Browse Our Most Recent Content (& Beyond)

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: 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

Excellent question earlier this week. Great opportunity to slay a few sacred cows. QUESTION Hi, one of the requirements for the work visa application is a proof of genuine vacancy. What if a sponsoring company doesn’t do job ads? What can he present? He does recruit locally via his network since he is just a […] Keep Reading...>

February 9th, 2019

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 self-evidently ‘employment‘ in nature and the answer to this questions addresses it squarely. […] Keep Reading...>

February 4th, 2019

Should you be worried that your employment visa status in Hong Kong might be undermined if you choose to leave the employ of an unsavoury employer? QUESTION Hello, my current employer and visa sponsor is a small business, and my working conditions are intolerable – twice the amount of hours than stated on the contract, […] Keep Reading...>

February 1st, 2019

This question comes up all the time (and is actually answered on the home page of our Blog) but I am grateful for the opportunity to revisit it again now… QUESTION Hi, I’m currently working in Hong Kong with a valid working visa but have been offered a job with another company in Hong Kong. […] Keep Reading...>

January 29th, 2019

Can you realistically expect to work for yourself if your employment permissions have been granted under IANG? QUESTION Hi Stephen, thanks a lot for answering the questions on this website. I must say that all the information on is of immense value. I would like to pose a question regarding the Immigration Arrangement for […] Keep Reading...>

January 26th, 2019

How to swap a Hong Kong dependant visa 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. You can download an infographic of this video content here. We are bringing a whole new line of content to help companies […] Keep Reading...>

January 22nd, 2019

Is it always absolutely necessary to call upon a university degree qualification in order to get a Hong Kong work visa application approved? QUESTION I have found a job here and am now in the process of applying for a Hong Kong work visa. It is a Quality Assurance position in the garment business. My […] Keep Reading...>

January 16th, 2019

Accidentally overstay your Hong Kong employment visa?- What happens to you when  seek to change your employment visa sponsor but realise you have accidentally let your current visa expire without seeking an extension of stay? QUESTION Hi Stephen, I ended my employment in Hong Kong at the beginning of January. I looked for work and […] Keep Reading...>

January 12th, 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...>

January 8th, 2019

I am often asked the question ‘can I freelance’ in Hong Kong or ‘what’s the minimum’ needed to anticipate an approval as an Entrepreneur for a Hong Kong investment visa. This short video lays out how to corral your thinking if you wish to start your own business in Hong Kong and need the permission […] Keep Reading...>

January 5th, 2019

First Published November 25, 2013 Sometimes foreign nationals in Hong Kong take the view that it is acceptable to collaborate in the conjuring up of a job offer just for the purposes of helping a friend or professional colleague secure an employment visa in the HKSAR. However, this is fraught with danger and should not […] Keep Reading...>

January 3rd, 2019

This infographic sets out how the path to securing a Hong Kong employment visa is traveled, from the decision to look for work through to granting of the all-important visa in your passport. More Stuff to Help You Along The perils of contriving a job offer in order to make an employment visa application in […] Keep Reading...>

January 1st, 2019

Entrepreneurship is a fluid beast! QUESTION Hello, I was on an investment visa for a year when I started my own business and then took on a full time role with another company.  I was transferred to an employment visa.  I am now considering leaving this role and going back to actively work in my […] Keep Reading...>

December 24th, 2018

Life can get a bit complicated if you work in 2 places at the same time… QUESTION I work for a Hong Kong company in Macau and my wife is my dependent in Hong Kong where we live. My colleague was the same but has now been employed by a Macau company. Does this change […] Keep Reading...>

December 21st, 2018

Can you realistically expect to work for yourself if your employment permissions have been granted under IANG? QUESTION Hi Stephen, thanks a lot for answering the questions on this website. I must say that all the information on is of immense value. I would like to pose a question regarding the Immigration Arrangement for […] Keep Reading...>

December 19th, 2018

The answer to this question is multi-part and ultimately driven by the challenges associated with a New Business Situation… QUESTION I am based in Hong Kong and would like your advice on visa applications for a friend.   A friend of mine, who is based in the US and I have been discussing a business opportunity for Hong Kong and […] Keep Reading...>

December 17th, 2018

If your investment visa has been approved but the Hong Kong Immigration Department believe your application was marginal, you can expect your visa to be subject to Business Review the first time that it comes up for extension. This works as follows: During your original application the HKID may not have been completely persuaded of […] Keep Reading...>

December 15th, 2018

  There are 2 pathways you can follow to apply for a business investment visa for Hong Kong. 1. You can be in Hong Kong as either as resident or a visitor seeking to adjust your immigration status to join in an existing, or establish a new, business; or 2. You can apply prospectively for […] Keep Reading...>

December 13th, 2018

This is a typical question about what is really a Hong Kong business investment visa application – but most often people don’t know, understandably enough, how to couch it… First Published April 21, 2012   QUESTION “Hello, I’m interested in getting HK residence permit (working visa). Please advise what’s the easiest, fastest and cheapest way […] Keep Reading...>

December 10th, 2018

So, just what immigration options for parents accrue to a foreign national holding a Hong Kong permanent identity card? QUESTION Hi there!  A foreign national became a permanent resident after many years study and work in Hong Kong. Now he wants to sponsor his parents holding Canadian passports to become a P.R. In Hong Kong […] Keep Reading...>

December 7th, 2018

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! QUESTION Hi, Great that you provide this […] Keep Reading...>

December 5th, 2018

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...>

December 3rd, 2018

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; […] Keep Reading...>

November 27th, 2018