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Musing

Redundancy – the Process Pitfalls of an Expiring Hong Kong Employment Visa

May 23rd, 2012

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Musing / 86 responses


 

 

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 can be relatively straightforward to align your working visa permissions to your job as well as the time spent working for that one approved employer.

But what happens, say, if you get made redundant six weeks before your employment visa is due to expire – and you have no new job offer in hand by the time your current period of stay under the employment visa endorsed in your passport comes to an end?

Do you have to leave the HKSAR? Will you be given an extension to your employment visa even though it is no longer sponsored by an employer you have now ceased working for? Do you go into a kind of visa-limbo land? Do you leave HK for a day or 2 and come back as a visitor? If you do that, does it mean you lose your continuity of residence for the purposes of an eventual application for a Permanent Hong Kong Identity Card, securing right of abode in the process?

These are all-important questions faced frequently enough by foreign national residents of HK to warrant answers to. So here we go:

1. Without a job offer you cannot apply to extend your employment visa permissions.

2. Consequently, when your current period of stay runs out, you will have to go to Immigration Tower in Wanchai and get yourself a visitor visa on the pre-text that you need to remain in the HKSAR to continue to find an alternate employment.

3. The HKID should accommodate such requests for several weeks/a few short months, especially as the longer you’ve lived in the HKSAR, the more amenable they are to empowering you to remain in situ to help you get yourself back on a sound employment footing once again.

4. Once you have a job offer in hand, you must re-apply for an employment visa via the 24/F of Immigration Tower once more using the forms ID990A and ID990B (even though these forms are designed for applicants who are presently living outside of Hong Kong). Using the form ID91 (extension of stay for a visitor seeking to change status back to employment whilst in HK via the 5/F is no longer the process adopted by the HKID). Note that if you intend to start your own business a separate process applies that goes beyond the scope of this discussion.

5. Under this mechanism, once your new visa application is approved, you will be issued with a new visa label which you have to activate by exiting HK (usually via Macau or Shenzhen for the day) and re-entering with the new visa label placed in your passport for activation when you recross the border back into the HKSAR.

6. Any accompanying family members with expired dependent visas simply follow in the stead of your employment visa applications so you can address the situation for each of you in exactly the same manner.

None of this process advice, by the way, means you’ll automatically pass the approvability test for your new employment or (possibly) investment visa application, but does shed necessarily light on the twilight world for expats who find themselves temporarily visa-less after having made Hong Kong their home.

One final point. Typically, any time spent in such visa-limbo-land will not compromise your continuity of residence in Hong Kong for the purposes of your eventual right of abode application. But don’t let too much time pass. Get on with regularising your employment visa situation as soon as you can.

It’ll save you a world of grief.

More Stuff to Help You Along

I’ve lost my job – will I get kicked out of Hong Kong?

If I didn’t graduate from university, will it stop me from getting an employment visa?

Can I employ myself by getting a Hong Kong business investment visa?

Should you ever get married just for Hong Kong visa purposes?

Paying for visa help? The Who’s Who of the Hong Kong immigration services industry

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The Hong Kong Visa Geeza (a.k.a Stephen Barnes) is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Visa Centre and author of the Hong Kong Visa Handbook. A law graduate of the London School of Economics, Stephen has been practicing Hong Kong immigration since 1993 and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on business immigration matters here for the last 24 years.

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RESPONSES
  • Devina rai

    2 Dec 2017 pm31 1:21pm
    01

    Hi my dependent visa expired on dec 5 (been in hongkong for 7 years). Do i need to extend my visa?

    I have already given my application for permanent ID a month ago but still shows on progress when i do the enquiry. The main reason i got worry about is that i havent said the immigration officer that my husband is in jail. And without his presence i cannot extend my visa. Please help me.

    • The Visa Geeza

      4 Dec 2017 pm31 2:08pm
      02

      You MUST extend your dependant visa prior to the finalisation of your PHKID card application. At least you must have an application to extend your DV in the system whilst your PHKID card application is playing itself out. It is December 4 today. Go to ImmD tomorrow morning December 5 first thing, 5/F, and explain your situation re, your husband. DO NOT BECOME AN OVERSTAYER BEFORE YOUR PHKID CARD APPLICATION IS APPROVED.

  • Wahid Kalam Piash

    30 Nov 2017 pm30 8:13pm
    03

    My Visa application for Hong Kong has been approved today 30.11.2017. But i don’t want to print it now. How long the approval will be valid to print.

    • The Visa Geeza

      1 Dec 2017 pm31 4:26pm
      04

      You need to contact your officer and explain your situation to see how ImmD can help you. Usually you must collect the visa label within 30 days.

  • Rhezell

    29 Nov 2017 am30 10:26am
    05

    i just want to ask if i can leave hk for vacation on the same day of my visa expires but i will renew to the sam ye employer before i leave…thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Nov 2017 pm30 2:47pm
      06

      Yes.

  • rick

    23 Oct 2017 pm31 1:22pm
    07

    I have two question:
    1. my working visa from my current office is until March 2019. If i want to find a new job, can i transfer my working visa to a new company? is it MUST be the same nature company to transfer my working visa to another company?

    2. I have a plan to resign. Can i apply a new working visa while i am still working on my company?

    • The Visa Geeza

      31 Oct 2017 am31 9:21am
      08

      1 – essentially yes – ImmD will readily approve like for like employment visa change of sponsorship applications

      2 – yes you can.

  • Raj

    16 Oct 2017 pm31 2:06pm
    09

    I am holding an Indian Passport and wish to Visit HK for a day on tourist Visa.

    I live and work in China Mainland with legal work visa and residence permit. I do know that Indian passport can get 14 days VOA based on PAR. I have already tried to apply for PAR for 3 times but it got unsuccessful.

    I got successful PAR with my old passport but I had to apply for a new one because it was full.

    I am trying to apply the new PAR with my new passport but no luck.

    I have also applied for tourist visa to HK immigration office but the application refused.

    I don’t have any bad history for HK and already been to HK with my old passport several times.

    anyone can help?

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Oct 2017 pm31 6:45pm
      10

      There’s nothing we can do I’m afraid.

  • Cha

    12 Oct 2017 pm31 8:29pm
    11

    Hello. My working visa will expire on March 04,2017 and my passport will expire on january 22,2019(10 months) if i don’t renew my passport how many months does the ImmD grant me if i renew my working visa.

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Oct 2017 pm31 6:47pm
      12

      just til the validity of your passport. Better apply for a new passport before your current visa expires.

  • Laura Ann Louise Fabillon

    2 Oct 2017 am31 11:53am
    13

    hello .. good day
    my visa will expire on nov.12 2017 .. i will go vietnam for my exit and my flight is on nov.11 2017 (11:45pm) .. is it still possible if ever my new visa is not yet release.?!
    thank yOu ..

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2017 am31 11:39am
      14

      Yes as long as you leave before the expiry of your current limit of stay on the 12th it’s fine.

  • Emma

    29 Sep 2017 pm30 5:05pm
    15

    Please help me
    My visa expired on today 29 sept 2017 and this day also I hit my 7years
    I have submited my application for permanent ID on 27 july 2017 amd 2 days later come the lettter from immD that my application was accepted, but until this day my visa last day I dont have any second letter for comforming my applicatioon, when I call last week officer incharge told me that my application will process on today 29 sep 2017
    I am so worry I apply for my extention of stayon last 27 sept 2017 they give me small note to waiting the letter they will send to me
    Is this mean immD will rejected my extention of stay or application for my permanent ID because my belove husban pass away last year
    Can you help me please 😓😓

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2017 am31 11:41am
      16

      This sounds routine and suggests there’s nothing to worry about.

  • Anna

    28 Sep 2017 pm30 3:08pm
    17

    Hi I am on student dependency and currently residing in Hongkong. My husband graduated and got his IANG visa approved ,he applied for his visa along with mine in his application. His visa got approved and mine is in progress ,my visa is expiring on the3rd of October,can I still stay in Hongkong as mine is under progress?

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2017 am31 11:42am
      18

      Yes.

  • Clea Parreno

    20 Sep 2017 pm30 3:36pm
    19

    Hello,my visa will expire this oct.8,2017 then today i process my new visa but due to lack of some documents, the immigration officer schedule me on oct.9 and bring the needed documents ..is it ok..that my visa already expire on oct 8?thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Sep 2017 am30 9:25am
      20

      Yes, so long as you have started the process with ImmD

  • rhea

    14 Sep 2017 pm30 6:43pm
    21

    my visa will expire this coming 16th of september 2017 and i already submit my extension visa processing documents, will it be okay to stay untill my extension visa is issued?

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Sep 2017 pm30 3:32pm
      22

      I assume you are holding an employment visa. If so then yes no problem to stay until your visa extension applciation has been approved.

  • Singye wangchuk

    8 Sep 2017 pm30 8:19pm
    23

    Hi,

    I am holding dependant visa in hk. My wife and me planning to reside in my country permanently. So It will effect my right of abode after 7 years even after renewal of D visa.

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Sep 2017 pm30 3:35pm
      24

      Yes, you can’t claim to have taken Hong Kong as your only place of permanent residence on form ROP146 if you are actually lving permanently in another country. Mere possession of a dependant visa does not equate to ‘ordinary residence in Hong Kong’

  • Beverly

    28 Jun 2017 pm30 5:24pm
    25

    Hi good afternoon. I’ll be renewing my contract with my employer but my passport will expire on July 5, 2018. I wanna ask how many months of visa will they give me and how can I get my remaining visa for.my two years contract after I renew my passport. Thank you.

    • The Visa Geeza

      2 Jul 2017 pm31 6:24pm
      26

      what kind of visa?

  • Leo

    24 Jun 2017 am30 6:36am
    27

    Hi. I was given a work termination notice by my employer due to redundancy until july 31 2017 and my visa will expire on Sept. 13 2017. can I stay in hk until the duration of my visa?

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 Jun 2017 am30 11:28am
      28

      Yes, you privilege to work was suspended when your employment ended buy your privilege to reside continues until your current limit of stay expires.

  • Honey hazelle Valeros

    2 Jun 2017 pm30 12:55pm
    29

    hi. my working visa will expired on june 21 2017. but my boss booked my ticket on june 22 2017.is it ok to go home on that day without a problem in the immigration?

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Jun 2017 pm30 3:49pm
      30

      I don’t recommend it but if you arrive very early for your flight and be ready to pay HKD190 they will probably clear you for departure.

  • May

    23 May 2017 pm31 10:28pm
    31

    Hi, i am an expat and have been working in the same company for my almost 7 yrs now, from october 23, 2010, up to present, my visa will expire this coming october 5, 2017. Supposed to be my 7th yr, but my company doesnt want to renew my contract. What is the best thing for me to do? Thank u

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 May 2017 am31 11:27am
      32

      You have a problem as you need to have a valid residence visa (in your case an employment visa) at the time of the 7 year anniversary when you apply for PR. You need to think about finding a new employer prior to the expiry of your current employment visa.

  • Jay

    19 May 2017 pm31 5:44pm
    33

    I extended my visa and it ends on July 13th but my working contract states that I work until August 31st. What should I do?

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 May 2017 am31 11:22am
      34

      Get a short term extension of stay until August 31 under employment condition. Then you’ll have to leave on August 31 11 pm ferry to Macau and return to Hong Kong as a visitor on the 1 am ferry from Macau on September 1. Then seek new employment if that is your intention and apply for an employment visa sponsored by a new employer.

  • Atik Garg

    24 Apr 2017 am30 10:41am
    35

    Hi, My working visa will expire on 3rd August 2017 but I am planning to go my home country on 6th August. Should I have to extend my VISA?

    • The Visa Geeza

      27 Apr 2017 pm30 11:39pm
      36

      Yes you should.

  • Arnold

    3 Apr 2017 am30 9:53am
    37

    Hi,
    I hold a WHV ending in one day. The past six months, I have been working in my father’s company, and we would like to proceed to the application for the employment visa.

    The company has been opened in 2010 and is financially sustainable. How hard do you think it will be to obtain the visa, knowing that the company only includes my father ( and me during the past six months)

  • Sri

    21 Feb 2017 am28 10:06am
    38

    Hi, thanks for the information on your blog
    Re the above – “2. Consequently, when your current period of stay runs out, you will have to go to Immigration Tower in Wanchai and get yourself a visitor visa on the pre-text that you need to remain in the HKSAR to continue to find an alternate employment”

    1/ Are visitor visas after expiry of work visas issued/obtained easily (or is it case by case)
    2/ What is the max length of such a visitor visa
    3/ Does one need to travel out of HK and come back to switch from an employment visa into a visitors visa

    thanks for your inputs

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 Feb 2017 am28 10:12am
      39

      1/ Are visitor visas after expiry of work visas issued/obtained easily (or is it case by case).

      Case by case. The more surer way these days is to leave for Macau on the 11 pm ferry and come back on the 1 am ferry the very next day after your last day of your employment visa

      2/ What is the max length of such a visitor visa

      Only short term – see 1 above

      3/ Does one need to travel out of HK and come back to switch from an employment visa into a visitors visa

      If ImmD grant you a short term visitor visa as in 1 no; the better option is Macau.

  • Fer

    16 Feb 2017 pm28 1:36pm
    40

    I am the Working Visa holder and i lost my job, my Wife is on Dependent Visa and she is working. Our Visa ends in 1 year and a half.
    How it’s works by the law? Is she allowed to continue to work if i am not working?There is a time limit? Because in her contract she need to give 3 months notice.

  • sobana

    2 Feb 2017 pm28 6:05pm
    42

    I have HK employment visa which will expire in Sep-2017.I came to my home country on May-2016(almost 9 months) to give birth and working from home for my current employer. Do I face any issue when I entered HK for long stay out of HK or Do I need to submit any form?

    Please advice

    • The Visa Geeza

      7 Feb 2017 pm28 9:09pm
      43

      Should be OK. However when you apply to extend they may ask to prove that you intend to live in Hong Kong. If you don’t actually live and work in Hong Kong they will conclude you don’t need the visa.

  • Gabriele Pace

    12 Jan 2017 am31 12:18am
    44

    Hi
    I use to leave in Hong Kong from 2012 until 2016 with a working Visa
    I had to go back to my country italy ( Family Issue)
    Can I go back to Hong Kong to work with a working visa?

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Jan 2017 am31 11:17am
      45

      As it is now 2017 in order to work in HK again you would have to get a job offer and have that employer sponsor you again for a new working visa.

  • Eli

    8 Jan 2017 am31 5:15am
    46

    I’ve been working in hk for 5 years, ionly need 2 more years to get a residency visa, if I change employer will it affect anything? Will I have start the 7 years all over again?

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Jan 2017 am31 11:24am
      47

      No – just so long as there is no break in your back to back employment visa permissions – which whilst not automatically being fatal to your RoA application, any such breaks in your continuous residence visa permissions can certainly complicate it…

  • Canary

    5 Jan 2017 pm31 5:17pm
    48

    May friends applied theto extension of Staythe visa on 5Dec 2016. However the visa is still in pending status. Her employment contacted is done by 20Jan 2018 actually. Her visa is going to expire on 9 Jan2017. Can she still stay in hk and work until the visa is ready?
    Also she has 2kids who use visitor visa to stay in hk? during the waiting period, can they still staying in hk? Thanks

    • The Visa Geeza

      14 Jan 2017 am31 11:29am
      49

      Assuming she has an employment visa then yes. if she has an FDH visa I’m sorry I don’t have the answer as we have no specialization in FDH visas. If the kids are here in HK on visitor visas they must have a valid limit of stay under that status in order to steal compliant with their visitor status. There is no connection between a parent’s pending immigration application and visitor status of any children of the applicant. So under no circumstances should she allow the kids’ visitor visas to run out without either leaving and returning (to fresh their limit of stay as visitors) or getting an extension from Immigration Tower – otherwise they will be illegal overstayers.

  • khan

    16 Dec 2016 pm31 4:06pm
    50

    Hello.
    Actually my wife’s dependant visa expired and i hvent noticed and v were out of hk tht time i..unfortunity she cannt comeback due to limit of stay has been expired and she resident more than 4 years in hk. So how can i bring her back with not lose contunity od her length..thx

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Dec 2016 pm31 12:31pm
      51

      Get her visa reinstated by bringing her back to Hong Kong as a visitor (assuming she is a visit visa upon arrival national) and seeking such reinstatement. if she is not a visit visa upon arrival national then you will have to apply for an entry dependant visa all over again). This may or may not impact her continuity of ordinary residence for the purposes of a right of abode application after 7 years (it all depends) but in any event DO NOT LOSE ANY FURTHER TIME woithout her holding a resident visa and having her a full time resident of HK once again.

  • Adrian

    15 Dec 2016 pm31 7:47pm
    52

    Hi, my Working visa (Musician) will expire on january 20, 2017, and im going back to my country on January 9th for my annual leave, is it possible to renew my visa as early as tomorrow dec 16th or on Monday january 19th? So i can collect my extention of stay before january 9th? Thanks!

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Dec 2016 pm31 12:32pm
      53

      Yes, as long as you have all the extension documents in hand and also clear evidence of your plans to travel at the time to make your extension of stay applciation.

  • Snowdust

    15 Dec 2016 pm31 5:37pm
    54

    Hi! Just wanna ask if it’s okay to apply extension of stay on the day your visa expire?

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Dec 2016 pm31 6:25pm
      55

      Yes but ImmD will scowl at you!

  • Mc gregor

    15 Nov 2016 pm30 6:38pm
    56

    Can i apply for extension of stay even my visa will expire 2days before you apply for it.

    • The Visa Geeza

      15 Nov 2016 pm30 6:43pm
      57

      Yes.

  • Ravi

    13 Nov 2016 am30 12:13am
    58

    My employer filed my family visa as work permit instead of depended visa. Now my wife is coming end of nov.

    I request hk immigration department to grant visa asap with reason as above.

    Now, can I bring my wife on arrival while depended visa is in process? would be any problem?

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Nov 2016 pm30 12:46pm
      59

      Sorry can you please rephrase this question more completely as I can’t really get the gist of what you are asking.

  • Firda noorlia

    5 Oct 2016 pm31 12:58pm
    60

    Hi, I just renew my Indonesian passport and then I realized that my working visa in the old passport ! And it’s to be supposed to be expired this month, Oct 10. And my contract with my employee until next year Nov 4, should I go to immigration to extend new visa. Thank you.

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Oct 2016 am31 10:54am
      61

      Yes you should.

  • Jes

    13 Sep 2016 am30 11:41am
    62

    Hi… both my visa and passport will expire this October 2 though my contract is valid until march next year. coz I entered hongkong a year before my passport expiration . now i forgot about all this so i didn’t renew earlier and i just applied for passport renewal w/c will be released oct. 27. Planning to apply for passport extension but i don’t know what to do with my visa. Should or can i also apply for visa extension? Please help.

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Sep 2016 pm30 12:27pm
      63

      You need to seek an extension of stay to your employment visa and also get a new passport BEFORE October 2

  • Krishan

    31 Aug 2016 pm31 3:23pm
    64

    Hi, my HK work visa has already expired. However, i have applied for the change of job before the expiry of old visa.

    So technically, am i allowed to stay in HK as long as my “extension & change of job” application is in process.

    Moreover, am i allowed to travel outside of HK and come back in that period?

  • Fiona Kee

    15 Jul 2016 pm31 6:27pm
    66

    I just renewed my malaysian passport in HK and THEN, i realized that my student visa in the old passport ! It is supposed to be expired by end of this coming August. What will happen? if i carry the old and new passport to the custom, is my student visa still VALID??

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Jul 2016 am31 8:03am
      67

      Yes it’s still valid. As you enter and exit Hong Kong on your ID card in any event there is no practical issue arising for you. The next time you get a visa in your passport you will use your new passport rather than your old one. Carry your old and new passports with you when you travel in any event, just to be safe.

  • Busybee

    30 May 2016 pm31 10:46pm
    68

    When I renew my FDH contract ,the immigration have given me 2 stickers of visa since I was not going back my country after I finished my 2 years contract for holidays , so my one of my visa sticker is expiring on NOV 2016 and anothe one iS NOV 2017 ,they have told me to exit once before my 1st visa expire , so my question is if I am going back this July and come back on August do I have to exit again from hk on this nov as well?

    • The Visa Geeza

      31 May 2016 pm31 10:14pm
      69

      Sorry I have no idea. We have no competency in FDH visas.

  • Jay

    26 May 2016 am31 12:28am
    70

    Just wanna ask if it’s possible for me to extend my visit visa at the immigration of hk?thankyou

    • The Visa Geeza

      26 May 2016 am31 8:51am
      71

      You can certainly try – you may get a week or 2 depending on your reason for the extension, your nationality and your prior record of visiting Hong Kong trouble free.

  • Romain

    20 Apr 2016 am30 10:31am
    72

    Hello,

    My working visa Will expire soon, but i Will stay in HK with a tourist visa the time I find a new job.

    Do I need to do anything with the Tax Department ? As I know that when you leave the country there is Tax duties to fullfill. Does it apply to me even if I stay in HK as a tourist ?

    Thanks in advance

    • The Visa Geeza

      23 Apr 2016 am30 9:47am
      73

      Whilst this question is not really immigration related, and I have no competency in this subject matter. anecdotally I would suggest you go an visit thw IRD and learn what they have to say about your situation so that you remain in compliance with them.

  • Catherine

    18 Jan 2016 pm31 11:12pm
    74

    My employer want to extend me for 2-3 mons more to stay Hong Kong even my 2years contract is done..
    Is it possible to apply visa extension on this case?

    • The Visa Geeza

      19 Jan 2016 am31 8:25am
      75

      Assuming your visa was issued under the general employment policy, then yes.

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