Browse Our Most Recent Content (& Beyond)

Business visit to Hong Kong? With Hong Kong having such a liberal visa-upon-arrival regime (with more than 160 nationalities being granted permission to visit for between 7 and 180 days – depending on which passport you carry), it is understandable that there is confusion as to what is permitted activity if you are a ‘business […] Keep Reading...>

July 15th, 2019

First Published June 20, 2012 Down the years a great many foreign nationals arrive in Hong Kong as visitors ‘on spec’ and are able to successfully change their immigration status in order for them to take up employment when a job offer manifests itself here. This question discusses this very issue and provides the answer […] Keep Reading...>

July 13th, 2019

My employment visa has been refused …. We have been contacted a lot recently by applicants who’s cases have been refused  – so this question is both timely and, for all those affected, of great significance. QUESTION “I would like to know if, once  I have received the first rejection letter from an Officer of the […] Keep Reading...>

July 11th, 2019

First Published August 2, 2012 Thinking about joining in a side business in Hong Kong? Certain foreign national professionals who teach in Hong Kong, especially those at university, often find themselves wishing to participate in their profession whilst educating others. The question is begged as to how they can, from a visa and immigration perspective, […] Keep Reading...>

July 9th, 2019

Can I Come & Install Equipment in Hong Kong Without an Employment Visa.? Permitted activity under the Visitor visa category seems to be something of a grey area and in the final analysis it all boils down to the attitude of the Immigration Department for a breach of conditions of stay. However, some activities are […] Keep Reading...>

July 7th, 2019

Sometimes, the sun and the moon align beautifully on a set of circumstances to allow an unmarried couple to spend time together in Hong Kong when ordinarily visa circumstances conspire against them. Not on this occasion, however! QUESTION “Hi there, I have just recently returned from Hong Kong to Canada where I am a citizen. […] Keep Reading...>

July 5th, 2019

First Published May 13, 2013 HIV Health Checks Hong Kong Visa Application ? Amazing really. more than 20 years in the business of Hong Kong immigration and this is the first time I can remember this question ever being raised. So, now you know! QUESTION Hi Stephen, I do not see this issue addressed on […] Keep Reading...>

July 2nd, 2019

Sometimes, round-pegs-in-square-holes situations crop up which make the challenge of securing a Hong Kong employment visa especially daunting! This question raises a very interesting set of circumstances which make for an interesting visa application experience ahead! QUESTION “I have been working for the same group of companies for the last 7 years. We have operations […] Keep Reading...>

June 26th, 2019

First Published July 27, 2012 – Advice Still Highly Relevant Today This question comes in 2 parts. The first relates to positive planning in respect of an eventual Hong Kong right of abode application. The second touches on the mechanics of an aligned change of sponsorship application to the Immigration Department in the run in to […] Keep Reading...>

June 24th, 2019

This question seeks to understand what you should make of repeat requests for information from the Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) during the course of your visa application. QUESTION “Good day. In the course of what would appear to be a straightforward application, two sets of requests for further information have been sent by the […] Keep Reading...>

June 21st, 2019

First Published August 22, 2013 Which type of Hong Kong visa has been most in demand in the last 20 years and how easy has it been to get approval for this visa type? On June 6th, 2013 I was interviewed by five law students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong about my experiences […] Keep Reading...>

June 19th, 2019

First Published July 18, 2013 On June 6th, 2013 I was interviewed by five law students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong about my experiences practicing immigration here over the last 20 years. We covered a great deal of ground in the 90 minutes we spent together and over the next few weeks I […] Keep Reading...>

June 17th, 2019

First Published July 24, 2013 On June 6th, 2013 I was interviewed by five law students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong about my experiences practicing immigration here over the last 20 years. We covered a great deal of ground in the 90 minutes we spent together and over the next few weeks I […] Keep Reading...>

June 14th, 2019

QUESTION I’m a Chinese National and now working in HK on IANG Visa.  I have been living in Hong Kong continuously for 6 years (I came here in August 2013, then 1 year study and 5 year work).  My current IANG visa is valid until July 2022 (all visas are back to back).  Theoretically I […] Keep Reading...>

June 11th, 2019

There is a great deal of confusion about Hong Kong employment visa sponsorship and this short video cuts through all the noise and sets it out definitively. More Stuff You Might Find Useful or Interesting Your employer must help you get your Hong Kong employment visa The 7 things to tell your employer about Hong […] Keep Reading...>

June 10th, 2019

How to qualify for a Hong Kong work visa – 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 to do their cases by themselves without needing to pay […] Keep Reading...>

June 8th, 2019

First Published March 27, 2013   The Court of Final Appeal quashed the hopes of 1,067 long stay foreign domestic helpers(“FDHs”) earlier this week when they ruled that time spent in Hong Kong as a foreign domestic helper is not ‘ordinary residence’ for the purposes of a right of abode application. Putting the human dimension […] Keep Reading...>

June 4th, 2019

I am grateful to my sister ‘Detty’ Ellis for sending this picture to me which, I have since discovered, was taken in the early 90’s on Ma Tau Wei Road in To Kwa Wan. No doubt this fine book purveyor would be stocking every last word on the Hong Kong visa process and how to […] Keep Reading...>

June 3rd, 2019

A foreign national seeking to come to Hong Kong to work, paid or unpaid, for a long or short duration, requires the permission of the Hong Kong Director of Immigration. QUESTION Dear Stephen Your on-line book is very clear and helpful. I just need to clarify my position – and you must get lots of […] Keep Reading...>

May 30th, 2019

Contact Hong Kong Immigration and make your visa expire? This question comes up often enough for it to warrant another explanation of the arrangements which prevail (current ImmD practice)… QUESTION Dear Visa Geeza,  I’m under the impression that when you leave a company that has been sponsoring your employment visa or if you are fired, […] Keep Reading...>

May 28th, 2019

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...>

May 25th, 2019

The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme sucks. It really does. Granted, for those fortunate souls who go on to finagle a QMAS result out of the Director of Immigration, the programme is a complete godsend. And all power to them. If it gets them a visa to make a contribution to our fine city, that’s all […] Keep Reading...>

May 23rd, 2019

On this Blog, I normally eschew talking about my professional practice, how we provide services and how our fees are structured. Both this website and the Hong Kong Visa Handbook are ‘sell free’ zones. These 2 websites are designed to provide you with professional quality visa and immigration resources so that you can make fully informed […] Keep Reading...>

May 21st, 2019

First Published March 28, 2013  Get the 100% Free Application Roadmap Here Today – Still Highly Relevant & Useful! On January 17, 2013 I gave a talk at Centre O in Wanchai on how to go about applying for a Hong Kong business investment visa without the need to pay for any professional help. The 30 minute talk was […] Keep Reading...>

May 18th, 2019

First Published February 28, 2013 – But The Advice Holds Good Today On January 17, 2013 I gave a talk at Centre O in Wanchai on how to go about applying for a Hong Kong business investment visa without the need to pay for any professional help. The 30 minute talk was broken down into 24 very easy to […] Keep Reading...>

May 16th, 2019

First Published June 17, 2102 Hong Kong Immigration Consultants – this video ‘testimonial’ of our client came as a pleasant surprise but also with a great shock. At the time we were working on Annette’s Hong Kong investment visa application, we had no idea she was keeping a video log of the experience. Whilst we […] Keep Reading...>

May 11th, 2019

First published March 6, 2019 and updated May 8, 2019. UPDATE:  8.5.2019 – ImmD are now routinely 2-3 weeks behind their normal case consideration time frames, even as late as May with the Summer Rush just around the corner to boot.  This is borne out by our own dealings with ImmD day-to-day and also the […] Keep Reading...>

May 8th, 2019

First Published July 1, 2013 Continuing our series of 10 Must Have Resources, I have put together this list of materials from our various websites which is designed to help steer you through the process of acquiring a dependant visa for Hong Kong. Remember, for temporary residents this means visas for spouse and unmarried dependant children […] Keep Reading...>

May 7th, 2019

The Hong Kong Immigration Department official video was released in June of 2012. As of the date of this post, their video had 35,000 views. This video is a typical government work of art – which begs the question as to why they produced it in the first place? Lots of smiling faces, stirring music […] Keep Reading...>

May 4th, 2019

 Why Hong Kong Seeks to Attract Foreign National Talent? Globalization has led to a seemingly endless trend of migration of people around the world. This includes the international movement of highly skilled workers, including specialists, researchers, business executives, managers and inter-company transferees. Much of the motivation on the part of these professionals is the allure […] Keep Reading...>

May 1st, 2019

First Published July 20, 2012 7 years to get the Right of Abode in Hong Kong without changing employers in that time? To secure permanent residency in the HKSAR, you need to make an application for the Right of Abode. The Right of Abode, once granted, is manifested in the issue to you of a […] Keep Reading...>

April 29th, 2019

I have been asked twice recently about adding the Hong Kong employment visa to the “10 Must Have …” collection of resources on the Visa Geeza Blog so here you have it. In addition to the resources detailed below, you can also find how to extend your Hong Kong employment visa here and in case your proposed employer […] Keep Reading...>

April 23rd, 2019

If you’ve made an application for a residence visa here, the Hong Kong Immigration Department provide you with a website URL and login credentials so that you can ‘track’ the progress of your case as it travels its way through the visa labyrinth that is the Immigration Tower. So goes the theory anyway. In fact, […] Keep Reading...>

April 21st, 2019

First Published August 27, 2012 Note: I am presently fully engaged on the launch of Hong Kong Visa Sherpa so time’s a bit tight to publish new content on this website for the moment. Consequently I am surfacing some interesting posts from down the years, giving them a lick of paint and showing them the […] Keep Reading...>

April 16th, 2019

First Published On May 25, 2012 The Impact of Brain Drain on Hong Kong: the term “brain drain” first appeared in 1957 in a novel called Atlas Shrugged and the term refers to the loss of skilled researchers, analysts, the accomplished and the talented – for political, industrial and social reasons. It’s currently frequently utilized […] Keep Reading...>

April 12th, 2019

Image: dontstopliving.net The Hong Kong working holiday visa programme first came into play in April 2001 and is meant to aid cultural and education exchanges between HK and those nations who take part on a bi-lateral basis. Participants in the Hong Kong Working Holiday Scheme are not permitted to engage in permanent employment and should […] Keep Reading...>

April 9th, 2019

First Published May 1, 2012 There really is no such thing as visa self-sponsorship if you are an entrepreneur seeking permissions to join in your own business in Hong Kong. You either work for an independent third party employer, or you are working for yourself (or possibly in partnership with one or 2 others). Let’s […] Keep Reading...>

April 5th, 2019

First Published June 3, 2012 Migration demographic analyses first came into play in 1885 in the Journal of the Statistical Society when geographer Ernest George Ravenstein essayed what he termed the “Laws of Migration” seeking to set out an explanation for and attempting to predict migration patterns in England. In his seminal paper, Ravenstein compared […] Keep Reading...>

March 29th, 2019

Applying for a Hong Kong Employment Visa? You’ve been offered a job in Hong Kong and you need an employment visa. But your new employer has no experience about the process, so what do you need to tell them? 1. Firstly, there’s the approvability test – namely – you need to possess special skills, knowledge […] Keep Reading...>

March 26th, 2019

First Published On May 23, 2012   Expiring Hong Kong employment visa having been make redundant? Hong Kong visa and immigration processes can be profoundly easy or incredibly complex. It all depends on the unique combination of circumstances you find yourself in. In a pure linear world of job offer-visa application-approval-then take-up the job, it […] Keep Reading...>

March 23rd, 2019

This question raises a really good point of Hong Kong immigration practice and provides an opportunity to shed some light on how ‘continuity of residence’ is considered by the HKID when it comes to permanent residency applications from 7 year-resident foreign nationals in the HKSAR.   QUESTION “Hi, I have been working for an international […] Keep Reading...>

March 19th, 2019

” I Want to Bring My Girlfriend to Hong Kong”. This is a common challenge for people in serious, yet relatively new  relationships. The Hong Kong visa options are few and far between. You absolutely have to make sure that you stay on the right side of the law on this one. It’s all too […] Keep Reading...>

March 17th, 2019

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...>

March 15th, 2019

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 13th, 2019

We have been contacted a lot recently by applicants who’s cases have been refused  – so this question is both timely and, for all those affected, of great significance. QUESTION “I would like to know if, once  I have received the first rejection letter from an Officer of the HKID for my employment visa application, I […] Keep Reading...>

March 10th, 2019

First Published 27th June 2013 In Hong Kong, unmarried heterosexual life partners who share their lives as defacto spouses can’t apply for a dependent visa for the non principal visa holding partner. Instead they have to reply on a positive act of discretion of the Director of Immigration via an application for a prolonged visitor […] Keep Reading...>

March 2nd, 2019

On December 10, 2015 I gave a talk at Centre O Connect in Sheung wan setting out the nitty gritty of the Hong Kong entrepreneur visa since the implementation of the Enhancement Measures on May 6, 2015. In this segment, I discuss the criteria in play to anticipate an approval under the Business Investment Visa. […] Keep Reading...>

February 27th, 2019

All the basics you need to know about food in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a foodie city, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be a little complicated! Coming to Hong Kong For The First Time? Keep Reading...>

February 23rd, 2019

The Hong Kong Visa Centre has partnered with Neat and Zegal for the new Startup Academy. The Academy will focus on setting up your new company in Hong Kong.   Join us for our Startup Academy session on 27th February! Stephen Barnes, Co-Founder of Hong Kong Visa Centre will discuss the challenges start-up enterprises and other relatively new SME businesses face […] Keep Reading...>

February 20th, 2019

The question of criminal records and how they impact on Hong Kong visa applications keeps cropping up… QUESTION Hi, I have previously lived in Hong Kong, once as a student so obviously held a student visa and then a couple of years later working there so had an employment visa. I’m a Canadian citizen and […] Keep Reading...>

February 12th, 2019

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