Generally speaking, 4-6 weeks from the date of last submission. The exception if right of abode applications, which take 6-12 weeks. Individual processing times can vary, according to the background of the applicant, the sponsor company and the timely submission of all documentation.
I have a de facto spouse and child who will stay with me in Hong Kong while I work in Hong Kong with employment visa. Can they apply for dependant visas?
Your de facto spouse cannot apply for a dependant visa as a marriage certificate is required for a spouse dependant visa application. However, your de facto spouse can apply for prolonged visitor visa which allows your de facto spouse to stay with you in Hong Kong. As long as your child has a birth certificate which testifies you are a parent of your child, your child can apply for a dependant visa.
I own a local company in Hong Kong and hire local staff to operate the daily business in Hong Kong and I just occasionally travel to Hong Kong to supervise the operation. In this situation, do I need a visa?
No. There is no restriction for foreigners to register a company in Hong Kong. However, if the company owner(s) intend to station and work in Hong Kong, they need to apply for employment/investment visas.
How can I get the HKID card and what is the purpose of it?
If you get the approval of any kinds of visa for more than 6-month period except visitor visa or prolonged visitor visa, you are eligible to apply for HKID card. HKID card is an identification of your status in Hong Kong and you are required to bring with you at all times in Hong Kong.
Once I get an employment visa, am I free to work in Hong Kong for whomever I wish?
No. An employment visa is specific to the employer / sponsor company who provided support for the initial application. If you wish to change employers, you must apply for a change of sponsorship before taking up employment with your new employer. It is illegal to work for another company before you have completed this process.
Can I get a part-time job besides working full-time with my sponsor company?
Yes. However, you have to get a consent from Immigration Department before taking up your part-time employment or engaging in a side business.
Can I apply an employment visa if I am offered a part-time employment in Hong Kong?
No, all employment visa applications must be sponsored by a local sponsor company whom you will be engaged with them as a full time employee.
I am hired by a US company and they intend to relocate me to Hong Kong to take care of their Asia Pacific based clients there, but my US company does not have any entities registered in Hong Kong, can my US company be my sponsor company?
No. All employment visa applications must be sponsored by a local sponsor company which should be registered in Hong Kong as legal entities. Your US company may register a local company or a branch or a representative office in Hong Kong in order to support your employment visa application
I am holding a training visa in Hong Kong and my HK office wants to hire me as a permanent staff in Hong Kong, can I change my current training visa to employment visa?
No. Immigration grants you a training visa on the ground that you come to Hong Kong to receive training and your HK office has to ensure you will return back to your home country when you finish your training. Thus, you have to cancel your training visa first and apply your employment visa overseas.
I current live overseas, but I want to live in Hong Kong because I like the culture and environment in Hong Kong, would I just come to Hong Kong and then look for a job?
You may consider applying a visa under Quality Migration Scheme. Once your application is approved, you will be granted a one year visa which can allow you to look for a job and settle in Hong Kong.
I am an Austrian holding a working holiday visa. I have worked with my current employer for two months and he would like to hire me as a permanent staff. Would I apply an employment visa now?
No. You have to cancel the working holiday visa first and then apply an employment visa overseas.
I have been in Hong Kong for last couple of years and my visa expires in 1 weeks. 4 weeks ago I submitted my visa extension application however I still have not heard from immigration and and my visa is expiring. Can I still stay in Hong Kong or I need to leave?
Its best to call the immigration officer to check your extension application status. Under normal circumstances, you are allowed to stay in Hong Kong until the extension application is approved even your current visa is expired.
I married overseas with my spouse who is the same gender, would my spouse get a dependant visa with our overseas marriage certificate
No. Unfortunately Hong Kong government does not accept a same gender marriage. The same gender spouse may need to apply a separate employment visa.
I adopted a child in a developing country. Can my child apply for a dependant visa?
Yes, as long as you get the formal adoption papers from the government of said developing country showing that you are the legal guardian.
I was just divorced with my husband and my dependant visa is going to expire soon. Can I continue staying in Hong Kong and can I extend my dependant visa?
No. It is because your husband is your sponsor based on your marriage relation. If you want to continue staying in Hong Kong, you have to get a job and change your current dependant visa to employment visa.
I was a divorced person and my child lives with me after divorce. Now I get a job in Hong Kong and is applying an employment visa, can my child apply a dependant visa at the same time?
Yes. But you have to submit some supporting documents showing that your ex-husband has no objection for you to bring your child to live abroad and you are the guardian of your child in the relevant divorce paper.
I am a foreigner and get a right of abode in Hong Kong, I just married with a mainland Chinese girl. Can I apply a dependant visa for my mainland Chinese wife?
No. Under the current Immigration policy, if you already got a right of abode in Hong Kong, you are treated as a“local” person, you can’t apply a dependant visa for your mainland Chinese wife in Hong Kong. She has to apply a single permit from mainland instead. It will take much longer time to get a single permit than a dependant visa.
I am a divorced person and recently I got married again with a person who has an employment visa in Hong Kong, can I apply a dependant visa for my son who is from my previous marriage?
Yes, your son can apply a dependant visa if your son is under age 18. Your current husband will become his sponsor for a dependant visa.
I am holding an employment visa, can I apply dependant visas for my parents?
No. If you are not a permanent resident in Hong Kong, you cannot apply dependant visas for your parents. If you have an exceptional reason, Immigration will consider to grant prolonged visas for your parents.
I own some shares in the company and I am also a paid employee in the company. Should I apply for employment visa or investment visa?
It depends on several factors: how many shares you own in the company, how many shareholders in the company, and your working experiences as well as how much of money you invest into the company, etc. However, in general speaking, if you are a majority shareholder, you should apply for investment visa.
I set up a company in Hong Kong and want to get an investment visa with the support of my newly incorporated company, how much of do I need to inject into my company in order to get the approval of investment visa?
There is no minimum money requirement for investment visa application. However, you should show Immigration Department that your company will enhance the economy of Hong Kong in terms of hiring local people.
I have an oversea company for many years and I want to set up a Hong Kong office to be closer to my clients in China. I will be physically in Hong Kong to take care the business. However, I want to be sure that I will get the investment visa before I put the funds into my Hong Kong office and start hiring staff as well as renting an office space. Is it possible?
Yes, possible. However, you have to show Immigration that your HK business has potential to grow and to hire local staff and to rent an office space in one year time.
I am a freelancer working on the consulting job for several years, now my boy friend moves to Hong Kong and I want to move to Hong Kong as well. Understood I may not be able to apply a dependant visa because we are not married. However, we enjoy our life style right now, and has no intention to get marry because of the visa issue. What can I do?
There is no freelancer work visa offered in Hong Kong. You may consider setting a new Hong Kong company and apply an investment visa.
Why do I need to engage the visa and immigration service in Prism instead of doing all process by myself?
We have the professional knowledge and experience in formulating arguing strategies which will lead to your success in getting your visa in a time and cost efficient manner. You cannot afford to be rejected by Immigration as it will be much more difficult for you to reapply for a visa in the future.If there is any immigration issues in Hong Kong that you wish to discuss further or need clarification on, please do not hesitate to contact us, our professional consultants are always happy to help and provide an initial consultation free of charge.
Can I hire a person who is holding a working holiday visa for a year?
You can only hire a person, who is holding a working holiday visa. The hiring period would be based on the nationality of the applicant, for a maximum period of 1 year to three months.
I want to hire a foreigner who claims that she is able to work in Hong Kong and she has a HKID card. How can I verify that she is allowed to work in Hong Kong by Immigration?
Having a HKID card doesn’t mean that she is able to work in Hong Kong. You may request her to show you the valid visa in her passport. If you are still doubt on it, you may contact us for clarification – it is free!
Are there any guideline of what can do and what cannot do for a person holding a visitor visa?
1. Regulation 2(1) of the Immigration Regulations (Chapter 115A), Laws of Hong Kong, stipulates that permission given to a person to land in Hong Kong as a visitor shall be subject to the following conditions of stay: a. he shall not take any employment, whether paid or unpaid; b. he shall not establish or join in any business; and c. he shall not become a student at a school, university or other educational institution.
2. A person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a visitor may generally engage in the following business-related activities: a. concluding contracts or submitting tenders; b. examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment; c. participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths); d. settling compensation or other civil proceedings; e. participating in product orientation; and f. attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.
3. Besides, a person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a visitor may also attend an event to deliver speech(es)/ presentation(s) subject to the following conditions being met: a. he/she will not be remunerated for speaking/presenting at the event (other than provision of accommodation, passage, meals, etc. relating to the event, or the reimbursement of such expenses); b. the duration of the whole event should be no longer than seven days; and c. he/she can only attend one such event to deliver speech(es)/presentation(s) during each period of permitted stay.
4. Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years under section 41 of the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115), Laws of Hong Kong.
Can exhibitors permitted to land as visitors supply services direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs, e.g. packing of goods, selling the goods at the booth and receiving money from the sale?
No. Though exhibitors permitted to land as visitors are allowed to participate in promotions of products or services, they are not allowed to supply services direct to the general public during the exhibition/trade fairs, e.g. packing of goods, and selling the goods at the booth and receiving money from the sale from the general public. Lawfully employable persons should be hired to supply services direct to the general public in exhibitions/trade fairs.
What is Significant Controller? What is this for?
Significant Controllers is a new regime of Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 for Hong Kong companies, which is requiring to obtain up-to-date beneficial ownership information.
Who can be the significant controller of my company?
A significant controller can be:
- A registrable person who is a natural person that has significant control over the company; and - A registrable legal entity (e.g. a company), which is a shareholder of the company that has significant control over the company.
All companies incorporated in Hong Kong (except listed companies) are required to maintain a significant controllers register (hereinafter “SCR”) which will be accessible by law enforcement officers upon demand. The SCR can be kept at the registered office or a place in Hong Kong. The significant controllers register includes but not limit to the followings:
-updating information in the register; -identifying significant controllers; -giving notices to significant controllers & others; -entering particulars in the register; -allowing inspection by law enforcement officer. The SCR should be updated within 7 days after the required particulars have all been confirmed.
Who can be the representative person of my company?
All companies incorporated in Hong Kong (except listed companies) must also designate at least one person as its representative to provide assistance relating to the significant controllers register of the company to law enforcement officers. The designated representative must be either a shareholder, director or an employee of the company who is a natural person resident in Hong Kong or an accounting professional, a legal professional or a person licensed to carry on a business as trust or company service provider.
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