 2 children when she found out her husband passed away in Hong Kong.

She returned once to Hong Kong to verify this,but then came back to Pakistan with her children who were infants at the time.

She now feels able to cope with life in Hong Kong without her husband now that he children are older.

My query: Is there any basis or chance that she may be able to gain right of abode?

I would be grateful if you could help.


As a foreign national seeking to become a permanent resident of Hong Kong, there is a very defined way to go about procuring permanent residency status and unfortunately, it doesn’t transfer to a spouse of a diseased permanent resident by virtue of the fact of death.

The Right of Abode in Hong Kong is directly tied to having been continuously an ordinary resident in Hong Kong for a period of not less than seven years immediately before you apply for the status. So, if we look at your cousin’s immigration profile in Hong Kong, it would appear that sometime after 1994 when she got married assumingly to a person who subsequently went on to become a permanent resident of Hong Kong after 1997, she would have during her time together with her husband have had a dependent visa sponsored by him so from the period after 1997 if she did not live continuously in Hong Kong for at least seven years in her own right, then she at best would have at the time that she made her last departure in 2003 have been merely a dependent visa holder.

And if that dependent visa, on the one hand, was not extended, whilst she was in Pakistan and to even if it had been extended if she was not resident in Hong Kong with her husband and indeed her children at that time it would very difficult to sustain the idea that she was continuously and ordinarily resident in Hong Kong after 2003. But I don’t have any specific instructions as to what her immigration status was at that point in time.

So I will just make the assumption that as of 2003 she was not a permanent resident and that she would not be entitled to apply for permanent residency by virtue of the fact that she was not resident in Hong Kong she was indeed at all times after 2003 resident in Pakistan.

So, given that her husband subsequently died holding a permanent residency for Hong Kong, unfortunately in her own rights notwithstanding her marriage to an individual with that status if she’s not in Hong Kong herself holding a dependent visa she can’t claim ordinary residence so she will never be able to qualify for the Right of Abode.

So, unfortunately, that closes the avenue in relation to her husband. Now, you also make the point that one of her two children was born in Hong Kong, again, without any evidence as to the immigration status of the child it’s difficult to advise whether this would apply to her or not but I will make an assumption that one of the children did secure or at least have the eligibility for the Right Of Abode established at the time of his or her birth and on the basis that until he’s 21 he can show that he’s been settled in Hong Kong, he will at the age of 21 be able to become a permanent resident in his own or her own right and on the basis that your cousin is an over 60 years of age and this child who is holding the Right Of Abode can show to the Immigration Department that he is settled in Hong Kong rather tthan being settled in Pakistan then that child will be able to sponsor its mother, who will be over 60 years of age, for dependent visa permissions as a dependent elderly parent.

But that’s a couple of initiatives sort of down the track as it were, but that would appear to be an option going forward. But it’s not sufficient just to have a status at the age of 21 as a child, he needs have been settled in Hong Kong to be able to be a valid sponsor for an elderly parent’s dependent visa permission. And then assuming that your cousin comes to Hong Kong and lives in Hong Kong continuously for seven years as a dependent elderly parent sponsored by a permanent resident child who settled in Hong Kong she will be able to then go on to secure Right of Abode subsequently but she won’t be able to do while sitting in Pakistan. She’ll have to be in Hong Kong.

Okay, I’ll be found this useful.

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Nov 2018

If I Live and Work in China But Have a Hong Kong Employment Visa Can I Get Dependant Visas for My Family?

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Your Question Answered / No responses

To live in Hong Kong requires a place to lay your head here each night. What happens to your application for dependant visas for your family if you don’t have anywhere for them to live?


I have held a Hong Kong employment visa for the last 3 years.

 But most of the time I work in Shenzhen, China.

 I am here with my family  but I am thinking about moving them to Hong Kong finally for good education and other reasons etc.

 Now I want to apply dependant visas for my family: my wife and two kids .

 But I do not have tenancy lease agreement to show residence proof .

Please advise!


The very Bottom line to this question is that in order to get dependent visas for your family to come and live in Hong Kong you need to be able to show that you can put food on their table and a roof over their head.

Now the fact that you have an employment and an employment visa – that will be sufficient for you to be able to show the Immigration Department that you can put food on their table, a roof over their head is mission critical.

And the problem that you’re facing is that because you presently have an employment visa the expectation is that right now you are a resident in Hong Kong because usually, the Immigration Department will not afford resident visas to people who are actually working in China because you need a visa to work in China, not in Hong Kong.

However, you know, they’re cognizant of the fact that a lot of traveling goes on across the border. So in the main, they typically don’t second guess what the residential arrangements are if you’ve got a good Hong Kong employer and your employment in Hong Kong continues.

But in so far as making an application for a dependent visa goes, as an existing resident, and certainly having been here for three years, at the point of making your application for the dependent visa you will need to show that you have got accommodation for your family.

So, in order to facilitate dependent visa applications, my advice is: get to Hong Kong, rent a place, once you’ve got a tenancy agreement, submit your applications for the defendant visas, I think you’ll find that they will be granted to you without too many problems, but you are going to need to have a tenancy agreement for sure.

Okay, I hope you find this useful.

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