New Content Daily Sign Up Here

Hadley Says

What Happens if You Overstay Your Hong Kong Visa Limit of Stay?

January 22nd, 2013

Posted by / in Employment Visas, Family Visas, Hadley Says…, Investment Visas, Special Programmes, Visitor Visas / 49 responses


The Immigration Department are very strict about people who overstay their visa in Hong Kong.

If you are a visitor here and find yourself a day or 2 accidently overstaying, and have a good reason for this oversight, you may very well be able to sort it out at the airport as you depart.

However, you must appreciate that it is not recommended that you allow this to happen, nor that the Hong Kong ID will be happy with this sorry state of affairs.

In every other case, you must immediately report to Immigration Tower in Wanchai as soon as you realize that your current limit of stay has expired – visitor or resident alike.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department take the question of visa overstayers very seriously indeed – and long term overstayers could find themselves incarcerated for a period before being removed from Hong Kong – so under no circumstances should you allow an overstay to happen.

If you are a resident and have a genuine reason for slightly overstaying your visa (say because you’ve been in hospital) and there has been no-one around to help you sort your visa out, you can expect that the Department will be sympathetic and happy to help.

But everyone has a legal obligation to remain in Hong Kong subject to all their conditions of stay, including the limit or time imposed, and if you breach this, the consequences can be very serious indeed.

So please, take your visa expiry date as sacrosanct and plan your lives here around the immigration permissions you have been given – including the time allowed to stay.

More Stuff to Help You Along

The Visa Geeza on RTHK Radio 3 – July 2012

How a Hong Kong employment visa application can go completely wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing

Why do Hong Kong investment visas get denied?

Will he – or won’t he? Mike Tyson his criminal record and his Hong Kong visa

Will ImmD ever tell you why a Hong Kong visitor visa application has been refused?


Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

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.

  • Lynne

    29 Oct 2018 pm31 11:03pm

    Good Evening!
    I was over stay in hk for 7days and I surrendered in skyline tower by the help of Refugee union Head.After that they take my passport and hk I’d.I remain staying there for 2 years and told me to sign in matau Kok in every 3weeks ..last year oct I decided to return my country cause my issues here was cleared.My question is Is there any possibilities that I can go enter hk even for a visit ?

    • The Visa Geeza

      2 Nov 2018 pm30 1:03pm

      Most likely not. Overstaying is a serious matter.

  • Rex

    16 Oct 2018 am31 1:26am

    Im overstayed for 4months last 2017, and now im in under macau working visa as a skilled worker!!! QUESTION is it possible to re-enter hongkong for only 3hour of visit & to purchased a tools in very cheap price place in shamshuipo.. after 3hours i need to return in macau for work!!!

    • The Visa Geeza

      20 Oct 2018 am31 11:26am

      It doesn’t matter how long you need to enter for it is unlikely you will be allowed to visit Hong Kong again as overstaying is a serious immigration matter. The best way to approach this is to apply for a visitor visa in advance stating your need to visit and see how ImmD respond.

  • Maria

    23 Sep 2018 am30 3:24am

    My friend was overstay in Hk for 5 days last 2005 and was in jail for 2 weeks and now living in Switzerland for 5 yrs. and would like to apply Swisspassport. is this can stop her not to get Swisspassport? Thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      24 Sep 2018 pm30 5:25pm

      I have no idea. This is a Swiss immigration question not a HK visa question and we have no competency at all in Swiss immigration,

  • Uncle C

    14 Sep 2018 am30 11:33am

    My friend’s Filipina girlfriend is pregnant and a Domestic Helper overstay. She wants to go and surrender to immigration and go back to Philippines to have the baby. She has overstayed for more than one year. Considering that she is 10 weeks pregnant and has a return air ticket, is it likely that she will be incarcerated and if so for how long?

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Sep 2018 am30 10:26am

      No idea. Best to surrender ASAP.

  • Marionel

    6 Sep 2018 am30 6:06am

    Good day! I just want to have assistance/advise because i might overstay in the country. My passport is still on the VFS for stamping and still on process. My due date here in hong kong is on september 8, 2018. Is this a valid reason? What can I do to extend my visa? Thank you..

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Sep 2018 pm30 1:38pm

      Go to ImmD and report your circumstances.

  • Daria

    27 Aug 2018 pm31 8:10pm

    Hello. I overstayed my visitor visa for 3 months last year (2017) been detained for 1 day at the police station then given a recognizance paper at HKID in Tuen Mun. Then went to the curt in Shatin, been told that I have a clean record and if I make another offence in the time of 9 months I’ll be in jail for 5 days, after this I went through the removal section and left the country on my expenses. QUESTION: I’m about to apply for a mainland Chinese working visa at my country, will this affect my application? I have no clear how indepent is HK from mainland

    • The Visa Geeza

      30 Aug 2018 am31 10:08am

      Two separate jurisdictions. However, if the Chinese learn of your HK experience they could use that as a reason to refuse.

  • Janice Gorospe

    7 Jul 2018 am31 8:03am

    Hi good morning I’m a foreign domestic helper here in Hong Kong my visa is already expired last June 30 2018 I thought it’s July 30 2018 will be expire. I’m already find a new employer because my current employer they will move in Canada this coming July 28,2018. I hope you will give me some advice thank you so much…

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Jul 2018 am31 10:46am

      Go to ImmD immediately. You are an overstayer. Go now!

  • Ritz Cariaga

    4 Jul 2018 am31 11:59am

    My limit of stay will be on july 21, 2018 but i have my plane ticket already on july 20,2018 and come back august 5. Do i need to extend my visa? My contract will end jan 2020.

    • The Visa Geeza

      11 Jul 2018 am31 10:48am

      Yes apply to extend now.

  • Ganie

    26 Mar 2018 pm31 12:51pm

    Where people can surrender if overstay ,place ??

    • The Visa Geeza

      29 Mar 2018 am31 9:39am

      Immigration Tower, Wanchai. Go to 2/F and tell them what you want to do.

  • Stacy

    12 Mar 2018 am31 5:00am

    Hi my employer is in jail last other Monday.and she in jail Monday it’s because of the case that she involved.and now she said she told already all the details when she caught and act about for everything she told to cid imigration that she let me to leave already in her place last semptember 30 .and now last Monday she’s in jail for 3 days and she say her case is still undergoing .and I wonder when I call her the last other Saturday she never reply my text and call cause I need her a permission to go Taiwan last other Saturday. when I get back last other Monday I don’t have problem of imigration and during that date my employer in jail and I why wonder if she’s in jail that time when I get back here in hk last other Monday . why I don’t have problem of my visa that time when I get back in concern is what I gonna do of this situation sothat I can go back philipines have ticket already if there is a case I will face cause my employer say I over stayed already.what the best I can do to resolved this problem

    • The Visa Geeza

      13 Mar 2018 am31 10:24am

      You had better report to immigration and explain the circumstances.

      • Stacy

        12 Jun 2018 am30 5:09am

        If my friend surrender to immigration about her overstaying here.its possible she detain or deported only?

        • The Visa Geeza

          15 Jun 2018 pm30 7:12pm

          How long overstay?

  • Cecil

    3 Feb 2018 pm28 7:33pm

    Hi I need some advice I’m a working here in hongkong as a helper and i just check my Visa that I overstayed 2 months what should I do is it I got a big trouble?

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Feb 2018 am28 10:51am

      Report to immigration straight away.

  • Sutubu

    29 Jan 2018 pm31 7:02pm

    Hi I am asking some advice regarding my friend.she has been over stay for 5years,because of she was terminated 3 times and was sure not going to get visa again.and she have serious trouble in her country,so she was scared to go back .my question is is there possibility to be a temporary refuge?thanks I. Advance

    • The Visa Geeza

      3 Feb 2018 am28 10:29am

      With a 5 year overstay she needs to face the consequences and surrender to the Immigration Department.

  • Gaze

    15 Nov 2017 am30 11:36am

    My friend had a case of overstayed and she was reported in Immigration on her case. She was detained for 7 weeks and now she’s back in Philippines after that. My question is how many years she can come back in HK to work again and if that case is her record for overstaying is cleared already?

    • The Visa Geeza

      17 Nov 2017 pm30 12:06pm

      It is unlikely she will be allowed to return. There is no minimum time away to clear an overstay record. If ImmD believe she will overstay again they will not admit her again.

      • Gaze

        13 Jul 2018 pm31 8:51pm

        Immd not allowed me to enter HK yet even there is an employer signed my contract because of my overstayed wayback 2016. I want to ask, can i enter in Macau to work there while waiting my approval to be back in HK? Is Macau not a part of HK?
        Thanks for responses

        • The Visa Geeza

          16 Jul 2018 pm31 10:22pm

          Sorry I have no idea about Macau immigration. Macau is not a part of Hong Kong.

      • Chenli

        26 Oct 2018 pm31 1:33pm

        Hi. I have a friend who worked as domestic helper but lost her passport way back in 1997 then overstayed for 10 months. In 2010 she visted Hong Kong and stayed for 7 days. Now she got an employer, and wants to employ her as a domestic helper. Will she allowed to work as a domestic helper. again. Please advise. Thank you.

        • The Visa Geeza

          2 Nov 2018 pm30 1:05pm

          No idea. We have no FDH visa competency. You can only apply and see.

  • Kar

    31 Oct 2017 pm31 1:32pm

    Hi! I had a one day overstay in Hong Kong. I have a Macau non-resident working visa. Can I still enter hongkong even just for a couple of days? Or if not, How many days should I refrain from entering Hong Kong? Is there any law? Thank you very much!

    • The Visa Geeza

      8 Nov 2017 am30 9:41am

      1 day overstay on one occasion should not be problematic – so long as it’s your only instance.

  • Jessie

    18 Jul 2017 am31 12:38am

    I have overstayed for two months and i reported already in immigration in Kowloon. My question is that if i still can come back in Hong Kong after. Because im about to leave in hong kong because i need to renew my passport. I got married here in hong kong last year on October, and my husband apply me as a dependent. And the immigration ask me to go back to my country, but im worried what if i cannot come back?
    Please answer my a question.. thank you

    • The Visa Geeza

      18 Jul 2017 pm31 1:57pm

      As a non permanent resident ImmD ALWAYS have the ability to deny your re-entry into Hong Kong. There’s not much more I can say than that really.

  • Julien

    18 May 2017 am31 11:47am


    I’ve an active hk working visa until may 2020 but I’m actually overseas and I don’t have a job in hk

    How long I can stay overseas before my working visa will be cancel ?

    Thanks for your help


    • The Visa Geeza

      18 May 2017 pm31 1:22pm

      Your employment visa will therefore expire in May 2020. But if you don’t work for your sponsoring employer you only have the privilege to reside in HK until then; you no longer have the privilege to work which ceased when you stopped working for your employing sponsor of record.


CommentLuv badge