Browse Our Most Recent Content (& Beyond)

Married to a PHKID Card Holder Overseas – There is quite a lot of confusion surrounding the question of immigration status in Hong Kong for foreign nationals who married their permanent ID card holder spouses overseas and who now wish to move to Hong Kong.   This question, just in, provides an opportunity to clear […] Keep Reading...>

April 23rd, 2018

Since the Audit Commission Report Number 66 published in April of 2016, Hong Kong entrepreneur visa holders subject to a review of their business each time they seek to extend their stay, have got more of the same coming…   QUESTION Hi there, It’s time for my Hong Kong entrepreneur visa renewal and I’m confused […] Keep Reading...>

April 19th, 2018

In a blended family situation, the question often arises about how to secure Hong Kong immigration status for children from a previous relationship… QUESTION I’m a Korean married to a resident here, so eventually will have a dependant visa. The question is, what is the process for getting a dependant visa for my 16-year old […] Keep Reading...>

April 17th, 2018

The experience of being denied entry as a visitor to Hong Kong… Got this email in over the weekend. Good to share:Hi, I travelled to Hong Kong on 12th on a PAR from India. The immigration officer asked me for the duration of my stay. I told her I am in hong kong for 10 […] Keep Reading...>

April 16th, 2018

What impact does being a Hong Kong permanent resident have on being married to a PRC national presently resident on the Mainland? My friend is a British Passport Holder who is a Permanent Resident in Hong Kong for over 20 years He married a mainland Chinese girl in Hong Kong and they now have a […] Keep Reading...>

April 9th, 2018

First Published on October 18, 2012 Whilst this question (along with the answer provided) discusses a dependant visa application, it does set the scene nicely for me to share with you how to go about prompting a response from the Immigration Department in an effort to keep your Hong Kong visa or other immigration application […] Keep Reading...>

April 7th, 2018

Living in Hong Kong ain’t cheap, that’s for sure… QUESTION I’m an Australian and British citizen currently living in Australia and I want to found a technology Startup company in Hong Kong because the government incentives seem very attractive to do so. The downside is that housing is ultra-expensive in Hong Kong and paying this […] Keep Reading...>

April 5th, 2018

Will what has been done before impact on a Hong Kong Prolonged Visitor Visa out of policy application now? QUESTION I have a general question regarding conditions of stay for a Hong Kong prolonged visitor visa. On the Hong Kong Immigration website it says: “Subject to the following conditions of stay: (a) he shall not take any […] Keep Reading...>

April 3rd, 2018

Overstayed in Hong Kong for a very long time previously…? Great question this, not so much because the answer is mostly quite obvious, but because it gives me a chance to have a discussion about overstaying generally. QUESTION I was looking for a male helper and found a suitable one for our family. However, he […] Keep Reading...>

March 31st, 2018

Freelancers in Hong Kong are often faced with a round-pegs-in-square-holes visa situation that is not easily resolved. This post attempts to deal with the challenge of visa approvability for these people and shed some light on what is actually do-able from an immigration perspective. QUESTION I am currently a full-time reporter in Hong Kong, I […] Keep Reading...>

March 29th, 2018

It sometimes happens that 2 job offers emerge in quick succession and you prefer to accept the 2nd one but the visa application for the first one has already started. So what happens in a situation like this? QUESTION I am currently in Hong Kong and about to sign a contract with a company who […] Keep Reading...>

March 26th, 2018

Dead simple question this one with a very short answer (for a change!) QUESTION What paperwork/ piece of paper, if any, goes in to your passport to recognize that you are a permanent resident of the HKSAR?  For the last 7 years I’ve had a dependant visa.  I need to know as I have one […] Keep Reading...>

March 23rd, 2018

On April 21, 2017 I gave a talk at WYND Co-working space in Lan Kwai Fong entitled 10 Steps to a Successful Hong Kong Entrepreneur Visa Application. This segment is Step 10 – D-I-Y Application The Rest of the Series Introduction How We Got Here Must Have Resources The Startup Visa Step 1 – Understand […] Keep Reading...>

March 20th, 2018

First Published August 24, 2015 Over the last 20 years or so I have coined a number of phrases in Hong Kong immigration parlance. In this short piece, I discuss  how the Hong Kong Immigration Department position their internal test for visa application approval via, what I have couched, as their Approvability Test. More Stuff […] Keep Reading...>

March 17th, 2018

First Published September 17, 2017 Hong Kong immigration services? After almost 20 years of providing immigration advice and assistance in Hong Kong, I am in the uniquely fortunate position to really understand how the market works – and the choices that clients have when looking for professional assistance. My time working at the highest levels […] Keep Reading...>

March 15th, 2018

At Chinese New Year 2018 I went back to Blackburn, Lancashire the town of my birth in northern England. It was bloody cold, right before the Beast from the East! More Stuff You May Find Interesting or Useful My Story In 10 Parts On Content Marketing Hong Kong Visa Geeza On RTHK Radio 3 Generosity […] Keep Reading...>

March 13th, 2018

Easy, yet an important question this one – all about visa label collection once your applications have been approved. QUESTION Hi, we have received information that our visa stamps will be sent out in November, however I will be travelling overseas during that time and won’t be at a fixed address until I arrive in […] Keep Reading...>

March 10th, 2018

First Published December 14, 2012 [Looking around furtively…] Shussh… You are probably paying too much for your Hong Kong visa service. It’s true, and here’s the reason why. Your ‘easy’ Hong Kong visa application costs just as much as a ‘hard’ or ‘very hard’ case – yet your visa services provider does not distinguish them. […] Keep Reading...>

March 8th, 2018

First Published November 13, 2013 Continuing the meme parody of Hitler in the bunker, this time responding to the news that his application for a Hong Kong passport has been denied. Topics referenced are the Hong Kong investment visa, employment visa, dependant visa, prolonged visitor visa and the Right of Abode. And of course, the […] Keep Reading...>

March 7th, 2018

Hong Kong visas for Chinese national spouses cannot be directly sponsored by their Permanent Resident spouses. So, what ‘unconditional visa’ options exist, if any, for family reunion purposes? QUESTION I am a Hong Kong  PR (Canadian, been in HK for 9 years now working as a CPA) and recently married a PRC resident, who is […] Keep Reading...>

March 6th, 2018

Can you swap from a foreign domestic helper visa to a dependant visa whilst in Hong Kong? QUESTION My domestic helper, from the Philippines, is married to a Hong Kong Permanent Resident. Her contract with me expires in April and they want to apply for a dependent visa for her. Is this possible, what are […] Keep Reading...>

March 3rd, 2018

Will the Hong Kong Immigration Department ever tell you why a Visitor Visa application has been refused? One of the more frustrating aspects of dealing with the Hong Kong Immigration Department is the almost total lack of visibility on why applications get refused. No more so when it relates to a ‘limited purpose’ application for […] Keep Reading...>

February 28th, 2018

What can you do if your marriage has irretrievably broken down and your Dependant visa is about to expire? QUESTION I am separating from my wife and she is refusing to keep me on her Dependent visa. My visa expires in a month and my employers have always made it clear that they won’t sponsor […] Keep Reading...>

February 23rd, 2018

Is it ever OK to work in Hong Kong on a visitor visa? You would assume, quite reasonably, that if the Hong Kong Immigration Department advised you that is was OK to come to Hong Kong as a visitor and work, then that would be kosher, right? Wrong! In this question, it is more than apparent […] Keep Reading...>

February 20th, 2018

Short period of time away from Hong Kong break my continuity of residence? Sometimes, continuity of ordinary residence can inadvertently be broken due to factors outside of your control… QUESTION I recently graduated from a Hong Kong university after 2 years of permanent study. Due to circumstances I had to return to my home country […] Keep Reading...>

February 16th, 2018

New Hong Kong work visa? This question has a straightforward answer which has been addressed quite a few times previously on this Blog but it was asked in such a novel away it made me realize that not everyone views Hong Kong immigration through the lens that I have carried with me for 20 years! […] Keep Reading...>

February 12th, 2018

A frequently experienced conundrum. How can a foreign company temporarily sponsor Hong Kong employment visa permissions for its employees and contractors who need to work here in pursuit of a commercial arrangement which is of an indefinite or fixed duration here? QUESTION How can one visit and deliver short-term (typically 1-5 days duration) training courses […] Keep Reading...>

February 8th, 2018

Do the Hong Kong Immigration Department expect every foreign national employee of Hong Kong registered companies to have employment visas even if they have never worked (or never will work) in the HKSAR? QUESTION Is there any problem with a Hong Kong registered company employing someone currently resident in Malaysia for a role supporting one […] Keep Reading...>

February 5th, 2018

I may be the middle of my NYC break but immigration stops for no man! Just before I left, I received the following question in regards to a Right of Abode application – which required me also taking a look at her documents. I’m grateful for the questioner’s permission to include our dialogue here on […] Keep Reading...>

February 3rd, 2018

The answer to this question seemed so obvious to me before, but now it has been asked, I realize it’s not immediately obvious to everyone, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to address it now… QUESTION I have just recently had my employment visa successfully extended.  For 2 years.  My passport has been updated with […] Keep Reading...>

February 1st, 2018

Work full time in Hong Kong without an employment visa ? This is a bit of a hoary old chestnut this question but a really important one nonetheless so I am grateful to the questioner for posing it. QUESTION Hi there, My Hong Kong employment visa application has just been refused. My company who are […] Keep Reading...>

January 29th, 2018

The pickings are slim where there is no possibility of a Hong Kong defacto spouse visa (otherwise known as a prolonged visitor visa)… QUESTION I have looked over your website and found lots of good information. However, I think I have a question that may not have been answered on the site. I have been […] Keep Reading...>

January 26th, 2018

Like the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster, I’ve heard mention of this mythical beast several times down the years, so I was really pleased when this question came in recently as it gives me an opportunity to slay a sacred cow or 2. QUESTION Is there a flexible work visa in Hong Kong? Because […] Keep Reading...>

January 24th, 2018

Can you get a self-sponsored change of sponsorship Hong Kong work visa? Fantastic question this which took me 10 minutes to think the answer through for! QUESTION As an expat, I currently work for a company that sponsored me in Hong Kong for my work visa.  I now no longer want to work exclusively for […] Keep Reading...>

January 21st, 2018

Will time spent in prison in Hong Kong break continuity of ordinary residence for PR purposes? First Published on April 10, 2016 QUESTION I am interested to know if there is anything I could do to strengthen the case of my application for the right of abode (permanent residency) and I am also unsure if […] Keep Reading...>

January 19th, 2018

Two-pronged question today starting with how to change Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship into a new job sector… QUESTION My current work visa is about to expire 5 days from now. I’ve applied for a transfer and extension simultaneously almost 4 weeks ago as I am moving to a new employer. The visa application has […] Keep Reading...>

January 16th, 2018

Does it help being a 90 day Hong Kong visitor visa national if your spouse is a 14 day Hong Kong visitor visa national? QUESTION I am an American who has recently married a Filipina.   I do not have any residence visa for Hong Kong; I’m just here as a 90 day visitor as a US citizen. […] Keep Reading...>

January 12th, 2018

Changing jobs in Hong Kong requires the permission of the Director of Immigration… Dear Stephen, How can I get the approval of the Immigration Department to change my Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship without my current employer learning about it? I have a stable job in Hong Kong and am finalizing an offer with a […] Keep Reading...>

January 8th, 2018

This is the question most often asked of my profession really… QUESTION Hello, I was a sponsored by my uncle’s company for 2 years then we had an argument and I left. Now I’m holding a visitor visa. For 6 months I’ve sent my resume to more employers than I can count but when it […] Keep Reading...>

January 4th, 2018

Girlfriend visa for Hong Kong? First Published August 8, 2012 So, you’ve met a lovely local girl recently on your holiday to Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines and you’re thinking about the kind of visa she might get to allow you both to carry on your relationship now that you’ve returned back to Hong Kong. […] Keep Reading...>

January 2nd, 2018

Can you swap a Foreign Domestic Helper visa into a Regular employment visa? This is a reasonable question that has an obvious answer although not for the reasons you might typically expect. In 20 years of practising Hong Kong visa and immigration consultancy, the only successful change of status application from FDH to residence visa […] Keep Reading...>

December 30th, 2017

Sometimes even the big name publications can get their facts (and law) wrong… do you need to have been physically present in Hong Kong for a full seven years (i.e 2555 days all told) in order to qualify for Hong Kong permanent residency? QUESTION Dear Stephen, The Wall Street Journal guide to HK states (here: […] Keep Reading...>

December 27th, 2017

if you hold a Hong Kong employment visa, bringing elderly parents to join you in Hong Kong is an area of immigration practice that is fraught with difficulty – as well as uncertainty. Dependant visas are, as a matter of policy, not available for non permanent residents yet it’s a scenario that presents itself all […] Keep Reading...>

December 23rd, 2017

What happens if your application for a Hong Kong training visa gets refused – will be be able to arrive and visit Hong Kong subsequently – or not? QUESTION I’ve been accepted into a startup accelerator in Hong Kong. It’s not one of the “pre-approved” ones for the so-called Start-up visa so I’ve been recommended […] Keep Reading...>

December 21st, 2017

How to change from a Hong Kong dependant visa to a Hong Kong employment visa from 39,000 feet (whiteboard animation). We are presently building the website for our new corporate services proposition, Hong Kong Visa Sherpa. We are bringing a whole new line of content to help companies with more than 100 employees to do […] Keep Reading...>

December 18th, 2017

Got an income but no savings? What impact will this have on your ability to successfully sponsor a Hong Kong dependant visa? QUESTION Hello! I have a work visa and will apply for my husband to stay by applying for a Hong Kong dependant visa. Alas I have no savings, is there a minimum amount […] Keep Reading...>

December 15th, 2017

Great question today with a simple answer and an opportunity to shed some more light on the Catch 22 and  your ‘intention to reside’… QUESTION Who we are: We are a UK pharmaceutical wholesale distributor in business for 15 years, currently selling into Hong Kong.  Objective: To establish an office and register 3 pharmaceutical products with […] Keep Reading...>

December 13th, 2017

How to qualify for a Hong Kong work visa under the Admission Scheme For Mainland Talents & Professionals – from 39,000 feet! We are presently building the website for our new corporate services proposition, Hong Kong Visa Sherpa. We are bringing a whole new line of content to help companies with more than 100 employees […] Keep Reading...>

December 11th, 2017

How is your dependant visa affected under the Mainland Talents & Professionals Scheme if your sponsor father is heading home?  What happens to a Hong Kong resident dependant visa holder sponsored by a parent holding a visa issued under the Admission of Mainland Talents & Professionals Scheme where the parent is unlikely to remain in […] Keep Reading...>

December 9th, 2017

First Published On May 19, 2012   It’s funny how this question just keeps on cropping up. I’m not quite certain where this red herring originates from as the Hong Kong Immigration Department standard communications do not specifically call for such a document (and we do not expressly request one from our clients in support […] Keep Reading...>

December 7th, 2017